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Avalon Waterways has christened its 14th Suite Ship, the stunning Avalon View. The ship’s godmother, Meredith Vieira, 14-time Emmy Award-winning host, producer and anchor, led the momentous ceremony.

The vineyards and mountains of Bratislava watched on as the new ship joined the Avalon Waterways fleet.

“Today we thank those with a vision of what could be and the hands to craft it so. Such beauty as this magnificent vessel now begins its river journey. Around every bend lies a new sight to behold, a new experience to savour, a new friend with whom to share it.” said Ms Vieira.

“May all aboard her travel safely with eyes wide open to the wonders that await. And what a fitting name: I now christen thee, the Avalon View. Take a little time to enjoy it.”

Shortly after Ms Vieira’s words, a bottle of local wine, Johann Hubert Exclusive, was smashed against the ship’s bow, officially welcoming it to the fleet.

Managing Director of Avalon Waterways Pam Hoffee, the ships captain Ambrose Manolache, the ships 47-person crew and 75 invited guests were in attendance, cheering on the christening.

“As a difference-making broadcast journalist, executive producer and television host, Meredith Vieira has given us a unique, up-close-and-personal view into her life – and the lives of countless others – with unparalleled storytelling, compassionate interviews and an extraordinary ability to connect with those she meets,” said Ms Hoffee. “We are thrilled to celebrate Meredith, and her many accomplishments, today as she honoured us as godmother, christening the Avalon View.”

Ms Hoffee also described some of the features of the new vessel.

“Today, the Avalon View joins an entire fleet of Suite Ships in Europe and Southeast Asia,” said Hoffee. “Each features our boutique-hotel inspired Panorama Suites, the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies with the widest-opening windows in cruising and decadent Comfort Collection beds that face the ever-changing scenery.

“New glass balcony panels on the Avalon View provide an extra, exciting cruising outlook with completely unobstructed views. Even seasoned travellers have never seen – or experienced – the world like this.”

The168-passenger vessel will start sailing this week on the Danube River, with itineraries including Taste of the Danube, Danube Symphony, Active & Discovery on the Danube and Gone Girl!, a special storyteller cruise with celebrity host, Gillian Flynn.

Meanwhile Avalon has launched a new video advertising campaign establish the brand’s luxury credentials.

Avalon’s “Cruising Elevated” slogan refers to three key elements of the brand, says chief marketing officer Steve Born in an article on trade site Travel Weekly.

“There are three elements that signify luxury in today’s cruising world. One is the ships themselves — the hardware. Do they provide an environment that makes the most of the cruise experience — enough space and room? The second element is hospitality – cruise service, how guests are treated, the food. And the third would be the choice of included excursions and variety.”

Born maintains luxury is about “how to make the most of time.”