Avalon Waterway’s new luxury river cruiser, Panorama, was christened yesterday afternoon at a ceremony in Mainz, Germany by the Channel Nine presenter, Lisa Wilkinson.

Panorama is a state-of-the-art vessel carrying 166 guests, and has been dubbed Europe’s first “suite” ship, offering two entire decks of all-suite accommodation, with 30 per cent more space than the average river cruiser, and wall-to-wall panoramic windows which open up to create an open air balcony.

Although inclement weather threatened to spoil the festivities, the event passed off without a hitch. Guests initially met in Panorama’s elegant lounge, including Wilkinson’s husband, Peter Fitzsimmons, wearing his new trademark red bandana, and also travel agents and media from key markets including Australia and New Zealand, the USA and UK.

Also in the party were key members of Globus and Avalon Waterways, including the Managing Director of Globus in Australia and New Zealand, Patrick Williams, and global head of Avalon Waterways, Patrick Clark.

Everyone then grabbed an umbrella and a glass of local  sparkling wine to go ashore for the ceremony. Wilkinson gave a short speech, named the ship, and the traditional cutting of the ribbon took place allowing a bottle of champagne to fall and break across Panorama’s blue hull.

Afterwards, everyone went back on board for more drinks and official speeches, then a band kicked off the evening’s entertainment, which included a six course gala dinner. And a good time was had by all!

Want to see some footage from the big day? Then click on the links below:

Champagne Bottle Breaking

Lisa Wilkinson’s Christening Speech