Will (left) and Riley (right) Farmer are AmaWaterways’ youngest godparents having just christened the AmaLucia. (Photo credit: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

The day was off to a glorious start—the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, laid before us and our eyes were in for a feast as magnificent castle after magnificent castle (from the 11th century to the 18th) came into view. We were sailing the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel on the AmaLucia, an itinerary the ship had been sailing for quite some time, but this was no ordinary sailing, because topping off a morning of viewing this treasure trove of castles—and learning the history behind each—was the ship’s christening at the German town of Rudesheim, home to the final castle on the long list that are on view in this World Heritage site.

Our arrival into Rudesheim also proved to be quite out of the ordinary. As the AmaLucia passengers—made up of paying passengers, media, the godparents and their family as well as AmaWaterways co-founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst—enjoyed a BBQ feast on the ship’s Sun Deck, the ship sailed into port guided by the Rudesheim yacht club and a celebratory mood.

The AmaLucia docked in Cologne. (Photo credit: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

Indeed, the day was finally here to celebrate the 78-stateroom, 156-passenger AmaLucia, one of AmaWaterways’ newest ships, having entered the fleet in 2021. And like this story’s headline indicates, the godparents are pretty cool and very different from what you’d expect. They are, in fact, AmaWaterways’ youngest godparents—Riley and Will Farmer, 14- and 11-years-old, respectively. This particular sailing was the siblings’ third voyage with AmaWaterways; they’ve traveled extensively throughout the world, having visited 14 international countries in addition to numerous destinations throughout the U.S. Of note is, as Schreiner mentioned to Recommend during the sailing, that Will “named the ship.” As Will noted during the christening ceremony, the family was having dinner with Schreiner and Karst as well as AmaWaterways co-owner Gary Murphy one summer evening in 2019 in Luxembourg (the father is a business partner of AmaWaterways) and Will said why not name the new ship “Lucia” (pronouncing it with an /s/ sound, with his sister Riley jumping in and noting that it’s pronounced Lu[ch]ia). Thus, AmaLucia was born.

“The kids are beautiful, outstanding kids,” said Schreiner, stressing that “we always try to include partners and the family.”

Castle-viewing along the Rhine. (Photo credit: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

So, on that recent Sunday afternoon, under the gaze of a sun-filled day along the Rhine River and a picturesque park, the AmaLucia was blessed and christened, with Rudesheim dignitaries, the AmaLucia crew, the passengers and a host of other individuals looking on in pure glee. It was most certainly one of the sailing’s most memorable moments, and Riley captured the moment perfectly when she said during her address, “Ama means love and we are all family.”

For more information on AmaWaterways, visit amawaterways.com.