There was a time when cruise lines kept the name of a new ship’s godmother secret until close to launch day. In fact, sometimes the godmother’s identity wasn’t made public until the naming ceremony.

Times have changed.

Such an example is Avalon Waterways. The river cruiser announced that Patricia Shultz, author of 1,000

Places To See Before You Die, will be godmother of the Avalon Expression when it launches May 6 in Cochem, Germany.

“Ms Schultz has inspired thousands of people driven by wanderlust to travel the world,” said Patrick Clark, Avalon’s managing director. “She is the perfect godmother for the Expression.”

The latest “suite ship” is one of two being launched this year by Avalon.

After the christening ceremony, the 443-foot, 166-passenger Expression will welcome travellers with cruises called The Legendary Danube, The Blue Danube Discovery and Magnificent Europe. Both the 2013 vessels Avalon are…

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