- (Apr. 30, 2020) -

Inaugural Event Welcomed Travel Partners, Hosted by AmaWaterways’ Celebrated Godmothers; Next in the Series to Feature Travel Industry Icon, Samantha Brown On May 14

Calabasas, CA – (April 30, 2020) – On Wednesday, April 22, AmaWaterways launched its new virtual “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour. The first in the series was hosted by Kristin Karst, co-founder of AmaWaterways and Godmother of AmaKristina, who was joined by eight of the leading river cruise line’s travel industry Godmothers. Close to 2,000 travel advisors attended, underscoring the deep relationships AmaWaterways has built with its travel partners throughout the past 18 years. The live onscreen “Sip & Sail” series was launched to help the line remain personally connected with travel advisors and past guests until AmaWaterways’ much anticipated return to the rivers.

“I am overjoyed by the tremendous turnout and feedback on our inaugural virtual ‘Sip & Sail’ Cocktail Hour,” said Karst. “The event was such a wonderful opportunity for our industry’s hardworking travel advisors to come together with a cocktail in hand, and join our industry Godmothers onscreen as they shared some of their favorite travel memories and celebrated the contributions travel advisors make to our industry. The positive energy and confidence in the future radiating from these iconic travel leaders was infectious!”

A special guest was Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network representing AmaWaterways dear friend and first industry Godmother, the late Michelle Morgan. During the virtual “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour, guests shared their favorite cocktail, memories from past christenings, favorite ports of call and tips for staying strong, positive and resilient while preparing for the future. Joining Karst for the event were:

  • Debbie Fiorino – Senior Vice President and COO of Owned Brands for World Travel Holdings; Godmother-in-waiting of AmaSiena (2020)
  • Libbie Rice – Former Co-President of Ensemble Travel Group; Godmother of AmaMora (2019)
  • Filomena Andre – Vice President, Travel Products & Services of Automobile Club of Southern California, Travel; Godmother of AmaLea (2018)
  • Jackie Friedman – President of Nexion, Godmother of AmaViola (2016)
  • Michelle Fee – CEO and Co-Founder of Cruise Planners; Godmother of AmaSerena (2015)
  • Brenda Kyllo – Vice President, Strategic Alliances, AmaWaterways; Godmother of AmaSonata (2014)
  • Valerie Wilson – Founder of Valerie Wilson Travel; Godmother of AmaPrima (2013)
  • Alex Sharpe – President and CEO, Signature Travel Network; In memory of the late Michelle Morgan, Godmother of AmaLyra (2009)
  • Susan Murphy – Daughter of AmaWaterways’ late Co-Founder Jimmy Murphy, Current AmaWaterways Board Member; Godmother of AmaCello (2008)

The actual complimentary, pre-dinner “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour onboard its European fleet has received rave guest reviews since it was first introduced in 2018. The virtual “Sip & Sail” series, created as an innovative and interactive way to remain connected with travel partners and past guests, will feature special guests and cover numerous topics of interest to travelers dreaming about or planning for their next vacation.

The next virtual “Sip & Sail” will be co-hosted by Karst along with American television host and Godmother of AmaMagna, Samantha Brown on Thursday, May 14, at 1 p.m. PST (4 p.m. EST). Travel advisors are encouraged to pre-register a week before the event by visiting AmaWaterways’ Travel Advisor Portal. Past AmaWaterways guests and fans of Samantha Brown will also be able to participate in the event via Facebook Live.

“At the heart of the travel industry is the human desire to connect with people and my heart was warmed as I witnessed the goodwill and friendship that was shared during this very special hour together,” added Karst. “I am already looking forward to the next ones, as we continue to keep that spirit alive while anxiously awaiting our return to the rivers.”

To view the recorded “Sip & Sail” Cocktail Hour or check future events, visit the Webinar Wednesday section of the Travel Advisor Portal on To book an AmaWaterways river cruise for a client, call 1.800.626.0126. Follow AmaWaterways on Facebook at, Instagram @AmaWaterways and Twitter @AmaWaterways.

About AmaWaterways

A family-owned company celebrating 18 years on the river, AmaWaterways offers unforgettable river cruises with 25 ships sailing Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Rhône, Seine, Garonne, Dordogne, Dutch and Belgian Waterways and Douro Rivers, Southeast Asia’s Mekong, Africa’s Chobe River and Egypt’s Nile River (2021). Led by experienced river cruise co-founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, the company is renowned for its innovative stateroom design featuring unique “twin balconies;” its wellness activities including a wide choice of included shore excursions featuring biking and hiking options for the active traveler; and its award-winning dining—including The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant as well as complimentary fine wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Modern, spacious and tastefully decorated, each ship features onboard amenities such as hair and massage salons and a fitness room, and many have heated outdoor swimming pools with swim-up bars. AmaWaterways leads the river cruise industry in innovation highlighted with the launch of AmaMagna, which at twice the width of traditional river ships, offers a new dimension in luxury river cruising. The company also offers a variety of themed sailings and brand relationships, with sailings geared towards active travelers and families as well as group and charter options.

With the highest-rated ships in Europe according to the third edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe & the USA, AmaWaterways has received countless honors and accolades including Cruise Critic’s 2019 Editor’s Pick Award for “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best for Active Cruisers,” 2018 AFAR Reader’s Choice Award for “Best River Cruise Line” and inclusion of AmaMagna in 2019 TIME “World’s Greatest Places.”


Samantha Jacobs or Carter Long, Hemsworth Communications

(678) 631-9974 or

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