Last week Riviera Travel christened its two new five-star river cruise ships for 2017, the MS Thomas Hardy and the MS Emily Brontë, at a ceremony in the Netherlands.

Christina Astill from Go-Cruise and Tracey Scales from Travel Counsellors officially christened the ships in their roles as the two godmothers, following an exclusive competition for travel agents in the UK and Ireland to be given the esteemed titles.

Christina and Tracey were flown out to the christening ceremony in Amsterdam to carry out the time-honoured tradition of smashing Champagne bottles against the ships’ hulls, before enjoying a three-course meal and entertainment on board one of the ships alongside the line's management team and other VIPS.

Both ships accommodate up to 169 passengers with 44 in-house trained staff.

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