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How This Cruise Line Puts Wellness Front and Center

From an on-board Wellness Host to a wealth of active shore excursions, AmaWaterways River Cruises makes healthy travel a priority for your clients.

How This Cruise Line Puts Wellness Front and Center

The Sun Deck of an AmaWaterways river cruise ship can be a lively place in the morning. In addition to guests getting up early to watch the sunrise, often while soaking in one of the line’s signature deck-top pools or whirlpools, you’ll usually find a yoga or stretching class underway.

Down below, in the public areas of the ship, other guests may be starting the day with a workout in the on-board fitness studio or taking out a bike for a morning ride along a riverside path. Still others will be off to the spa for a soothing massage.

AmaWaterways is known among river cruise lines for its wide variety of wellness activities, from start-of-the-day exercise classes to active hiking and biking excursions. The line also caters to the wellness-minded with a focus on fresh, healthful, and locally sourced cuisine.

The idea is to ensure that every traveler is able to enhance their best self during their river cruise vacation—a touchstone for AmaWaterways’ Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Kristin Karst.

“As a passionate advocate of living a healthy lifestyle, I continuously look for ways to enhance not only myself, but our river cruise experiences,” Karst said.

Under Karst’s direction, AmaWaterways has embraced a holistic view of wellness that goes beyond physical wellness to include:

  • Spiritual wellness, gained through authentic travel experiences
  • Emotional wellness, derived from being in the moment
  • The intellectual wellness that comes with new experiences
  • Environmental wellness, which comes through appreciating the Earth and all its precious resources
  • Social wellness, an offspring of spending time with loved ones and kindred cruisers
  • The occupational wellness of its crew

These well-thought-out points are evidence of just how important wellness is to AmaWaterways. Here’s how else it shows.


On-Board Wellness Activities Every AmaWaterways ship in Europe (except two) now sails with a professionally trained Wellness Host, who leads invigorating group fitness classes on a daily basis. Offerings, included in the fare, vary depending on the Host’s expertise, but can include cardio and core-strengthening classes, resistance-band classes, dance classes, and yoga. The Wellness Host also leads on-board presentations about incorporating wellness into one’s daily life.

On AmaWaterways Mekong River itineraries in Southeast Asia, guests can enjoy a new Wellness Host program, including morning stretching, core strengthening, resistance-band classes, and active wellness walks. Depending on the Host’s experience, wellness options might also include yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation sessions, as well as a wellness-focused tea ceremony. With the latter option, guests are introduced to the traditional way of making 100% organic teas to detoxify, heal, and reenergize.

The on-board wellness offerings are even more elaborate on AmaMagna, the line’s new double-wide vessel on the Danube River. In addition to both a pool and whirlpool for relaxing on its Sun Deck, the unusually spacious ship has an expansive Zen Wellness Studio with floor-to-ceiling retractable windows, outdoor spin bikes with a view, two massage treatment rooms, a juice bar, and manicure and pedicure services. Spa and nail treatments are available for a nominal fee.

And on all AmaWaterways ships, you’ll also find hydration stations with detoxifying, fruit-infused waters.


On-Board Healthful Meals Perhaps nowhere is the wellness focus at AmaWaterways more evident than in its culinary program, as the cuisine in shipboard restaurants is infused with fresh, healthful, locally sourced dishes. The line purchases many of the ingredients it uses—including fruits and vegetables—ashore at local markets, and every meal provides gluten-free, vegetarian, and low-sodium options.

Bountiful breakfasts include omelets made to order using cage-free eggs, freshly baked bread, fresh fruit, and cereals. Lunch tempts with an array of fresh salads, soups, and sandwiches. Casually elegant evenings come with a range of delicious entrées, including filets of salmon, crate-free pork, beef tenderloin, and seasonal vegetables.

But the focus on healthy eating goes well beyond the ship, with Special Interest Tour shore excursions available that offer a taste of fresh-and-healthy local specialties. They include an outing in Provence, France, to find the region’s highly prized (and cholesterol-free) truffles, and a visit to Austria’s scenic Wachau Valley to sample its celebrated apricots, which are known to be rich in antioxidants and fiber.

AmaWaterways even schedules tours focused on heart-healthy wines, with one outing along the Rhine River built around an exploration of aromatic, low-calorie pinot noirs.


Active Shore Excursions In addition to food-focused tours, AmaWaterways has long been a leader among river cruise lines in offering active excursions. Guests looking for a little exercise (and adventure) while they tour will find a wide range of active guided hikes and bike tours on every sailing in Europe. Examples include an 8-mile bike tour through France’s celebrated Saint-Émilion region and an 18-mile ride along the famous Danube bike path through Austria’s Wachau Valley from Melk to Spitz. Guided hiking adventures include excursions such as a trek to the Veste Oberhaus Fortress overlooking Passau, Germany’s three rivers; a journey through Bulgaria’s whimsical natural wonder, Belogradchik; or a trek to Château Gaillard, high above France’s Seine River.

AmaWaterways offers a minimum of three biking and two hiking tours on most European itineraries and continues to increase these excursions to meet demand.

The cruise line also stocks its ships with dozens of bikes that guests can take out on a complimentary basis for rides along the river paths that are common in Europe. In fact, the line was the first to add bikes on board, way back in 2006. Its ships also carry Nordic walking sticks for guests’ use.

The bottom line: Travelers are invited to keep their mind, body, and spirit well-exercised by trying something new every day: a rejuvenating stretching class, a guided hike along a historic path, a surprising regionally inspired meal, or an authentic cultural experience. For a wellness-focused traveler interested in a river cruise vacation in Europe and beyond, AmaWaterways is hard to beat.

For more details on AmaWaterways’ wellness offerings—and to help your clients find the perfect healthy cruise—log in to the Travel Advisor Portal at AmaWaterways.com.

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