Home>Travel inspiration

How this Luxury River Cruise Line Offers Extraordinary Value

Sponsored by AmaWaterways

08.29.19

share this article
flipboard

Let your clients in on a secret: The ships and cruises of AmaWaterways add lots of generous perks—and they’re all included in the price.

Article Continues Below Ad

share this article
flipboard

Imagine gliding slowly down the Rhine River while admiring medieval castles and fortresses; stepping off an award-winning, intimate ship right in the middle of an Alsatian town; enjoying an expert-led tour; then returning to the ship for an exquisite, multi-course meal.

It’s a typical day on an AmaWaterways cruise in Europe—and it’s all included in the fare. Packed with off-ship excursions and on-board activities, and featuring elegant cuisine and unparalleled service, a river cruise with AmaWaterways is one filled with great immersive experiences and many surprise-and-delight moments that add up to exceptional travel value.   

Founded in 2002 by three families who aimed to create a river cruise experience that they, themselves, would love, the line is known for its personal approach, including a crew that warmly welcomes guests on board as family.

Like on ocean ships, river cruises require only unpacking once. But while ocean ships sail to countries, river ships take guests through them. AmaWaterways vessels travel through some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, from Austria’s UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley to Germany’s UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, home to more than 40 fairytale castles. And, of course, on a river cruise, there’s no chance for seasickness.

A Broad Array of On-Board Amenities 

When it comes to the AmaWaterways on-board experience, the line sets itself apart with amenities not found on every river ship—including massage rooms, libraries with games, fitness centers, and heated sun-deck pools and whirlpools.

Other diversions include music and tapas in the Main Lounge; nightly entertainment performed by local musicians, dancers, and folkloric artists; and fascinating port lectures. In the past two years, AmaWaterways also has built out an extensive on-board wellness program led by dedicated Wellness Hosts with invigorating cardio workouts, resistance-band stretching classes, informative presentations, and more.

In the staterooms, there’s unlimited, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and Entertainment-On-Demand. Or guests can just take in the view. Most accommodations are spacious staterooms between 210 and 235 square feet, featuring both a French balcony and a step-out balcony—an AmaWaterways innovation that has become a signature of the line. The newest addition to the fleet, AmaMagna, boasts balcony suites from 355 to 710 square feet.

Inventive Culinary Offerings

Article Continues Below Ad

AmaWaterways’ culinary program is another area where guests can expect luxury. Every AmaWaterways vessel boasts a Main Restaurant—staffed with passionate chefs who use locally  sourced ingredients to create regionally-inspired dishes—and The Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu prepared in viewable kitchens and paired with wine. Some ships, such as the AmaMagna, have even more dining options.

Guests can also enjoy ice cream socials, as well as complimentary drinks during pre-dinner Sip & Sail cocktail hours. That event expands on the AmaWaterways tradition of offering complimentary, hand-selected wines that change daily, plus beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner at its on-board restaurants.

In other words, AmaWaterways is very passionate about providing guests with culinary adventures on board each day. AmaWaterways was the first cruise line invited to join La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the oldest gastronomic society in the world, and each Europe sailing includes a special La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dinner that celebrates the art of wine and fine dining.

Shore Excursions are Included 

AmaWaterways is known for offering a wide variety of small-group excursions in every port. They include a significant number of guided hiking and biking outings, like a trek to the Austrian fortress in Dürnstein where Richard the Lionheart was held captive, and a bike ride through the French countryside to Saint Émilion for a tasting of Grand Cru Classé wines.

AmaWaterways Co-Founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst hail from Austria and Germany, respectively, and they’ve tapped their deep regional knowledge and strong local relationships to gain special access to exclusive experiences. Guests can enjoy, for example, an intimate Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, Germany, and private wine festivals in ports in Austria and France.

On every outing, AmaWaterways offers multiple tracks to accommodate different types of travelers. In addition to a regular walkers group following a standard pace, there are usually active walkers and gentle walkers groups as well—perfect for multi-generational families and groups. For those who want to explore on their own in an active way, AmaWaterways ships carry a fleet of bikes for guests to use.

Article Continues Below Ad

AmaWaterways has also created Special Interest Tours designed to immerse guests in the local culture, like a pretzel-baking outing in Germany, a hunt for Black Diamond truffles in France, and an introduction to a chocolatier in Belgium.

Special Itineraries

AmaWaterways’ focus on special interests sometimes expands out to entire cruises, which also come packed with magical moments and added value. On tap are more than 60 wine-themed cruises every year, traveling through some of Europe’s most celebrated wine regions, like France’s Bordeaux, Germany’s Moselle and Rheingau, and Portugal’s Douro Valley. On board these cruises are dedicated wine experts, known as Wine Hosts, who lead tastings and vineyard visits, as well as wine-pairing dinners. Each come with enhanced epicurean experiences at no extra charge. 

The voyages are an especially great option in the fall, when wine harvests and autumn colors hit their peak, crowds diminish, and airfares come down. Plus, the visits to vineyards and wineries don’t come at the expense of regularly offered excursions, such as city tours, hikes, and bike rides. In other words, even on special interest cruises, there’s something for everyone on board.

Other great specialty cruises with AmaWaterways include Christmas Markets and New Year’s cruises, which offer the chance to experience the timeless traditions of the magical Christmas Markets along the Danube and Rhine rivers over the holiday period. Near iconic buildings like the Cologne Cathedral or Regensburg’s Thurn and Taxis Palace, guests can find one-of-a-kind handcrafted treasures alongside traditional fare like glühwein (hot mulled wine) and lebkuchen (gingerbread).

During these voyages, AmaWaterways ships are adorned with festive décor and feature nostalgic traditions, such as tree trimming and caroling. New Year’s cruises add a luxurious gala dinner event complete with dancing, Champagne, and the opportunity to see fireworks in cities such as Vienna and Linz, Austria, or while cruising along the river between ports.

Whether it’s on one of these specialty cruises or a more traditional trip, AmaWaterways offers immersive experiences, epicurean delights, personalized service, and active adventures that are sure to please just about every type of traveler.

For more details on AmaWaterways’ ships and itineraries—and to help your clients take advantage of all the line’s offerings—log in to the Travel Advisor Portal at AmaWaterways.com.

Article Continues Below Ad

—By Gene Sloan

more from afar