Sail the Great Rivers of Europe
May 2019 | By AmaWaterways | 18 minute read |
Each morning, you’ll draw back your curtains to unveil a postcard-perfect work of art—a grand castle perched high on a hilltop; a quaint chapel sneaking its spire beyond the village rooftops; rows upon verdant rows of terraced vineyards waiting to ripen. And from your private balcony, you’ll do more than just admire the views.
A gentle breeze will rustle your hair; a loon will sound its lonesome call; the aroma of sweet grapes will waft in from ashore. This is when you’ll truly understand that travel is about so much more than the destinations you visit—it’s about the journey. Each day with AmaWaterways, you’ll discover exciting cultures, be treated to authentic experiences, savor exquisite cuisine accompanied by perfectly paired wine and find thrilling adventures.
It all starts the moment you board your luxury floating hotel, where a friendly crew member is ready and waiting to greet you with a flute of sparkling Champagne and a genuine smile. This is just the beginning of a remarkable vacation in which every member of our warm and welcoming staff goes above and beyond to ensure that your experience on board is nothing short of extraordinary. It might be a waiter who knows exactly how you like your morning omelet or it could be your Cruise Manager who surprises you with a special birthday cake made by our talented pastry chef. And wherever you decide to indulge your wanderlust, you can always be assured you are traveling on the most innovative and highest-rated river cruise ships as evaluated by the premier travel authority, Berlitz.
Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways was founded in 2002; however, our river cruise story began well before that. President Rudi Schreiner was born in Vienna, at the heart of the Danube. His love of design drew him to architecture, but his even greater love of travel drew him to places far and wide. Combining both of his passions, and coinciding with the completion of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in 1992, Rudi became a driving force for river cruise travel— and for these efforts has been recognized as the “Most Innovative Cruise Executive” and was presented with the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Executive Vice President Kristin Karst brings extensive experience in luxury travel, river cruising and customer service to AmaWaterways. Rudi and Kristin partnered with Jimmy Murphy, a brilliant travel entrepreneur who built Brendan Vacations. His son, Gary, now carries on his father’s legacy in his role as Vice President of Sales.
From the beginning, our goal was to create a river cruise company that we ourselves would enjoy. To us, that meant excellent food and wine, comfortable and tasteful décor, ample space in which to relax, and staterooms with maximum views to enjoy the ever-changing countryside. With that in mind, we have been building one-of-a-kind ships with features such as our revolutionary twin balconies, with both a French balcony and an outside balcony. In 2019, we will continue to innovate with three new ships, including the extraordinary AmaMagna—a distinctive evolution of our exceptional European river cruise fleet, offering the ultimate in luxury with even more space and more choices while sailing the legendary Danube.
Your vessel—a long, sleek ship designed to navigate these shallow waters and drift unhindered beneath historic bridges and through river-shaping canals. Your destination—a parade of majestic cities and medieval towns you’ve always dreamed to visit. Welcome to river cruising with AmaWaterways.
AmaWaterways’ ships are inspired by luxury yachts and designed specifically to maximize the enjoyment and comfort of every guest. Thoughtfully conceived and inviting public areas, including stylish restaurants and lounges, are never crowded, making it easier for you to chat about the day’s discoveries or enjoy a well-deserved cocktail while listening to a local quartet or live pianist.
In 2017, we celebrated our 15th anniversary. Throughout these past 15 years, we’ve had an unprecedented commitment to innovation and an unwavering dedication to delivering the highest standards of excellence in river cruising. In 2019, AmaWaterways will continue to transform river cruising with three state-of-the-art ships.
At nearly twice the width of traditional European river cruise ships yet carrying only 196 guests, the extraordinary AmaMagna, debuting in May 2019, will offer the luxury of even more—more personal space in elegantly appointed staterooms and suites; more tempting dining venues, including the Al Fresco Restaurant, Jimmy’s Restaurant and The Chef’s Table; and more enticing onboard activities, like the expansive Zen Wellness Studio. The AmaMora, sister ship to the AmaLea (2018) and AmaKristina (2017), will carry just 156 guests, providing them with generous personal space, the freedom of multiple dining choices and exceptional stateroom comfort. The AmaDouro will be our second ship in Portugal due to the continued popularity of this destination and will carry 102 guests.
When you close the door on a day filled with enriching experiences, your stateroom should offer you more than just a good night’s sleep. That’s why AmaWaterways has thoughtfully transformed your room into a floating sanctuary—and the ultimate home away from home. Hints of vibrant color from the seat cushions to the duvet call to mind brilliant blooms, artistic masterpieces or sunsets seen ashore—ensuring an elegantly appointed stateroom that is anything but ordinary. Space to “move about the stateroom” allows you the luxury to stretch your legs and navigate your room unhindered, even when unwinding with fellow cruisers. Luxurious multi-jet showers and soothing bath and body products elevate rejuvenation within your marble-clad bathroom. Want to curl up under plush, freshly dressed linens and watch a new release? AmaWaterways’ state-of-the-art Entertainment-On-Demand system has it all: new movies, television shows, news and music to set the tone for your evening of repose. You can even stay connected with friends and family—or invite them along on your next AmaWaterways cruise—with the convenience of complimentary Wi-Fi.
OUR SIGNATURE TWIN BALCONIES When you embark on a river cruise, the views are everything. And while you’re sure to love the sights on shore, there is infinitely more to cherish while sailing along the river. Be mesmerized by medieval castles, historic ruins and charming villages, and see it all in sheer comfort—because we’ve maximized your views with not one, but two private balconies (a French balcony and a full outside balcony) to enjoy the views however you wish.
OUTSIDE BALCONY Feel the morning breeze against your skin as you savor a cup of coffee while taking in the scenery, all from the comfort and privacy of your own full-sized balcony.
FRENCH BALCONY You can still enjoy sunlight and a gentle breeze if you prefer to relax inside. Your floor-to-ceiling French balcony features a sliding door and was designed for just these moments.
Always leading the way in innovation, AmaWaterways provides guests with one-of-a-kind dining in which food is not merely sustenance—it’s an unforgettable experience.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” said Virginia Wolfe. This phrase epitomizes AmaWaterways’ dining philosophy. While sailing legendary rivers, you’ll be tempted by a veritable feast of exquisite cuisine. With a balance of regional dishes and time-honored favorites served with fine local wines, you can enjoy Austrian Grüner Veltliner with Wiener schnitzel as you cruise the Danube and drink full-bodied reds with hearty pot-au-feu while in Bordeaux.
Robert Kellerhals, Executive Chef, along with his talented team of expert chefs, crafts menus using the finest and freshest local ingredients. Bountiful breakfasts include omelets made-toorder using cage-free eggs, freshly baked pastries, waffles topped with whipped cream and maple syrup, bacon and sausage, cereals, yogurt and fruit. Lunch tempts with an array of fresh salads, soups and sandwiches. Evenings offer casual elegance with a range of delicious entrees, including filets of salmon, beef tenderloin, and peppers and eggplant expertly sautéed and grilled. Appetizers and handmade desserts are artfully presented—and paired with distinctive wines—while delicious vegetarian and gluten-free options are equally enticing.
A VARIETY OF DINING OPTIONS AmaWaterways offers a variety of dining options, including early-riser breakfasts, light lunches in the main lounge and on the sun deck, and a selection of complimentary tapas, refreshments and snacks throughout the day.
THE CHEF'S TABLE The only venue of its kind on the rivers, The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant offers a truly unique culinary experience at no extra charge. Watch as the chef chops, sears, drizzles and meticulously plates a multi-course tasting menu with professional finesse. The crux of this thrilling evening occurs as you raise your fork to your lips, delighting in the perfect balance of distinctive flavors.
LA CHAÎNE DES RÔTISSEURS AmaWaterways and President and Co-owner, Rudi Schreiner, were inducted into La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a prestigious international society for the culinary elite. Extensions of membership are by invitation only and are offered only to those possessing world-class culinary acumen. All of our ships in Europe are members. Our team of chefs is united by their desire to share their expert knowledge with you, a delectable tribute to our river cruise line being recognized for its award-winning dining.
No two travelers are alike—that’s why we’ve developed a menu of enticing complimentary shore excursions in every port of call, often with several choices
Imagine yourself within a Monet masterpiece as you step into his lovely gardens at Giverny; or walking down the long aisle with Maria at St. Michael’s Church in Mondsee where the wedding scene in The Sound of Music was captured on film. What about the thrill of visiting Brașov’s multi-towered Bran Castle, former home of Vlad the Impaler—the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as well as Dracula's birthplace, Sighișoara? When traveling with AmaWaterways, you don’t just pass through a destination—you experience it with all of your senses. Follow the routes of emperors and other legendary figures on creative and adventurous itineraries along timeless rivers, through inspiring countryside, historic capitals, fairytale towns and even out-of-the-way hotspots that locals favor. Carefully curated excursions showcase the rich diversity of each place you visit and all are hosted by the most experienced and knowledgeable English-speaking local guides.
GET UP CLOSE AmaWaterways makes it a point to place our guests in small excursion groups. By doing this, you can connect more with your guide and your surroundings in an intimate setting with front-row views. And, because the size of the group is limited, you never have to wait in long lines.
SET YOUR OWN PACE If you find relaxing excursions most appealing, join a more leisurely paced group, giving you ample time to linger in your favorite spots. And, for those who like to sleep longer in the morning, join the “Late Starter” group—because, after all, it is your vacation.
PERSONALIZED OPTIONS Perhaps you want a leisurely overview of the city—so you know what to explore more deeply on a future visit. Or maybe you’re intrigued by hidden treasures like the catacombs at Bratislava’s cathedral, or prefer a more exhilarating excursion from the seat of a bike. From unhurried walks to guided hiking and biking adventures, AmaWaterways offers plenty of ways for every traveler to enjoy the journey.
EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL INTEREST TOURS Go beyond a city’s must-see landmarks and immerse yourself in culture on AmaWaterways’ exclusive Special Interest Tours. Get to know local artisans like a Belgian chocolatier in Ghent or Sample Dürnstein’s apricot delicacies from jam to dried fruit and brandy. These more intimate, authentic excursions are what keep past guests returning each year for more.
Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways places a huge emphasis on family – both in the warm, familial atmosphere of our shoreside offices and onboard teams, and by offering itineraries and innovations that help families pass their passion for travel through generations. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone anniversary or retirement, reuniting with long-distance relatives or simply making memories with your kin, here are some ways we ensure your family will always feel welcome on board.
Share an iconic experience with family and friends, there’s nothing better than our 7-night itineraries on the Danube and Rhine rivers. While visiting Europe in magnificent cities like Cologne, Strasbourg, Nuremberg and Vienna, they can shop for handcrafted souvenirs and taste local specialties, like sausages with mustard and hot spiced wines.
They’re great for groups because AmaWaterways often offers up to five different activities in each port. Guests can choose their own excursions and reunite at meals to share their experiences. This year, our Thanksgiving cruises offer visits to the Christmas markets as well. The holiday spirit is brought to life on board and ashore, and the stress that sometimes comes with planning multigenerational gatherings melts away.
Traveling aboard a river cruise isn’t just about the wonderful places you’ll go; it’s very much about the people you will meet. From fellow guests who are sure to become lifelong friends, to a genuinely warm and welcoming staff who go above and beyond to ensure your journey with us is as memorable as possible, it is the people who truly make your experience worthwhile. With a high staff to guest ratio, you’ll be well taken care of by our professionally trained, all English-speaking staff. AmaWaterways hires the very best team of professionals in the industry and continuously trains them to ensure they always exceed expectations, so you have the ultimate luxury travel experience. That means getting to know you, so they can anticipate your individual preferences and offer you those extra special touches that will make you feel at home. Cruise after cruise, our guests continue to tell us what a wonderful experience they had, and some of their most cherished and memorable moments come from the exceptional efforts of our amazing AmaWaterways family. These are the gestures that truly stand out long after you’ve returned home and give you the feeling of being surrounded by family.