Are you looking to embark on the journey of a lifetime? Look no further than AmaWaterways, which offers unforgettable river cruises along some of the world’s most iconic waterways. With over 21 years of experience, the award-winning cruise line offers unparalleled service on journeys through Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.
We spoke to an AmaWaterways expert about what’s new in 2024 and what to expect on their river cruises.
What is it like sailing on AmaWaterways?
We are a family-owned and operated river cruise company operating for 21 years. If this is your first time taking a river cruise, one of the differences between them and ocean cruises is that it’s a much smaller ship. Depending on the boat, there are anywhere from 70 to 200 people. Plus, there are no large waves on river cruises, so you don’t need to worry about seasickness.
Our ships are a boutique hotel on the water. We offer five-star luxury, but there is no need to wear your tuxedo or gowns. We don’t require you to wear a shirt and a tie; we want you to be comfortable. So, for example, a man can come to dinner in a polo shirt.
We are here to help you and want to exceed your expectations. For example, if you notice you have forgotten something, you need to ask our cruise manager because we always want to provide you with what you’re looking for.
Where does AmaWaterways travel to?
AmaWaterways goes to almost all the countries in Europe. We visit Egypt, the southern part of Africa, and the Mekong River in Asia.
Will there be any new itineraries in 2024?
Our newest itinerary will be on the Magdalena River in Colombia. Why Colombia? There is so much to see and do; it’s known for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, birds, wildlife, flora, coffee, and food. We even will have our own Mardi Gras on every itinerary. We also have land packages you can do pre- and post in Carta or Panama City.
What are some of your most popular cruises?
One is seven-night Tulip Time, which fills up quickly. It only travels from the beginning of March to early May. The cruise visits Belgium and the Netherlands, and you’ll see the famous colourful tulips in the Keukenhof Gardens.
Two other popular options are the best of Holland and Belgium, where you sail on numerous bodies of rivers, including rivers, canals, and lakes. Both start and end in Amsterdam – the Venice of the North. If you have yet to go to Amsterdam, it’s an exciting city. There are lots of cobblestone streets, canals with houseboats, and flowers. It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do, like Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum.
How much do excursions cost?
Excursions are all included and part of your cruise itinerary. At every port we stop at, we will have a choice of three or four different types of excursions for all different levels of activity included.
Do you offer any excursions where you don't have to climb stairs?
We do. There are many excursions for all activity levels and ages, including the gentle walkers group, where we try to avoid having those tourists go up and down stairs or hills.
Additionally, we offer the regular walkers’ excursions where you will sometimes take a bus somewhere or walk (sometimes climbing stairs). And then we have hiking and biking, and for hiking outings, you don’t need to bring hiking shoes; good, comfortable runners will suffice. Often, the urban hikes in the cities, but sometimes, to reach sights like a castle, you’ll need to walk up a hill.
Can I change the shore excursions I picked?
During the cocktail hour, the cruise manager will update you on details about the following day and discuss the excursions. We understand you might change your mind or make friends and want to do tours with them instead. You can talk to your cruise manager if you want to change your excursions.
Our excursions go no matter what. So, if only two people are interested, we will still take that excursion out.
Do you have any activities for cyclists?
All of our ships in Europe have bikes on them! We have many biking excursions, including one that visits Castle De Haar, the oldest castle in the Netherlands. When visiting, you can go in and tour the castle and see the immaculate landscaping in the garden.
What meals and drinks are included onboard?
We have a main dining room where breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening snacks are all included. All the meals are not buffet but a la carte, and there’s a lot to choose from, with the options changing every night. Additionally, there is a specialty restaurant with a five-course tasting menu where the chef is right in front of you cooking your meal.
Your wine, beer and soft drinks are included with your lunch and dinner. But right before dinner, we have a cocktail hour with complimentary cocktails in the lounge. We offer a specialty cocktail every evening, but if you aren’t interested, you can pick a beverage of your choice instead.
There are no corkage fees if you bring a bottle of wine for dinner. Especially in Europe, you might want to buy local wine or beer to try. If you do bring your alcohol onboard, you are free to pour your drinks from a bottle and walk around in the evening in the lounge with your drink.
What evening entertainment is available?
There is a pianist and DJ in the lounge, but we also bring local entertainment. For example, you can see dancers and string quartets.
Can trips be extended?
You can extend almost all of our itineraries with land packages. On a land package, you’ll stay in a four- or five-star hotel, including breakfast every morning, and all the tours are while you’re on the excursions. It also includes the transfer to your ship.
The best part is that our cruise manager will stay with you on the ship and be with you on your land excursions before or after. So, if you do a land package before your departure, they will meet you at that hotel and be with you on tours. That way, if there are any issues, they can help.
Plan your AmaWaterways Cruise
Plan your AmaWaterways cruise with CAA Travel and save up to $720 per stateroom with your CAA Member Benefit. Book an appointment with a CAA Travel Consultant to learn more.
The recorded CAA Travel Talks video may contain limited-time show offers which may not be available after the event. However, CAA Members can enjoy exclusive CAA Travel Benefits with our preferred CAA Vacations® Partners year-round. Ask your CAA Travel Consultant for details.