It’s a typical day on an AmaWaterways river cruise, and guests are choosing between a wide range of options: a tour to a famous European abbey for history lovers, a guided bike ride through scenic countryside for active travelers, a tasting tour for wine lovers, and a walk to a Harry Potter-esque castle for families. Back on board, they’ll all have a choice of restaurants and bars.
On an AmaWaterways river cruise, the vacation experience can truly be customized for guests. The cruise line is known for offering a variety of choices for every aspect of the cruise experience—from accommodations to onboard activities, as well as excursions and dining—along with a crew that’s focused on delivering personal service to every guest.
Here’s why these groups of travelers will feel right at home on an AmaWaterways river ship.
Representing the pinnacle of personalization in river cruising, AmaMagna also has a diverse array of four restaurants, including a main restaurant with elegant, four-course menus; a special Chef’s Table experience serving seven-course tasting menus; a casual vegetable-forward eatery called Al Fresco; and the warm, family-style Jimmy’s restaurant, named after AmaWaterways’ late co-founder Jimmy Murphy. All infuse regionally inspired cuisine with traditional Western favorites and are included in the price of the cruise.
Families and groups will also find a wide variety of included shore excursions, which have been designed for all interests and activity levels. Every stop brings a mix of gentle, regular, and active walking tours so everyone can take part. For the most active travelers, hikes and bike rides are often available (and the AmaMagna even has a limited number of child-size bikes).
Itineraries often include immersive Special Interest Tours, like food and wine tastings and culinary demonstrations or visits to museums on select itineraries. All that choice lets groups split up during the day to pursue their separate interests, then reunite for dinner.
An especially fun option for families and groups is the early-winter Christmas Markets cruises on the Rhine and Danube rivers, packed with enchanting holiday traditions like tree-trimming parties, holiday feasts, Christmas cookies, and other seasonal surprises. During these special cruises, ships are filled with elegant holiday décor as they visit historic Christmas Markets in cities like Vienna, Austria; Nuremberg and Cologne, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; and Strasbourg, France. Guests can peruse market stalls brimming with colorful handicrafts and ornaments while sampling local delicacies like Nuremberger sausage and lebkuchen gingerbread; Vienna’s apple strudel; and Cologne’s reibekuchen potato pancakes and holiday glühwein (hot mulled wine).
The Active Traveler
AmaWaterways is a leader in designing river cruises that will appeal to vacationers who wish to nurture their mind, body, and spirit. The line’s ships across Europe and on the Mekong River in Southeast Asia now feature complimentary wellness activities led by a professionally trained Wellness Host that include resistance-band stretching, cardio, core strengthening, and active wellness walks.
There also are dance classes or yoga on board most ships, depending on the Wellness Host’s expertise. On Mekong River cruises, regionally inspired activities can include a traditional tea ceremony, yoga, tai chi, and meditation.
In addition, active hiking and biking excursions are commonplace on AmaWaterways vessels. A typical outing might bring a guided bike tour along the Danube River in cozy Passau, Germany, or a hike along the historic Philosopher’s Path along the Neckar River in Heidelberg, Germany. A pedal from charming Weissenkirchen, Austria, to the stunning Melk Abbey in nearby Melk, Austria, is another possibility, as is a hike to Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, Germany.
The Wine Lover
AmaWaterways has carved out a niche in recent years as the river line for wine enthusiasts, with an extensive array of wine-themed voyages across Europe.
Designed for travelers who wish to expand their minds and palates while gaining a deeper appreciation for Old-World wines, these include trips in such celebrated wine areas as France’s Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône regions; Germany’s Riesling-rich Rheingau and Moselle River valleys; Austria’s UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley; and Portugal’s UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley—the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
Enriching experiences are led by a North American wine expert, known as the Wine Host, who leads immersive, wine-themed excursions (all of which are included in the cruise fare) to renowned cellars and historic wineries or wine tastings in local vineyards and on board. The Wine Host also collaborates with the ship’s chef to curate an exquisite wine-pairing dinner.
The Special-Interest Cruiser
Oenophiles aren’t the only ones who can find special cruises. Nature, flower, and garden lovers can join a springtime Tulip Time itinerary in the Netherlands and Belgium; sailings include a visit to the vibrant tulips of Amsterdam’s Keukenhof Gardens, open just seven weeks in 2020.
Foodies will love the Taste of Bordeaux itinerary, which takes them to sample local delicacies in a French country market and taste different wines from Bordeaux’s Right and Left banks. And a land-based extension to Spain’s Basque Country visits the foodie mecca San Sebastián, which holds more Michelin stars per square meter than any other city in the world. For architecture lovers, the same sailing includes stops at historic châteaux, the 17th-century UNESCO-designated Blaye Citadel, and La Cité du Vin wine museum.
The river cruise experience at AmaWaterways is one that will appeal to a broad range of travelers with a wide variety of interests.
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