Sailing down the river is a peaceful, relaxing experience. Add luxury service, historic sites, and people you enjoy and it’s pure bliss!
Many of us are guilty of falling into a dreary work week routine that has us counting down the minutes until Friday.
On an AmaWaterways river cruise, you’ll say goodbye to your standard routine and hello to outdoor activity, fine dining and relaxation. Our goal is to match you to a luxurious but affordable vacation experience that is both comforting and adventurous.
When you’re not touring a destination, you’ll be enjoying the many amenities offered on the ship, as well as breathtaking views from the Sun Deck. With a smaller number of passengers on board, you’ll have more time to enjoy the amenities in a more personal way.
After their river cruise, John and Debby say AmaWaterways “is a first-class operation and we felt more like honored guests than passengers.”
Interested in what a typical day may look like on your river cruise? All cruises offer the below amenities for you to take advantage of throughout the day.
Fitness Center & Classes
Each ship offers a fitness center to help you stay active between excursions. And if the treadmill isn’t your preference, there is also a professionally trained Wellness Host offering daily classes. Start your day with a yoga session on the Sun Deck, a spin class on the back of the ship, or a light stretch class, and set the tone for a relaxing day.
Enjoy coffee and the breakfast buffet each morning, light lunches and refreshments throughout the day and exquisite meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients for dinner. AmaWaterways is especially known for its fantastic meals on board.
We recommend booking The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant for at least one evening and would be happy to take care of those details for you. John and Ken write:
“The Chef’s Table was an evening to remember! Watching the preparations throughout the evening, and then getting to enjoy them was great fun! We have actually re-created a dressing that he used on the Watermelon and Seared Goat Cheese salad!”
Need more convincing? Unlimited wine, beer, and soft drinks are also offered with each meal.
Regardless of which cruise itinerary you choose, you’ll have a variety of excursions to choose from. Activity level varies to suit your preference for the day and bikes are available on the ship for you to take into town. There is even a tour option for “late risers” if you’d like to take advantage of your lush bed and catch a few extra zzzs.
During some stops, you may prefer a mild hike; on others, wine tasting or touring a Kölsch brew pub. Alternatively, you may wish to take on some free time with your group and explore the city. Some of our clients’ favorite days are strolling through the cobblestone streets of obscure cities, feeling out the local culture.
Best in Class Service
If there is anything that could make your time on board the ship better, let the AmaWaterways team know! The only thing better than their dining is their service. The team truly prides itself on building relationships with each guest and creating a family-like feel for your journey.
“Service was awesome. The crew was great. Truly for us, it was the "trip of a lifetime" kind of thing…”
So, what are you waiting for? I am happy to answer any questions you may have about traveling through Europe by river and get your end-to-end travel confirmed. All you need to decide is when you want to go and who you’d like to travel with!
After my first river cruise, I was convinced it was one of best ways to travel. For lovers of history, art, fine dining, cultural experiences, and immersion in places all around the world, this is a way of travel that you will be so glad you experienced.
Ocean cruises have been a popular way to vacation for decades, and for good reason. They’re affordable, convenient and offer travelers peace of mind knowing that everything they need for a fantastic getaway is all in one place. What could be better than that? Well, consider a river cruise.
You might think that the words “inland” and “cruise” are incompatible. Well, let me show you on AmaWaterways just how superbly well they go together. AmaWaterways river cruises combine all the comfort and convenience of an ocean cruise with the excitement of European excursions at each port of call.
To all cruise-lovers, perhaps it’s time to shake up the ocean liner experience for an entirely new way to explore the world’s waterways. Let us book you on an AmaWaterways river cruise that will take you inland for a unique and relaxing tour of Europe.
Here are the top 10 reasons we know why you’ll love river cruising, specifically on AmaWaterways!
1. Expand Your Options
While ocean cruises take you to countries, river cruises take you through them. There simply is no way to reach river cruise destinations on mega cruise ships.
2. Intimate Experience
River cruising offers a more intimate setting. Most ships range from 144 to 196 passengers. This means that you’ll never have to wait in line, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy all the amenities and have a more personal experience with other passengers and crew. From ordering a beverage to getting on and off the ship, you’ll enjoy the absence of long lines.
3. Dive into the Local Culture
Get away from the touristy ports and explore hidden gems. Large ocean liner ports can receive up to 20,000 visitors on the same day but with a river cruise, you’ll arrive into port with only a few hundred visitors. Not only will you avoid long lines at your destination, but you’ll also enjoy leisurely excursions at each incredible port of call. You’ll be able to take in the local culture and history of every unique town that you visit.
4. No Need to Rush Back
With many departures from the destinations being later in the afternoon or evening, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the nightlife in select ports of call. Whether you choose an evening walk through cobblestone streets, a local show or performance, or one last glass of wine after dinner while listening to a local musician, immersing yourself in the evening culture together with the locals is a unique experience.
5. Castle Views
That’s right, castle views. From Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine River, and in Budapest, Bratislava, Dürnstein and Passau on the Danube, you’ll see colorful architecture and castles that will blow you away. But don’t stop at just viewing the castles, why not hike or drive to them and then explore their fabulousness with a knowledgeable guide? You’ll literally be walking in the footsteps of world history.
6. 5-Star Reviews
5-star reviews are only earned through 5-star service. When you’re relaxing with a glass of wine on the Sun Deck, enjoying a night under the stars, or having an unexpected encounter with kind locals that your tour guide has arranged for you, you’ll know where our their 5-star reviews come from. See what people are saying about AmaWaterways’ flawless service.
7. Entertainment for the Whole Family
With a variety of activities and plenty of stops along the way, we’re sure everyone in the family will have an unforgettable experience. River cruising is perfect for multi-generational families. From grandparents to teenaged grandchildren, the entire family will bond over a range of topics and activities from food to history to countryside excursions. There really is something to do for everyone on board at each destination. Some members of your group may choose to take advantage of spa services, or the sundeck pool, or cultural activities, while others may prefer to seek out a quiet space with a book. Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together again as a family. It really is the perfect multi-generational vacation for your family or group of friends.
8. Taste the Difference
Whether you’re into wine tasting or local street food, a river cruise provides an exceptional culinary experience both on the ship and at every destination. The onboard culinary team focuses on utilizing fresh local ingredients. Dishes are paired with local wines. There’s absolutely no mass-produced and basic buffet food when you cruise with AmaWaterways!
9. Variety of Experience
Let’s not forget just how special every European country is! The towns and cities may be close in proximity along the river, but don’t be surprised by the unique feeling and experiences that each destination gives you. Choose from visiting local breweries, hiking to castles, biking through trendy neighborhoods or visiting museums that highlight the local culture.
10. World-Class Accommodations
One of the reasons we love river cruises so much (and we know you’ll agree) is the feeling of walking into a luxurious suite or twin-balcony stateroom that will be your home away from home for the next 7, 8, 10 days or more. Each of AmaWaterways staterooms is tastefully decorated and is river facing. Whether you choose to have a window view, a private balcony, or even a twin balcony (with both a French and outside balcony), you’ll always have a room with a view.
So, there you have it. 10 great reasons why you’ll love your first river cruise on AmaWaterways.
I’d love to match your travel style with the right itinerary and ship. Reach out to me today and be sure to mention if you’re planning a romantic getaway, bachelorette trip or a friends’ reunion and we’ll let you know the add-ons available that will make your experience truly special!
Jon (my husband) and I went on a Riviera Cruise on the Rhone River at the beginning of April. What an amazing experience!
First thing to understand…there are several amazing river cruise companies. I would love to talk to you and qualify you for the experience that is best for you.
The Rhone cruise was on board the MS William Shakespeare. All of Riviera’s boats are named after British authors. I thought this was a fun theme. The ship is very nice with dark wood finishes. It is well maintained.
The sun deck is very nice and has lots of space for passengers to enjoy while in dock as well as while cruising. Jon and I enjoyed the giant chess set (even though he won every game we played). However, it was very windy and a bit chilly while we were cruising, which meant that the sun deck did not see a lot of use on our cruise.
For this cruise, we started in Lyon, France, cruised up to the Burgundy region, and then south to Arles before returning slightly north the Avignon. It was heavy with Roman history, which we love, so it was wonderful for us!
We arrived in Lyon the day before our cruise. I always recommend arriving a day early in case of travel delays due to outside factors such as airline schedules. It was also nice to explore the city for a bit on our own and get acclimated to the time before setting sail. We were able to explore the Gauls stronghold on top of the hill. It was amazing to see the amphitheater and foundations of a powerful civilization. Also in town, we were able to explore the traboules, a feature unique to Lyon and its history as a center for silk weaving.
Our first night on the boat was also in Lyon. This meant we were able to see quite a bit of the city. The tour ended up not being all that was planned due to traffic delays, so I’m glad we were able to explore on our own the day before.
Our next stop was in the Burgundy region, the wine region known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We took a motor coach tour of the town of Chalon and through the vineyards. Afterward we visited Beaune, a small town in the heart of Burgundy. Here we did a wine tasting to explore the flavors of the region. Once this part of the tour was over, Jon and I went to explore the Hospices de Beaune, also known as the Hôtel-Dieu. It was originally built as a hospital for the disadvantage. The colorful roof and architecture was beautiful. It was interesting to learn about the care it gave to so many people of the area.
After Burgundy, we sailed to Vienne, which was a beautiful city! We enjoyed the second amphitheater of our cruise. Also, there is an amazing museum that has another great Roman town with original roads. In fact, the museum at Vienne has the largest collection of Roman remains. It was fascinating to see this history and artifacts.
Our next stop was Ardèche where we took a motor coach to see the Ardèche Gorges, known as Europe’s Grand Canyon. It was a beautiful sight! We also went to the Lavender Museum. The fields are not in bloom in April, but it was great to purchase some local lavender. Unfortunately, we were in a motor coach for several hours only to have 25 minutes at the Gorges and another 20 minutes at the Lavender Museum. We also got out for another view for 10 minutes. I would love to have more time at these locations!
The following morning we woke up in Arles, which was my favorite town! We were here all day, which was great to explore. Arles is full of Roman history, including a fully intact colosseum built in 90 AD and still used today, an amphitheater, and the ruins of Roman baths. In addition to this, Arles is also known for being home to Vincent Van Gogh later in his life. It is in Arles that he painted some of his most famous works including Starry Night and Café at Night. It is also here that he cut off a piece of his own ear. We were there for the Saturday market, which is something to see!
Our final stop was in Avignon. Here we took a walking tour to see the broken bridge as well as the Pope’s Palace, which housed 6 popes during the 14th century. It is one of the largest medieval buildings in Europe. We had a wonderful tour guide! After our tour, we explored the town for the day, visiting the gardens adjoining the palace and enjoying the street performers in the city center while having lunch and, later on, coffee on the square.
The following morning we took a train back to Paris, where we spent one night. We were able to see the Notre Dame Cathedral just a couple hours prior to it catching fire. We went back down to stand with the Parisians while fire fighters worked tirelessly to put out the flames. It was a moving experience with so many praying and singing. While in Paris, we also were able to tour the Pantheon and stop over at the Eiffel Tower.
As for the experience on board our cruise, here are my thoughts.
What I loved about my Riviera experience:
What I did not love about my experience:
Are you ready to take your own European river cruise? Contact me to set sail on the one that is right for you!