NOTE: When you see the RK logo as seen above, that indicates a line we have personally been aboard.
DAY 2: AmaWaterways
AmaWaterways is the first river cruise company on our list. (It is pronouced “ah-ma” by the way, we often hear people refer to them as the letters “A-M-A” and that is incorrect). We first cruised this line in April of this year aboard their ship the AmaDagio. Long before we sailed with AmaWaterways we immediately connected on a personal level with the people behind this cruise line. AmaWaterways is run by not only incredible professionals and visionaries who take pride in offering an amazing river cruise product and experience, but they are also very down to earth, friendly individuals that you would choose to hang out with or take a vacation with them. In a nutshell – fun, knowledgeable, relaxing and yet still upscale, 5 star service. If you are a people person, a river cruise is a great experience. The average number of guests on an AmaWaterways ship is roughly 150 (75 staterooms) with the exception of a couple of the smaller ships with exotic itineraries. You can really get to know your fellow passengers and crew if you choose or be left alone and always find a quiet place to relax. We could go on and on about the many lovely aspects of AmaWaterways as we are big fans, but we’ll keep it simple. Here are a few fun facts:
- The only river cruise company that has an African safari river cruise — and yes, we hear it is as amazing as it sounds! Jack Hanna (yep, the one you are thinking of) highly recommends this cruise as a great way to see African wildlife.
- First river cruise company to offer complementary bicycles for guest to use to explore the towns.
- You can choose from 15 different ships in their fleet.
- They have itineraries on rivers in Europe, Russia, Vietnam/Cambodia, Africa, and Myanmar (Burma).
- Their first ship was the AmaDagio in 2006. Initially their ships were named Ama then followed by a musical term, such as AmaCerto.
River cruising is the hottest trend in cruising right now. It is by far one of the best ways to see the world as you get to stop into so many towns and be up close and personal with the local culture. AmaWaterways puts together incredible excursions with local guides and you often have options to choose from instead of just one tour. Plus, they offer some amazing pre and post cruise options in the cities you may fly into before/after your cruise. We were very impressed that people all the way from Australia chose AmaWaterways. Pretty sure nearly half our ship was filled with Australians! In fact, many of them did two back to back cruises on AmaWaterways (lucky!!) When we asked other guests why they chose AmaWaterways, their answer was always around having a first class cruise experience along with some great itineraries and the positive reputation of this cruise line. We also really enjoyed the small group size for the daily excursions. And most of all, the crew who knew our needs after just the first day. (Wine is a big part of a cruise in France, yet they always made sure Rob’s glass was filled with his favorite adult beverage — beer).
On the last night, the cruise director, hotel manager, the captain and several others stayed up to dance and hang out with all the guests. It was pretty cool to see how attentive they were with the guests and wanted to ensure everyone had a great time. In river cruising you will probably go through various locks as you go up or down the river. These were always fascinating. Here’s a little clip from our river cruise. Notice how close we are the edge — and no bumpers! The captain was amazing.
Cruises aboard an AmaWaterways ship sell out quickly so be sure to plan well in advance. We highly, highly recommend AmaWaterways, but only if you want to be pampered, see amazing and unique places, make new friends, enjoy incredible food and drinks, and be treated like a star.
Put it on your bucket list! Share below your experiences aboard AmaWaterways ships.