AMAWATERWAYS’ two newest river cruise ships, the Amalyra and Amadolce, set sail in April and May, respectively. Aside from being brand new (think fresh carpets, fluffy bedding and untouched, well, everything), the Amalyra and Amadolce don’t differ much from the four AMA river vessels before them. And that’s exactly how AMA planned it — the company has built a fleet of almost identical river cruise ships to create a uniform experience.
The Amalyra and Amadolce both have 71 staterooms at 170 square feet each and four junior suites at 255 square feet each, just like their sister ships — the Amadagio, Amalegro, Amacello and Amadante.
AMA bills itself as a deluxe river cruise operator and it’s safe to say the company’s ships and service would appeal to the discerning traveler.
Of the cabins and suites, 82 percent feature French balconies. The ship has complimentary WiFi in the cabins and in the lounge areas (the WiFi actually works for the most part, which should not be taken for granted on river cruise ships — occasionally a river cruise company will tout WiFi, but service and connectivity kinks still need to be ironed out).
The ships’ restaurants, where all three daily meals are served either buffet style or table service for dinners, feature tables that accommodate as few as two and as many as 10 people. Complimentary wine is poured with the three-course dinners.
The lounges are open and airy with a bar and piano. The sun decks feature a track (a good reason to perhaps reconsider whether to book the top deck) and whirlpool, and the fitness center includes a sauna. There are also a hairdresser and masseuse on each ship.
Two amenities AMA ships have that some of its competitors don’t are an aft lounge dining option, essentially a light dinner alternative to the more formal restaurant setting, and bicycles that can be used for shore excursions.
The bikes create an altogether different, more active and more engaging river cruising experience. AMA carries between 25 and 30 bikes on board, with helmets and locks, for passengers who wish to ride at any of the destinations, or between destinations.