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AmaWaterways: 21 Best Ship Features

AmaWaterways is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Two decades of operating memorable river cruises is a remarkable achievement for a small, family owned business. Some of the company’s success can be credited to its innovative ship designs. Just look at AmaMagna. The double-width ship replicates the experience of a small luxury ocean-going vessel, except with AmaMagna you’re on the river, the Danube specifically.

AmaWaterways provided us with a list of its 20 best ship features. The number 20 was meant to correlate with the company’s milestone anniversary. But we found one more feature to love about Ama’s ships. Here’s 21 things to love about Ama’s ships.

The gorgeous AmaMagna replicates the experience of a small ship luxury ocean cruise, but on the rivers. Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways

  1. Signature view-enhancing twin-balcony staterooms where both a French balcony and an outside balcony await with fresh air and the everchanging landscapes outside your window, available on most ships in Europe and the AmaDara on the Mekong River.
  2. Locally-sourced cuisine included in the price of your cruise – in multiple dining venues, including The Chef’s Table Restaurant. Expert chefs hand select only the freshest seasonal ingredients from markets on shore, ensuring that every dish, from flavorful vegetable-forward soups to exquisite breakfast jams (made with no added sugar) to beautifully plated main courses, such as asparagus risotto, always offer the most delightful culinary journey for your palate.
  3. High-quality complimentary Wi-Fi on board, ensuring you are able to stay connected, whether with your workplace, the news of the world, or your loved ones back home.
  4. Complimentary fleet of bicycles and Nordic walking sticks, available on
    Ama’s ships in Europe, enabling active travelers to explore on included hiking and biking tours or independently. Ama was the first river cruise line to offer bicycles on board.
  5. Green Award Certification – Twenty of Ama’s ships in Europe have been honored with this prestigious certification for industry-leading safety, quality and environmental performance. The company’s commitment to sustainability means that its ships have energy-saving LED lights, special insulated windows to reduce energy needs, solar heating systems and more.
  6. Impressive storage space in staterooms – Most of Ama’s ships feature: a three-door wardrobe with space to hang plenty of clothes as well as shelves; ample room to store luggage underneath the bed; and an extra rolling drawer or compartment beneath the bed to unpack. There is also a personal safe to store valuables, as well as storage in the bathrooms for toiletries and makeup bags. In addition, most staterooms have a mini-fridge in which to store goodies purchased during your journey, such as wine or chocolates.
  7. Thoughtful details that anticipate your needs on board – High-quality umbrellas in your stateroom and warm blankets on the Sun Deck ensure you are able to experience every fascinating destination and enjoy every scenic view, regardless of whatever Mother Nature sends our way. You’ll often be greeted with refreshing towels and bottles of water after hikes, bike rides and warm-weather excursions, while hot mugs of gluhwein and tea are available are available to warm you up when temperatures cool down.
  8. With floor-to-ceiling windows in the Main Lounge, you will never miss a view in any season or weather condition, whether we are sailing through the idyllic French countryside, past the iconic windmills in the Netherlands, through Austria’s vineyard-rich Wachau Valley or through Germany’s castle-laden Rhine Gorge.
  9. Expansive, Amenity-Filled Sun Decks – All of Ama’s ships feature a heated sun-deck pool or whirlpool (or both on board AmaMagna), and many of the company’s newer ships include a swim-up bar. In addition, there is a walking track and space for wellness activities led by a Wellness Host, with additional amenities such as a golf putting green or giant chess board on select ships.
  10. Ama’s ships were purposefully built with a low draft – This means that the bottom of the ship is very shallow, so if ever water levels are not ideal, Ama ships are able to continue carrying you along the rivers further than most other European river cruise ships. We’ve experienced this sailing a passage along the Rhine that was too shallow for other ships to transit. Ama got us through that passage, safely and enjoyably.
  11. Coffee and tea station available 24/7 – Whenever guests are looking for a pick-me-up, Ama wants to ensure they never have to wait – and that a quality brew is always available. To that end, coffee machines are state-of-the-art and we find the coffee beverages to be as tasty and invigorating as you’d get in a coffee shop ashore. You’ll also find a variety of teas available to accommodate your unique tastes at any time of day, as well as during afternoon teatime, which includes an assortment of cakes, tarts and sandwiches.
  12. Ama uses state-of-the-art fan coil air conditioning units, which are individually controlled within your stateroom. This ensures the air is always fresh and clean while the temperature remains to your liking in any season.
  13. Every ship offers a well-equipped fitness center with high-quality contemporary exercise equipment from treadmills to spin bikes to resistance bands and more. The expansive Zen Wellness Studio on AmaMagna also features outdoor spin bikes and a juice bar. 
  14. Onboard hair salons and spas, to provide you with the pampering and relaxation you deserve and ensure you always look and feel your best. In addition, AmaMagna and AmaDahlia also have a nail salon on board. All services are available for a nominal fee.
  15. Spacious staterooms that range from 140 square feet to up to 710 square feet in AmaMagna’s suites, as well as connecting staterooms on select ships that are perfect for families.
  16. Contemporary, destination-inspired décor. Each ship in the Ama family is unique, whether you are sailing on board AmaDara, with its intricately carved French colonial-style dark woods and artifacts created by local artists, or on AmaDahlia, with its subdued tones and lovely Chef’s Al Fresco Restaurant.
  17. Onboard Entertainment – Dance floors, onboard musicians and local performers ensure that each evening following dinner is a joyful celebration on board. Of course, sometimes you simply want to relax in your own personal space, which is why your stateroom TVs feature Entertainment-On-Demand with English-language programming, music and movies. On the AmaMagna, a chic and intimate onboard cinema is also available, playing sports games, movies and even video games.
  18. A Festive Holiday Atmosphere – During Christmastime, Ama’s ships are arguably the most elegantly decorated ships on the rivers, with trees, garlands, lights and snow globes to spare. You’ll also find the ships decorated during the colorful spring Tulip Time cruises and with spooky Halloween celebrations on board as well.
  19. People: The Heart of the Ships – Ama’s ships are the hardware, but its extraordinarily warm and welcoming crew and Cruise Managers serve as the “heart” of each ship and are the reason AmaWaterways has continued to sail the world’s rivers so successfully.
  20. Guests: Inclusive, diverse, open and curious about the world around them, AmaWaterways’ guests bring a deep sense of family to each journey and help to create memories that last a lifetime.
  21. A soul: AmaWaterways talks a lot about “heart.” In fact, the video below is titled “Heart of the River,” and it does a great job at depicting the experience on an AmaWaterways river cruise. Yes, we agree that AmaWaterways has heart, and it’s because the company’s founders imbued their company with feelings, emotion and sentiment. When you combine all of that with the ships’ features you get something else: You get a company with a soul. You will feel that on Ama’s ships and in your interactions with the people on board (and behind the scenes) who work to make your experience so special.

Congratulations on your 20th anniversary AmaWaterways. The best may well be ahead of you. We certainly hope so.