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AmaWaterways Review | What Makes AmaWaterways Different? | What We Like About AmaWaterways

Avignon photo courtesy AmaWaterways

Our Rating

5/5

AmaWaterways masterfully delivers experiences that all can enjoy, no matter what ages, interests or mobility levels. Celebrating 20 years in operation, the innovative river cruise company boasts beautiful ships plying the waterways of Europe, Asia, Africa and soon, Latin America. 

What We Like

What We Like About AmaWaterways

When we think about AmaWaterways, the first thing that comes to mind is two of the company’s founders, Kristin Karst and Rudi Schreiner, known as The Godfather of River Cruising. The German-Austrian husband and wife are committed to at least two principles: 1) delivering exceptional river cruise experiences; and 2) always under-promising and over-delivering. The latter goes a long way in explaining why you seldom – if ever – hear anything except praise for AmaWaterways. That praise starts with the company’s crew and office staff and works its way up to travel agents and end consumers, people like us who cruise on AmaWaterways. 

In the decade-plus that we’ve operated this site, we can’t recall a single complaint about AmaWaterways, which is remarkable when you consider that the company operates more than two dozen ships on three continents. We believe part of the reason for this is what we just mentioned, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We encourage you to spend a few minutes to watch the video below, because it encapsulates the mission and the feeling of AmaWaterways. 

What Makes AmaWaterways Different

We’ve had our own magical moments on AmaWaterways, cruising the mighty Mekong, enjoying the coziness that AmaWaterways creates on Christmas Markets cruises and exploring Europe in what feels like a boutique luxury hotel that glides along the rivers. What we have found is that AmaWaterways highlights people – staff and guests – above all else. In fact, when we’ve cruised with the co-founders, we’ve found it remarkable that they take time to talk to and visit with so many people on board. Kristin and Rudi are fond of saying that “Ama Means Love,” and that is the feeling that is conveyed, one of warmth and welcome. 

More of what makes AmaWaterways different:

  • Spacious river view staterooms and suites range from 160 square feet to 710 square feet and most include the revolutionary signature twin balconies—a French balcony and a full outside balcony.
  • La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dining experience—featuring all meals on board, including exquisite multi-course dinners and bountiful breakfast and lunch buffets
  • Multiple dining venues, including the one-of-a-kind exclusive Chef’s Table specialty restaurant featuring a unique tasting menu with perfectly paired wines for intimate dining experiences
  • Entertainment-On-Demand and Ship-Wide Wi-Fi – all staterooms offer a flat screen monitor featuring moves, news, TV, and music.
  • In-room internet access and ship-wide Wi-Fi are also complimentary
  • Choice of complimentary shore excursions in every port that are led by expert guides. AmaWaterways offers choices for tours for gentle, regular, and active walkers.
  • Expertly guided shore excursions with choices to tailor your experience as you like
  • Exclusive Special Interest and Culinary Tours are included excursions to experience local culture in a unique way
  • Adventurous guided bicycle and hiking tours, as well as options to bike on your own with complimentary bicycles and helmets
  • Enriching onboard programs, including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstrations, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
  • Experienced and dedicated Cruise Manager who accompanies you throughout your entire journey, both on land and on your cruise
  • With a high staff-to-guest ratio on our ships, our team is fully dedicated to providing each guest with the highest level of genuine service with a smile
  • Wellness Program offering a variety of exercise classes; discussion groups with a focus on healthy eating and relaxation. 

Where AmaWaterways Cruises

AmaWaterways operates in Europe, Asia, Africa and soon, Latin America. You’ll find more than two dozen itineraries in Europe alone, not including the unique Seven Rivers Journeys that debut in 2023. Sailing on seven rivers through 14 countries, these will be the longest and arguably the most epic river cruises that Europe has ever seen.

Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America

In Southeast Asia, AmaWaterways sails Vietnam & Cambodia’s Mekong River. In Africa, the company operates the 28-passenger Zambezi Queen (pictured) sailing the Chobe River. In Egypt, AmaDahlia operates Nile River Cruises and will soon be joined by a second ship AmaLilia, in 2024. AmaWaterways will begin cruising in Latin America on a new ship, AmaMagdelana.

Europe

In Europe, AmaWaterways offers more than two dozen itineraries along the Rhine, Moselle, Danube, Main, Seine, Saône, Rhône, Dutch and Belgian Waterways, Dordogne and Garonne, and the Douro. On our bucket list: the Seven Rivers Journeys, sailing seven rivers through 14 counties. the ultimate European river cruise. 

A Few Of Our Best AmaWaterways Travel Experiences

My Favorite River Cruises Of 2016: Boats & Bikes With Backroads & AmaWaterways

Do you enjoy bicycling and seeing new places? If so, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better mix than bicycling in Europe during your river cruise. I did just that, traveling with my 19-year-old son on a “bikes and boats” trip with AmaWaterways and Backroads. As regular readers of River Cruise Advisor know, AmaWaterways is a multi-awarded river cruise company. Not as well known among RCA’s readers, Backroads bills itself as the world’s #1 active travel company. The combination of cycling and river cruising was a match made in heaven, and a perfect way to travel for this father and son duo.

Read More »

Popular AmaWaterways Articles

What Makes AmaWaterways Different?

Headquartered in Calabasas, CA, AmaWaterways was founded in 2002 by Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, a husband-and-wife team with much river cruise line experience, and the late Jimmy Murphy, founder of Brendan Worldwide Vacations. So, what sets the line apart? It’s highly inclusive, strikes a balance on included beverages, has dedicated wellness hosts, and so much more.

Read More »
The fabulous Owner's Suite on AmaMagna spans 710 square feet.

News About AmaWaterways

Top 5 River Cruise Itineraries Outside Of Central Europe

We often recommend the Rhine and Danube to first-time river cruisers. These rivers not only the most popular for river cruising, but also offer a large variety of itineraries between the two rivers and their tributaries. Those looking to try something different may decide to venture to the Seine or the Rhone rivers in France, or, if they wish to stay on this side of the pond, even the Mississippi River. However, there are an array of river cruise options “off the beaten path,” with itineraries in South America, Africa and Asia.

Read More »

AmaWaterways Debuts Longest Itinerary Aboard A Single Ship

AmaWaterways is introducing its longest journey yet with the complete 49 night itinerary spent on board one ship, the AmaMora, and the first-time experience of sailing the complete length of the Rhine and Danube rivers including the seldom visited Danube Delta region leading to the Black Sea.

Read More »

AmaWaterways Scores Big Award

AmaWaterways has been recognized as Best River Cruise Line by the global luxury travel network, Virtuoso®. This year marks the ninth consecutive year that AmaWaterways has been recognized as the best river cruise line.

Read More »

Our AmaWaterways Experiences In Video

Below you’ll find some videos that we produced during our savings on AmaWaterways.

AmaWaterways On Instagram | A Collection From Those Sharing The Heart Of The River

Just a reminder that on November 29, 2022, I set off on an amazing week-long AmaWaterways river cruise along the Main and Rhine rivers visiting some of Germany's storied Christmas markets. But here's some even greater news: Amawaterways has extended their 20th-anniversary pricing of a 20% discount OR FREE roundtrip economy airfare till the end of October! Will you be joining me?

For more information, including a detailed itinerary, click on the link in bio!

Have you been on an Amawaterways river cruise? Share about your adventure in the comments below!

Places to Love is proud to have AmaWaterways as a Sponsor since Season 1.

#samanthabrown #placestolove #germany #rivercruise #amawaterways #holidayseason
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Hello from Amsterdam, where I’m about to board my first river cruise! For the next seven days I’ll be sailing along the Rhine on the 156-passenger AmaSiena - AmaWaterways’ newest ship - through The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. As you know I’ve done a gazillion Caribbean cruises, so I’m looking forward to having this decidedly different experience. Stay tuned to my stories for the play-by-play.
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#amawaterways #amasiena #jetsetsarah #jsssails #cruising #cruiser #rivercruise #rivercruising #amsterdam #cruiselife #cruiseship #rivercruises #holland #hermesscarf #blacktravel #blacktravelwriter #travelwriter #travelblogger #visitnetherlands
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And, just like that, my first river cruising adventure has come to an end. I’ve hiked in Heidelberg; sampled currywurst in Cologne; visited a vineyard in Rüdesheim; strolled the streets of Strasbourg; trekked through the Black Forest; and discovered a new obsession with locks. I’ve tried tarte flambée and Rüdesheimer coffee; bought several new stickers for my luggage; eaten my weight in ice cream; and made new friends along the way. (See my Stories and AmaSiena highlight for deets.) By any measure, this was a fun, eye-opening and unforgettable trip. Would I do another river cruise? In a heartbeat. Danube, here I come!
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#jetsetsarah #amawaterways #amasiena #rivercruising #rivercruise #rivercruises #cruising #travelwriter #travelblogger #blacktravel #blacktravelwriter #travelnoire #essencetravels #exploremore #explore #instago #travel #travelingram #instadaily #ttot #igaddict #bestoftheday #igtravel #travelgram #instatravel #traveler #traveller #andjustlikethat #omaginsiders
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And, just like that, a new week is served. Mine will include morning runs; writing deadlines; an oil change; several Zooms; a pre-travel COVID test; and, hopefully, renewing my Florida drivers license after multiple unsuccessful attempts to book a DMV appointment online. What’s on your agenda, dear ‘grammers?
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#jetsetsarah #jsssails #amawaterways #amasiena #rivercruising #cruiselife #omaginsiders #blacktravel #blacktravelwriter #mondayvibes #monday #rivercruise #rivercruises #cruising #cruiselover #rivercruiser #waiter #cruiseshippool #traveler #passenger #cruiser #chasethesun
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We are proud to announce our newest ship, the extraordinary AmaMagna, will be featured on a brand-new episode of openhousetv this weekend on nbc! The two minute segment will showcase AmaMagna’s exquisite design and offers the perfect opportunity for you to get an inside look at the ship that is redefining the river cruise experience. Check your local listings for showtimes and join us for a tour on board!
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#AmaWaterways #NBCOpenHouse #AmaMeansLove #AmaMagna #cruise #rivercruises #Ama #Travel #Danube #visiteurope #travelphotography #photography #europe #cruiseships
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The most beautiful part of my job as a cruise manager on river ships in Europe is meeting amazing people! ❤️You all are the reason why I cruise for so many years!
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I love so much when we cruise trough Germany and guests come onboard and bring their traditional Bavarian outfits just like this gorgeous guest camillesworldtravels in her traditional dirndl - blue dress covered with flowers😍❤️😘 So beautiful!🥰
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Dirndl is regarded as a folk costume (in German Tracht). A dirndl [ˈdɪʁndl̩] is a type of dress worn by women not only in Germany, but also in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and South Tyrol. Originally the term dirndl meant girl in Bavarian.
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Today dirndls are worn on special events like for example Octoberfest and many others. There are different types of dirndls and believe it or not, some which are made of silk and decorated weeks can coast around 5000 - 100,000 dollars!
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#germany #ship #rivercruise #amawaterways #cruiseaddict #onboard #cruisingagain #amameanslove #inspiration #billionwoman #tooblessedtobestressed #lovemyjob #outfitoftheday #dirndl #dirndltime #tradition #octoberfest #womenentrepreneurs #fasion #designerclothes #traditionalclothes #traditional #travelinstyle #womensfashion #womenstyle #uniqueclothing
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Embarkation Day is almost here! Will you be joining us?

Tomorrow we'll invite our guests on board for the first time in over a year as we set sail on the Douro River.

Check out our story today for exciting onboard footage!
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Went to bed in Germany; woke up in France. It’s a river cruising miracle! (See my Stories/AmaSiena highlight)
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#jetsetsarah #amawaterways #amasiena #rivercruising #rivercruise #cruiseshiplife #cruiser #blacktravel #blacktravelwriter #blacktravelmovement #travelnoire #essencetravels #oldisthenewblack #advancedstyle #agelessstyle #ootd #fitpic #outfitoftheday #whatIwore #wiwt #wiw #instastyle #instafashion #fashionover40 #style #fashionover50
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On behalf of our Co-Owners: Kristin Karst, Rudi Schreiner, and Gary Murphy, tonight we proudly accepted 5 WAVE awards at the 2020 travelagewest Virtual WAVE Awards Gala: Best Travel Advisor Support; Highest Client Satisfaction; Best New River Cruise Ship: AmaMagna; Best River Cruise Line for Families and Best Onboard Dining, River Cruise! We are truly appreciative of these incredible recognitions from TravelAge West, and look forward to safely welcoming our guests back on board once we return to sailing! #amawaterways #amameanslove ...

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Conozca el crucero de lujo que atravesará el río Magdalena
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Todos a bordo: Metropolitan Touring se ha asociado con la firma AmaWaterways para lanzar una nueva experiencia de crucero de río en Colombia.
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Metropolitan Touring, operador turístico líder en Sudamérica, anunció una alianza con la compañía internacional de cruceros fluviales de lujo AmaWaterways para presentar una nueva experiencia de cruceros de río en Colombia, por el Magdalena.
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Los viajeros disfrutarán de una travesía de descubrimiento con experiencias únicas tanto en los diferentes sitios de visita a lo largo del río Magdalena como a bordo. El nuevo crucero de lujo, que será construido en Colombia, ofrecerá un servicio sinigual, sello distintivo de ambas compañías.
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Los exploradores podrán elegir entre dos itinerarios de siete noches con extensiones pre y post crucero para explorar el magnífico río Magdalena y adentrarse en el vibrante patrimonio cultural y natural de Colombia. Acompañados por un equipo de expertos, los huéspedes disfrutarán de conexiones profundas con la naturaleza, la vida silvestre, la cultura, los sabores y la calidez de los lugareños, y actividades como kayak, caminatas y observación de aves.
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¿Cuando zarpará? Este y más detalles dando clic al link de la biografía.
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¡Aliste las maletas porque esta nueva aventura lo espera!
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Foto: Archivo particular
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#Magdalena #RíoMagdalena #Colombia #Viajes #Turismo #ForbesLifeLatam #Lujo #Crucero #Destinos #ForbesLife #ForbesColombia #MetropolitanTouring #AmaWaterways #Aventura #Naturaleza
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Just sitting by the fireplace in the library gazing out at castles...I’m pretty sure I just sailed into a fairytale.
Sharing all about my new favorite amawaterways river cruise ship on the blog today...it also includes a link to my very first YouTube video, so make sure to check it out 😉 (link in bio)
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White Prague in November already ❤️#amawaterways #snow #christmasiscoming #amamagna #postextension #beautiful #destination #europe #pragueworld #czechrepublic #prague #oldtown #brrrr ...

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Prague by night #amawaterways #nightstroll #praguecastle #prague #czechrepublic #amamagna #rivercruise #europe #beautifuldestinations #loveeurope #christmasdecor #lights ...

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Schönbrunn Palace in Austria is one of the many majestic stops on the Danube during a Christmas Market River Cruise! Jami and Christy had the opportunity to stroll the grand halls of the palace with Adventures by Disney and AmaWaterways in 2018. The Christmas Markets at each port were perfect for snacking, shopping, and sipping on mulled wine under twinkling lights. This is one of the most charming ways to experience the beauty of Europe! Make your plans now for 2023 holiday river cruises, it's not too early to get started! #adventuresbydisney #amawaterways #europe #vienna ...

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Portugal is on my travel bucket list. Is it on yours?
Repost from amawaterways

Colorful landscapes that take your breath away. That's what you can experience on board our Enticing Douro River cruise through Portugal and Spain.

Imagine yourself this time next year being dazzled by the color-changing foliage that Autumn brings. Simply magical. What season is your favorite to travel in?

Click the link in our bio to see more of this itinerary.
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#douro #travel #autumn #rivercruise #amawaterways #amameanslove #europe #fall #porto #wine
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Fenland Waterway 30 x 30cm acrylic on board. .
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#fens #fenland #amawaterways #waterway #landscapepainting #landscapeart #landscapes #limitedpalette #acrylics #acrylicpainting #sarajohnson #contemporarypainting #contemporaryart #artgallery #artcollector #artcollectors #eastanglia #mixedmediaart #mixedmedia
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What’s on your travel bucket list? For me, it’s a river cruise. I’ve spent the past years on the largest ships in the world but now I’m ready to check out the other end of the spectrum! amawaterways will be my first river cruise as they’re a family owned and operated line and allow kids to start sailing with them at 4 years old! They also have the best selection of cabins for families and offer connecting options! Have you ever considered a river cruise?
#rivercruise #ama #amawaterways #familytravel #familyrivercruise #familyfriendlytravel #familyfriendly #kidfriendly #europetravel #familyeuropeanvacation #travelwithkids #christmasmarket
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The adventuresbydisney Rhine River Cruise is full of beautiful sites! This one’s from Germany! 🇩🇪 #disneyday #disneyfans #disneytravel #disneyvacation #disneytrip #disneytrip #disneycommunity #ilovedisney #adventuresbydisney #disneyadult #disneycruise #disneyfamily #disneymom #disneytravel #disneyvacation #travelplanner #disneyontherhine #abdrhinerivercruise #rhine #rhineriver #rhinetimebaby #disneyfashion #amawaterways #memoriesofheidelberg adventuresbydisney disney ...

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Holiday festivities don't end when you leave one of Europe's sensational Christmas Markets for the day. When you return to your floating hotel, you'll be greeted with halls decked with boughs of holly and a Yuletide carol. How do you spend your time on board after a day of exploring? ...

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