We recently took a European cruise on the Danube River with AMA Waterways, and would like to share our impressions with you. If you are curious, many great pictures and additional information can be found on the AMA Waterways website.
Company: AMA Waterways
Tour taken: Melodies of the Danube
Overall: AMA Waterways is just one of many river cruise companies from which to choose. They target the younger end of the luxury market, with an average passenger age of around 58. This gives the ship an energetic feel not present on some other river cruise lines.
One differentiating feature of AMA Waterways is the construction of their ships; they need less water depth to operate than most. This was not a factor for our particular cruise, but it could be critical if the river levels happen to be low at the time of your cruise. It could mean the difference between no disruption and a cancelled cruise, and gives AMA Waterways an edge over the other companies in this highly competitive market.
Overall, we were very pleased with the ship, crew, and itinerary. We can recommend AMA Waterways and this particular itinerary, especially to those cruisers who want to be active.
Activities: In keeping with the younger demographic of their guests, AMA Waterways has done a great job of providing shore activities. They keep bicycles on board for guided excursions or simply for guests to use on their own. Many port stops with walking excursions have 3 activity levels to choose from: gentle, normal, and hiker. This was a much-appreciated big improvement over lumping all guests into one group, where the pace is always too fast for some and too slow for others.
Accommodations and meals: We found our ship, the AMA Serena, to have excellent cabins and public areas. Food was plentiful and of high quality. Beer and wine are included at lunch and dinner at no extra charge. Dining times and seats are not assigned. A special treat is dining at the Chef’s Table Restaurant, available at no additional charge to all guests at least once on every cruise.
Caveats: No big problems presented themselves during our voyage. One irritating factor was the size of the main dining room – – a bit too small to accommodate everyone comfortably when the food was served buffet style at lunch. But, there was a light option for lunch in the lounge which was never crowded, so this could be avoided.