AMA Waterways is one of the main six companies involved in European river cruising. They also offer river cruises in Russia, Cambodia and Vietnam, and in Africa. While the European itineraries are not quite as all inclusive as the luxury players, the atmosphere and service are very close to the luxury level at popular prices.
European River Cruising
AMA Waterways now has 11 ships cruising all of the rivers of Europe.They have been adding 1 to 2 ships each year for the past 3 or 4 years. The ships are new, the cabins are large, and the staff and service are first rate. Amenities include beer and wine with dinner, bottled water in the rooms, and free WiFi throughout the ship. AMA prices are generally quite competitive with the other river cruise companies.
AMA Waterways operates a single ship in Russia, the 212 passenger AmaKatarina which was completely rebuilt in 2010-2011. Several issues to pay attention to on Russian rivers: all ships are built in Russia, some of them are old and many feature very small cabins. Most of the cabins on the AmaKatarina have private balconies and all but the lowest 2 categories are more than 200 sq ft. The Russian Waterways itinerary is extensive - it begins with 2 full days in Moscow and ends with 3 days in St. Petersburg (or reverse). The included excursion list is extensive - among the features are a home visit with a Russian family, a ballet performance at the Hermitage Theater, and onboard highlights such as lectures, Russian language classes, theme dinners, cooking demonstrations, and onboard music performances.
Vietnam and Cambodia
AMA has two ships in Southeast Asia - the La Marguerite (92 passengers) and the Amalotus (124 passengers) brand new in 2011. They both continue the tradition of luxurious surroundings, large cabins (all over 200 sq ft). As you can see from the itinerary below, the itinerary is a combination of land and river cruise which is 15 nights. Prices are comparable with ordinary European river cruises.
AMA offers two African Safaris that include a four night river cruise on the luxurious Zambezi Queen. The safari is similar to others that are available but the chance to view the wildlife from the vantage point of the river is unique to AMA.
AMA is a comparatively new company founded by some of the real veterans of the European River business. They have one of the youngest fleets in Europe and have branched out to Russia, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Ships - new, with modern decor and comfortably large cabins. Outside of Europe (Russia, Southeast Asia, and Africa) their ships tend towards the luxurious.
Itineraries - in Europe, AMA's itineraries are similar to the other companies in the market. Their reputation for excursions is up there with the best in the industry. Outside of Europe their programs would compare to those offered by the luxury players in those markets.
Value - with high marks for service, food, accommodations and prices that are not that much different from their competitors, AMA gets high marks for value.
Sample Cruises - Click the name for details. Prices are for mid level cabins, mid season fares, and include all taxes and fees.
The Romantic Danube - Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated musicians, artists and poets throughout the centuries. Travel to romantic destinations, beginning with a 3-night stay in majestic Prague followed by 7 nights on the Danube River cruising from Vilshofen to Budapest. Explore a 2,000-year-old city and visit Europe’s largest pipe organ; savor local wines throughout the Wachau Valley and have your senses heightened with the timeless beauty and rich history of Vienna and Budapest.
Cost -10 night cruise & land - $390 per person per night
Europe Rivers and Castles - Framed by rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and medieval castles, the Danube River has captivated musicians, artists and poets throughout the centuries. Travel to romantic destinations, beginning with a 3-night stay in majestic Prague followed by 7 nights on the Danube River cruising from Vilshofen to Budapest. Explore a 2,000-year-old city and visit Europe’s largest pipe organ; savor local wines throughout the Wachau Valley and have your senses heightened with the timeless beauty and rich history of Vienna and Budapest.
Cost - 12 night cruise and land - $390 pp per night
Russian Waterways - Enjoy a spectacular voyage through the heart of Russia along its colorful and historic waterways. Explore bustling and excitement-packed Moscow, then cruise north and visit the enchanting Golden Ring cities of Uglich and Yaroslavl. Continue along the Volga-Baltic Waterways and through Europe’s two largest lakes, Onega and Ladoga, to St. Petersburg, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, spread over 101 islands and 66 canals.
Cost -12 night cruise and land - $395 pp per night
Stars of Africa - Your journey begins with a three-night stay in picturesque Cape Town. Next, travel to Hoedspruit, amidst the game-rich country near Kruger National Park. Spend three nights at a game lodge, in this premier eco-tourist destination known for some of the best Big Five viewing in South Africa. Experience the thrill of daily game drives, while evenings bring you breathtaking, starry skies, highlighted by the magnificent Southern Cross. Next, fly to Johannesburg for an overnight stay with time on your own to explore. The following day, transfer to Kasane to begin your ZAMBEZI QUEEN safari cruise on the Chobe River. Explore the banks of Chobe National Park, home to one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent. Your African odyssey concludes with two nights at magnificent Victoria Falls. Enjoy a guided tour of the falls on your last full day in Africa, capturing photographs and memories that will last a lifetime.
Cost - 13 night cruise, land, and in country air - $785 pp per night
Vietnam and Cambodia - Your journey begins in Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi, followed by an excursion to breathtaking Ha Long Bay for an overnight sojourn. A short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, brings you to the gateway of the ancient Khmer empire. Spend three days touring the temples of Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before embarking your Mekong cruise on Tonle Sap Lake. Visit rural villages, historic pagodas, floating markets and a Buddhist monastery along the way. Overnight in Phnom Phen, capital of Cambodia. Conclude your cruise in lively Ho Chi Minh City, where you will enjoy a two-night stay.
Cost - 15 night cruise, land, and in country air - $360 pp per night
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