Destination: River Cruises

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FEATURED RIVER CRUISE ARTICLE

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RE-DEFINING TRAVEL GOALS - EXPLORING THE WORLD WITH PEACE OF MIND

From Kristen Karst’s blog:

The events of 2020 have changed forever many aspects of our lives but the desire to explore the world with friends, family or solo remains stronger than ever. International travel will return but it may look and feel a bit different – and that’s not a bad thing. There will be a greater emphasis on time, space, health and safety and personalization of the travel experience along with a new desire to slow down the pace of travel, visit less crowded areas and spend more time immersed in a destination.

Our river cruise ships are like small floating hotels docking every morning in the center of a different iconic site or quaint village – almost doubling the amount of leisure time guests can enjoy in each destination. 18 of our European ships have received their Green Award – each has been thoughtfully designed, carefully built and meticulously maintained in order to offer a less crowded, healthier and more sustainable river cruise experience.

Our guests will continue to be discerning travelers who place high value on cultural activities; consider food and wine to be an important aspect of discovering a destination; and appreciate opportunities to maintain their healthy lifestyle while on vacation. We also know how important it is that our guests feel recognized and cared for. It’s the small touches like remembering a favorite cocktail, the type of coffee you take in the morning or dietary restrictions at dinner that all add up to creating an environment where each guest feels understood, pampered and appreciated. Having expansive sun decks, spacious staterooms and all the dining and tours choices included in the cruise price creates incredible value that experienced travelers recognize as true luxury.

Celebration Travel – reuniting with family and friends while celebrating delayed birthdays, anniversaries, and other of life’s milestone events – will become even more desirable in the year ahead. The variety of included tours we offer and the small size of our tour groups, makes it safe and easy for everyone traveling together to tailor their cruise experiences to meet their special interests while still creating those lasting memories together.

When it comes to trust in safeguarding the health of our guests, we are in the unique position of being the only US-based river cruise ship company operating in Europe this summer. Sailing AmaKristina in Germany for the local market has allowed us to put into practice and fine tune all our enhanced health and safety protocols. We know our North American guests are very eager to get back out and discover the world and our captains and crews are ready to welcome you on board with open arms once all the conditions are right.

We have always pursued a conservative growth plan, allowing us to remain financially strong and debt-free. While COVID-19 may have paused our 2020 operations, it has not dampened our plans for the future. We remain committed to looking for innovative ways to enhance our guests’ river cruise experience while protecting the environment and enriching the local communities we visit. In 2021, we will be adding two new ships to our European fleet, AmaSiena and AmaLucia, renovating two ships, AmaBella and AmaVerde plus launching a new ship, AmaDahlia, for the Nile and moving two ships over to France to offer two new itineraries there.

Lastly, events this year have certainly demonstrated that there is no guarantee that travel will always go 100% as planned. We always recommend that our guests work with a great Travel Advisor as together, we can create seamless travel arrangements including flights, transfers and pre and post-cruise land stays so our guests can explore the world responsibly with confidence and peace of mind.

We can’t wait to welcome back our guests and travel partners on board our beautiful ships very soon!

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What to Expect on a River Cruise

ACCOMMODATIONS
River cruises are brimming with onboard amenities. Stateroom are most often river-facing, and come equipped with hotel-style beds, private bathrooms, individual climate control, refrigerators, safes and TVs. Higher stateroom categories may have French balconies, verandas, and separate sleeping and sitting quarters. Rooms range from 150 to 600 square feet. Guests receive excellent and personalized service from on board staff. Additionally, ships include restaurants, lounges and bars, as well as free Wi-Fi. Some ships even come equipped with libraries, boutiques, pools and/or sun decks.

CUISINE
Guests are given a choice of dining options, including where and what to eat. Breakfasts can either be enjoyed al fresco or at the morning buffet, while lunches and dinners can be eaten while viewing passing sights or with friends in a common eating area. Open seating is offered, allowing guests to meet new people or enjoy the presence of the same people each day. Cruises offer regional cuisine and use locally sourced ingredients to help with their authenticity. Also common are wine pairings, selected from local tastes to help guests get a closer understanding of a region’s culture.

THINGS TO DO
River cruisers spend more time in the cities, towns and ports along the way. Included shore excursions consist of guided tours that help guests become well-acquainted with the culture, art and history of their destinations. In addition to guided tours, guests can roam freely around local stops or arrange optional shore excursions. There’s always ample opportunity to find something to do in every port, whether it’s visiting an ancient castle, attending a classical concert or enjoying a famous museum.

Who You’ll Be Cruising With

While river cruises can be enjoyed by people of all ages, they generally appeal to people more advanced in age — baby boomers, in particular. Many river cruise lines allow children aboard their ships, although they may have age restrictions in place and usually there isn’t much for kids to do. The makeup of a liner can include people of a wide range of nationalities, but more often than not, guests come from English-speaking countries.

Best Times to Go

Whether you choose to travel in the on-season or the off-season, you’ll be able to gain a deep cultural experience in each of your destinations. In the spring and summer, you may witness local outdoor events and lively activities that only occur during the warmer months of the year. Cooler weather in the fall may mean you’ll run into fewer people in the streets of cities and ports you visit, which will allow you to take your time and get a closer look at sites that interest you without feeling rushed or crowded. And in the winter season, you’ll be delighted by festive Christmas markets and enchanted by the holiday traditions and celebrations of the locals.

What You Should Pack

Given that weather will be variable depending on where your river cruise takes you, bringing along both warm and light clothes is wise. Even during warm months, there is wind on the rivers, so it’s best to plan for layers even if the weather is hot. Additionally, you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking, so bring along comfortable shoes. Lastly, pack some dressier clothes in case you attend a formal event while visiting one of your cruise destinations.

How They Differ from Ocean Cruises

Although river cruises and ocean cruises share a number of similarities, there are also various—and considerable—differences between the two. For one, ocean liners are bigger and offer more stateroom accommodations on average. Appropriately, they’re able to host significantly more guests. The smaller scale of river ships means fewer guests, but more opportunities to get to know fellow travelers, which often lead to lifelong friendships.

In contrast to ocean cruises that may include multiple sea days, you will rarely experience a full day of sailing on a river cruise. Typically, guests will awake each morning to find themselves in a new port. With river cruising, you can also enjoy an ever-changing mural of breathtaking scenery from your ship, so the journey itself becomes part of your discovery.

For those without sea legs, river cruises have the advantage of smooth trekking, shallow waters and the gift of land that’s always in sight. Lastly, most river cruises offer inclusive value, meaning your Wi-Fi, water, alcohol and included excursions are covered in the price. However, ocean cruises tend to offer more upscale amenities, like fitness centers, multiple dining options and a variety of live entertainment.

Who Would Enjoy a River Cruise?

River cruises are great for everyone, especially those desiring a more relaxed and intimate form of travel. Individuals who’ve never stepped foot on a ship before will enjoy the relative ease of a river-bound trip with little chance of seasickness. Furthermore, with a focus on cultural exploration of locations, river cruises are perfect for those with a curiosity about art and history, or a general interest in travel.  Every river is unique and each tells a different story—not only of the countries through which it flows, but also of its locks, canals, scenery and bridges.

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All information, inclusions, and amenities are subject to change without notice. Please contact us for the most up-to-date information.

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Plan Your River Cruise

Book With Confidence: We offer low deposits, payment plans, and Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection!

Plan Your Vacation

Book With Confidence: We offer low deposits, payment plans, and Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection!