Launched in 2009 alongside its twin, the AmaDolce, the AmaLyra is one of the much-respected, luxurious river cruise ships within the AmaWaterways fleet. In fact, the ship made such a splash that it was awarded a ‘Best New River Cruise Ship’ distinction! Adorned with contemporary artwork and swathed in natural light from the floor to ceiling windows that line the ship, with the majority of its staterooms and suites boasting French balconies, the AmaLyra is a smart and sophisticated vessel that sails along some of Europe’s most iconic waterways.
AmaLyra’s maximum capacity is 148 passengers, which ensures an intimate river cruise with ample opportunity to meet other like-minded travellers in one of the several public areas. As a US company, most guests onboard are American, but the cruises are also popular with Brits, too. All 41 of the crew onboard are English-speaking, meaning guests can feel comfortable knowing there are no language barriers.
Service is excellent quality, with a high crew to passenger ratio ensuring guests needs are tended to at all times. Feedback from guests onboard is typically very positive, with the professional and personalised service often being commended. The line also works hard to make adjustments and improvements where necessary, to ensure all river cruises are as excellent as possible.
The main restaurant can be found on the Cello deck and offers fine cuisine prepared by professional chefs who have exacting standards. AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line to be in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, so guests onboard can appreciate some beautiful, gourmet creations daily.
Breakfast and lunch services offer a wide range of various dishes via a buffet station, where guests can help themselves to as much as they like. From cereals, a ‘full English’ and continental meats and cheeses at breakfast (with sparkling wine!), to soups, salads and pasta dishes at lunchtime, passengers can enjoy a varied choice to suit their individual preferences. Guests also have the option of ordering meals from the menu at lunch. Dinner is a sophisticated, sit-down menu affair, showcasing some delicious regional fare as well as mouth-watering people-pleasers, and accompanied by free-flowing local wines, beers and soft drinks.
There is also the intimate Chef’s Table restaurant onboard, situated on the Violin Deck. Speciality teas and coffees, plus bottled water, are freely available, throughout the day.
The Welcome and Farewell parties are a highlight of every AmaLyra cruise, and give guests a perfect excuse to dress up and mingle with fellow passengers. The main lounge has a bar, piano and dancefloor, and proves to be a popular hangout after dinner (and in the afternoons, when sandwiches, cakes and pastries are served). Evening entertainment remains low-key and refined, with a varied programme of local performers, music and dancing that reflects the cultures and traditions of the ports and regions you’re visiting.
Guests can enjoy the beautiful Sun Deck onboard, which is kitted out with plenty of reclining loungers, chairs and tables to relax at and watch the world sail by. The Sun Deck is also home to a whirlpool, if you fancy a refreshing dip! Staterooms also boast a comprehensive ‘infotainment’ system which provides Internet access, on-demand movies and various satellite channels for your enjoyment. Wi-Fi is also available shipwide.
Shore excursions are split into three small group excursions, which aim to ensure all guests can enjoy the tours at their own pace. Choose from the ‘gentle walkers’ group for those who wish to explore at a more leisurely pace, or the ‘active walkers’ group if you feel like you could cover more ground. The ‘late starter’ group is the third option and the ideal choice if you would like to embark on your excursion a little later in the day. Expert local guides will help to provide all guests with local knowledge, history and information on regional culture and heritage.
A fleet of bicycles and helmets are available onboard, and are available for guests to explore the ports independently, at no extra charge.
There are 71 staterooms and 3 suites onboard, located across the Cello, Violin and Piano decks. Accommodation is broken down into 8 different categories, all offering similar amenities including flat-screen TV with infotainment system, bathrobes, climate control, personal safe, hairdryer, telephone, hotel-style beds and Internet access.
Staterooms range in size from 170 sq. ft. to 225 sq. ft. The majority of staterooms have French balconies, other than those found on the Piano Deck, which have fixed picture windows. All accommodation types feature the same bathroom layout, including shower.
The three suites can be found on the Violin Deck and boast 255 sq. ft. of space. These all have a French balcony and a bathroom with bathtub and separate shower. Suites also have enhanced sitting areas with couch, and a mini-bar that is replenished daily.
There are also two single staterooms onboard the AmaLyra – ideal for solo travellers. These boast French balconies and measure 140 sq. ft.
Head to the Sun Deck and sink into the whirlpool, or take to the walking track for a leisurely stroll as you soak up the unimpeded panoramic views.
There is also a well-equipped fitness room, sauna and hair/beauty salon onboard. The skills of a masseuse are also available.
The AmaLyra operates a number of popular itineraries, including The Legendary Danube, Blue Danube Discovery and The Enchanting Rhine. Its itineraries focus on a few of Europe’s most iconic waterways, including the Danube, Main, Moselle and Rhine. Depending on the itinerary booked, guests could travel through France, Germany, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, stopping off at some magical cities and towns along the way.
Most itineraries last between eight and 20 days, and include a fascinating seven- or 14- night cruise, with extra days in enchanting European cities such as Prague, Budapest and Amsterdam. Themed cruises which focus on wine, jazz and beer are also available.