Ama Waterways River Cruises

  • Overview


Founded in 2002, AmaWaterways sails some of the world’s best known rivers across three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia. This luxury river cruise line has a ‘floating hotel’ ethos, meaning exceptional attention to detail on every ship and itinerary. Gourmet dining, high end amenities, impeccable service and expertly guided shore excursions come as standard on AmaWaterways cruises.

Imagined by its Californian President Rudi Schreiner, a pioneer in river cruising, AmaWaterways has quickly risen through the ranks to become a highly regarded, award-winning line, with an exciting programme of cruises along Europe’s most beautiful rivers  - and beyond to the exotic rivers of Vietnam & Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and Africa, where luxury safari cruises make lifelong dreams come true.


There are currently 20 ships in the AmaWaterways fleet, each carefully custom-designed to offer a premium river cruise experience. The décor is classically elegant, with a definite touch of the contemporary, from the comfortable lounges with panoramic windows to the cosy libraries, airy sun decks and inviting dining rooms. You’ll feel like you’re staying in a floating boutique hotel on an AmaWaterways cruise.

Newer ships (from AmaBella in 2010 onwards) make up the majority of the fleet, and show off innovative features such as stylish glass elevators, heated pools with swim-up bars and the new and exclusive ‘twin balcony’ configuration in staterooms, where guests can enjoy both a French balcony and a full balcony with table and chairs.
AmaSerena (sailing Europe) and AmaDara (Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong cruise) are the two brand new for 2015 ships, while AmaViola and AmaStella debut in 2016. These boast the most advanced ship designs to date.


The maximum passenger capacity across the AmaWaterways fleet is 164 passengers, meaning cruises on this line are intimate but still offer the opportunity to get to know your interesting fellow guests, which are typically well-travelled and affluent. The dress code onboard is described as ‘country club casual with dressier attire for dinner’. 
As an English-speaking cruise line, AmaWaterways attracts mostly North Americans, Australians and guests from the UK. The onboard cruise manager makes sure guests are well looked after, from the champagne welcome until final disembarkment, and standards of service are maintained at a high level.


AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line member of the International gastronomic society La Chaine des Rotisseurs, so you’re guaranteed a high standard of gourmet cuisine onboard. Ships from AmaBella onwards have a choice of dining venues, including a main restaurant and an intimate chef’s table restaurant with tasting menu. Glassed-in kitchens also feature on newer ships, so diners can watch the master chefs at work.
Guests begin their day with a buffet breakfast with made to order specialities, then refuel at lunch with a buffet plus items available to choose from a menu. A light lunch can also be taken in the main lounge, followed by afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, teas and coffees. Dinner is a multi-course affair, often incorporating regional and traditional specialities to suit the cruise itinerary, accompanied by unlimited fine wines, beer and soft drinks. 
Complimentary drinks (including wine) are also served at breakfast and lunch, and bottled water and speciality teas and coffees are freely available with no charge.


Each AmaWaterways cruise starts with a welcome party and ends with a farewell party, with nightly evening entertainment inbetween. The entertainment is low-key to suit the intimate vibe onboard, and typically incorporates the local customs and cultures of your destinations – for example, performances by European dancers or local orchestral groups. Piano classics and Musical sing-a-longs are also popular.


AmaWaterways has a quality programme of excursion, included in the cost of the cruise. These small group shore excursions are led by expert local guides and guests can choose from three options; ‘gentle walkers’, ‘active walkers’ and ‘late starters’ (for those who want to enjoy a lie-in!). On theme cruises you’ll find relevant excursions on the itinerary – trips to Monet’s home & gardens and an ‘Artist’s Walk’ on an art-themed cruise to Paris and Normandy, for example.
This cruise line was also innovative in bringing a fleet of bikes onboard, for guests to use to explore the flat, smooth pathways running beside the rivers, at their own pace.
Up on the Sun Deck you’ll find either a heated pool or whirlpool. The newer ships even have swim-up bars!

You can expect to stay in the lap of luxury on an AmaWaterways cruise, as the stylish staterooms boast contemporary but elegant décor, premium amenities such as plush linens, bathrobes and slippers, and innovative features including the twin balcony configuration (from AmaBella onwards) and the exciting ‘Infotainment’ system.
The Infotainment system means you’ll enjoy in-cabin internet access, plus on-demand movies, music and TV, on your personal flatscreen. And the duo of balconies means that you can enjoy the view from your cabin, or sit out and watch the world go by. You’ll also find French balconies fleet-wide. Each cabin has a cosy sitting area for relaxing in, plus modern bathroom with spa bath, multi-jet shower and complimentary toiletries. Guests will also enjoy a nightly turn-down service.
New ship for 2015 AmaSerena has 82 staterooms, each measuring a spacious 210x235sqft. A number of interconnecting cabins have been included, opening up the line to groups travelling together.


There’s plenty of time and opportunity for relaxation on AmaWaterways river cruises, with a beauty salon and massage therapist on each ship (you’ll also find a sauna on some).
The bikes, pool (selected ships) and fitness studio will keep active types happy - and some ships also offer the use of a walking track. 


Sail the most beautiful rivers in Europe, from a Christmas cruise down the Rhine, to a magnifique trip past the Eiffel Tower and down the Seine, or a tour of Europe’s magical castles on the Danube, Main, Mosel and Rhine rivers. 
Many of the European cruises are themed – think a beer themed Tulip Time Cruise through the Netherlands and Belgium, or a romantic wine themed Danube cruise taking in Prague and Budapest. Most cruises have a duration between one and two weeks.
Outside of Europe, AmaWaterways offers a selection of exciting far-flung cruises in Vietnam & Cambodia, Africa and Myanmar (Burma). Sail the exotic Mekong river, embark on a safari cruise from Cape Town or discover the Hidden Wonders of Myanmar from an Irrawaddy river cruise. All from the luxury of a custom-designed, innovative AmaWaterways ‘floating hotel’.

Cruise guides & features

Top Ama Waterways River Cruises deals 2016, 2017

All Ama Waterways River Cruises ships

Destinations visited by Ama Waterways River Cruises