The 148-passenger Aria-class ships are among the smaller vessels in the AmaWaterways fleet. They have all the features you would expect (and appreciate) on a river ship, though: The sundeck's whirlpool is a great place for panoramic views, and the main lounge is furnished with comfy sofas and armchairs. If the weather is inclement, take advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi. Like other AmaWaterways' ships, Aria-class ships have a fitness room (Aria class also have saunas), as well as a salon and onboard masseuse. While these may be small ships, the staterooms are relatively large, many with French balconies. The top suites are 255 square feet and the majority of the cabins are 170 square feet — even the least expensive are outside and have marble bathrooms.
What We Love
Fine Cuisine: One evening on every seven-night cruise, the dining room features a special menu inspired by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a highly regarded Parisian culinary organization (AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line member). This is the day to ignore the snacks at cocktail time and save your appetite.
Complimentary Bicycles: Every ship has at least 20 well-maintained bicycles that you can reserve for the next port stop. Simply let reception know that you’d like to take one out for a spin and a crew member will carry it down the gangway and have your bike and helmet waiting for you when you leave the ship.
Best Known For
Boutique-Hotel Charm: AmaWaterways decorates each ship individually in a style that's neither old school nor cutting edge, and Aria-class ships have the comfortable ambiance of a European boutique hotel.
Free-Flowing Wine and Beer: Lunch and dinner feature complimentary regional beer and wine varieties, and the waiters always seem to be ready to top off your glass. You can even have a Mimosa at breakfast.
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Who It's Best For
Couples: Twosomes reign supreme, sometimes traveling with friends. Rarely will you be in the company of children.
Relaxation Aficionados: History buffs, wine enthusiasts, and those seeking a slower pace of travel will thoroughly appreciate this luxury river cruise's vibe. Even the shore excursions are tailored for guests’ endurance levels, with groups for Gentle Walkers, Active Walkers, and Late Starters.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Nights Are Quiet: Life is indeed slower on the river. And since you’ll be up and on the go most mornings by 9am, you’ll appreciate quiet evenings spent enjoying local entertainment — an accordion player and French chanteuse channeling Édith Piaf, for instance — as the ship glides along Europe's waterways.
Sherry Laskin is a Florida-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com who has also written for Porthole and USA Today.
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Aria Class at a Glance
- Line: AmaWaterways
- Class: Aria Class
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