The 164-passenger AmaReina journeys along the Danube River, anchoring at popular ports such as Vienna and Salzburg. The interiors are spacious — most staterooms have both a French balcony and a step-out balcony — but the highlights are al fresco. The chairs on the top deck (where you can also have lunch) provide sweet spots to soak up the sun, and the pool with swim-up bar is a refreshing spot after a walk through the cobblestoned streets of Dürnstein or Linz, Austria.
What We Love
The Laid-Back Vibe: The ship’s pace is a peaceful hum, and there's no forced-and-phony fun. Cruisers are content to read in the lounge, play board games, or tune into the onboard pianist.
Few à la Carte Charges: Just about everything is included in the cruise fare: Gratuities; wine, beer, and soft drinks with meals; Wi-Fi that's available ship wide; and onshore activities, which include excursions (divided into "active" and "gentle" groups) and access to the fleet of bicycles.
Best Known For
Fabulous Food: AmaWaterways is a member of the exclusive culinary society Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, who have put their stamp of approval on the cuisine. Decadent European specialties are served: Sacher torte, Hungarian goulash, and house-made semmel bread (aka kaiser rolls).
Culture-Rich Itineraries: Cruises dock in ports steeped in history, like Salzburg (Mozart's birthplace and the setting for “The Sound of Music”) and the 2,000-year-old Passau, where cruisers are treated to an onboard “Oktoberfest” with Bavarian beer, live folk music, and dancing.
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Who It's Best For
A Mature Crowd: AmaReina caters to well-traveled set of couples, singles, and retirees.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Not Ideal for Children: Some youngsters come aboard during school holidays, but there’s no organized kids club or programming. Those under 18 years of age might become restless in between port calls.
It's Been Chartered: An Australian company has chartered AmaReina through 2016 — book sister ship AmaSerena for a comparable experience.
Chanize Thorpe is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides and Uptown.