The trilevel, 164-passenger AmaSerena launched in 2015 and cruises along Europe’s Danube, Main, and Rhine rivers, starting from Budapest and docking in historic cities like Vienna and Linz. There are plenty of chairs on the top deck for soaking in the sun and the view, plus the petite swim-up bar/pool helps you cool off after guided walking and biking excursions in Melk, Austria, or Vilshofen, Germany. The top-deck eatery is a Chef’s Table, with reservations (and fancier dress) recommended. Atmosphere in the main dining room is more casual, but tables go fast.
What We Love
Food Is a Focus: The ship's two restaurants belong to the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseurs society and serve authentic European specialties all day: breakfasts of handmade semmel bread, afternoon tea with Black Forest cake, and Hungarian sauerkraut soup at dinner. Plus, lunch and dinner include bottomless glasses of wine, beer, and soft drinks.
The Serene Scene: The cruise director holds talks about upcoming locks and stops along the river. There’s some onboard entertainment (an evening pianist takes requests), plus books and games. If you seek peace and quiet, it’s here.
Best Known For
Picturesque Ports: You’ll visit places like Passau, a lovely Bavarian town where some locals dress in traditional dirndl frocks and lederhosen.
Excursions for Everyone: Activities are included and appeal to different tastes and tracks. A guided walk in Bratislava is divided into “gentle” and “active.” Those wishing to sleep in can sign up for afternoon and evening outings to castles, wineries, and operas.
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Who It's Best For
The Seasoned Set: AmaSerena is best for mature couples and singles looking to relax and enjoy the scenery.
The International Crowd: You’ll board the ship in Europe, with other passengers from near and far. The conversations about other cultures are fascinating.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Wi-Fi Works (Mostly) Well: Complimentary Wi-Fi is shipwide (your in-room television doubles as a computer), though poolside reception is spotty.
Kids Could Be Bored: Children are welcome, but there aren't dedicated programs or facilities for kids under 18.
Chanize Thorpe is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides and Uptown.