I recently spoke to Rudi Schreiner, President and Co-Founder of AmaWaterways. A trained architect and a native of Vienna, Rudi is a travel industry pioneer, having introduced the concept of modern-day River cruising to the market in 1994. Since that time, he has propelled his fleet to its current award-winning status, earning accolades from media, travel consultants and satisfied passengers all around the world. (Note: After the interview, there’s a listing of current AmaWaterways specials.)
What makes AmaWaterways different from other river cruise lines?
Our custom-designed ships, impeccable service, deluxe amenities, great food and well-planned itineraries provide exceptional trips no one else can match. In our 10-year history, we have earned many prestigious awards and a reputation for being the best at what we do. We were the first river cruise line to offer Twin Balcony staterooms, complimentary Internet and Wi-Fi access, and complimentary bicycles for guests to take ashore and enjoy.
People come to us in search of a different kind of vacation, something more authentic, meaningful, and luxurious. We want our guests to go beyond simply visiting a destination – we want them to experience it. Our many years in the travel industry have enabled us to design itineraries that make the most of each country’s scenery, history and culture. We help create wonderful memories for people.
Talk some more about the food and entertainment. What can people expect?
People rave about our food and our award-winning team of chefs. We are the only river cruise line inducted into La Cha├«ne des R├┤tisseurs, one of the world’s most prestigious culinary organizations, and all of our ships in Europe are members. We offer champagne breakfasts, lavish lunch buffets, afternoon tea service, and multi-course dinners with free-flowing wine and beer, all complimentary.
We have an eclectic schedule of onboard entertainment every evening. We also have a convenient and complimentary “Infotainment” system in every stateroom in Europe, with high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi access; a wide selection of new movies, classic films, travel videos, and various English-language news, sports, satellite TV and music channels.
Give us some details about your small group shore excursions.
In my opinion, there is no better introduction to European culture and heritage than an in-depth tour with a knowledgeable local guide. On our Seine cruise, guests can visit Ch├óteau Malmaison, former home to Napoleon and his wife Josephine. There’s an “Artists’ Walk” that follows in the footsteps of the Impressionists, an excursion to Van Gogh’s gravesite, and a guided tour of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. There’s something for everyone and all for no extra charge.
You mentioned bicycles?
Yes. Bicycle riding is enormously popular in Europe and many of its rivers are lined with scenic pathways. We offer complimentary bicycles and safety helmets for our guests to use and enjoy, either on their own or with a local guide. It’s a fun way to experience Europe from a whole different perspective.
What about your “Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights” program?
That’s a new offering this year and everyone’s really excited about it. “Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights” are special food-themed shore excursions that provide guests with an up-close, hands-on experience. They can learn about regional specialties at a French cooking school or visit specialty shops to sample Normandy’s famous cider, apple brandy, and artisanal cheeses.
Describe some of your newest itineraries.
Our inaugural cruises down the Seine in France are truly something special. Whether it’s Monet’s magnificent water gardens and Normandy’s rural charm, there is much to be discovered in these beautiful and often overlooked corners of Western Europe.
he Seine cruise visits Paris and Normandy?
It starts in the City of Lights, where the Seine and its romantic bridges and riverside walkways have inspired artists, writers, and musicians for centuries. The river flows west through Normandy’s lovely countryside, with its cows and orchards and monasteries and ch├óteaux, one of the most memorable routes in all of France. We visit Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny; Honfleur, a charming French harbor town beloved by artists; and Les Andelys, home to the impressive Ch├óteau Gaillard. Other highlights include the historic city of Rouen, known for its Gothic cathedral (and where Joan of Arc was martyred), and there’s an unforgettable excursion to World War II’s Normandy beaches.
What about the ships, what are they like?
When it comes to river cruising, the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. All of our European ships feature elegant lounges and other public spaces where guests can enjoy unforgettable views of castles, fortresses, and steep hillside vineyards. The wrap-around scenery is just spectacular.
Our guests are surrounded by luxury from the moment they step aboard. The AmaLegro was designed for maximum comfort and enjoyment, and provides more elbow room than any other rivercruise line. The ship has a salon and spa, lively bar areas, stylish restaurants and an inviting lounge. Health and fitness buffs can take advantage of our Sun Deck walking track, sauna, swimming pool, whirlpool and fitness room.
The AmaLegro in France features French Balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors so guests can enjoy sunshine and stunning river views in complete privacy. Staterooms are a generous 170 square feet. For a bit more room, guests can reserve one of our 255 square foot suites. Suites come with a sitting area, ample closet space, and a large bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower and separate tub. All staterooms and suites come with high-end amenities, flat-panel TVs and in-room Internet.
SAVE $2,000 PER STATEROOM ON PARIS & NORMANDY CRUISE
7-night cruise starting from $1499 per person
SOLO TRAVELERS’ SPECIAL
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT WAIVED ON CRUISE & LAND
7-night cruise starting from $2,499 per stateroom
This offer applies to Paris & Normandy cruises and is also applicable to select
Wine Cruises on the Seine River: Paris & The Sparkling Seine
Cruise the Seine River aboard the beautiful AmaLegro, a custom-designed vessel that sets a new standard for European river cruising. Journey from Paris through the heart of Normandy, exploring the beautiful countryside that inspired famous painters such as Monet and Van Gogh. Visit Giverny, Rouen, Les Andelys, and World War II’s Normandy Beaches before returning to the “City of Lights.”
Book Now – Limited Time Offer!
For reservations, please call your travel agent
or AmaWaterways at 800-626-0126
Terms & Conditions:
All prices listed are in U.S. dollars per person, discount is already applied. Offers are valid on new cruise bookings only made by July 31, 2012. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions or discounts except Early Booking Discount and Privilege Program benefits. Rates may vary per departure date. $2,000 Savings is per stateroom, based on double occupancy only! Single occupancy staterooms receive waived single supplement on the cruise and the land portion of the itinerary and is not combinable with any other promotions or monetary discount except Early Booking Discount or Privilege Program benefits. 5% early booking discount is valid until 7/31/2012 and applies to the cruise only portion of the fare. The Privilege Program is AmaWaterways’ loyalty program; past passengers receive an additional $100 discount per person. Availability is limited on these cruises, capacity controlled and subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Some restrictions may apply. AmaWaterways is registered as a seller of travel in the State of California. CST#2065452-40