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Ama Waterways Review 2024

Ama Waterways is a family-owned luxury river cruise operator that offers a wide variety of itineraries at destinations throughout the world including Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. “Ama” means “love,” and they pride themselves on delivering excellent service to passengers.

Ama Waterways reviews are mostly positive, with passengers especially praising the staff onboard the ships as well as the excursions. However, some customers report difficulties when dealing with the corporate office over trip-related issues. The Ama Waterways TripAdvisor rating is 4.

Ama Waterways Review: Ships

AmaWaterways has 28 ships currently, with one coming soon. There are 22 in Europe, 1 in Asia, 1 in Africa, 2 in Egypt, and 2 in Latin America. Ships are spacious with comfortable public areas and hold an average of 156 passengers.

Ships range in size and amenities. For example, the AmaWaterways European flagship, AmaMagna, holds 196 passengers and features four restaurants; a sun deck with pickleball court, pool, and whirlpool; a state-of-the-art fitness center with massage rooms; a juice bar; a hair salon; a nail salon; and mostly suites that range between 355-710 square feet with full balconies.

Ama Waterways Review: Itineraries and Excursions

Ama Waterways itineraries include river cruises in Europe, Vietnam, Cambodia, Colombia, and Egypt, plus Africa (with a land safari add-on). Rivers include the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Seine, Dordogne, Douro, Mekong, Nile, and Chobe. Cruises generally last between 7 and 14 nights.

While some cruises are just in one country, others pass through multiple countries in one trip. A unique offering from AmaWaterways is its combination of river tours and safaris in the beautiful national parks in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

AmaWaterways is also now the first river cruise company to offer tours of the Magdalena River in Colombia

You can choose from themed itineraries like wine cruises, golf cruises, and Christmas market cruises as well. They offer a personalized approach to itineraries, which the captain can adjust to provide the best possible experience for the passengers.

Land packages can be added to the beginning and/or end of most cruises, so you can extend your trip. AmaWaterways can handle your hotel arrangements and can also book your flights.

At each stop, complimentary excursions led by expert guides give passengers the chance to explore the local area and learn about its history and culture. You can often choose from several types of excursions, including special interest tours, active options, and gentle options. Late start tours are also available for those who want to sleep in. Some additional tours are offered at an extra cost.

You can choose to set off on your own in many instances, and bikes are available on European river cruises to help you explore.

Reviews of Amawaterways cruises are mostly positive about the excursions, mentioning the expert tour guides and interesting activities.

Some AmaWaterways cruises are suitable for families, but childcare isn’t available onboard the ships and most activities aren’t aimed at younger kids. If you’re traveling with children, consider bringing something to keep them occupied. 

Ama Waterways Review: Staterooms

You’ll find a variety of staterooms and suites onboard Ama Waterways ships, all of them spacious and offering river views. Suites have more luxurious features, including double balconies, larger sitting areas, and marble bathrooms with full-size tubs and multi-jet showers. All staterooms are open concept, and all bathrooms come with complimentary high-end products.

Rooms tend to range between 160 to 700 square feet. The double balconies are a unique offering, featuring a French balcony as well as a full outside balcony side by side for excellent views and plenty of light. Solo travelers will appreciate comfortable cabins that are designed for them and are smaller but still spacious.

Staterooms also come with complimentary WiFi and On-Demand entertainment as well as air conditioning, luxe linens, and a minifridge.

Ama Waterways Review: Amenities

While many people focus on the excursions a river cruise provides, AmaWaterways also offers great onboard amenities such as a fitness center, a spa, and a salon. Most ships have a heated swimming pool and some have a whirlpool. You’ll also find sundecks, bars and lounges.

Entertainment onboard includes programs about the region you’re traveling through, with lectures, talks, cooking demonstrations, musical and dance performances, and theme dinners, as well as occasional live music in the evenings.

Ama Waterways Review: Dress Code

The AmaWaterways dress code is pretty relaxed, with guidelines rather than specific requirements. These vary depending on the location of the cruise. In Europe, they suggest comfortable clothes that you can layer to adjust for different temperatures; “casually elegant” outfits for dinner; something dressy for the Captain’s night/Farewell Dinner; comfortable walking shoes for excursions; and workout clothes if you plan to take advantage of the onboard fitness center.

In Asia, they recommend cool clothing suitable for hot weather, including lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect from sun and bug bites, as well as a sun hat, raingear, comfortable walking shoes that can get wet and muddy, and “casually elegant” clothing for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners.

The Africa cruise and land safari recommendations are similar to Asia: breathable clothing for high temperatures and sun/bug protection plus sun hat and sturdy walking shoes. If cruising during the winter, they suggest some warmer clothes that you can layer for cold temperatures at night and early in the morning.

Nile River cruises have similar lightweight clothing recommendations as well, with the addition of scarves, veils, or shawls for women to wear when visiting mosques and temples (and collared shirts and pants for men).

Ama Waterways Review: Dining and Drinks

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in your fare onboard AmaWaterways, and all meals are served a la carte with table service. There are also chef’s stations for some items, including their breakfast bowls. With no assigned seating, guests are free to sit wherever they choose. Some ships have multiple a la carte restaurants.

In addition, the Chef’s Table is a specialty restaurant where one meal per cruise is included in the price. Reservations are accepted here, but not at the other restaurant(s).

AmaWaterways takes pride in the quality of their award-wining cuisine, which includes specialties from the areas the cruise travels through as well as some Western dishes,  Amawaterways food reviews are mostly glowing, with passengers calling the food delicious, although some have been disappointed with their meals.

Unlimited beer and wine is included at both lunch and dinner, as are soft drinks.

There is also a Sip and Sail cocktail hour that includes drinks. Otherwise, alcohol (including premium liquors and wines) is extra. Coffee, tea, and water are available around the clock.

While there isn’t a strict dress code for the restaurants, most passengers wear “casually elegant” clothing for dinner.

Ama Waterways Review: Cost

The cost of an Ama Waterways cruise varies widely depending on the itinerary you choose, the length of the trip, the time of year you travel, and the level of cabin you select. Costs generally range from $1500 to more than $5000 per person, with the majority of cruises being around $3000.

Are AmaWaterways cruises all inclusive?

Yes, AmaWaterways cruises are all-inclusive, with your fare covering all meals plus some beverages; excursions; bicycles to use on land (Europe only); WiFi; and onboard programs.

Is alcohol included on AmaWaterways cruises?

The answer is yes and no. Some alcohol is included on AmaWaterways cruises: you get complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner, but any premium liquor or drinks outside of those mealtimes is extra. Nonalcoholic beverages such as coffee and tea are complimentary all day. As noted above, passengers are able to bring their own alcohol onboard if they wish.

What is the average age on AmaWaterways?

The average age of passengers on AmaWaterways ships is early 60s; most are retired or semi-retired couples, but there can also be younger couples, families, and solo travelers depending on the time of year and the itinerary.

Now that you’ve read our Ama Waterways review, what do you think? Does it sound like the right river cruise provider for you? If you’re not sure, we suggest talking with a river cruise advisor who can help you select the perfect one.

You can also check out our other articles including 10 Best European River Cruises, Avalon vs. AmaWaterways, Viking vs. AmaWaterways, and Uniworld vs. AmaWaterways.

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