By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
AmaWaterways has carved out a niche for itself in the river cruise arena with its emphasis on wine and food amid comfortably stylish surrounds.
The majority of AmaVerde's staterooms (along with those found on AmaBella and near-sisters AmaCerto and AmaPrima) feature double-balcony configurations. One side is a French verandah, with floor-to-ceiling doors that open wide, and the other is an actual balcony, with comfortable chairs. Notable, too: These spacious staterooms aren't limited to a lucky few. On the top two cabin decks, they're plentiful.
Other delightful features on AmaVerde make it such a welcoming ship. On the sun deck, a splash pool (with swim-up bar) and deep, comfy wicker-like sofas are popular gathering spots. The small gym is well stocked with state-of-the-art equipment, and the sprawling lounge features a library nook with a faux fireplace.
It's important to note, though, that the ship's gorgeous decor and creature comforts are a backdrop to the experience you'll have on land. AmaWaterways features a nice range of possibilities in each port (most of which come in the complimentary category) that target a variety of travel styles. Highlights include standard tours; themed experiences geared toward interests in areas like art, food and wine; and recreationally oriented expeditions on bicycles. (Two dozen of them are stored onboard, and they're free for passengers to use in port.)
AmaWaterways offers terrific value-for-money extras on its cruises; these include free and unlimited Wi-Fi (with an unusually fast connection for a cruise ship) and complimentary beer, wine and soda at lunch and dinner.
Rounding out a superb cruise experience, the crew on AmaVerde are outstanding. Warm, efficient and personable, the tone was set for us on the first night onboard, when a couple, having traveled all day, arrived well after mealtime. They plaintively asked the bartender if there were snacks available. Instead, she went down to the kitchen and assembled them a full meal.
AmaVerde Fellow Passengers
AmaWaterways generally appeals to well-traveled, 50-plus passengers with a strong interest in culinary arts and active exploration. Geographically, passengers are strongly drawn from North America, but the cruise line attracts a solid representation from the U.K. and Australia, where its partner, APT Touring, also markets the line.
AmaVerde Dress Code
Day and night, the prevailing dress code is country club casual, except for the once-a-cruise Captain's Dinner, when male passengers don jackets and ties and women wear cocktail garb.
Recommended gratuity is 3 euros per passenger, per day, for the ship's cruise manager and 12 euros per passenger, per day, for the crew. This can be paid with cash or credit card. It's good form to tip tour guides 1 to 2 euros for half-day tours and 5 euros or more for full-day outings.
October 2013 journey boomer
First river cruise with APT. The cruise embarkation was well handled from the hotel to ship. Welcome and cabin allocation all ok. First night cruising the Danube just wonderful, however that was the best part overall. Unfortunately the vessel had ...continue
We booked the 15 day Magnificent Europe itinerary from Budapest to Amsterdam and travelled the last week in October and the first week in November. Our pricing included flights from the UK, transfers, port charges, gratuities, all shore excursions ...continue
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We booked the 'Magnificent Europe' Cruise as part of a 6 week holiday. Amaverde is used by APT Cruises, in conjunction with AMA Waterways, for the Australian market. Most of our sailing companions were Aussies, with a sprinkling of Kiwis.