We started our journey two days prior to our 10 night cruise on the AMAPrima by acclimating to the time change (9 hour time difference from CA) in Zurich, something we highly recommend regardless of your starting disembarkation point. Get acclimated to the time change then hit the cruise. The train from Zurich to Basel took us through the heart of Zurich to the pastoral countryside on the way to Basel which was a short one hour ride.
Upon arriving to our disembarkation point in Basel we were warmly greeted by the crew who took our luggage to be delivered on board for us to our cabin. Our cabin was located on the upper level with a balcony and french balcony. We sat outside everyday on the balcony as our preferred morning ritual that was quiet and scenic and very fun when going through the various locks. The cabin was spacious with a European Queen bed (King size bed in U.S) that was perfectly soft yet firm with great pillows for us side sleepers.
You can spend time in your room and it is perfectly acceptable, but the ship offers so much more with the sun deck, rear private dining room (open for day use and a perfect place for a game of cards. Because of the incredible weather, we spent most of our time on the front bow in the shade, or on the Sun deck (which had to close on a number of days due to low bridges and locks) or the upper deck in front of the wheel house which was an ideal spot for our cruise through the middle Rhine gorge where dozens of castles dot the hillsides
Each night we were greeted with happy hour and signature cocktails in advance of dinner and made the most of it each night with free cocktails expertly crafted by our new friend Namenia, and Sebastian who were great bartenders and hosts each night. We chose AMA because of their culinary rating above many of the competitive cruise lines, and we were not disappointed. Each night there was a Chef's Recommended Menu along with standard offerings served tableside by excellent waitstaff. When it comes to the wine and beer, you never have to ask for it because it just shows up and keeps flowing. Two days in and the staff knew our likes and dislikes and anticipated our desires. Truly a great dining experience each day. Breakfast and lunch offer similar offerings with extraordinary items and standard fare. The chef’s table dining room provides an intimate experience and not to be missed with an expert five course prix fixe menu delivered to perfection each night (same menu assures that all passengers have a chance to dine here).
Onshore excursions were expertly guided by local historians and enthusiasts who all spoke English and told insightful stories with details of history, origin and thinking of the time. The guided tours were fun, but we also chose on more than one occasion to make our own way and to experience the local color more directly. Something to note is that of all of the shore excursions there are only three that require you to bus to the tour location; Riquewihr, Strasbourg and Heidelberg. Otherwise you can walk off the ship and you are in the heart of your destination. Each day allows for some form of excursion off ship, as much of the cruising is at night.
We are already looking forward to our next cruise with AMA on the Danube. Nest time we plan to go with one or two other couples as this first trip was just my wife and me. We want to share the experiance with others.
Large European queen bed was just like our CA king and super comfy. The restroom and shower are cozy but more than adequate. Balcony was home every morning with coffe and pastries. The internet was spot on for all of our needs, but reality is we only slept and showered here. Why spend time in the cabin with so much to explore?
Travel from Basel trian station to the port was easy and only a few minutes by taxi. We arrived in the afternoon and did not tur Basel.
Great walk with our expert guide. We dined at one of the last restaurants Anthony Bourdain filmed at. Amazing!!View All 79 Le Petite France Reviews
Do not miss experiance to see the astronomical clock.View All 95 Notre Dame Cathedral Reviews
This is the first town you can wak off the ship and be immediately immersed in the local culture. We docked in front of a beautiful park that was home to a local festivaland loved the experiance, food, people, and the activities. Truely one of our favorites for the local color.
We did an active hikeing tour through the town and up to a waterfall. Very fun...
We passed by Koblenz mid day on our way up the Mosel.
We decided to self tour this location off ship since the ship was located right at the foot of the Cologne train station and nearby the cathederal (massive and a must tour). We enjoyed the town and also had a chance to catch up with our tour at a local beer hall to experiance the Kolsch beir and local foods (potatoe pancake with warm apple sauce). Wish we were here during Oktoberfest!
We did the canal cruise with AMA, but stayed for several extra days to really get into the Amsterdamn scene. If you like art...you will love the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum which are home to the dutch masters.View All 311 Canal Tour Reviews
Bus tour was insightful and gave us a great overall starting point for the town.View All 148 City Tour Reviews
As a lover of Rembrandt and the Dutch masters this is a not to miss.View All 77 Rijksmuseum Reviews
Up close and personal with Van Gogh and his contemporary artists was a great experiance.View All 65 Van Gogh Museum Reviews