(5:10 p.m. EDT) -- One of AmaWaterways' biggest milestone moments took place this week as the new super-sized river ship, AmaMagna, set sail on its first-ever revenue cruise.
The 196-passenger vessel is twice as wide as the average European river ship, allowing for more expansive space and larger suites, which range from 335 to 710 square feet and come with full balconies.
Other innovative features include a water sports platform, a cinema, a large wellness studio, multiple dining venues, a juice bar and a pop-up Sun Deck bar. All spaces are easily accessible via an elevator serving all four decks -- a rarity in the industry.
Also exclusive to AmaMagna is a concierge golf program, through which passengers can play four top-level courses in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany.
"Dreams are fueled by an individual's passion but usually accomplished through the creativity and hard work of many,” said AmaWaterways' president and co-founder, Rudi Schreiner. "This ship represents a labor of love for so many people who contributed groundbreaking ideas, as well as a lot of hard work that was done by the team to bring my dream project to reality."
Passengers on the inaugural sailing -- which departed on May 5 from Vilshofen, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary -- were welcomed with an exclusive Oktoberfest event hosted by AmaMagna's Captain Jan de Bruijn and other crewmembers.
TV personality Samantha Brown will serve as AmaMagna's godmother and christen the ship at a ceremony in July 2019. (See what she had to say about her new role in a recent interview with Cruise Critic.)
Beyond AmaMagna, AmaWaterways will continue to grow with the launch of two new ships, one in late 2019 and another in 2020.