• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals
You may also like
Dismiss
Just Back From a European Gems Cruise with Travelmarvel
Just Back From a European Gems Cruise with Travelmarvel
Just Back From Amadeus Star: The Austrian Line That's Making Its Mark In The U.K.
TA The Club on Amadeus Star

Just Back From Amadeus Star: The Austrian Line That's Making Its Mark In The U.K.

Just Back From Amadeus Star: The Austrian Line That's Making Its Mark In The U.K.
TA The Club on Amadeus Star

October 22, 2019

Jeannine Williamson
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

For many years Amadeus River Cruises sailed quietly under the radar compared with some of the big name river cruise lines on the scene. However, far from being a newcomer, it has a pedigree stretching back more than 30 years and is one of Europe's longest established river companies.

At one time Innsbruck-based Amadeus -- operated by the family of the same name and also marketed under the name Luftner Cruises -- mainly sold cruises to German-speakers. Amadeus has now partnered with Fred. River Cruises in the U.K. and begun marketing its European sailings in other countries.

The 164-passenger Amadeus Star, launched in spring 2019, is the 15th vessel in the fleet. So what can Brits expect from an Amadeus cruise?

Welcome Touches

With ship builds overseen by Amadeus founder Dr Wolfgang Luftner, and his wife Martina keeping a keen eye on the interior decor, the fleet's newest vessels feature some very nice touches. These range from walk-in wardrobes in every cabin, a gym, hair and massage salon, to small -- yet thoughtful -- details including a stool in front of the bathroom vanity unit, a big shelf in the shower for toiletries, plug sockets by mirrors (you'd be surprised how many lines don't think of this), and handy bowls in the cabins to store bits and bobs such as room keys.

Featured Videos

Former Cruise Ship Captain Offers "Ghost Tours" of Empty Cruise Liners in South England

Former Cruise Ship Captain Offers "Ghost Tours" of Empty Cruise Liners in South England

Adventures By Disney Seine River Cruises

Adventures By Disney Seine River Cruises

Our Favorite Things Aboard Viking Venus

Our Favorite Things Aboard Viking Venus

Regent Seven Seas Splendor Returns to the Seas

Regent Seven Seas Splendor Returns to the Seas

The Most Exciting New Ships In 2021

The Most Exciting New Ships In 2021

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

Scarlet Lady Video Ship Review (2021)

Scarlet Lady Video Ship Review (2021)

Cruise Embarkation Tips: What NOT To Do On Your First Day

Cruise Embarkation Tips: What NOT To Do On Your First Day

The outside deck is reached through a set of double doors in the lounge so passengers sitting nearby don't get caught in a windy or chilly blast depending on the weather. New to Amadeus Star is a lovely sunken wine bar in the smaller Amadeus Lounge at the back of the ship, leading to an al fresco terrace with squashy all-weather seating that's a perfect spot for a sundowner.

Fellow Passengers

If you like to sail with your fellow countrymen then Amadeus isn't for you. However, we liked the cosmopolitan onboard atmosphere with nationalities including Austrian, German, French, American, Canadian, Spanish and Japanese. With many of them speaking excellent English (much to the shame of our very limited language skills) it made from some interesting conversations as we got to know each other. Elsewhere, all announcements and information are spoken and written in English.

Dining

Unlike the majority of lines Amadeus doesn't operate an opening seating policy in the restaurant. You're allocated a table at the beginning of the cruise with other passengers of the same nationality or English speakers from other countries. In theory you could ask to be moved, but it could be uncomfortable as you're going to bump into your spurned tablemates for the rest of the sailing. However, once we got used to the concept it worked well. It saved having to walk around the dining room searching for somewhere to sit and we quickly built up a rapport with the wait staff (particularly the wine waitress!) and they quickly got to know our likes and dislikes.

Cuisine

With its international mix of passengers the food is very varied and you'd be hard pressed not to find something you like. There's an earlybird breakfast in the lounge, buffet and served breakfast in the main restaurant, light lunch in the lounge, full-on lunch in the dining room and a la carte five-course dinner. If you're still feeling peckish Amadeus holds up the tradition of a midnight snack, albeit a little earlier in the evening. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner and meals were consistently good. On same days there are themed meals and snacks served up on deck which reflect the destination, such as a meat heavy Bavarian fest (with veggie options available).

Service

All crew members speak excellent English and are very personable and attentive.

Entertainment

Instead of the usual pianist, Amadeus has a pair of resident musicians/singers and on our cruise they played a variety of instruments making for a more extensive repertoire. There's an early morning stretching class, quizzes and competitions. Amadeus sometimes has a swashbuckling pirates' night where staff and (some) passengers dress up with whatever they can cobble together.

Excursions

This is another area, akin to the seating set up at mealtimes, where Amadeus breaks the mould. Aside from some group holidays sold by tour operators, excursions are not included in the fare and passengers can sign up for a variety of "a la carte" packages -- usually a choice of three ranging from a handful of shore trips during the week to at least one, sometimes two, a day -- in advance or aboard, choosing to do as much or little as they want. Independent types can head off on the onboard bikes.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a good value, flexible and destination-rich European cruise on a stylish ship, and enjoy the company of a global crowd, then Amadeus fits the bill.

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Which Cruise Ships Will Be Scrapped Or Taken Out of Service Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
5
When Are Cruise Lines Around the World Expected To Resume Service?
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.