(1:20 p.m. EDT) -- In a continent with no shortage of massive rivers, AmaWaterways chose the Magdalena River to introduce its first-ever South America product and become the first cruise line to sail Colombia's largest waterway.
Starting in 2024, the cruise line will debut two new ships -- AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia -- to sail 7-night itineraries along the Magdalena. Considered Colombia's Mississippi River, the Magdalena River stretches for almost 1,000 miles from the country's Andean region to the Atlantic coast.
“After visiting and falling in love with this region, we are so excited to now offer our guests the opportunity to discover Colombia’s vibrant culture, unique traditions and natural beauty,” said Rudi Schreiner, co-founder and president of AmaWaterways. “We are absolutely thrilled to have two beautiful ships joining our growing fleet of 26 award-winning river cruise ships and share details on the new itineraries cruising between Cartagena and Barranquilla along the Magdalena River.”
AmaMagdalena will debut on March 30th, 2024. The 223-foot-long ship will feature 30 staterooms and a maximum capacity for 60 guests. Sister ship AmaMelodia is scheduled to begin sailing on June 19th, 2024 and will have capacity for 64 guests.
Both vessels will have accommodations ranging from 237 to 516 sq. ft., featuring AmaWaterways' signature twin balcony design. Amenities will include a deck pool, fitness room and main restaurant that will serve regionally-inspired Latin American cuisine and Western favorites.
“Everything, from the design of our two stunning ships to the immersive curated itineraries, reflects our pioneering spirit and mission to provide our guests with top-of-the-line accommodations, warm and welcoming services, locally inspired cuisine and enriching experiences engaging with local communities along this fascinating river,” said Kristin Karst, co-founder and executive vice president of AmaWaterways
AmaWaterways also announced that it will offer two itineraries along the Magdalena River, called Magic of Colombia and Wonders of Colombia. Both itineraries will sail between Cartagena and Barranquilla and will last seven nights.
Highlights of each itinerary include visits to the colonial city of Santa Cruz de Mompox, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995; a special Carnaval celebration in Barranquilla; birdwatching tours; and calls in San Basilio de Palenque, considered the first 'free town' in the Americas founded by former slaves and home to the only Spanish-based creole language in Latin America.
Prices for AmaWaterways' seven-night Magdalena River cruises start at $3,599 per person based on double occupancy.
AmaWaterways is also offering a series of pre- and post-cruise land programs in Colombia and neighboring Panama.
The optional pre-cruise land package includes a 3-night stay in Medellín, Colombia's second-largest city, and a 2-night stay in the colonial city of Cartagena. The post-cruise land program consists of a 3-night visit to Panama, where passengers can explore the capital city, the Panama Canal and Chagres National Park.