Best For: Moderately active travelers eager to take advantage of biking and hiking options
Not For: Cruisers seeking an abundance of onboard programming and entertainment
Bottom Line: AmaSiena displays casual elegance, with an emphasis on friendly, personalized service.
AmaWaterways is a family-owned operation, and it shows. It’s not unusual to encounter employees who have worked for the company for a decade or more. And co-founders Kristin Karst and Rudi Schreiner are frequent presences on their 25 river ships.
Both owners were onboard in August 2021 for christening festivities (delayed a year or so, thanks to COVID) of AmaSiena, which is sailing the Rhine River through year’s end. It’s a sister ship to AmaLea, AmaKristina, AmaMora, and the newest, AmaLucia, which is sailing, but won’t be officially christened until 2022.
AmaWaterways has always sought to distinguish itself with its active-excursion options. The ships carry a fleet of bikes that can be checked out for individual use or on guided tours. Shore excursions (included in the cruise fare) also include hikes and walking tours.
Like other AmaWaterways vessels, AmaSiena caters to a North American clientele. Its low-key elegance features public spaces decked out in vibrant reds and oranges. Exuberant floral patterns swirl on the carpets. Tweedy accents lend a classic touch.
Public areas are intimate but spacious. The main Lounge is dominated by a horseshoe-shaped bar at the rear, and behind that on either side are two additional gathering spots: a “library” (which curiously, lacks books, but does sport two wall-encased fireplaces) and, on the opposite side, a coffee/tea station with several bistro tables.
Tweaks in the design of both AmaSiena and AmaLucia created an additional glass-enclosed table seating area at one end of the Lounge. A bistro lunch is served there, and it’s a popular spot for cardplayers and laptop users.
Note: Though there is a wheelchair accessible suite, the ship’s elevator doesn’t reach the upper deck. Access to the pool, track and outdoor seating areas is via a short flight of outdoor stairs.
Off the Ship
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