Launched in 2021, AmaLucia is the 26th river cruise ship in the AmaWaterways fleet, and its 20th ship based in Europe. AmaLucia is a sister ship to AmaSiena, whose planned 2020 launch was postponed to 2021 by the global health pandemic.
Onboard, AmaLucia has the same casual, luxury atmosphere and contemporary design as the rest of AmaWaterways’ European fleet, including a spacious comfortable lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows. The onboard décor is a blend of earthy undertones and colorful pops of red and mutli-colored, striped and foral upholstery – a tasteful mix that gives it the unique but always warm, inviting personality AmaWaterways is known for.
Like all AmaWaterways ships in Europe, AmaLucia offers included beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, along with a variety of complimentary shore excursions as well as onboard bicycles that are free for passengers to use on bike tours, or to simply check out for individual exporation ashore.
As is basically standard on river ships, the top deck, or sun deck, is dedicated to lounging and scenic observation. Unlike most, however, AmaLucia has a small pool with swim-up bar incorporated into its sun deck -- a welcome addition on those hot days in Europe.
At the very bow of the ship – the prime spot for scenic cruising days – there’s a mix of comfortable couches, chairs and tables on the sun deck. Toward the stern is a variety of loungers and tables and chairs both in the sun and under a shade cover. There’s also is a giant chess board (the pieces are about as tall as a small child) and walking track.
Weather permitting, the uppermost sun deck is also the spot for most of the half dozen fitness activities hosted every day by the on-baord wellness director. Choose from yoga, pilates, stretching, even occasional line dancing classes. There’s also water aerobics most afternoons in the heated pool.
The ship's Main Lounge, located on Deck Two, is another great place for relaxing and socializing. It’s also the gathering place for every evening’s complentary “sip-and sail” happy hour and on-board briefings about the next day’s destinations and activities, as well as pre-and post dinner entertainment from the on-board pianist and occasional speciality shows and dance parties with local entertainers.
AmaLucia also boasts a small hair salon, fitness room and massage room located on Deck 1. Forward of the Reception Desk that sits atop the main staircase on Deck 3, a small gift shop sells souveniers and various sundries cruisers may need.
A majority of cabins aboard AmaLucia feature AmaWaterways’ trademark twin balconies, which offer both French and full-step out balconies in the same room.
There are also several connecting staterooms -- a rarity on most river cruise ships -- and some slightly larger twin-balcony cabins that feature couch-style armless chairs that fold out into an extra bed for children. AmaWaterways co-founder Rudi Schreiner calls them “Disney” chairs, as they are a popular feature for the family-oriented itineraries AmaWaterways sails in partnership with Adventures by Disney.
Suites aboard AmaLucia offer both step-out and French balconies along with 350 square feet of living space. Additional niceties include a larger bathroom with extra amenities and living and sleeping areas that are separated by a slatted partition wall.
There are also a few entry-level cabins on the ship's lowest deck with half-height riverview windows positioned near the ceiling. They let in a lot of daylight, and their unique vantage point makes for some interesting sightings as ducks or swans swim by (the bulk of the cabin is, technically, below the waterline).
There are also some smaller cabins on Decks 2 and 3 that have French balconies, which are floor-to-ceiling glass doors that that open up but do not have an actual outdoor partition to step onto. These rooms are still spacious and comfortable, but lack the prestige their larger, two-balconied cabins have -- but come at a decent price reduction.
All cabins feature both North American-style 120V outlets and European two-pronged outlets, along with a flat-panel television with on-demand programming, private bathroom facilities, hair dryer, wardrobe, full-length mirror, complimentary (glass) bottled water and free Wi-Fi internet access. Keep in mind with the latter that Wi-Fi access on river cruise ships can be significantly slower than on land, or even oceangoing ships, so don't expect to connect to that work Zoom call.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed in the main restaurant aboard AmaLucia. Seating is open, allowing passengers to sit with whomever they choose.
All of AmaWaterways' European ships are members of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs -- a prestigious international culinary society. Menus feature both locally-sourced cuisines as well as traditional Western offerings.
AmaLucia also offers AmaWaterways’ a complimentary, reservations-only alternate dining venue, the Chef’s Table. Set in its own dedicated room all the way aft and surrounded by panoramic windows, this is AmaWaterways’ gourmet dining experience, with set multi-course tasting menus that are paired with a selection of complimentary wines.
More casual lunch and breakfast options are also offered at tables at the very front of ship, off the main lounge, for those who prefer lighter fare.
AmaLucia, like all AmaWaterways ships, has eliminated buffets and most self-serve snacks in favor of more full-service, menu-driven selections, although pastries and coffee are served in the lounge before and after regulare breakfast service in the dining room and tapas can be ordered between meals in the lounge. “Midnight” snacks (generally starting around 10:30 p.m.) are also available in the lounge for night-owls.
And in keeping with AmaWaterways’ strong focus on friendly, personalized service, staff is always happy to track down cookies or other snacks throughout the day.
Although AmaLucia launched in 2021, the official christening was postponed until August 2022 because the ship’s godparents -- Riley and Will Farmer, the children of AmaWaterways board member Colin Farmer and his late wife Katie Textor -- weren’t yet eligible to be vaccinated. The Farmer children christened the vessel in Rudesheim on a special sailing hosted by AmaWaterways co-founders Rudi Schreiner and his wife, Kristin Karst.
AmaLucia, like its sister ship AmaSiena, sails the Rhine, between Amsterdam and Basel, Switzerland. Stops include Cologne, Rudesheim and Speyer in Germany, Strasbourg, France, and Breisach, Germany.
And, of course, one of the highlights of any Rhine cruise is the scenic sailing past the 30 castles that line the shores of the upper middle Rhine valley.
Like most river lines, AmaWaterways has over the years increasingly expanded its variety of complimentary daily excurions and now generally include both traditional city tours -- offering both gentle and regular guides -- and more experiential or active options.
In Cologne, for instance, passengers can choose between a “Holy City” walking tour, a guided bike ride through the city or a beer tasting. In Rudesheim, take a vineyard hike, do a wine tasting or the ride the open-air gondola uphill to the Niederawald Monument, which offers sweeping views of the Rhine valley.
In Speyer, guests explore Jewish historical sites or branch out to Heildelberg for a walking tour or hike around the oldest university city in Germany and home to the Heildberg castle, or take a bike tour to the Schwetzingen Palace.
In the Alsace region of France, options include walking or bike tour of the picturesque city of Strasbourg, with its monumental cathedral and historic center, which has been designated a UNESO World Heritage Site.
From Breisach, passengers can set out on a bike tour of the area’s wine region, hike in the Black Forest or visit the fairy tale-like French town of Riquewihr, with well-preserved buildings and houses that date back to Medieval times or the reconstructed Medeival town of Freiburg, Germany, in the Black Forest.
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