AmaReina, a nearly identical sister ship to AmaPrima, AmaCerto, AmaBella and AmaVerde, spends its entire season sailing for Australia-based APT. Short for Australian Pacific Touring, the Melbourne company, founded in 1927, owns part of AmaWaterways.
Part of the line's Concerto class of ships, AmaReina has one new twist to it that the others don't: a casual all-day eatery for those looking for a change from formal dining room meals (or ultra-light casual buffets in the lounge).
Unique to AmaReina and its Concerto-class siblings, the majority of staterooms feature double-balcony configurations. One side is a French verandah, with floor-to-ceiling doors that open wide, and the other is an actual balcony, with comfortable chairs. Notable, too: These spacious staterooms aren't limited to a lucky few. On the top two cabin decks, they're plentiful.
Other delightful features on AmaReina make it a welcoming ship. On the sun deck, a splash pool (with swim-up bar) and deep, comfy wicker-like sofas are popular gathering spots. The small gym is well stocked with state-of-the-art equipment.
It's important to note, though, that the ship's gorgeous decor and creature comforts are a backdrop to the experience you'll have on land. APT features a nice range of possibilities in each port (most of which are complimentary), targeting a variety of travel styles. Highlights are the themed experiences geared toward interests like art, and food and wine, as well as recreational cycling expeditions.
AmaReina has also seen the addition of several special tour options. These include a private performance by members of Vienna's Mozart Boys Choir at the gorgeous City Palace, the official winter residence of Liechtenstein's royal family, and a personally guided tour of Burg Namedy, a gorgeous, restored castle. There's also a fun day trip from Linz to Salzburg aboard the Majestic Imperator, a gorgeous restored steam train.
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APT offers terrific value-for-money extras on its cruises, including free and unlimited Wi-Fi (with an unusually fast connection for a cruise ship) and complimentary liquor and other beverages. Gratuities are included in all cruise fares.
The crew on AmaReina rounded out our superb cruise experience. Warm, efficient and personable, the staff set the tone on the first night onboard, when a couple, arriving well after mealtime, asked the bartender if there were snacks available. Instead, she went down to the kitchen and assembled a full meal for the weary travelers. Now that's service.
APT generally appeals to well-travelled, 50-and-older passengers with a strong interest in culinary arts and active exploration. Geographically, passengers are strongly drawn from Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
Day and night, the prevailing dress code is country club casual, except for the once-a-cruise Captain's Dinner, when male passengers wear jackets and women glam up in cocktail garb.