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AmaWaterways: AmaDagio

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AmaDagio Cruise Review

The beautiful countrysides of France and Spain are showcased on itineraries plied by the 150-passenger AmaDagio, Ama's first custom-built river cruiser. With all-inclusive pricing, expect food, staterooms, entertainment, unlimited Wi-Fi access, and guided tours in each port. About 20 bikes are also available for onshore exploring.

A leader in its niche, winning eight industry awards for Best River Cruise Line, this specialty 15-vessel cruise line has exceptional staterooms and itineraries that showcase not only Europe, but also Vietnam and Zambezi. Its Austrian founder worked with several of the other major river-cruise companies before launching his own company in 2002. Since then, AmaWaterways has introduced nine new ships in Europe: Amabella, Amacello, Amadagio, Amadante, Amadolce, Amalegra, Amalyra, Amaverde, and Amavida. In 2013, the yacht-inspired Amaprima and Amacerto join the fleet. The refurbished 212-passenger Amakatarina cruises between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

AmaWaterways’ luxury ships are among the newest of the European river cruisers operating today. Designed exclusively for the English-speaking market, the ships have staterooms equipped with flat-screen TVs and Internet, French balconies on the top two decks, elevator, whirlpool, and free bicycles for exploration ashore. Impressive public rooms use designer fabrics, chic furniture, and subtle lighting for an upscale boutique hotel atmosphere.

They operate a wide range of itineraries in Europe on the Rhine, Main, Danube, and Mosel rivers; and in Russia on the Volga, Svir, and Neva rivers. The company also offers Christmas-market cruises from late November through December. Reserve April to see tulip blossoms cruising Holland and Belgium.

  • New

Sep 22, 2013

Lyon to Arles

My family and I recently came back from our 21 Day Romantic Seine & Rhone Paris to Barcelona APT tour in June 2013 on board AmaLegro and AmaDagio. We all had a wonderful time there and I would like to use this opportunity to share my experiences and thoughts with everyone. Hopefully, people would find my article useful in their decision making and preparation for their trips with APT and/or AmaWaterways. There are 2 parts of my review: part 1

covers 3 days in Paris and 7 day on board AmaLegro, and part 2 covers 7 day on board AmaDagio and 3 days in Barcelona. This is part 2 of my review. The second part of our journey started from disembarking from AmaLegro in Paris and taking 1 day of bus ride from Paris to Lyon where our luxury river ship, AmaDiagio, awaited. It took us to a spectacular cruise from Lyon to Arles on the Rhone River, exploring the fascinating sights of Southern France. Compared to our previous experiences with AmaBella and AmaVerde travelled from Amsterdam to Budapest in 2011, AmaDagio is very similar to those ships but a few years older. There are public lounges in the front and back of the ship, free internet and Wi-Fi access, and gym. Similar to my experiences at AmaLegro, AmaDagio also offered excellent food and outstanding services by the ship crew. However, I have the same safety concern with the design of the spiral staircases to level 1 cabins. The food and shore excursions were certainly the highlights of my cruises. The quality of the food (3 meals, morning tea, and afternoon tea) was excellent and services from the restaurant and bar staff were very good. Although there were a few problems relate to non-alcoholic drink not being refilled and no pepper served in a timely manner in the beginning of the trip, the restaurant manager, Mr. Andras Rafajlovics, was able to resolve all of our concerns effectively and swiftly. He was very attentive and thoughtful in dealing with passengers’ special diet requirements, such as food allergies. Similar to on-board AmaLegro, there was no limit on the drink (included in the fee already). The cabins are well equipped and reasonably spacious. I have the same safety concern with the design of the spiral staircases to level 1 cabins. Compare to all other stairs in the ship, the tight construction of these stairs with narrow staircase width, steep gradient, and handrail on only one side, they are not easy for the elderly passengers to use. With majority of the passengers on board over the age 50, every day I saw elderly passengers struggling with these stairs. I am a much younger person and even I found the stairs gradient very challenging. I felt climbing up these stairs was like a rock climbing exercise because these stairs are just too steep. There was a wide range of onboard activities to keep everyone entertain. My favourite shore excursions along Rhone River were (1) Lyon city tour where we visited the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere and the Old Town of Lyon; (2) Beaujolais wine region; (3) attractive Roman town of Vienne where we saw the 1st century Roman Temple of Augustus and Livia; (4) Grignan and Truffle Farm (5) Avignon walking tour that took us to see the Palace of the Popes, Rocher des Doms, and the bridge of Avignon; and (6) Arles where our guide show us the amazing Roman Amphitheatre and stroll through the town’s squares and cafes bathed in the provincial light that inspired Van Gogh’s most famous works. All passengers on walking tours were accompanied by Quietvox and people could join different groups to suit their fitness level. There was daily information session every afternoon by the tour director informing everyone the details of shore excursions for the next day. We have a different tour director on board AmaDagio from AmaLegro. Every day when we left the ship for shore excursion, Captain Louis Devaux and Hotel Manager Mr. Luis De Sousa Marques would always standing by the ship exit to say good bye to us then greeted us again when we came back from the shore excursion. I was impressed with this old school French hospitality. If you are planning to participate in Vivers “Ghost Walk” in the evening, then please make sure that you take a torch with you from the ship reception before you leave. Although you would be accompanied by tour guides, there was limited lighting in some part of the journey. I almost tripped over on the stairs on the way down from a castle because I couldn’t see the missing tile from one of the steps as there was no light shining over the stairs. I filed a formal complaint to APT after the tour to raise my concerns. APT addressed my concern about the evening tour swiftly by immediately issuing a memo to all tour directors and ships that they must provide torch to passengers for all night tours. APT was initially skeptical to my concern about the level 1 stairs and told me that these staircases comply with European safety standards, and since nobody ever complaint about the stairs and have been no accidents recorded, then it must be an isolated problem. So I had no choice but to liaise with other level 1 passengers and encourage them to contact APT and tell APT what they thought about level 1 stairs. In the end, APT agreed to pass on my suggestions regarding a second handrail to AmaWaterways for future consideration, and APT would encourage anyone who has disclosed their mobility concerns to book cabins on level 2 or 3 in the future. Overall, we had a lovely time in Barcelona and on board AmaDagio. It could have been perfect holiday for us if it wasn’t for the dangerous stairs. We do not hold any grudge or vendetta against APT or AmaWaterways, but we want to share our experiences with people who are considering taking the European river cruise with APT / AmaWaterways, so people would be much better prepared than us. Personally, I am disappointed with APT / AmaWaterways for not accepting my suggestions of proactively showing photos of spiral staircases to level 1 cabins to customers who are considering booking level 1 cabins as that would help customers to do an accurate risk assessment and make an informed decision. I wonder if such conduct might be counted as “misleading or deceptive conduct” under “Australian Consumer Law” because the law requires a business to tell a customer all relevant details about a product or service, e.g. a complete story. A business is legally required to ensure that the overall impression conveyed is complete and accurate taking into account all illustrations.

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  • New

Jan 13, 2010

Christmas Time Cruis

This was our first cruise with AMA Waterways and it was an enlightening experience. Everything, from the cabins, to the service, to the meals, to the sightseeing and the on-board entertainment, just surpassed our expectations. In fact, we liked our cruise so much that we have been on two more cruises with AMA Waterways and are looking to book again for the fall of 2010. We found an on-line booking agency, which offers the cruises at very competitive

prices. So we got it all, a memorable river cruise experience at a fantastic price. Cabin rooms were spacious and well designed, comparable to Ocean cruises. Showers were very good. Christmas time in Europe and especially in the area between Budapest and Prague is flavored with a certain magic, which is enhanced by the numerous Christmas Markets. The smell of ginger bread, the crisp air and the special Christmas punch to get warmed up after browsing and shopping the various outlets. Every morning AMA offered a sightseeing tour and afternoons were usually free to explore on your own the numerous Christmas markets - there are at least 15+ major ones in Vienna alone. I liked the one in Nueremberg the best. This is a truly memorable cruise if you can bear some cold weather.

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