Overall Editor Rating
Dana Rebmann April 21, 2023

Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Cruise StyleRiver
Ship SizeSmall
Prince Range$$$
Sails To


Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sails From


Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration8 days

The family-owned and operated river cruise line was the first river cruise company to carry bicycles onboard its ship and has worked hard to stand out among its competitors. To wit: A majority of AmaLucia’s staterooms boast a custom twin-balcony design, offering both French and outside balconies, and cabins come with stellar river views. While other river cruise lines seem less interested in welcoming families, this ship offers connecting cabins, and staterooms with triple and quad occupancy.Read More

Cruisers seeking out environmentally responsible travel experiences will appreciate efforts to cut down on single-use plastic during sailings: plastic straws have been replaced with paper ones, toiletries are provided in refillable containers, and staterooms are stocked with glass water bottles instead of plastic ones, though boxed water is provided for on shore excursions. All 20 of AmaWaterways’ European river cruise ships have earned the Green Award certification for their quality, safety and environmental performance.


Along with hiking and biking excursions, most stops include walking tours that are split into active, regular, and gentle groups, allowing guests to select the desired intensity of their outing
A dedicated Wellness Host leads a variety of daily programing including Pilates, yoga, stretching, water aerobics, and walks on the sundeck
All of AmaWaterways’ new river ships, including AmaLucia, are designed with a low draft, (the distance from the waterline to the lowest point of the ship) allowing them to navigate lower water levels
Tours tend to be history-focused, which may not suit those with other interests
There are limited opportunities to dine outside, and room service is not a standard offering
WiFi can be limited when sailing through select areas; best connections are typically found in port

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating

All cabins face the outside and most boast twin balconies: one with an outside space large enough for a small table and two chairs, and a second French balcony that opens to a railing (though there’s no room to stand outside). Staterooms feature a king or twin bed configuration, a sitting area, refrigerator, closet, in-room safe, and individually controlled air-conditioning. Marble bathrooms feature rainfall and handheld shower wands, and toiletries in large refillable bottles. Televisions offer a variety of entertainment on demand, including English language television, movies, music, and pre-recorded cruise manager talks on ports visited during the sailing. Select cabins offer triple and quad occupancy; connecting staterooms are available.

Less than a handful of suites with beds looking out at the river are available. Along with providing more living space, suites feature bathrooms with double sinks, a shower and bathtub.

Wheelchair accessibility is limited on AmaLucia. Staterooms cannot accommodate wheelchairs, and the ramps used for getting on and off the ship are not wide or flat. The ship’s elevator reaches the Main Restaurant, Lobby and Lounge, as well as staterooms on the Violin, Cello and Piano Deck. Steps are required to reach the Sun Deck.

Depending on the ship’s itinerary, on shore visits may prove challenging for those using wheelchairs or with limited mobility.

Food & Drink

Editor Rating

There are three dining options on AmaLucia: the Main Restaurant, The Chef’s Table, and the Bistro. There is no additional fee to dine at any of the restaurants; all are included in the cruise fare.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the Main Restaurant is where passengers typically enjoy a majority of their meals. At breakfast expect favorites including Eggs Benedict, waffles, and oatmeal, along with a daily smoothie breakfast bowl. There is a small buffet with fresh fruit, breads, pastries, and muesli, but a vast majority of food is plated and served by dining room wait staff. Lunch and dinner menus incorporate regional favorites like Coq au Vin and flammkuchen when in France, and bratwurst, sauerkraut, and pretzels when in Germany. Popular choices including steak, grilled chicken breast, salmon, and a classic Caesar salad, are always available on the dinner menu.

The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant offers a more intimate dinner experience with a set multi-course tasting menu. Dishes on previous sailings have included king fish sashimi, coconut laksa soup, and Argentinian beef tenderloin. Reservations are required and can be made while aboard the ship.

The Bistro offers the most casual dining experience on AmaLucia, serving a limited breakfast and lunch menu in the sunlight filled front of the ship, steps from the Lounge.

Lunch and dinner service include wine, beer, and soft drinks. Vegetarian options are always available, and dietary restrictions are accommodated.

In addition to the trio of seated dining options, the Lounge offers an all-day tapas menu and a late-night snack buffet every evening at 10:30 p.m.

AmaLucia’s solo bar is located in the Main Lounge. The cocktail menu includes classic cocktails, aperitifs, beer, wine, non-alcoholic cocktails, and soft drinks. Complimentary, self-serve water and unsweetened ice tea are always available. Steps from the bar, a 24-hour high-tech coffee machine whips up a half-dozen coffee drinks; an assortment of hot teas and hot chocolate is also available for no charge.


Editor Rating

In addition to an onboard pianist that performs in the Lounge throughout the day, there is a resident performer/DJ that provides after dinner entertainment, including the occasional evening dance party on the Sun Deck. Local musicians come on board select nights during sailings to perform classical music and dance selections for an hour or two after dinner. A small selection of board games, decks of playing cards, and books are available in a sitting area off of the lounge.

Castle day – when the ship passes through the castle studded Rhine Gorge – is a highlight of the journey. Commentary on the dozens of castles (and the legends that surround them) is provided by the cruise manager.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

A dedicated Wellness Host offers a plethora of daily classes ranging from yoga and core strengthening, to resistance band workouts and aqua aerobics in a small pool on the Sun Deck. The fitness center is small, but modern. In addition to a pair of stationary bikes and a treadmill, guests wanting to keep up with their fitness regimen will find free weights, yoga mats, and a compact, but multi-function piece of TechnoGym strength training equipment.

For those in search of onboard pampering, the spa offers a handful of massage options to unwind after a day of exploring onshore. There is also a small hair salon that provides styling services and haircuts.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

AmaWaterways only welcomes fully vaccinated cruisers; guests must follow the requirements of the countries they will enter during the sailing. (Guests can use this link to check requirements of each country they will be visiting.) There is no doctor onboard, but medical services are easily arranged on shore if necessary.

Dress Code

Breakfast and lunch are casual. In the evening, “casually elegant” attire is recommended. It’s common to see women in dresses, pants and blouses, and men in trousers and a collared shirt. (No need for a tie or jacket.) There are no formal nights, however some guests pack something a bit fancier for the Farewell Gala Dinner.

Junior Cruisers

Guests are generally adult, but families are becoming a more common sight. Minors must be 4 years old to sail with AmaWaterways in Europe, however ages 8 and up is recommended. There is no special programming or restaurant menus for kids. However, due to a unique partnership with Adventures by Disney, family-oriented river cruises are offered on select dates throughout the year.


Service aboard AmaLucia is formal but not stuffy; staff are attentive, genuinely friendly, and have a good sense of both when their help is needed, and when it’s not. When guests ask for something, the crew strives to make it happen.


Gratuities are left to guests’ discretion. General guidelines provided by AmaWaterways recommends   $102 (€100) per guest for a 7-night cruise, to be divided equally amongst all crew members, and an additional $25 (€25) for the ship’s cruise manager. Tips can be charged on a credit card or given in cash using boxes placed at reception toward the end of the sailing.


Entered Service
Number of Cabins
Passenger Capacity
Crew Members
Passengers to Crew Ratio
Gross Tons
38 feet
443 feet

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