Tuesday, August 25, 2009

River Cruising: a great way to see Europe

A cruise through Germany’s Mosel and Main rivers is like taking a step back in time: rolling hills and steep vineyards that cascade along the horizon. Castles perched high above, with the sound of cathedral bells ringing in the town square. All this viewed from the AMA Waterways ms Amalyra ship, which I personally cruised on June 29, 2009 from Trier to Nuremburg, Germany. Everything on this ship impressed me: great service, large and comfortable staterooms, internet service in every room, and a smiling, helpful crew on board.

River cruising is quite different from ocean cruising with the major cruise lines. Calm seas, proximal shores and lower ship capacity (maximum 148 persons) all make for a more intimate cruising experience. Although you won’t find a wave pool or a Broadway style theater on board, you will enjoy five-star cuisine along with a cheerful and attentive staff endeavoring to meet your almost every need. In fact, on our particular ship there were just 105 guests aboard. This was a great number both in terms of access to the dining and lounge areas as well as offering the opportunity to get to know one another better while onboard.

Shore excursions are included with AMA Waterways, so you can choose to do as many of the offered tours as you like, or simply sit back and relax in the air-conditioned comfort of your stateroom or lounge. One benefit of small ship cruising is that the boat docks right in town, so disembarkation takes only a few moments and the tour guides can wait alongside the ship. This was a great plus in cities such as Mainz and Frankfurt, where we were within walking distance to attractions such as the Gutenberg and Goethe Museum. The local guides are enthusiastic and quite knowledgeable about their areas of expertise, shedding light on the lesser-known aspects of a particular region. This made for an “insiders” tour experience and greatly added to the enjoyment of the cruise.

If you’re looking for a different way to see Europe, consider an AMA Waterways cruise!

Contact a Professional Travel Agent to get started booking your next cruise!

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