• David Natale

10 Reasons Ocean Cruisers Will LOVE an AmaWaterways River Cruise

A Classic RiverCruiseKing.com Blog re-post from 2021

Dave Shares the BEST Reasons Why Ocean Cruisers Will Love River Cruising

Ocean cruises have been a popular way to vacation for decades, and for good reason. They’re affordable, convenient and offer travelers peace of mind knowing that everything they need for a fantastic getaway is all in one place. What could be better than that? Well, consider a river cruise.

As many of you may already know, I took 75+ sea cruises before I ever took my first river cruise. I used to make jokes about river cruising... that is until I took my first AmaWaterways trip. 46 river cruise adventures later and I am Ama's Number 1 worldwide passenger: the most number of personal cruises of ANY guest.. and now one of their top international sellers, as well. Now I'd like to share what makes river cruising so great and Ama so unique.

You might think that the words “inland” and “cruise” are incompatible. Well, let me show you on AmaWaterways just how superbly well they go together. AmaWaterways river cruises combine all the comfort and convenience of an ocean cruise with the excitement of European excursions at each port of cal - BUT... Ama includes them in the price of the cruise!

To all cruise-lovers, perhaps it’s time to shake up the ocean liner experience for an entirely new way to explore the world’s waterways. Let me book you on an AmaWaterways river cruise that will take you inland for a unique and relaxing tour of Europe.

"A sea cruise takes you TO a country, a river cruise takes you THRU it!" - Dave, the River Cruise King

Here are the top 10 reasons I know why you’ll love river cruising, specifically on AmaWaterways!

1. Expand Your Options

While ocean cruises take you to countries, river cruises take you through them. There simply is no way to reach river cruise destinations on mega cruise ships.

2. Intimate Experience

River cruising offers a more intimate setting. Most ships range from 144 to 196 passengers. This means that you’ll never have to wait in line, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy all the amenities and have a more personal experience with other passengers and crew. From ordering a beverage to getting on and off the ship, you’ll enjoy the absence of long lines. Not only that, by the end of the first day you're going to wonder if the FBI sent ahead some photos or something because all the crew members know your name. By the end of the week, you're a part of the Ama family.

3. Dive into the Local Culture

Get away from the touristy ports and explore hidden gems. Large ocean liner ports can receive up to 20,000 visitors on the same day but with a river cruise, you’ll arrive into port with only a few hundred visitors. Not only will you avoid crowds at your destination, but you’ll also enjoy leisurely excursions at each incredible port of call, small groups and intimate Q and As. . You’ll be able to take in the local culture and history of every unique town that you visit.

4. No Need to Rush Back

With many departures from the destinations being later in the afternoon or evening, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the nightlife in select ports of call. Whether you choose an evening walk through cobblestone streets, a local show or performance, or one last glass of wine after dinner while listening to a local musician, immersing yourself in the evening culture together with the locals is a unique experience.

Also, I know every one of these stops intimately and can give you advice on great places to go that fit your own individual style. This isn't only because I have been on 46 Ama trips, but because I have LIVED in Germany for 22+ years in various parts of the country. The Rhineland was my so called "German birth" place as I lived in the Rhine/Main for a decade before moving to Warnemünde and Berlin. I will share SO many tips and special places with you that you won't waste your time wondering where to go.

5. Castle Views

That’s right, castle views. From Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine River, and in Budapest, Bratislava, Dürnstein and Passau on the Danube, you’ll see colorful architecture and castles that will blow you away. But don’t stop at just viewing the castles, why not hike or drive to them and then explore their fabulousness with a knowledgeable guide? You’ll literally be walking in the footsteps of world history.

Sometimes, you might even be invited for dinner. Heck, if you wind up in Greinstein Castle on Halloween you might even BE dinner. My intimate relationships with Ama's operations department, as well as many of the tour guides and companies along the Rhine, Danube, and other Ama destinations means that I can plan special surprises for my guests like this hilarious evening we had in Grein: with special invitation from the Duke himself.

6. 5-Star Reviews

5-star reviews are only earned through 5-star service. When you’re relaxing with a glass of wine on the Sun Deck, enjoying a night under the stars, or having an unexpected encounter with kind locals that your tour guide has arranged for you, you’ll know where their 5-star reviews come from. See what people are saying about AmaWaterways’ flawless service.

Can I tell you what Ama means to me? It means they OVER deliver on every promise. There is a reason I have an unheard of 80% repeat passenger rate with my guests. Almost every single guest I have brought to Ama has returned: some multiple times per year. That other 20%? They just haven't found the time, yet.

7. Entertainment for the Whole Family

With a variety of activities and plenty of stops along the way, we’re sure everyone in the family will have an unforgettable experience. River cruising is perfect for multi-generational families. From grandparents to teenaged grandchildren, the entire family will bond over a range of topics and activities from food to history to countryside excursions. There really is something to do for everyone

on board at each destination. Some members of your group may choose to take advantage of spa services, or the sundeck pool, or cultural activities, while others may prefer to seek out a quiet space with a book. Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together again as a family. It really is the perfect multi-generational vacation for your family or group of friends.

8. Taste the Difference

Whether you’re into wine tasting or local street food, a river cruise provides an exceptional culinary experience both on the ship and at every destination. The onboard culinary team focuses on utilizing fresh local ingredients. Dishes are paired with local wines. There’s absolutely no mass-produced and basic buffet food when you cruise with AmaWaterways!

You don't just see the countries you visit, you taste them!

9. Variety of Experience

Let’s not forget just how special every European country is! The towns and cities may be close in proximity along the river, but don’t be surprised by the unique feeling and experiences that each destination gives you. Choose from visiting local breweries, hiking to castles, biking through trendy neighborhoods or visiting museums that highlight the local culture.

Not just that, I always have some surprises in store for you! Sometimes my local friends stop by to meet you and bring us a present, sometimes there's a special event or a secret party. The thing about variety is you never know. I like it that way. A vacation should have surprises.

10. World-Class Accommodations

One of the reasons I love river cruises so much (and I know you’ll agree) is the feeling of walking into a luxurious suite or twin-balcony stateroom that will be your home away from home for the next 7, 8, 10 days or more. Each of AmaWaterways staterooms is tastefully decorated and is river facing. Whether you choose to have a window view, a private balcony, or even a twin balcony (with both a French and outside balcony), you’ll always have a room with a view.

So, there you have it. 10 great reasons why you’ll love your first river cruise on AmaWaterways.

I’d love to match your travel style with the right itinerary and ship. Reach out to me today and be sure to mention if you’re planning a romantic getaway, bachelorette trip, or a friends’ reunion and I’ll let you know the add-ons available that will make your experience truly special! Write me at dave@rivercruiseking.com or go book a FREE consultation at my scheduler.

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