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  • Writer's pictureDavid Natale

The ship was ours... and so were the towns

Traveling at this moment has many rewards.. peace and quiet are one of them

How often have you had tried to take that perfect photo only to have someone walk in front of you? How many times have you waited in vain for that perfect table to open up only to have it snatched away? Happily none of this happened to us during our cruise thru Bordeaux on the AmaDolce last week.

Empty alleys and sparsely populated towns made for easy viewing and fun touring as our Taste of Bordeaux trip wound its way from Saint-Émilion to Bourg... from empty castles to seconds and thirds at various tastings. Our AmaDolce ship had a mere 26 people on board when we boarded in Bordeaux and it was like having a private yacht experience.

Now many companies would simply cancel rather than sail with so few guests. Not AmaWaterways! They remain committed to doing everything possible to getting their crews and ships back into the towns that have always welcomed them, supporting tour guides and entertainers along the routes by not cancelling.

We were treated to such special attention at every turn, thanked for coming, treated to special extras, and authentically welcomed everywhere we went. If you were thinking about what it would be like if you braved the hazards of travel, look no further.

From the moment we boarded our ship in Bordeaux, having our temperatures taken, our vaccine status recorded, the mask and hand sanitation rules explained, and the social distancing adjustments made for our safety and comfort we had the time of our lives.

It was so nice to sit in the lounge with plenty of space, everyone around respecting the rules for mask wearing which was "on while moving about / off while seated" for guests, crew and staff wore them at all times. There was an endless parade of drinks and food and attentive staff, watching from the corners and present when you needed. Of course, that is always the case on an Ama cruise, but with fewer guests on board it was much easier to be seen.

My group were more than half the guests on board and we quickly made friends with the other travelers. It was more like a big extended family sailing together than a band of strangers.

Those that cancelled at the last minute truly made a big mistake and missed the chance of seeing Europe during a time when you can really take advantage of the less populated spaces. We could really appreciate what we were seeing, tasting, and doing.

If you have a trip in the next weeks, take advantage of your vaccinated status and the very committed nature of AmaWaterways and sail with a great sense of security, but also a super opportunity to actually see the sites and not the hordes.

Contact Dave at for Fall 2021 Specials or to get your 2022 and 2023 spots!

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