AmaWaterways’ super-sized Danube vessel just launched and the initial pictures reveal this might be an entirely new way to river cruise.
There’s a reason most European river cruise ships look similar. They are restricted in height, length, and width by the various locks and bridges they sail into and underneath. However AmaWaterways has decided to take a unique approach with its newest vessel, the AmaMagna, a river cruise ship nearly doubly as wide as most river vessels in Europe. It launched in early May of 2019.
The larger width of the AmaMagna means that it’ll need to remain on the Danube because it’s too wide to pass the locks on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, the portal to the Rhine River that leads all the way up to Amsterdam. However the sacrifice for size isn’t that great considering it’ll still be able to cruise between Budapest and Vilshofen, Germany, with port calls in Bratislava, Slovakia; the Austrian cities of Vienna, Durnstein, and Melk; and Passau, Germany (not a shabby itinerary by any stretch).
The result is that passengers can get to experience something few do on a river cruise and that’s extra space. The AmaMagna is seventy two feet wide, compared with AmaWaterways’ other ships (and most river cruise ships in Europe), that are thirty eight feet wide. With way more space to play with, the 196-passenger river vessel has four drinking and dining venues, a water sports platform, and spacious staterooms, over 1/2 that are designated as suites that include full balconies, open seating areas, and double vanities.
Where it really shines though, and actually sets itself aside from other river cruise ships, is within the public areas. The additional space means that the AmaMagna was able to accommodate areas like an aboard cinema which is a rare offering on the rivers, though they do exist elsewhere, like on Emerald Waterways’ ships. There’s also an over-sized boutique, and a Zen wellness Studio, complete with an exercise space for group classes like spinning, a juice bar, two massage rooms, and mani-pedi and salon services.
The AmaMagna additionally doubled down on its food and drink offerings. Typically, river cruise vessels feature one main restaurant where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, and maybe one or two different dining venues for lighter or more casual fare. On the AmaMagna, there’s the main dining room; an alfresco restaurant with windows that may be closed on cooler days; Jimmy’s, a wine bar with tapas-style eats; and also the upscale Chef’s Table restaurant, that serves a multiple-course, tasting menu dinner.
It’s also uncommon to see pools on European river cruise ships outside of Portugal’s Douro river, where balmy summers practically beg for the choice to sunbathe. Whereas some ships do have them, including some Emerald Waterways vessels, many Uniworld ships, and on the Crystal Mozart, many river cruise lines have determined to do without them given that the weather isn’t always pool-appropriate in Europe. However the AmaMagna was designed to be as much of a draw because of the spirited European cities it sails to and through. Thus, the sun deck houses a heated pool, Jacuzzi, and a sky bar.
From the pool to the spa to the extra eateries, all of those extras are probably going to be appreciated by passengers who may be converting from larger ocean-going ships and are accustomed to a larger array of onboard amenities than aren’t typically offered on river cruise ships.
A river cruise ship this huge will be an uncommon sight on Europe’s landlocked waterways, however the AmaMagna isn’t the sole vessel of this size plying Europe’s rivers with Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Mozart which is seventy five feet wide. A former Peter Deilmann Cruises vessel built in 1987, it was relaunched as the Mozart in 2016 after a complete overhaul of the ship, a venture that marked Crystal’s 1st foray into river cruising. The Mozart features large suites, multiple dining choices, an indoor pool, spa and fitness center, a shop, and a library.
Nevertheless, the AmaMagna is the 1st to be designed at this size recently, and it is definitely is trying to set a new normal.