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Ventures River Cruise Report: AmaWaterways Enchanting Rhine

Cruises Ventures

January 5, 2017 by Andrea Szyper

I just experienced my first AmaWaterways river cruise, a 7-day journey from Basel to Amsterdam, on the Enchanting Rhine. I had high expectations, and my experience actually exceeded them! Here are some of the reasons we partner with AmaWaterways, and why we love their river cruise options in Europe.

The Food and Wine

Seated lunches and suppers. Five course dinners that included an amuse bouche and sorbet between courses. Options at every meal, including basics like caesar salad and salmon, should you tire of richer fare like lobster creme brulee, beef carpaccio, or crab wontons with avocado. A seating in the Chef’s Table restaurant is an intimate affair open to all by reservation. Excellent local wines are poured with lunch and dinner. And the captain’s dinner is a feast!

The Company

The cruise line does much to encourage people to mix and connect, including entertainment in its big, luxurious lounge each night. Local acts, an onboard musician, a friendly bartender, and a convivial cruise manager are all part of the magic that forms lasting bonds and friendships. Sharing such memorable experiences on excursions, hikes, and city outings only adds to it.

The Hospitality and Service

Water bottles handed to us as we stepped off the ship for our land excursions. Hot towels and hot, sweet tea handed to us as we walked back onto the ship after an afternoon of sightseeing. Turndown service at night, so after a luxurious, dinner and dancing, we returned to find chocolates on our pillows and all our odds and ends tidied up for us.

The Details

I am detail-oriented, which can be a blessing and a curse when I travel. Small things delight me, but small things can also bother me. On my cruise, it was pure delight. The scarf waiting for me as a gift after the Captain’s dinner. The tour guide’s recommendation for a bar. The cruise director’s offer to walk a bike back to the ship for us. The bus boy’s friendly hello. They mattered.

Just When I Think it Can’t Get Any Better…

As we cruised through the Rhine Gorge, a stretch of the river that includes the Lorelei Rock and an extremely dense collection of castles towering above our picturesque German Rhine Untour villages, I thought to myself “it doesn’t get any better than this.” I was bundled into a coat in a comfortable lounge chair on the sun deck castle spotting.
Then it did. Waiters circulated with fuzzy blankets. As I cuddled up with my husband and set down my camera, the waiters returned with trays of Rudesheim coffee, warm and sweet, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and laced with brandy. It really doesn’t get any better than this!
That was my overall impression of AmaWaterways and my first cruise with them. Of my many travel experiences in Europe, it was one of the best, simply magical and extremely memorable.