Sail the Rivers of Europe
River cruising is a magnificent way to experience Europe. You are immersed in the experience in a way the ocean cruising can’t approach.
Welcome to AmaWaterways. I don’t know whether you have done any ocean cruising, but what we love to talk about with rivers is that oceans take you to countries, but rivers take you through them. So the absolute delight of being on a river cruise is, first of all, you’re with so few fewer people, by all means. It’s the idea that this picture is really lovely because what it shows you is what you’re going to experience 24 hours a day.
You’re going to be wrapped in these wonderful countries. Every bend in the river is another castle, another vineyard, and another fairytale hotel. And so, it’s absolutely… You’re going to be what I like to think of as totally immersed in the people, the language, [crosstalk 00:00:58], the food, the libations, all of the wonderful things that help you go through a country and be totally immersed in it.
We are… Just to tell you a little bit about AmaWaterways, we were founded in 2002 and we are a family-owned company. Three families own us. What’s really wonderful about it is our founder, Rudi Schreiner, is kind of the godfather of river cruising. And he’s had a wonderful plan for AmaWaterways for all of these years. We do have 25 ships.
And what’s really nice, and I think it’s great at this time of when we’re going through a pandemic and things seem to be kind of shaky around the world, is AmaWaterways is a debt-free company. All of our ships are paid for, and we are just waiting to be able to bring customers on them in Europe and in our exotic locations.
Again, being on a river cruise, every day is a see day. We love to say it that way, as in S-E-E, because you are, again, in the middle of everything that’s going on in these wonderful countries. And if you had any type of seasickness issue or whatever, you would never have that on river cruises.
I think, you guys, I may have you mute yourselves, because I’m getting quite a bit of interference. So if don’t mind muting, that would be great.
The other thing wonderful about river is that we dock right in the heart of town. Here we have one of our beautiful 5-star luxury hotels. And when you come into town, and the ship docks, you simply walk off. It’s so great not to have to wait for the tender or all the things that happen in ocean cruises. And disembarkation in river cruises is just absolutely flawless. We dock very close to the middle of town and it’s just delightful to be able to get off, do your own thing, or take advantage of our wonderful shore excursions, which are included.
Just a moment about the protocols that have been issued by the European Union. As you can see, all of our guests are wearing, oh, sorry, all of our staff are wearing a mask. Pardon me, and we will have our guests wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible, which is really not in your cabins. If you’re coming down the hall into reception, you will have your mask on. And yet when you come into our beautiful lounge area, that won’t be necessary once you get yourself seated because there is social distancing [inaudible 00:03:48] wonderful room there, and we do have plexiglass dividers as well.
Our owner, who does design our vessels… When we talk about clean air, our ships have been designed with kind of a fan coil, individual air and heating systems in every one of our cabins and in all of the common areas so that there is no recirculation of air. Like you would have if you were having air conditioning that is constantly recirculating. It’s really a very green idea and it works wonderfully for our ships.
When you are ashore on our shore excursions, we are going to be basically having between 10 and 15 people. We normally carry 25. So that may be by the time we cruise, but with the protocols, that’s what it is. We do have a client box headset system that allows you to hear your guests from 100, or sorry, your guide from 150 feet away. So, just wanted to show you what, at the moment, would be going on, but we’re certainly hoping that these don’t have to be kept in place later into next year.
Our ships have a very unique stateroom in the fact that Rudi has built them with what we call a twin balcony. Our staterooms have not only a French balcony, where you would walk to the door open it, and not step out, but we also have a twin balcony. So the other side of the balcony is full, it is a full balcony. You can go out, you can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner there with our room service menu during restaurant hours and so forth. So it’s really delightful. And we’re the only river cruise line to have these wonderful, wonderful cabins.
Also, Rudi has created a very unique river cruise ship. It is one of a kind from all of the companies that are out there. And she is called AmaMagna. The difference in this magnificent vessel is that instead of being 38 feet wide, she is 72 feet wide. What makes that so amazing is that there’s so much incredible personal space on this beautiful vessel. [inaudible 00:06:05] have suite cabins that run… More than half the vessel are suite, and those cabins run from 350 to 710 square feet. All the cabins are full balcony, except her 11 standard cabins which are not balcony. She lives on the upper and lower Danube, but she is a magnificent vessel with four different dining venues and so forth. So we’re very, very proud of having a vessel such as AmaMagna.
We are green with our vessels, and have won the Green Award with 10 of our vessels. Which means that our carbon footprint is very minimalized. It’s delightful because it does give us priority docking places. As we come into a docking area, we virtually plug into the grid, and it’s a green footprint for us. So we’re very proud of that.
The cruise managers on our vessels are legendary. They have been with us for many, many years. They are multi-lingual. However, the language on AmaWaterways is English. And they are going to spend a great deal of time with you to get to know you.
We only are carrying 156 guests. With the EU at the moment, with the pandemic and so forth, all the river cruise ships are only holding 100 guests. So they are fantastic. They work with you on your shore excursions and virtually plan everything on the vessel for the guests. And they even escort your land programs if indeed you are doing, not just cruise with us, but also pre or post land.
The service onboard the vessel are wonderful. Our staff are incredible. They get the absolute highest marks on our customer comment cards, is… People feel that we make them feel like family. And we’re very proud of that. They are absolutely wonderful. They are from Eastern Europe, from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, and are absolutely doing everything they can to make this the most incredible trip you’ve ever taken and would want to come back to AmaWaterways.
We have our excursions and they are included. We’re going to always give you a variety. You’re going to have between four and five excursions when we stop the vessels and we are stopping with a river cruise vessel twice a day. We’re going to be in small groups and we have different levels of activity. We have gentle walking groups for people that might need a little more time. We have regular walkers, active walkers, and we even have late risers. For those that just would like to have one more mimosa in the morning in the breakfast room, we have that opportunity for you as well.
And we have something called special interest tours, and those are going to be more culinary oriented. So maybe it’s going to be my favorite, which was truffle hunting with [inaudible 00:09:10] in France, or it could be a wonderful Hungarian lush cooking school. It could be pretzel making, it could be all kinds of lovely things to ensconce you into the culture of where you are and the wonderful food that you’re going to be having.
We are active at Amawaterways. The ships carry 25 bikes on board, they are our bikes. We own them, we fit you to a bike, and we maintain them. When we stop the ship, we put the bikes out. And if you want to take a bike and go out and do your own thing, do it. Absolutely. There are hundreds and hundreds of bike paths, as you can see, along, particularly the Rhine and the Danube Rivers. And/or we have guided biking tours as well. And remember, all of this of course is complimentary. The bike tours are great fun and the guests enjoy them very, very much.
We are into health and wellness. We do have a wellness instructor on board. They are a crew member and they are certified in yoga. We are doing two to three classes a day. Maybe you’d like to wake up in the morning in a stretch class, be nice to be up on the top deck to do that. It would be great. Or we do cardio, we do yoga. The classes… We have champagne yoga, where you’re holding a glass while you do your movement. That’s really great fun. I’ve done that.
And maybe you’d like to do a run. The wellness host will give you a map to do that. Or hey, if he or she is not busy, run right along with you. So wellness is absolutely lovely and complimentary.
We do some exclusive experience with you. So very often it’s a castle where we’ll give you wonderful, wonderful wine [inaudible 00:11:01]. Or a beautiful location in [inaudible 00:11:05] and meet the local people. Our owners are Austrian and German and who, therefore, they have these wonderful relationships with people. So whether we’re taking you to Lahneck Castle, or we’re taking you to Göttweig Abbey in [inaudible 00:11:22] in Austria, on [inaudible 00:11:24], we will have a special experience for you.
We are known for our food and wine on AmaWaterways. We are the only river cruise line that has the designation la Chaine des Rotisseurs. Rudi was inducted into la Chaine and [inaudible 00:11:41] food and wine with exquisite [inaudible 00:11:44]. We take great care that our food is locally sourced.
As we are moving up and down the rivers, we are not freezing things on board. There was no frozen seafood on Amawaterways anywhere in the world. So the food that you’re tasting is absolutely delightful. And is changing as we’re going up or down the rivers. So that you can enjoy those with wonderful paired wines as well.
And we have a one of a kind chefs table on board. So we have the main beautiful dining room and the chef’s table. It is a true chef’s table. We seat only 24 guests. However, at the moment it’s 15. And you are going to be served about 12 to 14 different taste courses, with all of the paired wines as you get them. There is, of course, no extra charge for this, we are delighted. We just ask that you make a reservation at reception for going to the chef’s table.
What I didn’t say about our libation policy, I don’t know why I don’t have a slide on that. We are [inaudible 00:12:49] starting you with champagne or sparkling wine at breakfast. Quite a nice way to start your day. And then we are offering cooling wines, beers, and soft drinks at lunch and at dinner. Then we do have a sipping slow hour, an hour before dinner when everyone is meeting in the lounge to talk about their wonderful day. It does include [inaudible 00:13:11].
So where do we go? I wanted to show you the map because I think it’s important to understand that we are doing so many unbelievable places for you to travel while you are in Europe. So I want to just get my little spotlight here and just give you some points of interest for a moment.
If you were to be on the North Sea, as you see here, and start in the Netherlands and move down this Rhine River, it goes into the Rhine River where there’s a little, there’s a hook here. That hook is called, right here, it’s called the Main Danube Canal. Before it was built, that is where the Rhine Main stopped and the Danube… If you wanted to come all the way down to the Black Sea, you would have had to get on a different route to get on the Danube. Now that is entirely open and it is a 3000 kilometer journey [inaudible 00:14:11].
We also have three countries in France. We are the three countries, sorry, three rivers in France. We’re on the Seine and the Saône and the Rhône. And in Bordeaux. We are in Portugal on the Douro River. And then we have three exotic products. We are in Asia and Vietnam and Cambodia. We are in Africa, up on the Chobe. Our newest is Egypt which will start next September. I’m going to talk about those as we go through the presentation.
Where do we go? And what will you see? Let’s talk a couple of things about theme cruises if you would for a moment.
All right. The theme cruises. We have a celebration of wine, which this is a sip and sail [inaudible 00:15:10]. That’s what we wanted to call it. All the rivers of Europe. We do 70 wine cruises in Europe. And the wine cruises are special. They are on all the major rivers of Western Europe. So I have a lovely little map [inaudible 00:15:26] slide. Which is going to show me where we are traveling. On our wine map, we are in France on the Rhône River. And up into Beaujolais and Burgundy on the Saône River. So we are in Provence there.
We also are in Bordeaux. Of course, the finest vineyards in the world are in Bordeaux for our wine cruises. And in Paris, [inaudible 00:15:52] the Seine. And from Paris to, actually to [inaudible 00:15:58] and back, for our wine cruises there. We are on the Danube River all the way actually from southeast Europe. In Romania and Bulgaria all the way up into the Czech Republic. [inaudible 00:16:10] vineyards and fine wines on the Danube and the Rhine and the Main and the Moselle River. Which is really fabulous, [inaudible 00:16:22] incredibly wonderful. We see wines, white wines, some amazing opportunities actually to have red as well as you get into this area here. And the Moselle River has the [inaudible 00:16:35] vineyards in all of Europe. So fairytale towns with wonderful, wonderful vineyards.
And then we have the Douro River. It’s just absolutely wonderful. It is about the vinho verde wines. And of course port.
And then the other themed thing that we do are Christmas markets. They are incredibly special. Debbie has… actually has me doing a Christmas markets event. Like this, we’re doing tonight on the ninth of December. So we’d love to have you join us for that as well. And on the Danube and the Rhine Rivers. The thing that’s so special about Christmas market is it’s not only about all the things you can buy [inaudible 00:17:18] market [inaudible 00:17:19] food as well. [inaudible 00:17:21] The food market. It’s absolutely lovely to walk through the market with a mug of [inaudible 00:17:28] wine, [inaudible 00:17:29] hot mulled wine that comes in red and in white. And to have just a mug of that and walk through all the lovely, lovely Christmas light, plus all the things that you can purchase, which incidentally are made in the countries that you are in. [inaudible 00:17:49] So it’s delightful.
The picture I am showing you is Vienna. Vienna has over 25 Christmas markets. This happens to be in front of the city hall, the Rathaus. And then there was a fabulous park with the most beautiful light arrangements you could ever imagine.
But there’s also the smaller towns that you’re going to visit that may have only one market there. And the locals are coming, the tourists are coming. It’s just absolute magic. So Christmas market. I love the view and we’re going to have fun with my next presentation doing that.
I just wanted to show you, this is for Debbie because she loves Christmas markets. This trip is beautifully decorated. Here we show you one market in Passau, on the Danube, and I have one on the Rhine. Yeah, sorry, the Rhine. In Cologne, beautiful with the cathedral there in the main square of Cologne.
So Tulip Time Cruises. In actuality, we start our cruise season, all of companies do, from the end of March until the first of May. So it’s only about six weeks long and it’s all about the flowers, that’s it. It’s all about that, and [inaudible 00:19:06], and wonderful windmills. It is a fantastic time to be able to travel on the Netherlands, Belgium waterways around Amsterdam. And in actuality in 2022, there’s going to be a very special horticultural exposition that is done every 10 years. And it’s going to be outside of Amsterdam. It’s called Floriade. And Floriade is going to become magnificent when you travel. And going to that floral exhibition will be included [inaudible 00:19:41].
So let us tell you where we go. I’m going to start with the Rhine River. The Rhine River starting, and I didn’t [inaudible 00:19:48] the most [inaudible 00:19:50] in Amsterdam down to Basel in Switzerland. So the experience you have will be a Dutch experience in Amsterdam. You then will come down the river into Germany. And here we have another picture of Cologne where now… Of course, have come into Germany, [inaudible 00:20:08] the tours are wonderful. People love to use the bikes as well on this wonderful itinerary.
As you go further down the Rhine, we’re going to continue to Alsace. And this is where you have Strasbourg. And Strasbourg is on these beautiful canals, we’ll call this the Venice of France. This beautiful, beautiful town with timber houses. And actually the reason it looks kind of German is because it went back and forth over the eons whether it was French or it was German or if it was French or German. And so that’s why you have this kind of wonderful, beautiful city that does speak in a patois of French and German, actually, but very, very [inaudible 00:20:54].
Also, we’re going to travel on to Rhine Gorge. If you cruise the Rhine Gorge, what’s so special about this is if you are a castle person, if you’re going to go to Europe because you want to see castles, you’re going to see more on this stretch of the river than anywhere else in Europe. And you’ll probably see between, I think, about 45 of them. We’re going to be really [inaudible 00:21:17] cruising. You’re going to hear all about them from your crews, [inaudible 00:21:21] talking about them. But when you’re up in the top deck with a glass of wine and your camera, you’re going to learn about all these wonderful castles. Some are hotels, some are privately owned, and some are ruined. It is a lovely stretch of the river. And then you’re going to come down, and you’ll be in Switzerland in Basel.
Let me also now take you to the Danube. The one cruise that we do again, and most of, which is going to be from Budapest in Hungary to a little town called Vilshofen which is very special to AmaWaterways. But out of that is Prague. And most people that will come to Debbie and say, “I want to do the Danube from Budapest to Prague.”
Now, let me also say that all the things I’m talking about are the cruises. Each one of them does have pre and post land arrangement. So, as an example, if you do Budapest, you could have a couple of nights in Budapest, [inaudible 00:22:24] cruise manager that will then bring you to the ship. When you end your cruise in Vilshofen seven nights later and want to go to Prague, we have three incredible nights in Prague as well. You stay in five-star hotels. We are doing breakfast [inaudible 00:00:22:44]. The tours are going to be in the morning. Of course, all of this is included in the cost of the land program, which is separate from the cruise program. And actually, you can choose to [inaudible 00:22:57] both ends, either end, or none. You can just do [inaudible 00:23:02] if you’d like to.
All right, so started in Hungary a moment ago, we have all things Hungarian. Then you’re going to come up the river to Vienna. And Vienna is on the left of my screen here. These are the gardens of Schonbrunner. It is a magnificent opportunity for you to be in Austria and see a city that is world class, unbelievable. Town known of course for Beethoven, known for Mozart, and its wonderful houses. But we will have a fabulous time in Vienna.
We then are going to cruise in the Wachau. The Wachau Valley is like the Rhine Gorge, except it’s more like the Black Forest if you will. More little fairytale towns along the way, with some ruins. But it’s known for lovely vineyards and apricots. They have a very special apricot that is grown. When they are in bloom there are thousands of these. It looks like it’s snowing, but it’s the blossoms.
And they have some amazing both red and white wines. But a white wine called grüner veltliner. And it is very special to this area, grown in just a little area. That is a favorite [inaudible 00:24:15] absolutely wonderful when you’re on the Wachau Valley.
That is going to bring you to the Benedictine monastery at the top of my screen. And this is a magnificent monastery that has been working for 900 and [inaudible 00:24:31] years. We are going through the monastery all the way through. It has a fabulous museum and wonderful library and ends in the church. Now the church, if you’ve been to Rome and been to Saint Peter’s, it does have quite a bit of gold in it. However, I would say to you this church has as much gold. The gold is astounding. [inaudible 00:24:51].
You’re then coming up the river a little bit further into Passau. In Passau, it’s just lovely. You’re now coming into Germany. It’s just a wonderful city. It was known for salt and has a fabulous, fabulous church here. Saint Stephen’s church, which has the largest pipe organ in Europe.
From there, you’re going to come up to our little town of Vilshofen. We are the only river cruise line that docks there. And the town and my owner know each other very well. And we do an Oktoberfest celebration for you for the entire season that we’re traveling. So all the [inaudible 00:25:33], the wines, the beer, the pretzels, the music. [inaudible 00:25:36].
All right, we then go south on the Danube. And this is going to take you, basically, to [inaudible 00:25:45]. We call it the Black Sea Voyage or Gems of Southeast Europe. It’s going to take you from Budapest, which is my top picture there, all the way down to Bulgaria and Romania.
We’re going to be coming through Serbia, Croatia, [inaudible 00:26:00] to Romania and Bulgaria. We’re coming through the Iron Gate. This is a very important part [inaudible 00:26:09] over the World Wars. And the land program that we would offer you is either going into… In… Not Bulgaria, sorry, in Romania. You would have two nights in the Carpathian mountains to be able to see Dracula’s castle and Pele?’ castle, and then come back into Bucharest. [inaudible 00:26:35] absolutely wonderful city. It’s kind of… was known as the Paris of Eastern Europe. Or instead of doing that, maybe you would like to fly to Istanbul, and there you’ll do three nights [inaudible 00:00:26:48].
In France, we have the Seine River, which is around true Paris. Where we are, of course, seeing the beaches of Normandy, by all means, and having an absolute wonderful opportunity. We also go to Giverny, which is Monet’s home. So this cruise is not only just about the beaches. It was also very, very art oriented. It is the start of the impressionist movement there with Monet and his band of brothers, and it is a magnificent cruise for you to get to enjoy [inaudible 00:27:27] right in the center of Paris.
We also, taking you again on the Rhône River, we are doing a wonderful cruise. We have two cruises actually. The two cruises, Colors of Provence is going to be from Lyon to [inaudible 00:27:49] in Provence. So you have the upper Côtes du Rhône and the lower Côtes du Rhône as well, to Avignon. And you will have the opportunity, at the end of that, you go to Barcelona for three nights. Which is kind of fun to be able to have a [inaudible 00:28:05] on your colors of Provence.
And we have a new cruise next year that’s actually going to start further north. It’s going to start between the Beaujolais area and Burgundy area up on the Saône and come all the way down Avignon. And you will have this wonderful opportunity, again, to go to [inaudible 00:28:27].
And of course Bordeaux, what can we say? It is all about the wines. It is a fabulous area. The town itself is absolutely magnificent. It is a beautiful, beautiful [inaudible 00:28:40]. The towns are quite close in the area as you go on two different rivers that go round in the Bordeaux. The towns are a bit close. We do a lot of bike riding on this one [inaudible 00:28:52]. And the land programs are quite spectacular. The pre is taking you to, actually, [inaudible 00:28:59]. We are on in Bilbao and San Sebastian. So you have the nights in both of their cities, you would then bring you to Bordeaux for your cruise. And on the end of this, if you would like you have… To go into some of the great châteaux and the Lamar Valley, we have a three night program for that as well.
And the Douro River. It’s very, very special. We have a smaller ship for that river. Ours is 102 guests. It’s a winding river. It’s [inaudible 00:29:33] absolutely beautiful, beautiful scenery. Here we have Porto. The land program for it is three nights in Lisbon. And then we move you up to Porto. And you have a seven night cruise round trip. We will take you to the Spanish border of Vega de Terron and turn around. Actually the Duro doesn’t go… Isn’t navigable to ships any further than that Spanish border. But that’s just fine, and we bring them back.
Or we have a cruise that would start you in Spain. Not cruise, sorry. Land program that would start you in Spain. You would have three nights in Madrid and the area. And later, of course, as well, we’re going to bring you to the ship at Vega de Terron. And [inaudible 00:30:17] one way in Porto. We then, if you would like to do the Lisbon, we could do the Lisbon on the land as well. We’d have lots of opportunities to be able to travel. It is lovely, and it’s about wonderful wines and [inaudible 00:30:31].
The exotic product, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Mekong River is extremely special to me. I spent lots of years traveling in Asia. It’s absolutely amazing. You have the people who live on the river and it’s wonderful. Whether you’re looking at their houses which are on stilts, or you’re when you’re watching them do this aquaculture, we have all kinds of wonderful conveyances [inaudible 00:31:00] river. Going to wonderful, wonderful monuments and temples along the way.
And the land program is quite spectacular. I happened to be going from north to south. We would have two nights in Hanoi. We would take the Halong Bay. You would have the beautiful overnight cruise on a different boat, not ours, but a different one. That is like spilling through a Chinese painting with all of these lines [inaudible 00:00:31:29]. We’re then going to bring you [inaudible 00:31:32] for three nights where you would have the monument of [inaudible 00:31:36]. It is a spectacular area. You would then board your cruise, for a seven night cruise in Cambodia and Vietnam. [inaudible 00:31:48]. Exotic, wonderful cuisine. And AmaDara only carries 124 guests.
We are doing Africa. And Africa for us is a very, very special program, a very [inaudible 00:32:07] program. You actually are up on the Chobe River. And this would be your boat. She only carries 28 guests, so it’s 14 cabins. And I really like to say that this is a four night float through the animals. Because when you’re on a river, what does the river do? It brings the animals to you. You’re going to see a wonderful amount of wildlife. The Chobe National Park has the largest concentration of wildlife in Africa. So it’s really, really special. And we then, after those four nights, we’re going to take you off the ship, or the boat, and take you to two nights in Victoria Falls.
After you have completed that, Debbie would have talked to you before you left and asked you if you’d like to have one of five safaris added to your trip. And we are doing so many nights in Kruger National Park. All safari. We are doing a whale safari on [inaudible 00:33:07] a very elegant train. It’s going from Victoria Falls down to Pretoria. And it’s a two night, thousand mile whale safari. We also have a low Safari. I was to mention that the nights in [inaudible 00:33:24], so you would have the Serengeti. If you go during the migration that’s very exciting. [inaudible 00:33:29]. All of that. Or the Pièce de résistance, if you would like to go guerilla trekking in Rwanda, we have a four night opportunity for that.
And then Egypt. We are so very excited about our Egypt cruise that is coming. We are building a ship that is called AmaDahlia. She will only have 34 cabins, so it’s 68 guests. The core of the program is we would have three nights in Cairo, [inaudible 00:34:09], which is included in the cost of the cruise. We then are going to show you all of that area, the pyramids of Giza, on and on and on and on. We then would have a seven night cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back. And then one more night in Cairo before you leave because the flights leave really early. So that would be the core program.
But we do have pre and post opportunity land that you might want to consider. We are three nights in Dubai, pre-cruise. We also have four nights in Jordan, we would be in Amman and in Petra. Or post-cruise, we have four nights in Israel. We are going to be in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv as planned.
So, that… Hopefully here in debut [inaudible 00:35:07] of wildlife with all the waterways [inaudible 00:35:11].
Debbie is part of, Fox Travel is part of American Express Travel community. And so we do some very wonderful, special things for them where we’re offering some lovely ship or credits. If you happen to be a gold member, then American Express, it is a $100 onboard credit. And if you happen to be a platinum card member that onboard credit goes up to $300, plus a $100 voucher. So we love to work with our American Express partners, they’re very, very important to us.
At the moment, just to let you know, we are doing five fly free to Europe in 2021. We have cruises that we are offering, they are selected cruises. If you book them by the end of this year, by December 31, free round trip economy air. Or we have some, also, cruises where we’re offering free economy companion air. Or if