Amy Stoltenberg is a staff writer covering all things travel, shopping and lifestyle. After earning a BA at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as technical designer in corporate fashion before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering around Los Angeles looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and plotting her way to all 50 states (she's currently at 28).
Amadeus offers modern ships with spacious accommodations, pleasing itineraries and top-notch service. The atmosphere on board is laid back and relaxed, while the decor is elegant and the staff is professional.
Overall, it’s a decent value for the price. Most of your fellow passengers will be older than 50 and retired, well-traveled and curious about the world. Amadeus tends to attract a diverse international clientele, so you have many opportunities to meet people from around the world — though the crew speaks English.
While many of its competitors automatically include shore excursions in the fare, that often means you don’t really have a say in your daily schedule, yet you’ll be forfeiting value if you don’t go along. So the fact that Amadeus lets you choose the extent of your participation in organized tours at each port could be preferable, if you like a bit more flexibility and don’t mind paying extra.
Its fleet includes quintessential river cruise ships. With no more than 180 passengers on board, all staterooms have an outside view — most with French balconies and some with walk-out balconies. Decor is classy, sophisticated and understated, with spacious cabins.
Atop each ship features a wide-open sundeck, usually with a Jacuzzi and small pool. Its newest vessel, the Amadeus Queen, has an indoor pool surrounded by panoramic windows, with a sun-roof to open on bright days.
Amadeus river cruises begin in legendary European ports like Amsterdam, Lyon, Paris and more. Here’s where you can begin your adventure:
Amadeus sails to key European port cities located along intercontinental transport routes, including:
Dutch and Belgian waterways
With Amadeus, you can cruise to:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia
What’s included on my Amadeus river cruise?
Here’s what’s included in your fare:
All onboard dining
Wine, beer and soft drinks with meals
Bicycles to use at each port
Non-specialty coffee and tea
Onboard entertainment like lectures, cooking demos and performances
Shore excursions are not included. If you’re interested in Amadeus-led tours at each port, book these as a package deal in advance.
Gratuities aren’t required, but Amadeus recommends budgeting about $12 a person each day to tip. You can prepay gratuities through the Amadeus office, charge ’em to your onboard account or tip in cash by leaving an envelope with the front desk.
Amadeus River Cruises excursion packages
The shore excursions are what set Amadeus apart from the pack. Excursions at each port are extra, but you can typically choose between tiered packages: Package A has the fewest excursions, with the largest package with the most excursions. Save 15% by booking these excursion packages up front, instead of individually after the cruise begins.
Here’s a screenshot of package options for its eight-day Treasures of Burgundy and Provence: Rhône and Saône cruise, to give you an idea of how it works:
Shorter cruises may only have one or two package options to choose from.
Opting in to Amadeus’ shore excursions definitely isn’t required. So if you’re an independent traveler, either book tours with a different provider or explore each port on your own.
Who owns Amadeus river cruises?
Amadeus is family-owned by an Austrian company called Lueftner Cruises. It’s operated Amadeus since 1997.
Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with Amadeus river cruises
Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of booking a cruise with Amadeus:
Reputation for excellent service, according to online reviews.
Complimentary beer and wine with meals.
Bicycles to use at each port.
Jacuzzi and pools on most decks.
Some double beds are actually just two twins pushed together.
Fewer onboard entertainment options than larger ocean cruise lines.
You’ll pay extra for shore excursions, if you opt in.
There isn’t a set dress code, though Amadeus recommends “elegant clothing for dinner and special occasions.” This could mean dresses, skirts or slacks and a blouse for women, and a sports coat or collared shirt and pants for men.
Euros, however, most purchases you make on the ship are applied to your onboard account, to settle at the end of your cruise using US dollars.
Yes — but only on the sun deck and in specially market areas outside. Smoking is prohibited on the entire interior of the ships.
Latest river cruise deals
Mississippi River cruises starting from $1,395 per person
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