AmaWaterways Review: Pros & Cons March 2021 |
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AmaWaterways cruise review

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What you need to know before you book a cruise (Updated in March 2021)

AmaWaterways is a family-owned river cruise company that offers itineraries through bucket-list terrain to world-class cities.

25 ships

Number of ships



Target demographic Families, Adults, Teenagers, Singles, Kids
Number of ships 25 ships
Contact options Phone, Email, Facebook Messenger
Payment options Visa, Mastercard, Cash
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service No free room service

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by

Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as a technical designer before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. She lives in Los Angeles. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering the streets looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and daydreaming about her next great adventure.

Expert review

Cruising with AmaWaterways is an efficient, pleasant way to tour through the heart of a continent, whether that’s Africa, Asia or Europe — its Nile cruise through Egypt is also fantastic. Its known for lovely staff, and the food and drink — while not necessarily gourmet — are locally sourced and regionally inspired.

The price may seem shocking up front — on the cheapest seven-day European river cruises you’ll be paying a little over $300 per day — but if you were to try and see the same cities on land, it would probably cost much more and you’d have to devote a huge amount of time to sorting out the details.

Considering the amazing places you get to see and the complimentary tours in each locale, we think these voyages are well worth the investment.

But keep in mind that AmaWaterways doesn’t deliver the luxury experience you’d get with Crystal River Cruises or Viking River Cruises — that is, white-glove butler service. And alcohol is only complimentary during meals and happy hour. So if you’re looking for an all-inclusive party vibe, this is not the right cruise for you.

AmaWaterways is a family-owned river cruise company that offers itineraries through bucket-list terrain to world-class cities.

Where do AmaWaterways’ cruises depart from?

AmaWaterways’ cruises depart from bustling riverside towns that are rich in art, history and culture. While it doesn’t sail from any ports in the US, you can begin your journey in:

Amsterdam, Athens, Bali Denpasar, Barbados, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dover, Dubai, Dubrovnik, Fort Lauderdale, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Keelung, Lima, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Mahe Island, Miami, Mumbai, New Orleans, New York City, Palma De Mallorca, Papeete, Puerta Caldera, Quebec, Rome, San Diego, San Juan, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Venice, Yokohama

AmaWaterways cruise destinations

AmaWaterways is strictly a river-cruising line. It sails through 18 countries located in Europe, Asia, Africa and Egypt. Here’s where you can go:

Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Hawaii, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Mexico, Middle East, Northern Europe, Pacific, South Pacific, Transatlantic, Western Europe

AmaWaterways Danube river cruises

Europe’s second-largest river — the Danube — is lined with castles and fortresses that served as the backbone of great empires in the course of the continent’s history. Key cities like Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade are perched upon it, so you can start in easy-to-get-to metropolitan areas but access smaller villages and towns in between.

AmaWaterways has 25 Danube river-cruising itineraries to choose from. Some sailings have a focus — Europe’s Rivers & Castles, for example, or the Gems of Southeast Europe — while others are more general tours of the Danube. Decide which countries you’d like to visit, then choose an itinerary that hits your key spots.

AmaWaterways’ Danube river cruises sail in:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia

Most of its seven-night Danube river cruises cost between $2,000 and $3,000 per person, depending on the itinerary.

What’s included in an AmaWaterways cruise

Perks vary, depending on where you’re going. We break it down here:

Onshore excursionsAlcoholWi-Fi
EuropeOne sightseeing tour is included at every city or town you visit
  • Complimentary sparkling wines and juices at breakfast
  • Complimentary beer and wine with dinner
  • Complimentary beer, wine and spirits at happy hour
  • Complimentary throughout the ship
Vietnam and CambodiaOne sightseeing tour is included at every city or town you visit
  • Local beers and house brand spirits are free and complimentary
  • Wine is complimentary with lunch and dinner
  • Complimentary — but it’s only in the lounge
AfricaAll excursions are included
  • Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner
  • Complimentary — but it’s limited based on location

Gratuities aren’t included on any AmaWaterways cruise. But you can tip at your discretion.

AmaWaterways themed cruises

In addition to its regular itineraries, AmaWaterways offers the following themed river cruises:

  • Wine cruises. These feature vineyard tours and tastings as part of the package — plus an extra emphasis on wine pairings on board.
  • Golf cruises. On select Romantic Danube and Melodies of the Danube cruises, you can add a gold concierge package that lets you play up to five rounds of golf on some of the most distinctive courses in Europe.
  • Christmas market cruises. Along the Danube and the Rhine, you’ll stop at glittering holiday markets to wander through the booths and taste traditional drink and foods.
  • Cruises featuring special guests. AmaWaterways often partners with niche celebrities and area experts.

Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways is a highly rated and well-respected river cruise company. But if you’re still debating whether it’s the right choice, weigh the pros and cons:


  • Cuisine is locally sourced.
  • Expertly paired wine and beer with meals is complimentary.
  • All staterooms have river views, and most have a private balcony.
  • Itineraries are varied.
  • Daily presentations about the area’s history are provided.
  • Rent bikes for free at each port stop.
  • Nightly performances are tailored to each destination.


  • You can’t book online — you’ll request a quote and a specialist will contact you.
  • Fewer onboard entertainment options than larger cruise lines
  • Ships can feel outdated.
  • Rates are pricier than budget cruise lines.
  • No room service.

Frequently asked questions

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC advises postponing travel to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading COVID-19. If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor the risk assessment levels for your destination when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

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