In April 2011 I sailed aboard AMA Waterways on a Europe river cruise. My guest and I arrived early at the airport in San Francisco for our afternoon flight to Amsterdam. The lines for check-in were wrapped around as if we were waiting for a ride at Disneyland! That’s why it’s always good to give yourself lots of time at the airport.
Upon arrival in Amsterdam, the weather was just beautiful, everyone seemed surprised by this. We checked into the InterContinental Amstel Hotel around 10am and the agent
at the front desk was super friendly and was delighted to share the good news with us that they had upgraded us to the Executive Suite, # 402. We were escorted up to our suite and after dropping off our luggage we decided to head right out and have some fun in Amsterdam. We rented bikes from the Concierge at 25 Euro per person for the day. Biking around town is the best way to see everything and also the easiest way to get around.
On Sunday April 3rd we boarded our river boat AMA Dagio for our week long cruise. Check-in was a breeze. The ship was so small that we were able to get acquainted with it within 15 minutes of walking around.
This particular river cruise was slow moving and sometimes there was not enough to do while we were cruising from one place to another during the day, I would suggest taking
this trip with a group of family and friends. The scenery along the way was lovely; hills blanketed with vineyards, and of course the impressive castles. Our itinerary included Cologne, Rudesheim, Mainz, Cochem, Bernkastel and we disembarked in Remich. Since we are early risers we chose to do most of the sightseeing on our own and many times even used the ship’s provided bikes. However, we did participate with the planned canal cruise and city tour in Amsterdam and our local guide Monique was wonderful. She spoke perfect English and gave a great overview of life in Amsterdam including details about cost of living and how expensive it is to own a car and park in the city. The majority of people living in Amsterdam have bikes and use them every day to get to work.
Most of the crew was from Romania and Bulgaria. The Captain and assistant were from Croatia and had to be the finest captains I’ve ever sailed with. There was an eclectic mix of guests onboard mostly consisting of American, Swedish, Canadian, and a few were even from Buenos Aires. I would have to say that my favorite things I enjoyed the most while onboard AMA Waterways were meeting experienced, well traveled guests; the hot, delicious soups everyday at lunch and the pastries.