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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
July 9, 2017

Cruises Under $500

All About AmaWaterways

4 Fantastic Reasons to Take a River Cruise, Featuring
Ancient Temples, Historic Breweries and Wineries,
and the Shore Excursions of a Lifetime






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All About AmaWaterways

Award-winning AmaWaterways was an industry leader in creating ocean-cruise-style amenities and design elements for its riverboats. These included spacious staterooms with French balconies (sliding doors with railings) or Twin balconies, glass elevators, plush robes and luxury bedding, marble bathrooms, complimentary Internet, Wi-Fi access and Infotainment Systems; the newer vessels have heated swimming pools with swim-up bars. The boats, which are among the newest plying the world's rivers, sail itineraries in Europe, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Africa.

AmaWaterways Cruise Specials

AmaWaterways Shore Excursions

AmaWaterways Reviews

MS AmaCello
MS AmaCerto
MS AmaDante
MS AmaDara
MS AmaDolce
MS AmaKristina
MS AmaLea
MS AmaLyra
MS AmaPrima
MS AmaSerena
MS AmaSonata
MS AmaStella
MS AmaVida
MS AmaViola
MS Zambezi Queen

AmaWaterways is best for:

Seasoned mature travelers who are destination oriented and who prefer boutique-style small ship experiences on the world's rivers.
As is the case with river cruises in general, many mature adults choose this kind of experience for the ease and relaxation and personalized service it offers.

Most AmaWaterways boats sail Europe's rivers (the 2013 launch, the AmaVida, sails Portugal's Douro River). AmaLotus and La Marguerite travel Vietnam and Cambodia, sailing the Mekong River. AmaWaterways leases the AmaKatarina, which cruises in Russia, and the Zambezi Queen, which travels the Chobe River in Botswana. 

The atmosphere and experience onboard AmaWaterways:

AmaWaterways offers luxurious river cruise vacations in outside staterooms on the great waterways of Europe, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Most staterooms have either French or Twin balconies (AmaWaterways has more of these than any other line). The cruises are all-inclusive: meals, unlimited local wine, beer and soda, specialty coffees, as well as most daily guided tours. Elegant public areas feature fine contemporary art.

Most ships offer massage and salon services.

The newer boats have multiple dining venues and meals are often related to the destination, with local wines and regional specialties being served. The daily tours might include wine-tasting or culinary themes, while evening entertainment may include local music or folk dancers.

Casual dress prevails, though "country club casual" is recommended for dinner and somewhat dressier clothes for the Captain's dinner.

The destinations served by AmaWaterways Cruises:

AmaWaterways' ships are like floating five-star hotels that cruise the rivers of Europe, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Africa.

The clientele of AmaWaterways Cruises:

Mostly well-traveled, mature, affluent adults and couples 50+, though often considerably older. This line has a large social component and free time is often spent visiting with other passengers, who tend to be English-speaking North Americans, Europeans and Australians.

Regarding children onboard AmaWaterways Cruises: Children under the age of 4 are not allowed, and the line does not recommend traveling with children 4-7 years old.

AmaWaterways does not provide child-specific programs or child-minding facilities.

Children under the age of 11 may share a cabin with 2 adults provided that the child is able to share the bed with the adults; no additional bed will be provided. The cruise fare for the child under 11 will be 25% of lowest cabin category price.

Please be aware that cabins with balconies may be unsafe for small children if left unsupervised.


4 Fantastic Reasons to Take a River Cruise, Featuring Ancient Temples, Historic Breweries and Wineries, and the Shore Excursions of a Lifetime

CruiseCompete research has confirmed that one of the hottest cruise trends in recent years –small ship travel – shows no sign of abating, with the popularity of such cruises going nowhere but up.

Small ships (those that carry 500 passengers or less) offer a much different cruising experience than their larger counterparts. Below, some of the reasons that this form of travel is so popular:

(See a list of the river cruise lines here. See a list of all-inclusive amenities offered by the cruise lines here.)


  1. Small ships have unique offerings, both onboard and ashore: Smaller ships are, by definition, smaller.  But what they lack in square footage, they typically make up for in enhanced service and amenities, and unique on-shore offerings. In fact, their unique facilities, itineraries and shore excursions are probably the biggest reasons discerning travelers favor small ships.

    For example, Emerald Waterways ships have a unique indoor/outdoor pool that converts into a cinema in the evening. This versatile space doubles (and triples) as a quiet space to have coffee in the morning, to exercise, or to hold small function. This space is featured on all the star ships in Europe, except for the Emerald Radiance, due to its smaller size.

    Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection itineraries offer exclusive experiences onshore that are only available to their guests. On their Enchanting Danube itinerary, Uniworld offers a guided tour of Dürnstein, a small town in Lower Austria, that incorporates a wine tasting opportunity at the Nikolaihof estate. It’s arguably the oldest winery in Austria, and is famed worldwide for its Rieslings. 

  2. Small Ship Cruising is Personalized:  These ships have offer a very personal touch; many offer a nearly one-on-one service ratio and staff that cater expressly to their guest’s needs. Moreover, small ship cruising actually better lends itself to creating personalized trips for every type of traveler.

    Silversea Cruises has found a niche in high-end offerings: opera and ballet fans, food and wine connoisseurs, and lifelong learners will find a home with Silversea's onboard enrichment programs in 2017 and beyond. 

    AmaWaterways caters to active explorers through hiking and biking excursions. In fact, their European fleet keeps bicycles onboard for travelers wanting to tour a port town, or those simply looking to explore on their own. (AmaWaterways offers additional active excursions for adventurers through a partnership with Backroads.)

  3. A Small Ship Cruise for every budget:  The benefits of small ship experience aren’t out of reach for price-conscious travelers. Small ship cruises are affordable at a variety of price points, and just require some research to find the best fit for your budget. (See a list of all-inclusive amenities offered by the cruise lines here.)

    Oceania allows their guests a wide range of small ship cruise options, available for every price point with nearly unlimited itinerary options.  Their voyages range from seven days to 180 days and $1,799 per guest to $135,999 per guest. They are especially renowned for their cuisine, and offer guests an opportunity to participate in onboard cooking lessons with outstanding chefs and the freshest ingredients.

    Regent Seven Seas Cruises leads the way in all-inclusive amenities, with all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, included specialty restaurants, fine wines and spirits. They also offer unlimited internet access, gratuities, and ground transfer…. with a pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher. One of the strongest selling points for this line is their lineup of extraordinary sightseeing excursions, available in every port. (Approximately 90 percent of RSSC’s shore excursions are included in their package price.)

  4. Small Ships Reach Virtually Any Destination: Despite their smaller size, small ships can reach most destinations worldwide.  Their reach is actually greater in many cases, because they can navigate small ports and rivers that cannot be visited by larger, ocean-going ships. They also feature themed activities tailored to the areas they visit.

    Avalon Waterways offers a themed Danube Dreams for Beer Enthusiasts cruise, which is a ten-day European voyage that allows travelers to visit historic breweries, attend beer tastings, and learn about European beer-brewing techniques during onboard lectures and workshops. Guests on this itinerary also take part in a specially designed beer expert-led dining experience.

    Paul Gauguin Cruises will be the first cruise line to visit the port city of Vairao in Tahiti Iti beginning in 2018. These unprecedented cruises will showcase a remote coastline that features ancient temples, Polynesian culture, and extraordinary surfing opportunities.

With their wide variety of itineraries and pricing options, river cruises also offer a unique family cruise experience. CruiseCompete’s 2017 Family Friendly Cruise Planner is available online and details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience. Click here to download your copy of the 2017 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner.

For more Family Travel resources, please visit

See a list of the river cruise lines here. See a list of all-inclusive amenities offered by the cruise lines here.

a private invitation for Oceania Cruises

Think all hotel prices are the same? Think again.

Expedia: $229
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To see Member-Only hotel pricing, click here and go into your CruiseCompete account, then click on Wholesale Hotel Deals to go to CruiseCompete’s Amazing Travel Offers. (Please note: No membership fee required and Apple users may need to unblock cookies.)

CruiseCompete is committed to providing a satisfying cruise travel experience, so please feel free contact us at any time at

Thank you once again for choosing CruiseCompete.



Bob Levinstein
CEO Ventures, LLC.


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