Magnificent AmaMagna makes her début on the Danube

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There aren't many ways to be creative when building a European river vessel - or so you might have thought.

But give Rudi Schreiner, the charismatic Mr River Cruise and co-owner and co-founder of AmaWaterways, such a challenge and he will leap to the plate. His vision, the double-width AmaMagna, just launched in May 2019, and is something quite new, not just for AmaWaterways but within the whole European river cruise fleet.

One of the reasons it is so hard to differentiate between European river cruise operators is that all the vessels look so similar. They have to! They need to fit into the locks, and under the bridges, and to cope with very shallow water.

AmaMagna - The Bar

Rudi's vision was for a vessel that would sail the lower stretches of the Danube, downstream from Vilshofen (an easy drive from Munich, if you're wondering how you get to the ship). It is arguably the very best European river cruise itinerary, including as it does the glorious capital cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, the beautiful scenery of the Wachau Valley, amazing food and wine and some unforgettable trips to locations further afield - Salzburg, perhaps, for a little Sound of Music singalong, or pretty Cesky Krumlov.

The other plus of this route is that it can accommodate a vessel of double size - and this is exactly what AmaWaterways have built, the AmaMagna, twice as wide as the standard river boat at 72 feet. So what do you need to know about this additional width, and how it benefits you as a river cruise passenger?

AmaMagna in Vilshofen

Well, first of all the cabins on AmaMagna are strikingly spacious by river cruise standards. Even the minimum category with fixed windows and river view, down at the water line, is a substantial 205 square feet (luxury ocean cruisers might think this is normal, but believe you me it is not: 130 square feet lead-in is not unusual).

In addition, there are a whole range of 'suite' categories: lots of room, full balconies and spacious bathrooms, and ranging in size from 355 square feet to an amazing 710 square feet. So if you are an ocean cruiser who has resisted river cruising because of the small cabins, this is the vessel to change your mind.

AmaMagna - Suite

Next, dining is always important, and on AmaMagna you have plenty of choice, from the main dining room to the Chef's Table, to family style Jimmy's, and a well-protected Al Fresco Restaurant with panoramic views, right at the front of Violin Deck.

AmaMagna - Chef's Table

Another first for river cruising is a fold-down marina platform at the back of the ship, to be used for watersports, and also as a launch pad for the Sundowner boat, carrying up to 14 passengers, perfect for a whizz around to explore as the sun sets.

Wellness is always important on AmaWaterways vessels, and on AmaMagna you can really make the most of the additional space with extra fitness rooms, spa and sauna. A well-developed golf programme is on offer, and of course you can take a trip ashore on one of the fleet of bicycles, or go on an invigorating hike.

AmaMagna - Watersports platform

The Danube is a huge river, and going upstream can be tough. The focus on the build was on greening the ship, with a range of technological solutions which include state-of-the-art power systems and ten small engines to reduce both fuel consumption and noise.

If you are tempted by European river cruising, we think that the Danube is a great place to start, so why not give the amazing AmaMagna a go?

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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