Double the width of a standard European river ship but the same length and height, AmaMagna carries 196 guests, only 20% more than the majority of the other vessels in Ama's fleet, despite being twice the size. She is specifically designed for the Danube, and due to her size she can only sail on the widest section of the river.
I joined the ship in Vienna and settled into my sumptuous 355-square-foot suite (category SB on the Cello Deck) straight away. This room is substantially larger than the lead-in cabins on most ocean ships, with an ample sized balcony, and felt more like a luxury hotel room. So if you enjoy ocean cruising but fear that river ships will be too small and crowded, this is the ship for you.
I had a delicious lunch in the main dining room after embarking, and then borrowed a bicycle for a leisurely afternoon cycle along the towpath.
The seating areas are designed for guests to find a corner they like and have the luxury of their own space. I loved the cosy library area, within easy reach of the Al Fresco Restaurant if you need a coffee or snack. A fake open fire and comfy low seats make this area very inviting, and I can imagine during the winter, for those doing Christmas markets and holiday cruises, this would be a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
Meals reflect the cuisine of the area you are cruising through, so at dinner that evening I enjoyed Wiener Schnitzel with a delicious wine (included in the fare), and then went into town for a stroll past the Sacher Hotel, where the famous Sacher Torte was invented, admiring the wonderful cafés and Baroque architecture.
Next morning I watched a yoga class on the sun deck with Tiago the fitness instructor, who ran a whole range of daily classes as well as instruction in the spacious fitness area on Violin Deck. At one point we all had to sit down to avoid being decapitated by a low bridge (the wheelhouse can be hydraulically lowered)! In Bratislava I joined a walking tour of this pretty town, with a church that now operates as a brewery. A wide choice of excursions are included in your fare, so you can really make the most of each destination.
For dinner that evening we had a reservation at The Chef's Table Restaurant, one of four different dining options. We were presented with an excellent seven-course tasting menu, paired with Austrian wines - a white Gruner Veltliner and a ruby red Zweigelt to accompany the tomato carpaccio, lemon pepper salmon, carrot and ginger soup, grilled perch and Nebraska beef, followed by a rum and raisin apple tart. The peach and sparkling wine sorbet in the middle completed the line-up of seven courses.
There is plenty to keep you busy on board: the sun deck has a pool and Jacuzzi, the Zen wellness studio has a hair salon, manicure room and two massage rooms, and there are spin bikes outside or a cool gym area to exercise in. You can watch a film in the cinema or in your suite, and it is easy to meet new people to sit and discuss your day with.
Finally I disembarked in Budapest, where we were docked overnight, giving me plenty of time to explore this lovely city before being whisked off to the airport for my flight home.