AmaLucia: upscale elegance on the Rhine
AmaWaterways’ latest luxury river ship AmaLucia – the 25th in its fleet – highlights the continuing evolution of the line’s onboard product.
With capacity for just 24 guests, this popular venue has a more cosy ambience and fills up fast. However, dining in the main restaurant has witnessed a major change, with breakfast and lunchtime buffets replaced by waiter service.
While such a material development was forced by Covid restrictions, this is something the line’s co-founder Rudi Schreiner has long favoured for its two-fold benefit of bringing a more upmarket feel, while simultaneously cutting food waste.
AmaLucia, which sails the Rhine, also boasts a full programme of sporting and wellness activities: co-founder Kristin Karst claims that AmaWaterways is the only line to have wellness hosts completely dedicated to this on its ships.
“We have at least six activities a day, with water aerobics new this year,” she said. “We are constantly looking at different hiking and biking tours and coming up with new ones.”
As the market continues to bounce back from the pandemic, Rudi and Kristin are keen to kickstart UK business to help it recapture former levels when it accounted for a higher proportion of the line’s overall sales.
“The UK market is extremely important for us, we would love to do more initiatives to bring UK guests back faster,” said Kristin.“There are so many great things we can do in the future and are hopeful that by next year, we will see a lot more UK guests back on our ships.”
Twin balcony cabins
AmaWaterways pioneered this concept, and these account for 49 of the 78 cabins on AmaLucia, giving guests the luxury of a French balcony – where the window comes down – as well as a small adjacent sit-on verandah.
Unlike some of the line’s earlier ships that have kidney-shaped swimming pools, the pool on AmaLucia is rectangular and, like the others, has its own swim-up bar and seating around the sides.
Fitness and wellness
Activities run from around 7am until early evening with classes including morning stretching, core strengthening, resistance-band sessions, active wellness walks and high-intensity workouts, plus aqua aerobics, “post excursion stretch” and “digestive walks.” There are also Signature Classes which are based on each individual wellness host’s own qualifications, so these may vary but can include Zumba and line dancing sessions, Pilates and yoga. Personal training sessions are also available for a fee.
Located at the ship’s aft, seating just 32 diners and with floor to ceiling windows affording panoramic vistas, this intimate dining venue feels classy, so reservations are essential as it gets booked up quickly. The exclusive ambience is accentuated by a seven-course gastronomic menu served with selected wines, along with the opportunity to see the chef preparing each course in the open galley.
Excursions for all
The choice has been boosted with more active trips ashore such as guided hikes and cycling tours – guests can also help themselves to the onboard fleet of bikes to cycle off independently. More immersive options include beer and wine tastings.
While AmaLucia’s main restaurant offers a full selection of chef recommendations, vegetarian dishes, healthy choices and “Always Available” favourites, the Bistro offers lighter bites. At lunch, these include salads and sandwiches alongside Always Available snacks such as burgers and pizza. However, Chef’s Table takes AmaLucia’s culinary offering to another level, where you can expect dishes such as coconut laksa soup with mini crab cake, ginger oil and coriander foam, or king fish sashimi with tahini humus, lime coriander pesto and pickled vegetables.
Need to know
Chef’s Table is free of charge and so are most drinks during the Sip & Sail cocktail hour, which takes place before dinner each evening. A special fine dining Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Dinner is also included during voyages.
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