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MEET THE CRUISE MANAGERS

Our highly trained, professional Cruise Managers are selected for their knowledge and expertise, and are with you from the moment you begin your river cruise and land vacation until you board your airport transfer for home.
Balazs Kiss
Balázs Kiss Balázs Kiss started his career in tourism working in places like Greece and Tunisia, then as a tour guide in Budapest for 9 years. In 2005 he got into the river cruise business as a Cruise Manager and joined AmaWaterways in 2011. He is fluent in Hungarian, English and German, loves hiking and gardening, and currently lives in Denmark.
Christian Abker
Christian Abker Christian Abker is from Düsseldorf, Germany, but considers Brazil his second home. During the winter season he stays in Brazil with his two children, Luan and Madana, and during the regular working season he lives in Germany. He started working for AmaWaterways 2009. In his spare time, Christian likes to read history, philosophy and literature, and he also enjoys many sports, particularly swimming (he competes in open water marathons in Brazil). He has traveled all around the world and speaks fluent German, English, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as French and Italian.
Christina Garcão
Cristina Garção Cristina hails from Portugal and holds a degree in Journalism. Before joining Amawaterways in 2013, she wrote travel articles for magazines and served as the head of a communications company managing a small staff. A former scout leader, she sails and dives as a hobby, has traveled all around the world, and is fluent in English, French, Portugeuse and Spanish.
Csaba Tamas
Csaba Tamas Csaba was born in Hungary, studied Tourism and Journalism, and traveled throughout Australia and the US before working as a local guide in Budapest. He joined AmaWaterways in 2008. Csaba enjoys swimming and yoga and speaks English and German.
When I'm asked about river cruising people ask me why I prefer AmaWaterways. My answer is that they just do things better and take care of so many details that make the experience amazing. It's a line I can put my full faith in to deliver the best experience possible.
KYLE T. - PHILADELPHIA, PA
Darinka Klipa
Darinka Klipa "After all these years of travel I am passionately in love with Europe," says Darinka. Two weeks after graduating from the Faculty of Philosophy at Zagreb University, Darinka made London her home base for the following 20 years. From there, it was Florence, Copenhagen, Berlin, the heart-stoppingly beautiful Dolomites, magnificent St. Petersburg and more! By roads and rivers, Darinka has led thousands of happy guests on amazing travel adventures throughout Europe. A winter girl at heart, Darinka enjoys skiing as well as hiking, reading, dancing, gardening and strolling along the promenades of her beloved blue Adriatic. She is currently based in the hills above Opatija, in her native Croatia.
Debbie Asayag de Albrecht
Debbie Asayag de Albrecht Argentina native Debbie Asayag de Albrecht holds a degree in Tourism and Hotel Management, and has been in the travel industry since 2001. Fluent in English and Spanish, and conversant in Portuguese and German, Debbie loves to dance and sing, and has been known to serenade our passengers! She's been with AmaWaterways since 2005 and currently lives in Ingolstadt, Germany.
Dejan Stancic
Dejan Stancic Dejan studied economics and holds a Master's Degree in European Union Integration, yet realized very early that his real passions were travelling and working with people. He started his career in the travel industry working for the leading UK tour operator, TUI, looking after guests in ski and beach resorts across Europe. His hobbies include diving, paragliding and playing sports, and he is fluent in English, Spanish, Serbian and Croatian and conversant in Russian. Dejan currently lives in sunny Barcelona, Spain.
Dragan Reljic
Dragan Reljic Dragan has a Serbian-Hungarian background and 16 years' experience in the hospitality industry. After finishing the Hotel Management School in Germany, he started cruising around the world on ocean-going vessels. Dragan joined AmaWaterways in 2010 and has been a Cruise Manager since 2011. A passionate traveler, he has visited 95 countries and is fluent in German, English and Serbian. He loves water skiing, diving and skiing in the Alps.
Eliane Spurzem
Eliane Spurzem Eliane was born in Germany from a French mother and a German father, grew up in France and studied Architecture before she began her career as a tour guide in Koblenz. Fluent in French, German and English and conversational in Spanish, she loves to travel and to meet people from all over the world. Eliane lives in Germany with her husband and her two children and is a passionate gardener
John Riley
John Riley John Riley began his career in the travel industry not on Europe's rivers but mountains, looking after guests in ski resorts. In the three decades since then, John worked with motor coach tour operators, ski chalets and beach resorts before joining AmaWaterways in 2006. Fluent in English, Italian and French, the native of Britain is a skiing and diving enthusiast, and lives in Hungary.
Kata Paulovics
Kata Paulovics Hungarian-born Kata Paulovics began her career as a tour guide in Budapest while earning her university degree in Tourism, Hotel and Catering. She has worked for AmaWaterways since 2008, and is fluent in English, Hungarian and German. Crediting travel as her "profession, hobby and recreation," Kata also enjoys tennis, ice skating and her Westie dog named Happy. She lives in Budapest.
Kriss Stallabrass
Kriss Stallabrass Kriss Stallabrass joined AmaWaterways in 2011, She studied translation at the University of Ottawa in Canada before going into tourism. She has worked for a travel agency, a charter airline and a tour company. She's traveled to more than 44 countries; and is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Kriss now lives in The Netherlands and is an avid cyclist.
Lisi Alscher-Bruck
Lisi Alscher-Bruck Lisi was born and raised in Melk, Austria and has spent almost her entire life here. Since starting as a cruise manager for AmaWaterways 2010, she has cruised primarily between Prague and Budapest. When not working, she likes to read and spend time with friends, and also serves as a licensed tour guide. She lives with her husband Joachim and cat Minki, and reads and speaks both English and German.
Maddy Caldaruse
Maddy Cāldāruşe Born and raised in Romania, Maddy holds a degree in Marketing and a master's degree in International Affairs. She started working in the river cruise industry in 2000 and joined AmaWaterways in 2007.
Mariana Santos
Mariana Santos Mariana was born in Argentina and now lives in Portugal. She has a degree in Hotel Management and previously worked on ocean liners. She loves traveling and getting to know new people and different cultures.
Mátyás Keresztes
Mátyás Keresztes Mátyás was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, and now lives just outside Budapest with his wife and two beautiful daughters. He studied Tourism, Catering & Hotel Industry and worked as a local guide in Hungary and neighboring countries, as well as many Hungarian and foreign travel agencies. He speaks fluent Hungarian, Spanish and English and is conversant in German. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, rowing and biking, reading and traveling.
Monika Feher
Monika Feher Monika Feher has cruised the rivers of Europe for several years now and finds it fulfills her passion for exploring new places, learning about different cultures and sharing her love of travel with other people. She spends her free time traveling and also enjoys photography, diving, sailing and seeking out new place to have a good meal.
Nick Hartog
Nick Hartog Nick was born in Sydney, Australia and first recognized the beauty of Europe while traveling there as an athlete. Following his studies in education and management, he began leading tours for groups in his homeland and went on to join AmaWaterways in 2011. Nick is fluent in German, English and Dutch, loves the outdoors, and lives in the Austrian Alps with his family.
Nikola Grujin
Nikola Grujin Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Nikola Grujin holds a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management and started out as a tourist guide in 2004 and joined AmaWaterways three years later. He has a passionate love of travel and a strong desire to exceed guest expectations. When he isn’t working, Nikola enjoys spending time with his wife Maria and his Jack Russell Terrier, Ogi.
Ornulf Jonnessen
Ornulf Johannessen Norwegian-born Ornulf has spent most of his working life in the travel industry, and has held senior positions both on board ships and in management for some of the world's top cruise lines. After close to twenty years of ex-pat life in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and the US, Ornulf returned to Europe and settled with his wife Ilse in her native Austria. Fluent in English, German and "Scandinavian," he joined AmaWaterways in 2009.
Peter Whitehead
Peter Whitehead Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Peter now lives in the Austrian Alps with his wife and two children, playing “Mr. Mum” when not cruising the European waterways. He enjoys skiing in winter and mountain biking in summer...when you live in the mountains you had better make the most of it. Leaving school to become a cook, Peter progressed into Resort Management entering the European tourism industry in 1992. In 2006 he joined a then small “one ship” company called AmaWaterways, and has remained a top rated cruise manager with AmaWaterways ever since.
Rachel Couto
Rachel Couto-Gomes A native of Brazil, Rachel has a background in International Relations and World Politics and has worked for several international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Red Cross. She has been traveling around the world since childhood and is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and conversant in German and Italian. Rachel loves to tell stories, read about world history, and has a true passion for dancing. When not working, Rachel can be found in southern Spain, where she now lives, running at the beach, sailing the Mediterranean or volunteering for local NGOs.
Reka Piros
Reka Piros Reka Piros was born in Hungary soon after the former Communist country re-opened its borders to the world. Eager to discover new horizons and to help other experience the magic of foreign travel, she worked as a tour leader for 14 years. After joining AmaWaterways, she found being a cruise manager was a perfect fit with her name – "Reka" means river in Hungarian. Knowledgeable about local history, cuisine and wildlife, she also holds a law degree and speaks Hungarian, English and German.
Rolf Jessen
Rolf Jilesen Rolf was born in The Netherlands and studied to become an Engineer before he realized that traveling was his passion. After completing a degree program at the University of Tourism, he started out as a tour manager, guiding travelers throughout Europe. Rolf is fluent in English, German and Dutch and has visited many countries. He now lives in Vienna, plays guitar and holds a private helicopter pilot license.
Sebastien Leroy
Sebastien Leroy Sébastien grew up along the Mediterranean near Marseille, France. He has studied foreign languages and oenology and tries to combine these dual passions working alternatively as a cruise manager and wine maker in Germany. Fluent in French, English and German, he is currently focusing on mastering the Spanish language. Sébastien joined AmaWaterways in 2012.
Uwe Nitschke
Uwe Nitschke Uwe (pronounced “oo-vuh”) was born near Dresden and studied civil engineering before deciding to make a career out of his favorite hobbies, traveling and hiking. Fluent in English and German and conversant in French and Russian, Uwe’s travel career began as a local guide in Cape Town, South Africa. A decade as a river cruise guide in Europe followed before the “warmhearted team spirit” of AmaWaterways enticed him to join us in 2008.
Veronika Holikova
Veronika Holikova Veronika is a native of Prague, Czech Republic, where she graduated with a degree in Tourism in 2012. She worked as a local guide for 10 years and organized tours for various non-profit organizations. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Czech and is also conversant in German. In her free time she listens to Brazilian music and likes to jog and roller skate, but traveling is by far her biggest passion. She lives in Frankfurt, Germany.