As co-founders of AmaWaterways, Rudi and I were honored to be among a group of 12 travel industry professionals who recently received AFAR Magazine’s 2019 Travel Vanguard Award, which celebrates people showing extraordinary efforts to make travel a force for good in the world. We are humbled to be included with this group of inspiring individuals and I wanted to share my thoughts on what this special award means to us.
Throughout our lives, Rudi and I have experienced the transformational power of travel and feel very blessed by the support from incredible people who have helped bring our river cruise dreams to reality. From the beginning, Rudi and I shared a vision about creating an enriching travel experience that would showcase the beauty of the rivers of Europe and the history, culture, food and wine of the countries that we come from and care deeply about.
We are very proud of our beautiful, comfortable ships and all the innovation and care that goes into designing, building and furnishing each one of them. We are also proud to have introduced hiking and biking and wellness activities to appeal to active cruisers and allow all our guests to integrate healthy lifestyle choices into their day-to-day river cruise experience. Sustainability is also very important to us and we will never stop looking for new ways to protect the rivers, the communities and the environment that supports us.
For us, it’s always been more than just ships, itineraries and tours. It’s been about the people – the wonderful, talented individuals who share their smiles, their expertise and their personal stories that help bring to life each country we visit and create a better understanding and acceptance of the different cultures we encounter.
We are most proud of the talented teams in our offices and on board our ships who, every day, through their actions and words, remain true to our vision: that river cruising can be an intimate, personalized and enriching life experience punctuated with “surprise and delight” moments that create new friendships and everlasting family memories.
We continue to believe that travel is a force of good that can unite people through better understanding of cultural differences. Rudi and I are just as excited and passionate about river cruising today as we were when we launched AmaWaterways 17 years ago and we can’t wait to introduce more new ships and enriching travel experiences in the years ahead.
We thank AFAR for this award, share the recognition with all our AmaFamily and thank our crews, guests and travel partners for their loyalty and support.