The arrival of spring brings a strong sense of new beginnings, rejuvenation and surprises. Nowhere was this more evident than in mid-March when 19 of our beautiful ships began welcoming our guests to experience the legendary rivers of Europe.
AmaMagna guests were surprised by a new full-sized pickleball court nestled just behind the wheelhouse on the ship’s expansive Sun Deck. Having the choice to maintain an active lifestyle while river cruising is important to many guests and, as pickleball is the fastest growing sport in North America, we felt this would be a wonderful addition to our onboard wellness activities. AmaMagna’s double width unique design accommodates many additional amenities such as four restaurants, five bars, a spacious Zen Wellness Studio with spinning with a view and, of course, the sun-deck walking track and heated swimming pool and whirlpool. I tried it out myself and heard that guests were thrilled to squeeze in a game or two of pickleball after returning from their afternoon hiking or biking excursions and before gathering in the lounge for our Sip & Sail complimentary cocktail hour. This addition to this incredible ship further enhances the 7 Reasons Why You’ll Love the AmaMagna.
We love introducing our guests to new tastes from all over the world and this year, guests with a sweet tooth may be surprised to find a new treat in store for them with the introduction of delectable “cronuts,” which are a donut shaped pastry made from croissant-like dough invented by a French pastry chef in New York. Another surprise helping us to cater to different “tastes” onboard is our new Silent Disco headphones which allow us to customize the evening’s dance music by offering guests two channels to tune into, each with a different music track. And when it comes to wine tasting, our guests on the first Bordeaux cruise of the season not only sipped memorable wines from this legendary wine region of France but also were treated to wine tastings hosted by Crystal Basin Cellars while taking in the beautifully illuminated skyline of Bordeaux.
Spring is the season when Mother Nature loves to surprise us with a mixture of weather conditions - days may start out cool and rainy but finish with brilliant sunshine and blue skies as you can see from the group of guests on the deck of AmaVerde as they cruised the lower Danube River on our Gems of Southeast Europe itinerary visiting Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. We are often asked about what to pack for cruising at this time of year and our experienced river cruise guests always follow the simple rule of layering, making sure they have a lightweight waterproof jacket - but don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen! Remember that those April showers bring May flowers and either way, we have you covered… there are umbrellas in all the staterooms.
Speaking about Mother Nature’s surprises, nothing can match the surprising splendor that unfolds during our Africa Safaris & Wildlife Cruises. Rudi and I have just returned from Africa where we checked out the beautiful renovations that were recently completed on the luxurious and intimate Zambezi Queen on the Chobe River. These journeys taking you from Cape of Good Hope to Victoria Falls to Kruger National Park are truly life changing!
Another surprise for this spring was our announcement that we will have not one but two new ships cruising Colombia’s Magdalena River between Cartagena and Barranquilla. We have started taking reservations now for a spring 2024 launch of these fascinating seven-night itineraries and with just 30 staterooms on AmaMagdalena and 32 on AmaMelodia, the two ships are expected to fill up quickly. There is lots to read about this destination in the Connections section on our website.
With our first Seven River Journey departing next month, our series of Celebration of Classical Music: The Danube departures starting on AmaSonata April 22nd, and our first Soulful Epicurean Experience at the end of August, we will have many more surprises to share with you in the months ahead.