Review: AmaWaterways' luxury river cruise ship AmaLucia
By Jane Archer | 4 Nov 2022
Wellness hosts, wine tasting and waiters at every meal? We test out the little luxuries in our review of what to expect on AmaWaterways’ newest river cruise ship, AmaLucia
Dining on AmaWaterways’ river cruise ship AmaLucia
I’ve arrived for breakfast and, quick as you like, without me asking, a plate of fruit and my usual pot of Earl Grey tea is served to the table. Before Covid was ever an issue, the bosses at river cruise line AmaWaterways had moved away from the buffet to a more refined waiter-service start to the day. And here it is, in action, on the new Rhine-based river ship, AmaLucia.
Some nibbles and a drink to get you started and then a choice of dishes from the menu – eggs any way you like, waffles, minute steak, avocado toast and more – or create your own breakfast bowl with yogurts, fruits, nuts and bread. What a treat. Finding things in a buffet can be hard work; here it’s all done for you – at lunch as well as breakfast.
It takes longer to get through the meal, especially if everyone arrives at once, but you can always get a light breakfast or lunch in a new bistro restaurant at the front of the lounge. It’s a lovely area, offering 270-degree views as you sail, but fills up quick.
The Chef’s Table is different again, serving a seven-course taster menu that could rival some of London’s top restaurants (the coconut laksa soup got my top marks), but with the added bonus of having fabulous views over the wake of the ship.
What is it like on luxury river cruise ship AmaLucia?
Holding just 156 passengers, AmaLucia is nicely intimate with a happy feel, not least due to gaily coloured furnishings in the lounge that blend nicely with shades of cream and grey.
This is the main hangout; quiet by day but buzzing with conversation during a sip-and-sail hour before dinner and live music with the resident pianist and a visiting band after.
In a nod to the environment, plastic bottles of water and toiletries have been outlawed on AmaLucia, while in a nod to passengers’ wellbeing, fitness classes are offered by a resident wellness host. I was up stretching and doing tummy crunches, yoga and Pilates with Tiago at 7am each morning, but if you’re not an early bird there are plenty of hiking and biking tours alongside sightseeing and wine-tasting excursions.
Or head to the sun deck, where you can relax and enjoy the views from comfy sofas at the front of the ship or put in a few lengths in a heated pool.
The colour scheme carries through to the cabins and suites, most of which boast a split-balcony design that’s half outside and half inside, so there’s somewhere to sit and enjoy the views whatever the weather – and a shower that has a cheeky window into the room. Don’t worry, it can be obscured to protect your modesty!
Book a river cruise on AmaLucia
A seven-night Tulip Time cruise round-trip from Amsterdam departing March 19, 2023, on AmaLucia and calling into Hoorn, Middelburg and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium, costs from £1,946 per person based on two sharing a category E cabin with a fixed window.
Price includes flights and transfers, all dining and excursions, drinks with lunch and dinner, fitness classes and Wi-Fi. Find out more from AmaWaterways.