Thursday, September 27, 2012
AmaWaterways 2012 Christmas Time Cruises
Bring The Holidays to Life
Celebrate the Season Exploring European Christmas Markets
From caroling along cobblestone streets of Europe to sipping seasonal hot spiced-wine, AmaWaterways lights up the Rhine and Danube Rivers this holiday season with its popular Christmas Time cruises across seven countries on five unique ships. With over a dozen Christmas markets, AmaWaterways’ passengers are immersed in the local, festive atmosphere while exploring historic cities.
“The holiday spirit comes alive in Europe’s Christmas markets and we love that our guests can enjoy this special time of year with us,” said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-owner. “AmaWaterways celebrates the season with on-board entertainment, festive decorations and overall holiday cheer. An experience like this only comes once a year and we anticipate another strong season for our Christmas cruises.”
The European Christmas Markets take over market squares and narrow cobblestone streets with festively decorated wooden stalls adorned with lights and evergreen. Starting in late November, vendors sell local food, hot wine, and sweet desserts like gingerbread and pastries. Local artisans create wooden toys, handmade crafts ornaments and more unique gifts and stocking stuffers for loved ones back home. Explore amongst Gothic churches and half-timbered houses for the winter experience that fills the senses with holiday cheer. AmaWaterways’ 2012 Christmas cruise itineraries and dates are as follows:
Christmas Time Cruise – The 10-night itinerary starts with two nights in Prague, Czech Republic. Passengers travel to Nuremberg, Germany to embark on the Danube River onboard one of AmaWaterways’ signature ships: AmaCerto, AmaDolce, AmaLegro or AmaLyra. In Nuremberg, passengers visit the world’s largest Christmas market and then cross the Continental Divide on their way to Regensburg to explore Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. Travelers also visit Austria’s beautiful cities such as Passau, Linz, Melk and Vienna. The itinerary includes excursions to Salzburg, the setting for “The Sound of Music”; Benedictine Abbey tour in Melk; optional Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna; and local Christmas markets at each stop. Ending in Budapest, Hungary, passengers explore old Buda and modern Pest which includes sightseeing stops at the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace and St. Stephen’s Basilica. North American travelers can book voyages from Nov. 18- Dec. 25, 2012.
Christmas on the Rhine – The 12-night itinerary starts in Switzerland with two nights in elegant Zurich then two nights in captivating Lucerne, exploring local Christmas markets and the Lion Monument. In Basel, travelers explore Switzerland’s second largest city before embarking on the AmaCello, a 148-passenger ship, for a 7-night cruise. Passengers cruise on the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam enjoying both French and German scenery along the way. Passengers can choose between the Colmar, France “Alsace” excursion with wine tasting or the “Black Forest” region of Germany. The itinerary includes a visit to Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region in northeastern France; a medieval tour in Speyer; a tour of the red-walled castle in Heidelberg; a tour of Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim; a tour through the charming town of Koblenz; a visit to the 13th century gothic cathedral in Cologne; and a canal cruise and city tour in Amsterdam. North American travelers can book voyages from Nov. 25- Dec. 23, 2012.
AmaWaterways’ Christmas cruises are available on five of its European ships: the AmaCerto, AmaLegro, AmaCello, AmaDagio and AmaLyra. This award-winning fleet features the most advanced ship designs in the river cruise industry with luxurious cruise accommodations. Amenities include spacious staterooms and suites (most with French or Twin Balconies), multiple dining venues, spas, swimming pools and fitness centers, an Infotainment system with Hollywood movies in every stateroom and complimentary Wi-Fi. Special highlights include lectures, themed dinners, cooking demonstrations and onboard music performances. Additionally, AmaWaterways offers a fleet of bicycles onboard these ships for passengers wanting to explore the serene paths along the rivers (capacity controlled).
Founded in 2002 by river cruise pioneer Rudi Schreiner, river cruise executive Kristin Karst and founder of Brendan Vacations, Jimmy Murphy, AmaWaterways is the premier river cruise line on Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Main, Mosel and Rhône rivers. Known for its custom-designed ships, extensive complimentary amenities and personalized service levels, AmaWaterways consistently leads the way in river cruising. With destinations traveling through Europe, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia, and new voyages to Africa and Portugal the line’s award-winning fleets compliment a variety of travel plans.
The Europe fleet includes the AmaPrima (2013); AmaCerto (2012); AmaVerde (2011); AmaBella (2010); AmaLyra (2009); AmaDolce (2009); AmaCello (2008), AmaDante (2008); AmaLegro (2007) and the AmaDagio (2006). In the spring of 2012, AmaWaterways introduced the new 164-passenger AmaCerto in Europe, joining the AmaVerde and AmaBella in offering an exclusive Twin Balcony design in the majority of staterooms; multiple dining venues; complimentary Internet and Infotainment system, a heated swimming pool or whirlpool on the Sun Deck plus many more unique design elements.
In addition to the European destinations, AmaWaterways offers the separate and distinct AmaVoyages to Vietnam and Cambodia via the AmaLotus (2011) and the La Marguerite (2009); Russia via the AmaKatarina (2011); Portugal via the AmaVida (2013); and Africa via the Zambezi Queen (2009).