Once again AmaWaterways continues to impress—the standards are very high, the food and wine are awesome, the ports and sights are great and the crew always makes you feel special.
It is cruise # 17 on AmaWaterways for us, so we have learned about this company from top to bottom and watched it grow and get better on each sailing since our first cruise in 2009. It just feels like home to us—inviting and we feel like special guests.
I write all the time about Europe river cruising and its value. We have 8 guests sailing with us, 2 couples for the first time and 2 couples that are new to the AmaWaterways family. They all agree—it is a great value!
Since many often want to know the differences between cruising during the seasons, I thought I’d tell you about the differences between cruising on the Christmas Markets in December and the summer cruise we are on now, on the identical route.
So, let’s compare the two—Ready?—Let’s go!
The Differences in the Ports
The most striking difference is the crowds in the public squares.
During the Christmas Market season, the squares are full of small booths and festive people shopping, talking and enjoying food and drinking heated, spiced wine. They are bundled up, happy and it is an amazing atmosphere of lights, color and fun. It is often quite crowded.
In the summer, many squares seem almost empty compared to the crowded Christmas Markets, but the small restaurants often have outdoor tables loaded with people enjoying a drink or meal and people watching. The establishments extend out into the squares and have replaced some of the empty space.
Since sunset is after 9:30 PM (2130 hours) in the summer in June, it seems the days last forever and the weather is mild. On this trip in particular, the weather has been spectacular—temps in the 60’s-70’s in the day and only a small rain shower for about an hour or so.
The wonderful thing about visiting Europe is seeing the people in their outdoor living rooms—the public places of Europe where the gather to visit, eat and enjoy life.
Both seasons are great, but just have a different feel and vibe.
The Wellness Program
In the summer, the already excellent Wellness Program has more activities due to the better, milder weather and program upgrades.
We got an early look at the program in the winter with the onboard wellness host, Selena on the AmaKristina. It was very good—as I have earned a master’s Degree in Physical Fitness, I think I have the credentials to properly evaluate the program.
Let me be clear—it is robust, fun and I was taken back about how many different activities were offered—it by far is the best fitness program on the Europe rivers by any company!