AmaWaterways Reveals Six Trends Shaping the River Cruise Industry

In 2024, for the first time, AmaWaterways will begin its European river cruising season on February 11 with two ships on the Danube and Rhine Rivers. As the line announces record results for 2023 and continued strong growth for 2024 and 2025, several key trends are setting the stage for a bright future of the river cruise industry.

Guests embarking on their river cruise and land journeys with AmaWaterways in 2024 can expect curated experiences embracing the following trends:

  1. Off-Season Travel – As more travelers recognize the benefits of off-season travel, AmaWaterways is launching its 2024 river cruise season early in Europe, with special cruises on the Rhine and Danube Rivers onboard AmaMagna and AmaLucia. These cruises starting February 11, 2024, along with December cruises on the Douro River, offer guests quieter travel periods with fewer crowds and reduced airfares while extending economic benefits to local communities for more months of the year.
  2. Importance of Sustainability – For 21 years, AmaWaterways has implemented important measures to minimize its environmental impact and enhance the communities visited. To note, 20 of the ships in its European fleet have received the Green Award and solar panels were installed this year on the flagship AmaMagna. Additionally, AmaWaterways is extending the use of a River Track Pilot Navigation System for fuel efficiency. Tackling the growing concern about food waste, the company has replaced buffets with full service à la carte menus, anticipating a 30 percent reduction in waste while providing a higher level of service for guests.
  3. Experiential Travel – With travelers seeking longer, immersive and authentic experiences, AmaWaterways caters to this trend by offering guests unique experiences, including culinary excursions, local entertainment and seasonal events. AmaWaterways works closely with local communities to showcase local talents and traditions such as the weekly Oktoberfest in Vilshofen or the exclusive wine events in Spitz and Bourg. Starting in November 2024, guests will also enjoy a weekly Carnaval celebration in Barranquilla along the Magdalena River. The range of small-group excursions, led by local guides, offers guests a more intimate understanding of regional heritage, landmarks and traditions while providing employment opportunities and economic benefits to local communities.
  4. Wellness – Travelers today prioritize their health, seeking experiences that foster physical, mental and emotional well-being. AmaWaterways offers guests a robust Wellness Program onboard, with fitness rooms, various classes led by Wellness Hosts and a full-sized pickleball court onboard AmaMagna. Onshore activities include hiking, cycling and guided walks.
  5. Culinary and Wine Experiences – Exploring regional cuisine fosters a deeper appreciation for a destination’s history, culture and people. The line’s cuisine highlights regional and seasonal dishes while catering to diverse dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Paired with fine wines, often from visited vineyards, guests can enjoy exquisite meals at no extra cost, including a tasting menu at The Chef’s Table. In response to continued guest interest in delving into famed culinary and wine regions, AmaWaterways will debut its new seven-night “Flavors of Burgundy” itinerary in 2024, sailing between the Port of Saint-Jean-de-Losne, near the city of Dijon and Lyon, the gastronomical capital of France.
  6. Personalization – Personalized experiences are essential to affluent travelers and AmaWaterways offers guests the choice from up to 23 included shore excursions during a seven-night cruise. This freedom of choice allows guests to tailor their vacation to their interests, be it history, art, music, hiking and biking or food and wine. AmaWaterways offers guests a choice of more than 70 “Celebration of Wine River Cruises” in 2024, each led by a wine expert from North America or Europe. Additionally, AmaWaterways offers travelers four opportunities to celebrate Black heritage, history and culture in Egypt, Portugal and France in 2024 with its “Soulful Experience” sailings. Spanish-speaking guests can also enjoy AmaWaterways’ “Latin Touch” cruises, with the next departure scheduled for October 27, 2024, on AmaMagna on the Danube itinerary.

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