Following the popularity of her 2015-launched sister ship, the AmaSerena, the brand new AmaStella is all set to set sail on the rivers of Europe in 2016. As part of the American-owned AmaWaterways fleet, AmaStella combines elegant décor, breathtaking floor-to-ceiling views and state of the art design to provide an upmarket, luxurious, all-inclusive cruise experience.
Passengers With 50 crew on hand to attend to the needs of a maximum of 158 passengers, AmaWaterways’ impeccable standards of service are alive and well on the AmaStella. As she’s an American ship, most of her passengers tend to be from the USA and Canada, although she is also very popular with discerning British and other English-speaking tourists. Her passengers tend to be mature, well-travelled and interested in engaging with the culture and history of the itinerary.
Dining AmaStella’s chefs are members of the international gastronomic society, La Chaine des Rotisseurs, meaning passengers can expect excellent standards of cuisine. All menus are inspired by the itinerary, and on AmaStella this means the chance to taste delicacies from the Netherlands and Belgium or Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. Most meals are taken in the spacious, stylish main restaurant on the Cello Deck. A relaxed open-seating policy operates here, although the ‘country club casual’ evening dress code, where diners wear smart tops and trousers or skirts, is slightly more formal than on most river cruise ships. The breakfast buffet starts at 7am with a lunch buffet following later in the day. Both meals offer freshly cooked options too. Dinner is a multi-course affair for passengers to relax and socialise over. Alternatively, the Main Lounge & Bar on the Violin Deck serves an early riser breakfast, casual lunch and afternoon snacks including sandwiches and cookies. The 24-seater Chef’s Table restaurant at the back of the Violin Deck can be booked for a special gastronomic experience where the chef prepares delicacies in front of passengers. The Al Fresco Terrace at the front of the deck is a great setting to enjoy a meal or a drink and the passing views. Wine, beer and soft drinks are free-flowing at lunch and dinner and there’s even the chance to start the day on a celebratory note with a glass of sparkling wine at breakfast. Speciality teas and coffees are always available.
Entertainment The Main Lounge & Bar with its dance floor and adjoining Observation Lounge is a great place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink to the sound of piano music or the local entertainers who are invited onboard every evening after dinner. All itineraries have a welcome dinner where many passengers choose to take the dress code up a notch or two. Occassionally this dinner is enhanced with an Illuminations Cruise where the night-time scenery of cities like Budapest provide the perfect visual accompaniment to the evening’s entertainment. The state-of-the-art in-cabin Entertainment on Demand System allows passengers to enjoy first-run Hollywood movies, complimentary Wi-Fi, English-speaking TV and a music library on their flat screen TV.
Activities AmaStella has a gift shop for souvenirs and presents. The Fireside Library is a lovely place to relax with a good book. On a fine day, most passengers choose to spend time on the Sun Deck with its two levels, retractable roof, lounge chairs, walking track and heated pool complete with swim up bar. On offshore excursions, the AmaWaterways’ Small Group Excursions programme is available to make sightseeing suit all passengers. Gentle Walkers caters for the less mobile or those who simply feel like a leisurely visit. Active Walkers covers more ground at a faster pace and Late Starters allows passengers to treat themselves to a lie in. The all-inclusive price passengers pay includes all tips and fees associated with sightseeing, the services of a knowledgeable guide and state of the art headsets. There is also the opportunity to explore by bicycle, either independently or on a guided tour of cycle-friendly cities like Amsterdam.
Accommodation Flat screen TV, safe, hairdryer, phone, full-length mirror, climate control, writing desk and spacious wardrobe come as standard in all AmaStella’s elegant outside staterooms. Hotel-style bedding, robes, multi-jet showers, premium bath products and seating areas add to the feeling of pampering. Bottled water is replenished daily. The Violin Deck is home to AmaStella’s four huge 350 sq. ft. French Balcony & Outside Balcony Suites. Not only do these feature a private balcony joined to the French balcony by a large window, they also have an enhanced seating area and separate bathtub in the large bathroom. Next to the suites are eight 235 sq. ft French Balcony & Outside Balcony Staterooms, which have the same benefits as the suites, although their slightly smaller size means they lack a bathtub. There are a further eight 210 sq. ft. French Balcony & Outside Balcony Staterooms on this deck and ten 170 sq. ft. French Balcony Staterooms at the back. On the Cello Deck, passengers will find 10 more of the 235 sq. ft. French Balcony & Outside Balcony Staterooms with 15 of the 210 sq. ft. ones neighbouring them. At the back of the deck there are eight more 170 sq. ft. French Balcony Staterooms. The Piano Deck is home to twelve 160 sq. ft. Fixed Window Staterooms with twin windows.
Spa/Wellbeing The Fitness Room and Massage & Hair Salon, which houses a beauty therapist, hairdresser and masseuse, are located next to each other at the front of the Piano Deck. There is also an onboard glass elevator for tired legs or the less mobile.
Itineraries AmaStella makes her debut in 2016 with the eight-day Amsterdam round-trip Tulip Time Cruise through the waterways of Holland and Belgium. After that she’ll be sailing three Danube itineraries. The 11-day The Romantic Danube adventure starts with a three-night stay in Prague followed by a cruise to Budapest via Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia. Melodies of the Danube is another 11-day itinerary that starts in Budapest and ends with a three-night stay in Munich or Prague. The 10-day Christmas Markets on the Danube itinerary adds festive sparkle to the already magical cities, castles and rural scenery of the Danube.