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Cruising in The Netherlands with AmaWaterways

02 Aug 2017 | by Helen Williams

To give you a thorough and reliable insight into cruising Amsterdam and the Dutch town of Hoorn, we sent a few of our members of staff on AmaWaterways’ AmaPrima 3 day river cruise. Read on to find out about what they thought about both the trip and the AmaPrima herself.


The Ship

The overall impression of the AmaPrima was that she exceeded the expectations of the guests. Not quite sure what to expect, our staff went in thinking that she would be small and crowded, but were pleased to find that there was ample room for the 120 passenger maximum capacity. The review was that cabins were surprisingly spacious, complete with en suite and individual balconies which helped to create an airy atmosphere.

Not only the cabins, but the shared public areas were also generous and comfortable. The main lounge is said to be a fun and social space, where guests can mingle, drink, and listen to music into the night. Floor-to-ceiling windows are perfect for taking in the riverside views while relaxing throughout the evening.

A real highlight of the AmaPrima is the pool on the top deck. Of course in the winter months this might not be popular among all guests – although it is heated – however for those who do wish to partake in a swim, the poolside bar is an especially attractive feature. The bar has been installed at pool-level, so swimmers needn’t leave the pool to order and enjoy their drinks.

As with most river cruises, entertainment onboard the AmaPrima is not as extensive as with typical ocean liners. Having said this, guests can take pleasure in listening to the nightly performances of the resident pianist and singers, who have been known to take a range of requests to make the night extra special.

The Itinerary

As a short mini-break, time was of the essence for our team, and so the efficiency of staff and ease of embarkation and disembarkation was hugely appreciated.

Day 1

The trip began with AmaWaterways staff meeting passengers at the airport, before a short 20 minute journey to the ship which was docked in Amsterdam central. After embarkation guests were given a short tour of the AmaPrima, before having the rest of the afternoon to relax or explore as they wished. There was then a wide choice when it came to the evening’s three course meal, which was said to have been delicious, all-round. The seafood bisque was reported to have been especially flavoursome. After dining, guests could listen to music into the evening, with the ship leaving for Hoorn at around 10pm.

Day 2

Again, the reviews were that breakfast consisted of a range of choices – allowing each guest to start their day happily. After breakfast, passengers enjoyed various excursions in Hoorn – whether this be a tour of the town with an informative and enthusiastic tour guide, or trips to a windmill or local dairy farm. Excursions are suitable for a range of guests, although it should be kept in mind that they involve being on your feet for a good few hours, and so might not be appropriate for elderly passengers, or those who have problems with mobility.

In keeping with the exploration of Dutch culture, guests were then taken to a local pub where they enjoyed traditional delicacies of the country. Lunch was back onboard the ship, and then the return journey to Amsterdam began. The following few hours were either spent freely in the cabins, lounges, or pool, or at the optional activities such as wine tasting. The evening meal was a formal affair, with consistently impressive food – the lamb shank being a particular favourite.

Day 3

After another tasty breakfast, the ship docked into Amsterdam in the morning. Disembarkation was again considered quick and easy, after which passengers undertook their short transfer back to the airport.

Hints and Tips

We asked our staff what advice they would give to anyone thinking about booking this AmaWaterways trip, and this is what they came back with:

  • The trip might not be suitable for young children, as there is not a lot of onboard entertainment. It is more suited to couples or singles.
  • The lounge is a very social area, making it great for single passengers to meet and mix with others.
  • The number of cabins is limited – so if you want to book, book early.
  • There is great access to Amsterdam central - the ship is docked just a 5 minute walk away.
  • Altogether, the river cruise was said to be thoroughly enjoyable, albeit short! Our team were particularly impressed by the friendly and helpful staff, who took every care to ensure that everyone onboard had the best mini break possible. The general consensus was that for those who have not taken a river cruise before, a short, European option like the Netherlands is a perfect introduction to this style of holiday. Find out more about our collection of river cruises.

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