Who’s Number One on the River?

amawaterways amaprima

One of the top writers for Berlitz Travel books is Douglas Ward, author of the informative guidebook “Berlitz: Cruising and Cruise Ships”. Keeping up with the demand for river cruise holidays, he has taken the plunge in writing his first book on river cruising, titled “Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe”.

The 256-page guide is due to hit the bookshelves on July 1. It reviews nothing but river ships on every category from nuts to bolts, accommodation, and cuisine, staff service and amongst other categories.

The ‘Number One’ spot with the overall highest level listed in the book of any of the 260 river ships rated is AmaWaterway’s AmaPrima. So let’s take a peek on possibly what enticed Douglas Ward to make the AmaPrima the star of Berlitz’s latest guide.

The AmaPrima is one of the most innovative and luxurious river cruise ships to come out in recent times. The ship, which was first launched in April of 2013, is one of the many custom-designed vessels operated by AmaWaterways.

What sets it apart?

AmaPrima is based in Europe, and had its maiden voyage on the Dutch and Belgium waterways. The ships itineraries also include frequent trips along the Danube and Rhine Rivers with one of the most popular sailings being the route from Budapest to Prague.

The ship mainly caters towards a mature audience as well as younger professional couples. On some itineraries the ship stays overnight in port and this gives the passenger the opportunity to visit the local attractions and restaurants.

Décor and cabins

The luxury on the AmaPrima begins in the two stories high lobby, with its impressive polished white marble floor, glass elevator and an enormous series of staircases.\The ship has four decks in total and carries approximately 164 passengers. More than 80 cabins are available for accommodation with 64 of these bearing elegant French style balconies.

amaprima balcony

Onboard amenities

The heated swimming pool is a great way to relax while onboard and is surrounded with several lounge chairs. A sundeck is also accessible for more sunbathing opportunities depending on the weather of course. The ship also has a fitness centre, spa and beauty salon as well as a large library.

Even though they are there for convenience to passengers, with so many things to see while meandering down the river or in some quaint town or a picturesque city, you might find time is limited to indulge.



The dining onboard the ship is second to none. All gourmet meals are served in the main restaurant, which contains both booths that seat six and tables for four. Breakfast is buffet-style, while lunch comprises of a menu with a separate salad and dessert bar. For dinner, there are four courses most of which are European regional dishes which are served by the waiting staff.

main restaurant


In each port that the AmaPrima makes a call in, a series of walking tours are offered to passengers. These consist of three types including gentle tours that go at a slower pace, active tours that encompass more points of interests and the late starter tours. As the name suggests, the latter fits night owls who like to sleep in.

Other types of tours are available for a small fee and the tours all come with a headset that provides useful information and interesting facts about the places that you will see.

AmaPrima’s main competition just cannot compare according to Berlitz. It would be an experience for you to judge their ratings with your own!

Written by Veronica Shine