A Look around the AmaLyra…and some Suite Dreams

Welcome aboard AmaWaterways' AmaLyra, decked out for Christmas! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

After a quick flight over from Frankfurt, I found myself in the friendly city of Nuremberg, where I collected my luggage and was whisked by the pre-arranged shoreside transfer service en route to AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra, which lies docked along the Main-Danube Canal.

The AmaLyra tied up in Nuremberg, Germany on the evening of December 11, 2011. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

There was another river cruise ship docked just downstream from AmaLyra, but it was clear that the 2009-built AmaWaterways ship was the clear aesthetic winner.  Indeed, the AmaLyra has a strikingly elegant profile that is designed as much to soothe as to impress.

Stepping onboard couldn’t have been easier. My transfer van pulled up at the dock next to the ship, I got out, and within mere minutes I’d exchanged my passport for my stateroom key.  But there was a surprise in store there, too: I found myself the fortunate recipient of one of the ship’s premier Junior Suites.  And at a generous 255 square feet, it knocked my socks off.

Here’s a peek at what makes these Junior Suites, located on Violin Deck, so special:

The living room area of my Junior Suite aboard AmaWaterways' AmaLyra offers every comfort. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Welcome aboard Riesling! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The sleeping area of the Junior Suites aboard AmaLyra, which measure 255 square feet. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Of course, the bathroom is in keeping with the grandeur of the rest of the room.  I opened the door, then almost completely shut it when I caught a glimpse of the enormous soaker tub.  I’m a shower man, myself, but I can see that tub getting some use after a long, chilly day ashore.

A giant, marble-clad soaker tub awaits in AmaLyra's Junior Suites. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Since today consisted mainly of a “welcome aboard” speech and an admittedly fantastic dinner, we thought we’d a closer look at the interiors and public spaces of this comfortable, intimate ship. Here’s just a few shots we found as we strolled her decks this evening.

The tri-level Lobby and Reception area is the heart of AmaLyra. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The Main Lounge & Bar has beautiful panoramic windows and plenty of plush seating. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Located all the way aft on Violin Deck, the Aft Lounge is the perfect place to relax with a good book. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

AmaLyra's stateroom corridor on Violin Deck, 3. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

But perhaps the single most impressive thing about AmaWaterways so far is their people. No request is too much, no problem is insurmountable.  I received a tasty-looking plate of cookies in my room when I boarded.  Being allergic to nuts, I left the cookies there. No less than an hour later, the Hotel Director called.  Did I know they were made entirely without nuts by the kitchen? I didn’t – and the plate is rapidly devouring itself thanks to that knowledge!

A veritable feast was presented for dinner. Menu items and presentation are of the highest quality. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

That same courtesy and thoughtfulness has extended to every single crew-passenger interaction I’ve been a part of or observed so far. The Cruise Director went out of his way to help a diabetic guest find a local doctor to secure some sharps when he left his at home. The Captain invited several past guests and solo travelers, including myself, to an intimate cocktail hour and dinner at his table in the AmaLyra’s beautiful dining room.  And every staff member is willing to help out in any way they can, be it recommending a good wine to pair with dinner or offering up suggestions about what to do in the days ahead.

Pointsettas adorn tables in AmaLyra's Restaraunt. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Other thoughtful little touches abound: bottled water is complimentary in all passenger staterooms, as is wireless internet access and an extensive (if a bit finicky) video-on-demand system. At dinner, beer, wine, spirits and soda are also offered gratis, and round-the-clock coffee and tea are served up in The Lounge. And the food is some of the best I’ve had anywhere, period.

If I had to make a deep-ocean comparison, so far I would say AmaWaterways is on par with the likes of Silversea.

But tonight, the relaxing bed in my stateroom is calling me, bringing me closer to restful sleep and a fabulous morning exploring historic Nuremberg before setting sail around 12:45pm and transiting the first of a series of locks along the Main-Danube canal.

I can’t wait!

Our Live Trip Report from aboard AmaWaterways AmaLyra continues tomorrow, as we explore Nuremberg and set sail in the afternoon, bound for Regensburg!  Looking to book your very own river cruise with AmaWaterways? Get all the details from our friends at Cruise Experts Travel!


16 Responses to AmaLyra Live Voyage Report – Day 1

  1. […] Read more here on our sister-site, From the Deck Chair! Subscribe to River Cruise Advisor Receive an email update each time new articles are posted to River Cruise Advisor (about one email each week).  Name: […]

  2. Kim says:

    wonderful post again! i actually would like to sail on this ship.

    • Lois Greenberg, Key Biscayne Florida says:

      Love this review. We are sailing on the 18th and cannot wait. Everything looks great and the elegance of the AmaLyra shows in each photo.

      • Hi Lois:

        I’m from Key Biscayne also but just moved to Jacksonville :(. Hopefully it will not be forever. I just did a similar cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest on one of the other river cruise lines… I know you will love this! Have fun!

  3. […] s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js'; s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); TweetWe spent seven fantastic days aboard AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra sailing from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary recently. The 2009-built AmaLyra, docked in […]

  4. […] A river cruise in Europe […]

  5. […] = true; s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js'; s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); TweetExactly one month ago today, I embarked AmaWaterways’ stunning AmaLyra in the historic German port of Nuremberg.  Now […]

  6. […] While I was sailing onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra this past December, a reader with mobility issues emailed me to ask how someone who requires a scooter to get around would fare on a river cruise. As it turns out, the necessity of a scooter didn’t seem to be an issue at all for one guest on my sailing. She was able to traverse the ship using the passenger elevator, and was helped ashore with her scooter, where it was loaded into the storage bay of the motorcoach for touring.  It was then removed at every stop by the bus driver, and she scooted off to explore places like Nuremberg, Melk and Vienna with the rest of us. […]

  7. […] Advisor. Curious to know exactly what makes an AmaWaterways voyage so special? Read our day-by-day Live Voyage Report aboard the AmaLyra on our sister-site, From the Deck Chair. Subscribe to River Cruise Advisor Receive an email update […]

  8. […] You can read our day-by-day Live Trip Report from onboard AmaWaterways AmaLyra by clicking here. Subscribe to River Cruise Advisor Receive an email update each time new articles are posted to River Cruise Advisor (about one email each week).  Name: […]

  9. […] our AmaWaterways AmaLyra Live Voyage Report for a firsthand look at what day-to-day river cruising is all about! Subscribe to River Cruise […]

  10. […] absolutely nothing that can compare to the wonderfully festive spirit of these Christmas Markets, as I discovered last year. The experience of wandering through some of the most beautiful ports of call along the Danube while […]

  11. […] our full day-by-day account of our Christmas Markets Cruise aboard AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra by clicking here! Share → (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = […]

  12. […] during the winter months, I would go somewhere warm. Not until I read Aaron Saunders’s first Live Voyage Report from aboard AmaWaterways AmaLyra in December 2011 did I even consider going on a cruise somewhere […]

  13. […] across the fleet. The enhancements will come during the off-season, following the line’s popular Christmas Markets Cruises that take place during the month of […]

  14. […] Danube River Christmas Markets River Cruise aboard AmaWaterways AmaLyra […]

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