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AmaLyra Photo Tour
Built in 2009, the 360-foot long AmaLyra carries just 148 passengers throughout the waterways of Europe in comfort and style. Her sleek design, classically-modern interior spaces and blue exterior accents are all hallmarks of AmaWaterways, a highly successful river cruise line that was formed just ten years ago. Because of her carefully-planned dimensions, AmaWaterways can deploy the AmaLyra almost anywhere in Europe, from Amsterdam to the Black Sea.
Don’t be fooled by her relatively small outward appearance; all river cruise ships must be designed to allow them to pass not only under the many bridges that span rivers like the Danube and Main, but they must also be narrow enough to fit into the numerous locks that line the Main-Danube Canal, some of which are a tighter squeeze than the Panama Canal.
Thanks to some ingenious design work, AmaLyra is as spacious as many large ocean-going cruise ships. With only 148 guest served by a dedicated crew of 41, you may be forgiven for coming to the conclusion, at the end of a week, that all of this was designed exclusively for you.
Local culinary specialties are paired with local wines at dinner, and little perks like complimentary WiFi, complimentary bottled water in staterooms and beer, wine and soda at dinner, round-the-clock coffee and tea provided gratis, and a whole host of included shore excursions help to make the ships of AmaWaterways one of the most attractive ways to see the wonders of Europe.
What makes the AmaLyra so special? Let’s have a look!
The lowest deck aboard AmaLyra, the Piano Deck is home to 13 oceanview staterooms spanning Categories D and E.
Category D and E Staterooms
Both come in at a very comfortable 170 square feet, and offer two fixed windows placed higher up in the stateroom thanks to their location near the waterline. But other than the fixed windows and their relative location on the ship, these rooms offer all the comforts of their French Balcony counterparts, but at a very affordable price.
These rooms have a small desk and vanity area that’s large enough to place a full-sized laptop on. Be sure to bring a North American power converter, as all power outlets aboard the AmaLyra (and indeed, most river cruise ships) are of the two-prong European variety.
An interactive TV system allows guests to access the internet or browse through the ships’ selection of complimentary movies, television channels, and even a forward-facing bridge camera. This desk area is also home to your QuietVox audio systems. Featuring a single earpiece, these wireless receivers are used when on tour to allow you to better hear your guide at all times. To test their range, I wandered away from my guide in Vienna and was impressed when, two and a half blocks away and inside a chocolate shop, I could still hear her.
Closets provide more than ample storage for the typical weeklong voyage, and suitcases can be easily stored underneath the comfortable beds. The mattresses in all staterooms run more towards the firm side of the scale, but coupled with the ultra-soft duvets and pillows you’re likely to have a week of fabulous sleeps.
But the real winner in all stateroom categories has to be the ingeniously-designed bathrooms that feature a full, multi-function shower that’s one of the best we’ve used anywhere. Showers in even these Category D and E staterooms feature real glass doors and plenty of space; there’s no cylindrical tube and wayward shower curtain here!
Category A, B and C Staterooms
These are all identical, with the exception of Category A rooms, which reside one deck up on Violin Deck. At 170 square feet, these rooms are every bit as spacious and convenient as their Category D and E counterparts, but with one distinct feature: they offer a magnificent floor-to-ceiling French Balcony that can be opened to let in the fresh air and sweeping vistas.
All the way forward on Cello Deck is the AmaLyra’s comfortable Restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served here in a relaxed, open-seating environment. Breakfast and dinner can be ordered off the menu or taken buffet-style, while dinners are a menu-driven affair, each offering their own, port-dependent local specialties.
Beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks are also complimentary at dinner, and the wine pours are generous.
Junior Suites and Category A+ Suites
The largest accommodations aboard AmaLyra are the three Junior Suites, which boast a generous 255 square feet of living space. A separate sitting area is adjacent to the bedroom and features a full-size couch, two chairs and a coffee table. A vanity desk provides enough space to comfortably store your QuietVox headset devices, a laptop, and a bottle of bubbly.
Three full-size closets provide ample storage space, and additional shelf space is available next to and underneath the beds.
Inside the bathroom is a full, glass-enclosed shower, a full-size bathtub, and a generous sink and vanity area with cleverly-hidden storage shelves behind the mirrors.
There is one single Category A+ Suite aboard the AmaLyra, room number 302. At 225 square feet, this is nearly as large as the Junior Suites, but has a smaller bathroom that lacks the full-size bathtub.
Aft Lounge, Spa and Fitness Centre
All the way aft on Violin Deck is the cozy Aft Lounge and its adjacent Fitness Centre and Spa. One of my personal favorite areas onboard, the Aft Lounge was a wonderful oasis tucked away at the back of the ship. Bar service was available by simply picking up the telephone, and the views from this aft vantage point are unparalleled. The Aft Lounge also sports a whole host of board games, books and other diversions, as well as a laser printer for guest use.
Next to the Aft Lounge is the AmaLyra’s small but functional Fitness Centre. Definitely a nice addition, but with all the walking you’re likely to do ashore, it’s not needed as much here as on the larger ocean-going cruise ships. There is, however, a convenient exterior staircase through the Fitness Centre that allows you to access the open Sun Deck.
Reception & Main Lounge
The Reception Lobby is the heart of the ship. With its beautiful wrought-iron staircase and elegantly tiled floors, you’ll feel like you’re in a swank boutique European hotel. There’s always a friendly smile waiting to assist you at the Front Desk, and you’ll get to know these individuals well throughout your cruise: they will hand you your boarding cards, offer you hot or cold towels when you embark the ship, and generally look after any needs you might have throughout the cruise.
Adjacent to the Reception Lobby is a small Library area featuring books on a wide variety of subjects. Copies of the daily news are also available here. Across from the Library is the Cruise Director’s desk, for any questions you might have about the voyage or your time ashore.
If the Reception Areas is the heart of the ship, the Main Lounge is your go-to place for nightly entertainment, great drinks and light lunches.
Round-the-clock coffee, tea and water are always available here, and an Early-and-Late-Riser’s breakfast can be had in the morning. At lunch, a so-called “Light Lunch” is served in the Lounge and consists of soup, sandwiches, salads and a selection of cold meats and cheeses.
AmaLyra’s uppermost deck is the Sun Deck. The perfect vantage point for viewing some of the remarkable scenery you’ll be passing, the Sun Deck has a wide array of chairs and seating options, including a hot tub located just aft of the Navigation Bridge that was well-used during our winter Christmas Markets voyage.
The Sun Deck is accessible from either side of the Reception Area, a door located on the Port side of the Lounge, or via a staircase tucked into the Fitness Centre located aft on Violin Deck.
For a river cruise at any time of the year, you can’t go wrong with this 2009-built gem. AmaWaterways pays close attention to each ship it builds, gradually tweaking and refining the design based on passenger comments. The mix of complimentary features, stunning onboard service and contemporary European elegance makes the AmaLyra every bit the star of the famous waterways she sails.
For more information on AmaWaterways’ AmaLyra, be sure to visit the AmaWaterways website, or read our entire Live Voyage Report as we sailed from Nuremberg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary aboard this stunning river cruiser. A complete profile of AmaWaterways, their fleet and itineraries can be found on our sister-site, River Cruise Advisor.
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