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Why you should consider a European Riverboat Cruise

I’ve traveled the world professionally for nearly two decades. The question I get over and over again: “Can I travel with you?” I’m excited to tell you that this summer, you can!

On July 14, 2019, join me in Vilshofen, Germany as we embark on a 8 days/7 night adventure aboard the fabulous AmaMagna. On this voyage, we’ll explore the Danube, venturing into the heart of the continent where empires were built, kings and queens were crowned and world-famous music was composed. Oh, and let’s not forget the gelato and wine!

Rhine River Cruise

Last summer, my husband and I brought our five-year-old twins on AmaWaterways’ Rhine River cruise.

It ended up being one of the best travel experiences of our lives. Hopefully that’s enticing enough to keep you cruising skeptics reading.

A whirlwind tour of Europe, while fun, is hardly ever easy (especially with kids). For every Instagrammed photo of a family jumping gleefully in the foreground of a gothic church, there is a real-life hunger-and-jet-lagged fueled tantrum to go with it… and often it’s the adults, not the kids, throwing it. A whirlwind European vacation with two almost-kindergarteners could’ve spelled disaster. With the framework our ship provided, the trip was magical. The four of us explored Heidelberg castle; learned about Gutenberg’s printing press in Mainz, Germany; and pretended we were the stars of our own fairytale on the cobblestone streets of Strasbourg, France. The best part? Not once did I hear, “are we there yet?”

rhine river cruise

River cruising makes what could be a stressful travel experience a breeze.

So often, we try to pack too much in the vacation of our dreams. I get it—a European trip is a vacation of a lifetime, and you want to squeeze every last drop out of it. However, it’s hard to be fully present when you’re tackling all the logistics yourself. Why not let a seasoned pro plan all the hard stuff, like transportation, tickets and reservations? When you don’t have to focus on the nitty-gritty details (and try to use Google translator to figure out what in the heck every sign says!), it’s easier to soak up the beauty and history.

rhine river cruise

You can travel Europe by train, plane and teeny, tiny automobile. When you go by river boat, no moment is wasted. Getting from A to B is a feast for the eyes, without fighting traffic or sharing a sleeper car with a snoring stranger. Instead of a car bingo board featuring semi trucks and gas stations, the river cruise version could boast fairytale castles, 11th Century cathedrals, sprawling vineyards and more. BINGO! Now doesn’t that sound more fun?

But wait… there’s more! Since you’re cruising, you only unpack once, sleep in the same bed every night, and have access to incredible tours, excursions and cultural experiences. Unlike giant oceanliners, riverboats provide an intimate travel experience. Even the largest European river ship, the AmaMagna, accommodates just 194 passengers. This ship will be our hub this summer as we cruise the Danube, and I can’t wait to enjoy my morning tea on its step-out balcony. Add in spacious staterooms (who’s ever used the word “spacious” to describe European accommodations? I’m talking double vanities, people!), dining venues with gourmet cuisine; spa services; and a sun deck with heated pool, and you may not want to travel any other way.

rhine river cruise

The July 2019 trip will hit some of the most stunning cities in Europe.

We’ll cruise to Passau, known as the “City of Three Rivers,” and stretch our legs as we explore the city or climb to the Veste Oberhaus, Passau’s Castle Hill. Next, it’s on to Linz, Austria, where you may opt for a full-day excursion to Salzburg, or explore Linz’s old city center and the Mozart House. Our adventure continues in Dürnstein, Austia, famous for its cobblestone streets, famed church tower and locally grown, world-renowned Riesling and Grüner Veltliner.

Rhine RIver Gorge

The boat (or maybe it’s the wine) will gently rock you to sleep, and you’ll wake up refreshed in Vienna, the City of Waltzes. Explore the majestic Opera House, or burn off some of the ship’s gourmet meals on a guided bike ride along the blue Danube.

Our penultimate day brings us to Bratislava, Slovakia, host to the crowning ceremonies of 11 Hungarian kings and queens. The trip concludes in Budapest, complete with a visit to the vibrant Great Market Hall and an evening cruise around the famed Parliament Building.

As an added bonus, you’ll be traveling with the ship’s Godmother. Yes, that’s right: AmaWaterways appointed me as the Godmother of their newest and largest river boat. An honor, to say the least! While onboard, I’ll host two travel talks, and partake in the excursions. With only a 194 passenger capacity, I’m looking forward to meeting all of my fellow travelers, and exploring the beautiful Danube alongside them. Riverboat Godmothers… they’re just like us!

rhine river cruise

Want to come? Find more details, including the unbelievable itinerary, here!

*AmaWaterways is a proud sponsor of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love, but opinions are all my own.*

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I’ve traveled the world professionally for 20 years. While Ive checked many adventures off my bucket list, one alluded me: a European riverboat cruise.I’ve traveled the world professionally for 20 years. While Ive checked many adventures off my bucket list, one alluded me: a European riverboat cruise.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Do children now have reduced prices? I took my 10 year old grandson on a river cruise with AMA last August and had to,pay full adult price.

  2. Hi Samantha,

    We love your shows, having watched them for years.

    I just read via your article about why to choose a river cruise and your upcoming AmaMagna cruise through Europe this summer in July. Sounds like great fun. We have wanted to do some traveling but have been somewhat reluctant to venture very far because of mobility issues that require me to use a scooter or power chair. Do you see persons using scooters or power chairs on river cruise ships?

    The AmaMagna may not be the best choice for me, but would you be aware of travel resource websites geared for persons with mobility problems? Any suggestions that you might offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Meanwhile, I’ll keep watching your show and remain envious of your job!


    Phillip McDowell
    Jacksonville, FL

  3. I got ama’s brochure but they didn’t state if they had single traveler fares. Do you know?

  4. I would definitely love some brochures to look over. This is definitely something I would love to do.

  5. Sam, I’ve been looking into the Rhine river cruise. I prefer to go to Europe without the boat, but you’ve sold me!

  6. I remember fondly your son’s request to hunt for mushrooms in the forest when we were in the Czech Republic. The AmaMagna christening cruise was a delight!!

  7. In Europe, if you had to name your 5 favorite restaurants (that didn’t cost you a week’s salary) and 5 super cool unknown/hidden sights to see (which far exceeded your expectations), where are they (cities) and what are the names of the restaurants? BTW … do you remember what you ordered?

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