Innovation At AmaWaterways AmaMagna Is Twice As Wide, Twice As Daring
by Vanessa Lee
Co-owners Rudi Schreiner & Kristin Karst
AmaMagna will accommodate 196 guests
Brenda Kyllo, AmaWaterways and Vanessa Lee got a glimpse of a mock up suite at a reveal in 2017
A Suite of 355 sq.ft including balcony
Vanessa Lee had the opportunity to see a standard suite first hand
A rendering of the Main Restaurant
Watersports Platform for kayaking and paddle boarding – A first for river cruising!
There is a great deal of well-deserved anticipation at AmaWaterways these days as the company edges closer to launching a new class of river ship on the Danube in May 2019.
The AmaMagna will be the world’s first double-wide river ship with a 72 ft. beam and a length of 443 feet, accommodating 196 guests in 98 staterooms and with a staff/crew of 70.
This is very much co-owner and president Rudi Schreiner’s project and his passion is palpable as he describes the features this innovative and bold ship will offer. I was lucky enough to sit down with Rudi recently and spent an hour reviewing the deck plans, the spaces onboard and the new, wonderful concepts AmaWaterways is introducing with this daring design.
The extra width enables the Magna to offer much larger configurations – a standard suite will be 305 sq. ft. -- 355 sq. ft. with a full, step-out balcony. There will be six larger suites at 474 sq. ft., as big as (or larger in some instances) as the size of suites on many of the smaller luxury ocean vessels.
The smaller standard staterooms including balcony will be a comfortable 252 sq. ft. I saw the mock-up of the standard suite in Holland last year, was very impressed and can certainly attest to how spacious and attractive these rooms will be with all the amenities necessary and one thing I love – two basins in the suite bathrooms. And thank you Rudi for taking some of the ladies’ advice and putting a bar in the showers for shaving our legs! Check out this 360-degree stateroom view to get a sense of a typical suite.
What can you do with a ship that is twice as wide as a regular river vessel? For starters you can have a much broader selection of dining venues. There will be five dining options on AmaMagna (another first on the rivers), including the very popular Chef’s Table now located more forward and which will have a true open kitchen.
Across from this venue is the Wine Room hosting up to 60 guests with 3 tables of 12 (ideal for groups, as is the ship itself), a bar plus high-top tables and a casual, more rustic feel. One deck above is the Main Restaurant, which can serve up to 130 guests at a time. A new al fresco dining option situated forward from one level of the two-level Lounge can accommodate up to 24 guests and has glass walls which rise up to 3 feet in height to offset cooler weather.
The last casual dining spot is a BBQ space on the Sun Deck forward. All are offered at no extra charge. The ever-popular tapas and light snacks will always be available in the Lounge. There will also be a total of five bars/lounges on the AmaMagna, including a cool, pop-up pool bar on the top deck where the large pool and Jacuzzi can also be found.
One added feature, which Rudi stressed, is an elevator which goes all the way up to the Sun deck – and that’s an asset.
The inclusions on AmaMagna will be the same as on the other 22 ships in the fleet -- wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner and, newly introduced for 2018, a “Sip & Sail” complimentary cocktail hour most evenings before dinner. A very generous offering.
Spearheading more of the visionary design is a 2000 sq. ft. spa located aft, which will have several massage/treatment rooms, space for hair styling and manicures/pedicures and a Spa Bar. In keeping with the recently introduced Wellness options on AmaWaterways, there will also be a large floor area for yoga and training and, of course, there will be a gym.
Another first -- just one of many on the Magna – the ship will have a watersports platform for occasional kayak and paddleboard use as the ship sails on the Danube between Vilshofen in Germany and Budapest, Hungary. There may also be an opportunity for the odd swim from the platform as on certain parts of the Danube there are beaches and areas conducive to taking a quick dip! Another new concept is having an onboard Sundowner motor yacht accommodating 14, which will offer cocktail cruises and other excursions for guests who reserve a spot – no extra charge.
As Rudi Schreiner states: “It’s not a game-changer – it’s an addition to the game.” He adds: “There have been a lot of small steps in 20 years of river cruising and now there’s a big one.” And indeed that is so: this is a bold and courageous venture and likely a very timely one for the river industry.
An internationally-known luxury cruise expert, Vanessa is publisher and editor of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles magazine. She contributes a column every other Friday for OJ’s Splash News and appears with Nina on the bi-monthly video Cruise Factor.