Incentive Travel to Amaze and Delight on a River Cruise

AmaWaterways Rhone River Cruise

By Cherie Weinstein, Project Manager, Landry & Kling

My husband Jay and I recently had the pleasure of sailing with AMA Waterways on the AmaKristina during a 7-day Rhone River Cruise. We flew into Marseilles, France, and drove to Arles to board the ship. Our northbound “Colors of Provence” voyage from Arles to Lyon was brimming with culinary delights, art, and historic charms. Here are my impressions of the ship and highlights of our river cruise experience.

Onboard AmaKristina – Accommodations

AmaKristina Suite
AmaKristina Suite

AmaKristina accommodates 152 guests in 76 staterooms (perfect for a full ship buyout!). We booked one of the four suites that offer a larger sitting area and expansive bathroom with a large soaking tub and separate shower. Our suite’s French balcony and outside balcony (featured in most staterooms) allowed us to enjoy panoramic views of the ever-changing scenery with plenty of fresh air. The queen bed was convertible to two twins and faced the French balcony.

There was plenty of storage and closet space, a coffee maker, and a desk with enough charging outlets for two guests. The suite sitting area had a convertible loveseat that opened to the balcony with a table and two chairs.

AmaKristina Public Space

AmaKristina Lounge
AmaKristina Lounge

With fewer passengers on board, AmaKristina’s guests have ample space to unwind, relax, and connect with friends and colleagues. Public areas, including lounges and restaurants, were never overcrowded.

The ship’s focal gathering space is the Forward Lounge. Here, we enjoyed AmaKristina’s nightly “Sip ‘n Sail” open bar cocktail hour, briefings on the ports of call, and after-dinner music and dancing.

The top open deck has many sun loungers, seating areas, and a small heated pool – enjoyed by a few guests on one of the warmer days. AmaKristina also has a massage and hair salon, gift shop, fitness center, sundeck walking track, and a fleet of onboard bikes.

The 24-hour coffee/tea station offers cappuccino, espresso, caffe latte, plain coffee, and hot water for tea. A good assortment of herbal and black teas and soy and almond milk alternatives are available on request.

Dining Onboard

AmaKristina Restaurant
AmaKristina Restaurant
Full-course lunch and dinner menus are available in the Main Restaurant or, more casually, bistro-style in the Main Lounge. Early risers will find pre-breakfast pastries and a bowl of fresh whole fruits in the lounge. Breakfast was excellent. I indulged in an exquisite French croissant every morning – just the perfect size and the flakiness! Between meals, you can also order delicious tapas and snacks in the Main Lounge. Menus feature locally sourced cuisine as well as traditional Western offerings. The chef offered daily recommendations — from starter through soup, salad, main course, and dessert. Vegetarian choices are available at all meals.
AmaKristina Complimentary Chef's Table
AmaKristina Complimentary Chef's Table
Ama Waterways guests can reserve one night at the ship’s Chef’s Table for a complimentary multi-course tasting menu with select local red and white wines. We enjoyed a fabulous La Chaîne des Rôtisseur dinner in the dining room and were not disappointed. All onboard dining is included, with complimentary sparkling wine and fresh juice available during breakfast and unlimited wine and beer served with lunch and dinner.

Onboard Entertainment

AmaKristina’s complimentary “Sip & Sail” pre-dinner cocktail hour featured live music from local musicians each evening; the operatic baritone was great! This event was an excellent opportunity to meet other guests and share our day’s adventures.

After dinner, we returned to the lounge for after-dinner drinks, music and dancing. We had a lot of fun dancing and closed it down with a good crowd on two nights.

AmaKristina Service

The professionally trained, English-speaking European staff is hard-working and friendly. Because of the small number of guests, they quickly learned our names and beverage preferences to make us feel at home.

Staying Connected

Complimentary Wi-Fi was available onboard the ship. We downloaded the interactive myAmaCruise app to our phones to access a live cruise tracking map, daily programs, and photos and information about each city we visited. We also used the app to create beautiful e-postcards to send to our friends and family while we sailed.

Destination Experiences

Basilica Saint Pierre, Avignon
Basilica Saint Pierre, Avignon

What I love most about river cruising is the opportunity to experience smaller towns and explore the countryside. River cruising is akin to “slow travel” and showcases the authenticity of countries, and cultures.

Our 7-day cruise included a visit to Arles in Provence, where Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted. Avignon was the home of the Roman Catholic popes for almost 400 years. Here, we visited the Papal Palace and explored the lovely city within the medieval city walls.

Vineyards of Provence, AmaWaterways Cruise
Vineyards of Provence

Other stops included Tournon, where my husband learned how to pair his chocolate indulgences with wines of the Rhone region. Vienne was a major center of the Roman empire and has several beautiful remains of Roman structures Our final stop, Lyon, is the third largest city in France and gastronomic capital of the country. The AmaKristina docks right by the University of Lyon, so there was a lot of great energy in the area.

Complimentary Bicycles are available on AmaWaterways river ships.
Bicycles are available on AmaWaterways river ships.
Ama Waterways includes at least one complimentary shore tour in each port. A broad range of choices accommodates different activity preferences – from leisurely walks to more active hikes and biking. Tours were subdivided into groups of about 12-15 persons per guide and well-organized for a personalized, immersive destination experience. All our locally-based guides were excellent. There was a fleet of complimentary bicycles on board, so guests could also opt to explore the towns on their own.
A visit to Les Halles at Avignon cheese market during AmaWaterways river cruise.
A visit to Les Halles at Avignon cheese market.
Market tours were interesting, colorful, and mouth-watering. They provided great photo opportunities and an opportunity to sample local delicacies or specialties of the region. The Cotes du Rhone area is renowned for truffles. We learned about truffle farming, watched the dogs at work sniffing out the truffles, and sampled the amazing shaved truffles.

Final Thoughts – Why A River Cruise?

After my Rhone River voyage, I can confidently recommend an AmaWaterways European River cruise for a corporate incentive, executive retreat, or group travel program. Their premium ships are like floating boutique hotels that travel into the heart of picture-perfect towns and historic cities. Your group will enjoy a relaxed onboard ambiance, fine dining, more inclusions, and in-depth destination experiences.
AmaKristina River Ship
For the ultimate motivation and reward, you can charter one of AmaWaterways’ small ships and customize it to make it your own. It will be a memorable experience they can’t duplicate on their own!

Learn More About River Cruise Options

Request a quote, call us at +1 786-594-0732 or email


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