Two river ships have been transported by sea to a new location to meet increased demand for river cruising in France.
AmaWaterways’ AmaKristina and AmaDante were loaded onto a cargo ship to begin the journey from the Netherlands to France. Once repositioned on the Rhone and the Seine rivers respectively, they will be ready to welcome the first passengers on two all-new itineraries when river cruising resumes in spring 2021.
This year, AmaKristina spearheaded a four-month series of pioneering charter cruises on the Rhine for German guests and became the first US-based river line to resume sailing in Europe during the pandemic.
A spokesperson said the limited 2020 sailing programme enabled AmaWaterways to establish enhanced health and safety measures to safeguard passengers and crew and gain invaluable experience sailing with new protocols in place, which would set a standard and offer passengers peace of mind when travel restrictions are lifted.
AmaKristina will be the line’s first 443ft ship with signature twin-balcony staterooms to sail on French rivers. It will sail on the seven-night Colours of Provence cruise between Lyon and Avignon, allowing the existing French ship AmaCello to offer a new itinerary on the Saone taking in the wine growing area of Burgundy. Meanwhile, AmaDante will join her three sister ships on the Seine.
Kristin Karst, Executive Vice President and Co-founder of AmaWaterways, said:
“As godmother of AmaKristina, I am excited to witness her extraordinary ocean journey down the west coast of France and Portugal and across the Mediterranean Sea to reach the mouth of the Rhone River where she will sail in 2021.”
She explained the decision to move the pair of vessels had been in response to heightened demand for cruises reflecting the culture, culinary experiences and history of the Normandy, Brittany and Burgundy regions of France.
The new itinerary being showcased by AmaDante is the seven-night Impressions of Seine & Paris sailing from the French capital to Le Havre, with options for pre- and post-cruise land stays in Paris and St Malo.
On the Saone, the new cruise is the week-long Essence of Burgundy & Provence wine-themed sailing between Chalon-sur-Saone and Arles with excursions including wine tastings at different vineyards and the opportunity for passengers to attend a cookery class.
A family-owned company which has been operating for 18 years, AmaWaterways has a fleet of 25 ships sailing throughout Europe, on Asia’s Mekong and Africa’s Chobe rivers: plus a new ship on the Nile for 2021.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Amawaterways