AmaMagna is a sensation.
That's what happens when you break the mold and stand out from the crowd.
People take notice.
AmaWaterways knew this would be the case when it designed its double-wide Danube River ship. AmaMagna is still as tall and as long as the other vessels on the rivers in Europe, but at 72 feet across, the width creates a new look and new opportunities for cruisers to enjoy when taking a voyage on this ship.
In reality, the extra space allows for great added features, but the cruise ship still has a familiar feel once you're onboard. That is, it's just a few more strides across from one side to the other, and you certainly aren't going to get lost while looking for the lounge or your cabin.
However, the added width gives AmaMagna a majestic air as you cruise or when pulling up to a port city or village. You'll notice passengers and crew from the other ships and residents ashore take notice of this grand vessel.
I sailed for a week on AmaMagna, from Budapest to Vilshofen, Germany, and noted that the ship's innovative spaces take river cruising to a new level.
AmaMagna carries 196 passengers. This compares with about 158 for the line's other ships and up to 190 on Viking River Cruises' fleet of Longships. So, the space-per-passenger ratio on AmaMagna is quite generous in the public areas and the staterooms.
I was especially excited to sail on the ship because of the Zen Wellness Studio, a first-of-its-kind full-scale fitness center at the back of the ship. AmaWaterways dedicated a healthy amount of space to offer a slew of fitness classes and spa treatments. These classes take place not only in the Zen Wellness Studio but also in the fresh air up top on the Sun Deck in a "Yoga Tent" space.
AmaWaterways has long been the industry leader in fitness options. The line placed Wellness Hosts on its ships years ago, and the line's Wellness Program is fully realized on AmaMagna with a fitness center that holds two treadmills, a large studio space with free weights, exercise mats, rowing machine and exercise bikes.
On the back deck, just off the studio space, four spin cycles are available for spin classes led by the Wellness Host in the great outdoors, with amazing views while sailing or sitting in port. Our Wellness Host Tiago had full classes for spin, yoga, Pilates and line dancing classes all week. Colleen and I even went for a jog around Linz, Austria, one afternoon with Tiago, who also leads shore walks and onboard post-lunch "digestive" walks.
AmaMagna also carries a giant fleet of eight-speed cruiser bikes. These are used for organized bike tours, and there are likely to be several scheduled during each cruise. You also are free to check them out for your own use when in port, and we took advantage to go for long rides in Budapest (out to Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube) and in Vienna (also to its city island Donauinsel).
A relaxation room is located next to the fitness studio in the Zen Wellness Center. This space has a fresh-juice bar and chairs and tables with views out the back to enjoy some quiet time or wait for your massage treatment.
Jimmy's Wine Bar and Restaurant down on Deck 1 and next to The Chef's Table offers a more casual family-style choice. The menu is the same as what is served in The Main Dining room each night, and you get all the choices and courses to share with larger groups of family and friends.
If you have enjoyed a river cruise before, you will notice a few other things that stand out on AmaMagna.
The large Sun Deck is spacious and a fantastic place to chill out during afternoon sailing sessions or to take in magical night-time views of the Parliament Building in Budapest. There are dozens of spaces to find to relax in the sun or under the shade of a canopy. The heated pool/hot tub area was our favorite, day or night. This is also where you can find the pop-up bar, with a bartender ready to serve you a cocktail or beer.
Check out our gallery for all the amazing spots on AmaMagna.
Between the twin libraries in the ship's lower lounge area, just before The Alfresco, you'll find The Cinema. That's right, the ship features a large theater with a big screen. Movies are shown here nightly, and kids of all ages like to use the video gaming system. We also watched major sport events like Wimbledon tennis matches and the Women's World Cup final in there.
There is also a complimentary guest laundry room down on Deck 1, with two washers, two dryers and detergent -- along with a baskets and an ironing board.
It's all of these extras on AmaMagna that set the ship apart from the masses on the rivers and give cruisers a nice variety of spaces and activities. Closer to a small-ship luxury ocean experience, perhaps.
It really is a fun way to explore the Danube and surrounding cities like Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and Nuremberg.
What do you think? Does AmaMagna sound like it's just the kind of ship that would get you to try your first river cruise? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,