At AmaWaterways, innovation is part of our DNA and we are always looking for new experiences to please our guests. Our new expanded European river cruise seasons in November and December and our newest series of Danube and Rhine cruises starting in February have received wonderful feedback from guests traveling during these periods of the year. Besides encountering fewer tourists, they have also found local communities settled into a more relaxed pace of life with more time to share their unique culture and delicious food and wine. And in addition to cruise and airfare savings, there are many unexpected rewards for those that are open to trying something different.

February’s Splendor on the Danube and Rhine

Perhaps you hail from a warmer climate and yearn to experience all the wintertime delights Europe has to offer. There is nothing quite like waking up and parting the curtains in your twin-balcony stateroom to see a castle peeking through the fog. On shore, you may experience the romance of a quiet cityscape dusted in snow or the joy of lacing up ice skates while admiring Budapest’s beautiful architecture. After your day on shore, our wonderful crew will welcome you home with a mug of hot mulled wine or a steaming cup of lemon tea. February is also the perfect time to visit one of Budapest’s famous Szechenyi Baths. While on the Rhine River, a guest-favorite excursion in Rüdesheim is watching locals make Rüdesheimer coffee with Asbach brandy. The presentation of the coffee cups being lit aflame always delights our guests, and the strength of the drink, enjoyed here or while castle-watching on the sun deck cruising through the Rhine Gorge, helps everyone warm up!

November’s Seasonal Wonders

A highlight of November in Europe is the golden hues from the colorful autumn leaves best appreciated during one of our guided bike tours through Strasbourg or Dusseldorf or a hike on the Philosopher’s Path in Heidelberg. In autumn, many cities decorate their town squares in harvest themes, and in Austria, you can still find some lively Heuriger (small rustic wine taverns) open to sample the season’s new wines. Starting mid-November, guests can enjoy our festively decorated ships and may even visit early season Christmas Markets in cities like Vienna and Budapest when the crowds are small and the market stands are freshly filled with the most sought-after holiday souvenirs.

Easier Access and Shorter Lines

February is a great time to visit local museums as there are typically less groups and shorter lines. From Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum to Vienna’s Museum of Fine Arts and House of Music, our guests often enjoy more personal space and quicker access as they move about the collections on display.

More Time to Personally Interact with the Locals and Provide Benefit to the Communities Visited

Whether you are making a purchase from a local vendor in Avignon, France or dining in a Michelin-rated restaurant in Lyon, traveling when there are less crowds overall makes it easier for you to have unhurried personal conversations with those who live and work in the towns where our ships dock. We believe travel is a force of good in the world, and having the time to linger in shops and interact with locals leads to a deeper connection with the people and places we visit. Extending employment and economic benefits of tourism over a longer period of time in the year is also a benefit to the local communities and adds to the sustainability of river cruising.

More Time to Experience Shipboard Amenities

Whether the chill in the air brings you back to the warmth of the ship earlier in the day or as a past guest having visited the region before, our river cruises during the new expanded season often give you the perfect opportunity to experience more of the ship’s amenities. Often overlooked is our complimentary all day tapas menu served in the Lounge and our delightful afternoon teatime on board, a perfect time to relax with a selection of teas and a tiered tray of petite sandwiches and miniature fruit tarts and cakes. Our onboard Wellness Hosts also offer a variety of fitness classes throughout the day – or you may prefer to treat yourself to a massage. For guests traveling on the Danube on board AmaMagna, we also have a cozy onboard cinema, an expansive wellness studio and will even keep the heated sun-deck pool and hot tub open for those that relish an invigorating dip!

River cruising during these new expanded seasons offers a chance to mix with the local communities and experience popular cities and tranquil towns in ways much different than those offered at other times of the year. For more travel ideas, you might enjoy reading our Connections article, Hidden Gems of the Off-Peak Seasons and checking availability for our Holiday Triple Savings Offer, February 2025 departures for Magna on the DanubeEnchanting Rhine and Captivating Rhine plus November and December dates for Enticing Douro in Portugal.