Sustainability is the top and ever-present responsibility of every company in the travel industry. Sustainable tourism is more than just reducing our carbon footprint – it also needs to promote respectful engagement with local traditions, support local economies and create opportunities for community development. To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, we have asked Captain Niels to highlight just some of the ways we are working to safeguard the planet and ensure future generations will also have the opportunity to discover the world around them, which you can enjoy in this short video.

Each of our ships, and every itinerary we operate, is thoughtfully designed to minimize fuel consumption, protect the riverbeds and minimize sound disruption while still ensuring our guests have ample time in the destination to appreciate the culture and pursue opportunities to support the local economy.

We work very closely with our local partners in the ports where our ships dock. To mark World Recycling Day on March 18thAmaKristina was chosen to host the launch of a new waste collection service by our long-time partner SERVIS in Lyon, France. The new service is designed for a more  efficient and sustainable solution for sorting and revalorizing waste coming from river cruise ships. In 2020, AmaKristina, was the first river cruise ship in the industry to receive the prestigious Green Award which recognizes ships in Europe for their quality, safety and environmental performance.

Since then, another 19 river cruise ships in AmaWaterways’ European fleet have earned the Green Award certification which is so important to accessing prime docking locations.

This year, AmaMagna welcomed a brand-new feature: solar panels on the awnings of select staterooms which will reduce fuel consumption related to heating and cooling of staterooms. Also of note are the refillable soap and shampoo dispensers in our showers which reduce the use of single-use plastics. Pure Herbs is produced by ADA Cosmetics which is the only hotel amenities manufacturer whose product portfolio has been awarded the coveted Cradle to Cradle certification – the global standard for products that meet strictly verified standards over five categories of sustainability performance.

AmaWaterways works closely with local communities to ensure that tourism activities are sustainable and respectful of the local culture and environment. We collaborate with community leaders to develop responsible tourism projects that showcase local talents and traditions like our weekly Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, Germany, our exclusive wine events in Spitz, Austria and Bourg, France and our onboard entertainment showcasing local artists performing traditional dance or music. We offer a wide range of small group excursions on each itinerary, working with local guides who are knowledgeable about the cultural heritage of the region, thus enhancing the cultural experience for guests while providing employment opportunities for local communities.

Developing our new river cruise and land program on the Magdalena River in Colombia has offered us wonderful opportunities, and a great responsibility, to collaborate with local authorities and community leaders to open up many towns along the river that have not received tourists until now. The history, music, dance and culinary traditions are so rich within Colombia and it is our great privilege to work with Pro-Colombia tourist board and all the local government representative to bring this richness forward, starting in January 2025, in a responsible and sustainable way. We are currently building our two newest ships in Colombia and are proud to be working hand in hand with local architects, designers and suppliers to ensure we are not only properly incorporating and honoring this beautiful destination’s natural resources and culture but also enhancing the lives of the local residents along the Magdalena River.

We have also introduced new river cruises during off-peak periods of February and March on the Rhine and Danube rivers and November and December on Douro River in Portugal. Not only does this extend the economic benefits to the towns we visit but our guests are able to enjoy a different experience on an itinerary and benefit from less crowds and lower airfares.

Sustainability is an ever-changing and multi-faceted topic that brings with it challenges and wonderful opportunities. At AmaWaterways, we firmly believe that economic success and environmental responsibility go hand in hand and thank our guests, travel partners and suppliers for all they do to keep sustainability in the fore front of our current operations and our future plans.