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Now you can treat yourself to the luxury of a wonderful river cruise without having to pay the expensive single supplement penalty for choosing to travel by yourself. Or, if you prefer, you can share the savings and invite a friend to travel with you for half price (ie you each get to save 25%). Cruise rates from as low as $1499.
Maybe you've cruised on a gigantic cruise ship before. A river cruise is very different. The custom built (in 2006) river cruiser, Amadagio, has only 75 cabins, making for a much more personal and less institutional experience.
The river cruise itinerary is
also very different to a traditional ocean cruise. You
never have rough seas, and you're always treated to beautiful
views out your cabin window, never just empty ocean.
You should leave the US on or before Saturday 8 March, so as to arrive into Amsterdam on or before Sunday 9 March. You board the ship on Sunday afternoon, 9 March.
The cruise ends in Trier, Germany's oldest city, on the morning of Sunday 16 March.
At this point you're free to either fly home (probably choosing to fly from either Luxemburg or Frankfurt), or to extend your stay as you wish. Amadeus offer two choices - an extension that would take you on to Paris that day, and spend three nights there before flying home on Wednesday 19 March, or a simple tour/transfer from Trier to Paris on Sunday 16 March.
You can of course plan any other extension after ending your cruise that you might wish.
Many people choose to arrive into Amsterdam a day before the start of the cruise. This means if you - or your luggage - should miss a connecting flight, or if anything else goes wrong, you still have a day up your sleeve before the start of the cruise.
It also gives you a day to 'de-jetlag' before the cruise gets underway.
How can we offer this Special Deal
No-one else can waive the single supplement on this cruise for you, or give you a 50% discount on a second person in a cabin.
We can do this simply because we're a big reseller of Amadeus Waterways cruises, and we've committed to a block of cabins on this cruise, helping them to fill their ship, albeit at a reduced rate of return for them.
The internet allows us to efficiently and cost effectively offer this cruise deal to you, so it is a win-win-win for all - Amadeus gets extra revenue, you get an unbeatable deal, and we get a modest commission in the middle.
You need have no fear - Amadeus will charge your credit card directly, so your money goes immediately to them, not to us (they send us our commission after you've cruised).
About the Cruise/Tour
Like a traditional cruise, this is a fully meal inclusive cruise, and - better than a traditional cruise - it includes a generous amount of shore touring as well. You won't have to pay extra for your shore touring when visiting the lovely towns and cities as you cruise through Holland and Germany, on your way to France.
The cruise of course includes three great meals a day, plus various other snacks, on-board entertainment, as well as generous opportunities to sightsee, both from the boat as it cruises the river, and while ashore during the many stops. You typically have time to both participate in a provided tour and also to sightsee and shop on your own.
A nice extra feature is free wine, beer, or soda provided with every dinner.
While all meals are available on the vessel, you'll also be able to experience other dining opportunities ashore if you wish. Similarly, the on-board entertainment can be supplemented with visits to clubs and bars and shows ashore - the vessel will sometimes stay in port until late at night, allowing you a chance to experience each town by day and by night.
These are great cruises for singles. Because the ship carries a maximum of 150 passengers, you have a chance to meet other people on board and to create new friendships. Most people on these cruises seem to be variously middle aged and older.
Why River Cruising
River cruising is simply and absolutely the most comfortable and convenient way to travel around Europe. You can unpack your bags and get comfortable in your lovely large cabin and not need to repack or transfer until the end of the cruise - this in itself is probably all the convincing you'll need!
In addition, European towns have historically tended to be centered around the major rivers, and so river cruising is a great way to get to the lovely historic parts of Europe, at a sedate speed, and in luxurious comfort.
How else could you travel around Europe? On a bus tour? Yuck! By train or car - yes, but then you have an abundance of travel hassles every day.
I've experienced every possible type of travel, and I'm a 100% convert. River cruising is the best way to see Europe. Try it, and you'll be sure to agree.
Why Cruise in March?
Experienced travelers know the best time to travel is always either side of the peak periods. Spring is a glorious time of year, and at this early time of year you're beating the crowds and also able to take best advantage of shoulder season airfare and accommodation deals and discounts.
And - another reason to travel in March - our special 'no single supplement' offer!
The weather should be cool rather than hot, but not too terribly cold, and dry rather than wet. Average daily temperatures will be in the 40s (maximums will be higher), and March is usually a comparatively dry month with little rainfall. You're almost exactly at the Spring Equinox so the days will be close to half daylight and half nighttime.
About the Amadagio
The cruise ship for this cruise, the Amadagio is nearly new, having been custom designed to meet the special needs of the Danube, enabling it to operate in less favorable conditions than many of the other boats (ie when the water levels are 'too high' or 'too low').
The boat is long but narrow. It is 360' long and 37.4' wide, and cruises at 15.6 mph. This might seem like a slow speed, but it is faster than many of the other cruise boats, enabling the boat to get between towns faster and giving you more time sightseeing.
Dining is single-seating and with no pre-assigned tables, so you can move about as you wish from meal to meal. Amadeus even provides a generous amount of complimentary wine (or beer) with your evening meal each night.
Smoking is restricted to the outside Sun Deck only.
The cruise has been marketed primarily to English speaking people and the language on board is exclusively English. This means you won't have the inconvenience of having to listen to every announcement being repeated in four or five different languages, and you can conveniently talk to your fellow guests (and likely soon to be new friends) on board.
Cabins on the Amadagio are the largest of any cruise boat - a massive 170 sq ft each.
The cruise is offered in five cabin grades plus there are four suites as well.
There are 71 cabins and four suites on three decks, and all are well equipped with a/c, bathroom and shower, phone, flat screen television, internet access, hairdryer and safe. The television has both local and satellite channels, a bridge-cam channel, and an evening movie channel.
All five grades of cabin are very similar in terms of size and amenities. The main difference is the deck the cabins are situated on.
This picture clearly shows the three accommodation decks on Amadagio. The top deck and the middle deck have floor to ceiling sliding doors and 'French balconies' (a very small space outside the sliding door), but the lower deck just has windows.
The most important difference though is not the style of window, but rather the height above the waterline. There is a big difference in perspective and view between the top deck (suites and A category cabins) and the middle deck (B and C category cabins), while on the lowest deck (D and E category cabins) the floor is actually below the waterline and your windows and eye level is only a foot or so above the waterline. On this deck, with even the slightest amount of bank on the sides of the river, you'll not see anything other than the water and bank from the bottom deck, and there may be a bit more water and machinery noise on that level too.
When moored, if your cabin is on the dockside rather than the outboard side, the lowest deck cabins will have a view blocked by the dock, the middle deck cabins may have a limited view, and the top deck cabins will usually have a view above the dock level.
These differences are much more profound than in a massive cruise ship where even the lowest deck is still a long way above the waterline. Of course, if you do choose a D or E category cabin, you can spend the days in the public areas and enjoy the views from there, but if you can justify the extra cost to go up a deck or two, the chances are you'll be very pleased you did.
Suites are 255 sq ft, cabins are 170 sq ft.
Tip : Choose the least expensive cabin type on the deck you'd rather be on. There is very little added value in choosing a D cabin in favor of an E cabin, or a B cabin in favor of a C cabin.
Amadeus Waterways is a relatively new company, founded by their President Rudi Schreiner in 2003, who formerly started the river cruising operation for Uniworld, and who then founded Viking River Cruises before now creating this latest company. He has taken his experience and knowledge of both what is good and bad about other river cruises and built a high quality company that is quickly setting the new high standard for river cruising in Europe.
I've spoken with Rudi at length, and we know many of the same people in the travel industry, and am very comfortable endorsing his company and his tours.
Per person pricing for the cruise is as follows :
What about the Air Fare?
If you buy the Amadeus airfare, they include transfers from the airport to the cruise ship when you arrive into Amsterdam and (also back to the airport in Paris if you choose their Paris extension, too). These transfers are convenient, but require you to arrive on the exact day the tour starts and leave the exact day the Paris extension ends. They can easily be arranged by yourself when you arrive at the airport as well (ie taxi), so should not unduly influence your airfare planning.
We suggest you check to see if you can use any frequent flier miles you might have for this travel, and/or check to see what the best fare you can get on your favorite airline is, then compare it to the Amadeus rate and make your decision then.
You are therefore free to make your own arrangements, any way you wish, to travel to Amsterdam and then home again from Trier (probably flying out of Frankfurt), and you can of course make extra stops and arrive earlier or stay longer. You can choose whichever carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
We'll be pleased to answer any questions you might have about arranging your air transportation, of course.
Which cities to fly in and out of
This might seem like an obvious issue, but remember that Europe is very small and so if you can't get convenient flights (or fares) on your preferred airlines to and from the obvious cities at the start and end of your tour, consider flying in or out of nearby airports and then using a train to get between that airport and the city you need to be in.
You'll probably find it easy to get flights to Amsterdam - their lovely Schiphol Airport is a major European hub.
On your return, if you wish to fly directly home from the end of the cruise in Trier, you'll probably choose to first take a train to Frankfurt (a 3 hour journey costing about €30) or perhaps even take a train all the way back to Amsterdam (approx a 7½ hour journey costing about €65).
Another possibility would be the short inexpensive journey (under 1 hr and about €14) journey to Luxemburg and flying from there.
Need More Information?
If you've a question or need more clarification, go ahead and ask. You can send us an email, or feel free to call us at (206)337-2317.
We generally recommend you should protect against the various types of losses that may occur while traveling.
Amadeus Waterways offer a policy that covers you for trip cancellation and interruption costs, medical costs, trip delay, and baggage delay or loss. This is $229 per person. The premium is payable with your deposit.
To add an extra trip cancellation premium that will allow you to cancel for any reason at all, add another $40. With this add-on premium, if you cancel for a reason not covered by the main policy, Amadeus will refund you as much of your payment as is covered by their usual policy, and give you a voucher to be redeemed against future travel any time in the next year for the balance.
Click here for a new page with more information on the Amadeus travel insurance.
How to Extend or Vary this Tour
There are many ways you can extend or vary this tour. You're of course free to add anything you like, before or after the cruise. Alternatively, if you prefer, the cruise is a complete experience in itself without needing any extra time
We recommend you consider arriving into Europe at least a day before the cruise starts, so as to give yourself a day to resolve any problems that may occur such as missing/delayed flights or losing luggage.
If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We're here to help ensure your experience is as good as possible.
Tour Terms and Conditions
Our standard terms and conditions apply to this tour.
In addition, please note these extra terms :
1. The 90 day payment due date is considered to be Friday 7 December 2007.
2. US citizens require a current passport that will not expire for at least six months after the date of their planned return back to the US in order to be admitted to Europe. They do not require any European visas. Citizens of other countries should check with the airline that will transport them to Europe to determine what passport and visa requirements may apply.
3. Tour price is subject to change prior to full payment being received.
4. Terms and conditions of the cruise line (Amadeus Waterways) also apply.