1 3 6 INTERV IEW Evolutionary designs for luxury river vacations AmaWaterways is a globally admired luxury hospitality brand with an award-winning fleet of innovative river cruise ships. Jon Ingleton asks naval architect Lauren West about the newest additions “Every one of AmaWaterways ships are designed as an evolution of the previous ships” A maWaterways has 23 ships in its fleet and three new additions under construction, all of which have been designed to a luxury standard that has become a touchstone for the river cruising industry. “Our president and co-founder Rudi Schreiner has introduced countless new innovations to the company’s river cruise ships with great success, while also steering the company’s continuous and steady growth,” says Lauren West, a naval architect at the company. “I work closely with Rudi on various nautical projects, including newbuilding. I’m the first person in this position at our head office in Calabasas, California and I collaborate with our team members in Europe, our technical partners at Rivertech, hotel operations partners at SeaChefs, and shipbuilders.” AmaSiena is the company’s latest newbuild, joining the fleet on the Rhine later this year. “After launching at Severnav in Romania, she arrived at the outfitting yard in Holland in March,” says West. “Interior works began immediately but coincided with the outbreak of Covid-19. Fortunately, however, our shipbuilders were fast to react to the daily changes in guidelines to slow down the spread of the virus and took precautionary measures from the beginning to protect staff, subcontractors and clients at the shipyard. Despite strict government regulations, including reduced occupancy, work on AmaSiena has progressed well. “As long as the situation does not decline in the Netherlands and no further restrictions are needed, we expect AmaSiena to be delivered at the end of October,” says West.