Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

1 3 8 Looking to the future, West is acutely conscious of the company’s passenger demographic and their high expectations. “AmaWaterways will continue to lead the way in river cruising by innovating and adapting to the needs of the luxury market,” she says. “Our guests are inquisitive and active, so in terms of ship design this means staying on top of the trends for fitness, culinary experience, entertainment, and the ever-growing notion of sustainability.” Onboard facilities, services and initiatives make an important contribution to upholding AmaWaterways’ values. “We are well- positioned in these areas with enlarged fitness rooms and onboard wellness hosts, bicycles onboard, enhanced Chef’s Table alternative dining venue, and specific actions to eliminate single-use plastics – just a few examples of how we are anticipating our guests’ needs,” says West. The pandemic has inevitably altered the current onboard experience but, true to form, AmaWaterways is deploying industry best practice. “We have followed all appropriate guidance and legislation and we are continually reviewing new ideas to maintain extremely high standards of hygiene, safety and overall wellness onboard,” explains West. “The situation surrounding Covid-19 has revealed aspects of ship design and hospitality that may change forever, such as food service.” Until the technology and infrastructure is in place, battery power remains unfeasible for river cruising, but the company continues to pursue a full sustainability agenda. “This year, 18 river cruise ships within AmaWaterways’ European fleet earned the Green Award certification, recognised for industry-leading safety, quality and environmental performance,” says West. “AmaKristina was the very first river cruise ship honoured with the Green Award in January. Jan Fransen, executive director of the Green Award Foundation, presented the award to Wade Korzan, director of AmaWaterways’ European operations, and representatives from Rivertech, the company providing technical services to AmaWaterways. “We plan to continue making strides to improve our ships, enhance our guests’ experience and preserve the environment by investigating and implementing new, green technologies.” The company has occasionally strayed from its successful baby-stepped evolutionary approach by flirting with more revolutionary designs, particularly with the almost double-width AmaMagna. “Following the successful launch and operation of AmaMagna, we are interested in building a second in this series and we’re also looking into a Rhine-max vessel design,” says West. “Schreiner’s revolutionary design of AmaMagna was developed over many years and the response from new and returning guests is very encouraging.” AmaMagna has garnered credit for inspiring traditional cruise passengers to take to the rivers. “It’s inspiring to see how one ship can promote such a shift of cruise passengers from ocean to rivers,” West concludes. CFR INTERV IEW