Originally published in Travel Pulse News by JOHN ROBERTS | DECEMBER 10, 2016
PHOTO: Mumbai, India. AmaWaterways has announced that a new ship will soon offer itineraries in India on a new ship. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
In a continuing effort to give its passengers new and exotic destinations, AmaWaterways will build a ship for India.
I spoke with the cruise line’s owners, Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, during the annual Cruise One/DreamVacations travel professionals conference onboard Carnival Vista.
Schreiner said AmaWaterways is about to begin its planning meetings to decide on the size of the India ship, how many staterooms it will have and the features of the public rooms.
Karst and Schreiner also will be traveling to India in March to go over additional plans and details with partners in that country. The cruising route will be on the Ganges River between Patna and Kolkata, which can be reached via the Hugli River, a major arm of the Ganges.
If all goes to plan, AmaWaterways will have a ship ready to sail in India in fall 2018, Schreiner said.
AmaWaterways, which was named as the top river cruise line in the 2016 Travvys, has ships in Europe on the Danube, Rhine, Douro, Rhone, Seine and Garonne. Exotic itineraries include the Chobe River in Botswana and Namibia, the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia and the Irawaddy in Myanmar.
Another bit of news sure to please AmaWaterways passengers is a new complimentary happy hour coming to all ships in the fleet starting in 2018. Passengers can enjoy soft drinks, beer and alcohol in the hour before dinner.
AmaWaterways always had included as part of a passengers’ fare unlimited servings wine and beer at lunch and dinner and sparkling wine/champagne at breakfast, as well as a complimentary cocktail reception with the captain at the beginning of a cruise and occasional complimentary special drinks at other onboard events.
This new “happy hour” policy was prompted, however, as a response to the river cruise lines that have gone “all inclusive” or begun offering drinks packages.
“One of the issues with unlimited cocktails being included is that there are passengers who don’t drink alcoholic beverages and feel that they are paying for an “extra” they will not be taking advantage of.” Karst said. “So, this policy is a great compromise.”
She added: “Most of our passengers will be out touring with us during the day, and when they come back to the ship and prior to dinner is the time when most of them will want to enjoy a cocktail. Providing the happy hour prior to dinner allows that them that extra benefit.”
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