Hear

Our Story

AmaWaterways was founded in 2002 by three families, but our river cruise story began well before that. President Rudi Schreiner was born in Vienna, at the heart of the Danube. His love of design drew him to architecture, but his even greater love of travel drew him to places far and wide. In 1975, he traveled to South America for a journalism assignment on the Amazon. It was here that he designed his first ship, using what he could find to build a raft that would take him up and down the river during the next 7 months. Soon thereafter he started working in travel, creating unique tour experiences in Europe.

A Turning Point

When the Rhine-Main-Danube canal was built in 1992, Rudi realized the potential for touring as many as 13 European countries by river. He started the North American operations for many of today’s major river cruise companies, developing itineraries and ships that would become the templates for what we know river cruising to be today. After years of success as a driving force in the industry, Rudi decided to start his own venture — one that would provide guests with a higher standard of luxury travel by river. That’s when he teamed up with Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy to start AmaWaterways.

A Team of Pioneers

Kristin was born in Germany and brings extensive experience in travel, river cruising and customer service to the company in her role as Executive Vice President. Jimmy Murphy was a brilliant travel entrepreneur, having built Brendan Vacations, one of the most successful tour operators in the U.S. Jimmy’s son, Gary, who also played a major part at Brendan, is now Vice President of Sales at AmaWaterways. Together with Rudi, a true team of pioneers emerged.

The Story Continues

Since 2002, AmaWaterways has offered unforgettable river cruises aboard award-winning ships sailing legendary rivers to the heart of Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Family-owned and operated, we pride ourselves on our passion for river cruising, strong partnerships with our dedicated travel agent partners, the unparalleled service of our staff and crew, our exquisite La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs dining, and our innovations, which range from staterooms with unique “twin balconies” to included shore excursions featuring active biking and hiking options. Our most recent innovation, the extraordinary AmaMagna, debuts on the Danube River in May 2019 with over 50% suite accommodations, four unique dining venues, an Exclusive Concierge Golf Program and groundbreaking Water Sports Platform, among several other innovations.

With the highest-rated ships in Europe according to the third edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe & the USA, AmaWaterways has received countless honors and accolades including Town & Country River Cruise Awards as “Best Overall,” “Best for Food,” “Best for Onboard Activities” and “Best for On-Shore Activities,” as well as 2017 AFAR and Recommend magazine Reader’s Choice Awards for “Best River Cruise Line.”

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