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AmaWaterways' Rudi Schreiner enters CLIA Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement

Rudi Schreiner, dubbed 'The Godfather of River Cruising'
AmaWaterways co-founder Rudi Schreiner was inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement. Schreiner has spent decades helping elevate river cruising to become one of the most popular segments of travel.

Schreiner was joined during the CLIA Hall of Fame Gala, part of Cruise360 in Vancouver, BC, by his friends, family and members of the AmaWaterways team.

'I have dedicated my career to expanding the river cruising segment and am still just as passionate about the field as when I started. I am also inspired by the opportunity that exists ahead, with so much untapped potential,' Schreiner said during his acceptance speech. 'On behalf of my extraordinary team at AmaWaterways, I can say that we are proud to have created a wonderful experience for our guests over the years, and that we are all grateful to continue being part of something so very special.'

Informally dubbed the 'Godfather of River Cruising' by many within the industry, Schreiner has been on the rivers since his early 20s, when he and a group of friends built a raft and spent seven months sailing the Amazon. Since then, he has been at the helm of most major international river cruise companies to help launch their US operations. Today, Schreiner directly oversees AmaWaterways’ overall operations, ship design and itinerary development. 

In recognizing Schreiner, Cruise Lines International Association cited numerous achievements and milestones, including programs, services and amenities created by him and his wife and co-owner, Kristin Karst. CLIA acknowledged the way AmaWaterways supports travel agents, including introducing an online agent education and marketing portal, as well as building powerful relationships with travel professionals.

CLIA also acknowledged the way Schreiner continues innovating—in areas from vessels to brand partnerships and the implementation of new services, tours and amenities. An example is the 'twin balcony,' constituting a French balcony and an outside balcony to maximize river views and natural light. Additionally, all new Ama vessels are equipped with connecting cabins, which Schreiner introduced.

'Rudi’s innovative spirit and dedication to his business partners, the travel agent community and the AmaWaterways team and crew have helped create the long-lasting relationships that have made our company what it is today,' Karst said.