One-of-a-kind AmaMagna is named in folksy Austrian festivities

AmaWaterways' Kristin Karst, left, toasts AmaMagna's naming with the godmother, Samantha Brown PHOTO: Anne Kalosh

The grand, new double-wide Danube riverboat AmaMagna was named at festivities in Grein, Austria, by godmother Samantha Brown, the Emmy-Award-winning travel expert.

A brass band, ‘Sound of Music’ sing-along, alpine horns, waltzing to ‘The Blue Danube’ and dancing to ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ were some of the Austrian elements of the outdoor party. A beer tent served sausages and sauerkraut, and children in lederhosen passed out sweets.

A prince and a count

Even Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg came down from his Greinburg Castle, overlooking the town, along with Count Carl Philip, the lord of Clam, from his own nearby schloß. AmaWaterways passengers can visit both castles during calls at Grein.

Godfather of river cruising

‘It’s wonderful for me to be back in Austria,’ said the Vienna-born AmaWaterways President and Co-founder Rudi Schreiner. A video showed how he went from a youthful Amazon raft adventure 45 years ago to ‘get the idea for river cruising,’ he quipped, and went on to become known as the godfather of river cruising.

‘I’ve had this unique ship on my mind for years,’ Schreiner said of AmaMagna. It is twice the width of regular European river vessels but carries just 20% more passengers in extra-large suites with balconies. It has four dining venues, a cinema, wellness center and a drop-down water sports platform with a Sundowner boat.

It’s all about the people

Introducing the godmother, AmaWaterways Co-founder and EVP Kristin Karst noted that ‘love’ is in the company’s name (‘ama’) and in the name of the PBS series ‘Samantha Brown’s Places to Love,’ which focuses on the people who make those places so special.

‘The most important thing about travel is the people,’ Brown said. ‘We travel in order to feel like we belong in this world, and my favorite part is meeting the people. We are not just consumers. We are part of this travel community that makes the world a better place.’

Taking two swings, Brown smashed a magnum of Veuve Clicquot on AmaMagna’s hull. Champagne flowed for the guests, and for townspeople who were welcomed on board for a tour, while AmaMagna’s passengers climbed the hill for a tour of Greinburg Castle and more champagne there.

Acrobatics and fireworks

A drumming, juggling and aerial acrobatics show on AmaMagna’s top deck and showers of fireworks across the Danube crowned the evening.

Posted 11 July 2019

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade Informa Markets. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade Informa Markets.

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Anne Kalosh

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Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for AFAR.com, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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