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Review: AmaLyra

Cruise - River Cruise

Christmas market cruising, in 5* luxury

  • By SilverTraveller Fifty-Fab

    10 reviews


  • Dec 2010
  • Friend(s)
  • Regular holiday
  • Outside

85 people found this review helpful

River cruising has one huge advantage over staying in hotels, the accommodation moves with you! I love it because there's no need to check in out, catch trains or planes to move around, you just wake up in a different location each day.

I was a little sceptical about river cruising in December. Would it be cold and miserable? Would we be huddled up in a chilly cabin? The warmth of the welcome as we stepped from snowy towpath on board AmaLyra immediately dispelled my concerns.

The ship was brightly and festively lit. The bar and lounge areas were toasty and warm. A cone of golden lights and baubles almost obscured the towering Christmas tree in reception and swags and tinsel festooned the walls. I'd not even had to lift one dusty box down from the loft and here I was, my home for 7 days was already beautifully decorated for the festive season.

I have previously cruised during the autumn, when the banks of the Rhine are lined with golden vines, the morning mists half shroud the ship as a weak sun fights to stave off winter. Cruising later in the year catches Europe's festively lit cities, its traditional markets teeming with trinkets and heavily scented with cinnamon, spices and gently bubbling gluhwein.

The markets exceeded my expectations. Stall after stall was laden with tin or wooden toys, knitted items, leather bags and belts, candles, baubles and jewellery, all unique and original, making Christmas shopping fun and innovative. The ship was always moored within a short taxi ride of the centre of the towns we visited, or I joined the daily complimentary guided tours to make the most of our port calls.

One of the nicest parts of the cruise was getting back after a day on shore to the same warm welcome we'd experienced on arrival. By now the ship had become my home, I'd arrive laden with bags to complimentary tea in the lounge, before yet another magnificent dinner with new friends, in the ship's exceptional restaurant.

Would we do it again? Definitely!

Silver Travel Advisor recommended travel company: The Cruise Line

85 people found this review helpful

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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