Kristin's Blog

Read AmaWaterways' mission statement and learn more about the Five P's that drive our core values.

"I'm Kristin Karst, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of AmaWaterways and I'm passionate about river cruising. Each month, I love to share with you my thoughts, personal stories, travel tips and latest news on the people and places that help turn every mile of our guests' river cruise experience into one of their most cherished memories!"
In addition to cruise and airfare savings, there are many unexpected rewards in these new expanded seasons for those that are open to trying something different. Read more

Sustainable tourism is more than just reducing our carbon footprint - it also needs to promote respectful engagement with local traditions, support local economies and create opportunities for community development.

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Longer vacations are rising in popularity, and we have listened to the requests of our AmaFamily. We are excited to announce three all-new 14-night Grand River Cruise itineraries for you to enjoy in 2025! Read more
Here are a few of my tips that I hope will make it easy to pack your bags, hop on a plane and change the view from your window! Read more
When addressing a group of travelers interested in taking a river cruise, a frequent question I receive is “What sets AmaWaterways apart from the others?" Read more
The arrival of spring brings a strong sense of new beginnings, rejuvenation and surprises. Nowhere was this more evident than in mid-March when 19 of our beautiful ships began welcoming our guests to experience the legendary rivers of Europe. Read more
We are preparing for a wonderful 2023! Here are the best ways to awaken your senses, enhance your wellbeing and celebrate love. Read more
It is more important than ever to be mindful of your physical and mental wellbeing, conscious of your impact on the environment and pro-active in making plans to experience special moments with those you love. Read more
Here are a few packing tips to help you enjoy each of the four seasons to the fullest while sailing on the magnificent rivers of Europe! Read more
Lots of exciting news from the rivers as your AmaFamily continues to grow. New ships, new godparents, new itineraries, new destinations, new cruise managers and new team members taking care of our guests around the globe. Read more
With the wonderful news of testing requirements lifting in the United States, more people are excited to make travel plans internationally again, opening the door for their next river cruise experience. Read more
After two years of postponed family gatherings, 2022 is quickly turning into the year to get the whole family together and river cruising has so much to offer every member of the family. Read more
Our 22 beautiful ships are ready for an exciting new European sailing season that was kicked off on March 6th on board the remarkable AmaMagna. Read more
Breathtaking, mystical and profoundly touching are just some of the words that came to me as I started to write about my recent 11 day Secrets of Egypt & the Nile aboard AmaDahlia Read more
Flexibility and creativity were the order of the day for 2021 and both factors will continue to influence the travel trends for next year. Read more
2022 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for international travel and we have a lot planned for our guests to celebrate. Read more
International travel is open and river cruising is the most amazing way to ease yourself back into the wonderful world waiting to be experienced. Read more
We always take our guests’ and travel advisor partners’ feedback to heart, and it is so exciting when we can innovate and offer new itineraries, land packages, tours, culinary options and onboard services that are the direct result of the thoughts and travel aspirations shared with us. Read more
March 8th has become a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Read more
February is considered the month of love and as “Ama” means love, I couldn’t let the month go by without sharing some AmaLove with you, our cherished guests and travel partners. Read more
Throughout our Company’s history, music has been part of our DNA – it has influenced the naming of many of our ships such as AmaCello, AmaSonata, AmaCerto and AmaLyra – and has been a powerful connector, acting as a beautiful global language on board, uniting people regardless of age, gender, race, color, nationality or circumstances. Read more
It’s been a year like no other but our teams have used the time wisely! We can hardly wait to share all the new experiences we have prepared for 2021 – new ships, new itineraries and new onboard amenities. Read more
The events of 2020 have changed forever many aspects of our lives but the desire to explore the world with friends, family or solo remains stronger than ever. Read more
Ama means love – love for our guests, our employees and our travel partners whose support has meant the world to us since we started AmaWaterways 18 years ago. Read more
Father’s Day is an important opportunity to remember cherished moments you shared and also to celebrate all the father figures - stepfathers, uncles, teachers or mentors - that provided love, guidance and a steadying hand over the years. Read more
At the heart of the travel industry is the human desire to connect with people and nature in the world around us. Despite current uncertainties, this desire remains as strong as ever and we know that you, our guests, together with your trusted travel advisors, are at home dreaming and starting plans for those next precious vacations experiences – and what better way to see the world than by sailing its rivers? Read more
The rivers continue to flow and so does our love for all of you. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be back on the rivers and our Captains will be waiting with open arms and welcoming smiles. How sweet that first “welcome cocktail” will taste! Read more

We thought it was timely to share our mission statement and the core values that guide our every decision as we manage the current challenges and prepare to move forward into the future.

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“Ama” means love and it is only fitting that during February, the month of love, I am reminded about my own very special honeymoon onboard the Zambezi Queen. Read more
AmaMagna, Budapest, Hungary, January 5, 2020 – The ship twinkled with holiday garland, the weather was perfect with clear blue skies and bright sunshine and despite many hours of travel, there was nothing but smiling faces and welcoming hugs as over 120 of AmaWaterways’ family members joined Rudi, Gary and I at the 3rd Annual Global Summit. Read more
The question I am most frequently asked is, “What is your favorite ship or itinerary?” My heartfelt response is always, “it is the ship I am currently cruising on” because traveling with AmaWaterways isn’t just about the wonderful places we’ll take you; it’s very much about the special people you will meet along the way. Read more

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays as it carries with it two messages close to my heart: one of celebration of all we have to be thankful for, and the other of bringing family members together to share special memories and create new ones that last a lifetime. Our 2021 Preview Brochure will be hitting homes just in time for American Thanksgiving – its full of new ways for you to join us, your AmaWaterways Family, in celebration of life and love.

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As co-founders of AmaWaterways, Rudi and I were honored to be among a group of 12 travel industry professionals who recently received AFAR Magazine’s 2019 Travel Vanguard Award, which celebrates people showing extraordinary efforts to make travel a force for good in the world. We are humbled to be included with this group of inspiring individuals and I wanted to share my thoughts on what this special award means to us. Read more
Our new 193-page 2020 Europe, Asia & Africa Extensive Brochure is now available and is full of inspiring images and detailed information to help plan your next river cruise. Read more
AmaMagna’s Christening - An extraordinary event fit for a revolutionary new ship.
Emotions ran high as AmaMagna cruised into her picturesque docking spot in Grein, Austria to begin the official ceremony welcoming the most revolutionary ship on the rivers today. Read more

Few countries, cultures and people have touched me as deeply as Cambodia has. We launched our first ship on the Mekong in 2009, a mere 10 years after the country opened up for tourism and since then I have seen remarkable development and transformational change.

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Exciting month of May with the launch of AmaMagna, Loyalty Appreciation Month and first-ever Network TV Spots. Read more
March 20th may be the official start of spring, but it also marks the official start of our 2019 European sailing season. Read more

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women

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It's Valentine’s Day and Love is in the air and will soon be returning to the rivers...

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Focus on Family, the Environment and Wellness were just three of the important topics we discussed...

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We joyfully christened our 20th ship, AmaLea, and announced three new ships for 2019 including the much anticipated AmaMagna which will be christened in July by her godmother tv host, Samantha Brown.

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My favorite space on our river cruise ships is...

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In the United States, the Thanksgiving weekend is the symbolic start of the holiday season.

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In my previous Blog, I shared some thoughts on the first three trends and now I’d like to touch on the last three...

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There are six major trends that we see having an impact on the river cruise industry: Personalization, Multigenerational Family Groups, Wellness Travel,...

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Diversity? Yes, please. Inclusiveness? Thank you very much. Families? You’re Welcome...

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November is one of my favorite times of the year to cruise the rivers of Europe...

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“Romance” and “vacation” are two words that “couple” together so naturally. Many of our travel agent partners specialize...

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Christening a new ship has always been a very special event for Rudi and me...

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Many countries will be celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday... Read more
On May 2nd we proudly celebrate Travel Agent Day and send out a big thank you to all the professional travel agents who love and support us... Read more

Each year, Rudi and I join the Basel operations team for a special Kick Off Meeting with our Cruise Managers...

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She’s bold, she’s beautiful and I’m betting you’ll fall in love her– She’s AmaMagna...

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Last June I introduced you to Selina, AmaWaterways certified Sports Scientist who was on the AmaLyra developing our Wellness Program... Read more
Four days of meetings in New York City isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun time but for me, it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year... Read more
This year marked our 15th year anniversary celebration. As I pause to enjoy the holiday season, I can’t help but reflect on not only the past 12 months, but also on the history of our family-owned company.... Read more
The best collaborations are fun and productive…. Read more
Many travel experiences have taken my breath away - but there are few that changed my perspective on life… Read more
Staying active is an important part of my lifestyle and it has also become very important to so many of our guests... Read more
Supporting our local community has always been very important to Rudi and me... Read more
Our hearts and thoughts go out to all our guests and travel partners that may have been affected by Hurricane Harvey and most recently Hurricane Irma. Read more
I frequently get asked, “When is your favorite time to take a river cruise?” This question is often difficult to answer as each season in Europe offers different scenery and wonderful events to discover... Read more
When Rudi Schreiner and I started our company 15 years ago, we wanted to create a river cruise company that we ourselves would want to travel with... Read more
For the past several years, Rudi has been working on a new ship design that will be a total game-changer for European river cruising.... Read more
Active travel is a trend that we first embraced in 2006 when we decided to carry a fleet of 25 complimentary bicycles on board our European ships... Read more
On Wednesday May 10, 2017, we officially welcomed our newest ship AmaKristina... Read more
Our UK sales team proudly showcased AmaWaterways to a group of 105 travel agents and media who were welcomed onboard the AmaPrima in the Netherlands March 21-23, 2017. Read more
In my opinion, Spring is the most delightful season in Europe. The air may be still cool but the sun is warm to the skin and the countryside is bursting with colors. Read more
Our ships are beautiful, our food delicious and the scenery along Europe’s most iconic rivers is often breathtaking but what really leaves a lasting impression on our guests is the personal service they receive from our crew on board. Read more
Giving back to the communities we visit is very important to me and one of the projects closest to my heart is the ODA (Opportunities of Development through Art ) Free Village English School in Cambodia... Read more
I couldn’t think of a better way to start our 15th anniversary than by receiving five gold awards during the recent 2017 Travvy Awards gala. Read more
The first couple of weeks of the new year are always filled with heartfelt messages of good health, happiness and peace for the year ahead. Read more
At this festive time of the year with friends and family spread around the world, Rudi and I both know how hard it is when you can’t always reach out and hug those people that are truly special to you.... Read more
It’s the event we all look forward to every year – our AmaWaterways Holiday Open House... Read more
The secret to perfect pastries and desserts… planning, preparation and patience! Read more
I’ve just returned from a month long oversees trip where I was able to cruise onboard two of our beautiful European ships... Read more
What I love so much about travel is even though you may have visited a destination before, there will always be something new to discover... Read more
Oh yes you can! Although it is not a typical European tradition, the crew were not afraid to have a little fun and celebrate... Read more
As we start thinking about the holiday season, I find myself looking back on the joyous, festive moments spent with my family during my childhood in Germany... Read more
The old Marilyn Monroe/Tony Curtis/Jack Lemmon movie Some Like It Hot came up during a dinner conversation this week and believe it or not, the title immediately made me think about our river cruise guests... Read more
Since the inception of AmaWaterways nearly 15 years ago, luxury and top-of-the-line design have been pillars of our mission... Read more
“It’s unique to find a heated pool on a river ship, but one with a swim-up bar to boot?”... Read more
I’m so excited to share the news that Rudi was just awarded the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) at the Cruise 360 Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards... Read more
What an exciting start to the season for us here at AmaWaterways. Read more
Tasting great wines and dancing to lively music played by colorful locals is all part of a special Wine Festival orchestrated by the city of Bourg... Read more
This year, AmaWaterways is excited to be expanding our themed cruise itineraries – most notably in the area of wine.... Read more
We have had an absolutely tremendous start to 2016 as we prepare for this year’s exciting cruise season... Read more
It’s a New Year and there are so many exciting things to share with you... Read more
I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t believe it’s already time for the holidays! Read more
Nothing can turn any occasion to a celebration, spark a conversation, and can elevate a meal from ordinary to elegant quite like wine. Read more
Having just celebrated the Christening of our newest European ship, the AmaSerena, in my home country of Germany a few weeks ago, I just came back from Southeast Asia for the debut of another new ship on the Mekong, the AmaDara. Read more
In a burst of happy champagne bubbles, our dear friend Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners Inc, helped us welcome the AmaSerena to the AmaWaterways fleet on August 4th in sunny Vilshofen, Germany. Read more
After an amazing evening at the TravelAge West Wave Awards Gala last week, we were honored to receive the top prize in these categories. Since the winners are chosen by travel agents in the Western US, it makes the recognition even more meaningful. Read more
Christening a brand-new ship for us is much like welcoming a new family member into the AmaWaterways fold. Read more
A child’s first Christmas is always special. And so it is with a ship’s first Christmas. Read more
Last month, I sailed aboard our newest European river cruise ship, the AmaSonata. As always, our crew did an amazing job. All of our guests, including many travel agents and members of the media, were so happy with the experience. One event in particular event made this cruise especially memorable. Read more
They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. But for those of us in travel, home can take on an exotic, faraway form. Read more
Renewing your wedding vows? Ama is the latin root verb for “love,” and we used the prefix quite deliberately in naming our company. Read more
Europe measures big events in centuries. The 800th anniversary of a town. The 500th anniversary of a university, bridge or municipal building. They’re all celebrations we’ve heard about or even taken part in before. Read more
The fall travel season is upon us. And the holidays will follow soon, and with them, unique celebrations on the rivers of Europe. Christmas Markets, of course, hold special magic. But less known are New Year's traditions in Europe. Read more
It’s always thrilling to receive an award! It really is a tremendous honor, and each one that we receive is meaningful and humbling at the same time. Read more
His vision dates back to the first river cruise ships in Europe built for the North American market. In fact, he designed them. Read more
It's been such a busy summer for us here at AmaWaterways. Read more
The Mosel is perhaps not the best-known of Europe’s rivers. But in many ways, it’s my favorite. Read more
These warm days of early summer seem far away from wintertime frost. Read more
From first ideas to finishing touches, the process is an adventure onto itself. But nothing compares to seeing the ship in service. In 12 years of launching new ships, the excitement for me never wanes. Read more
The answer at first seems simple. We travel to discover new places and to meet interesting people. But we also travel to learn about ourselves. To reconnect, reunite and rekindle something in our own background. Read more
This week marks our one-year anniversary in our new company headquarters in Calabasas, California. We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and inspiring setting. Read more
I’ve always loved spring time in Europe, since my childhood days here. And though I’m in my native Germany at the moment, it’s the Netherlands in the spotlight this week. Read more
Springtime is beautiful in Europe. And sometimes, it’s simply magical.
That was the case last week, during our first “In Celebration of Wine” cruise of the season. I was lucky to be on board our lovely AmaCerto as spring sunshine, blue skies and bright flowers welcomed us warmly. Read more
Enthusiasm. Training. Lots of laughs. Lots of information. A room brimming with energy. All this, and more, marked the start of our European River Cruise Season last week as Rudi and I met with our ever-growing European team aboard the AmaPrima to prepare for the upcoming season. Read more
When travelers visit Portugal, they tend to focus on the southern part of the country, such as the sunny beaches of the Algarve. Read more
Today I’d like to share some lovely photos taken at the recent holiday party at the AmaWaterways-sponsored ODA Free Village English School in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Read more
The holidays may be over, but as friends and guests return from their Christmas Market cruises, their suitcases stuffed with handmade ornaments and delicious seasonal treats, I am reminded of my childhood in Germany. Thought I would share some of these memories with you! Read more
The holiday season is here once again, a time when our thoughts turn to the happiness and well-being of loved ones, near and far. Read more
Whenever I enjoy a glass of Riesling, my thoughts turn to my homeland of Germany, where some of the world’s best white wines are grown along the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. Read more
I’m happy to announce that AmaWaterways will honor the 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings next year with an enhanced 2014 Paris & Normandy itinerary! Read more
I am so looking forward to my upcoming wine cruise this November, Great Capitals & Vintages of the Danube, traveling from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungry. Read more
Greetings from Vilshofen, Germany! Standing next to Rudi and Jimmy at the AmaPrima christening on August 6th, I was reminded of the christening of our first vessel, the AmaDagio, back in 2006. Read more

Experience More Connections

Return to a land of kings and queens, knights and ladies, and fables and legends in the ancient medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo and its Tsarevets Castle.
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Enjoy this well-loved recipe from the storied Bavarian region
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Enjoy the sweetness of this 200-year-old tradition
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