The revolutionary new ship Ama Magna combines the immersive river cruise experience with attributes otherwise found only on ocean cruises. As Europe’s largest riverboat, Magna also offers the full expression of its parent company’s wellness focus.
On Magna, you can vacation without vacating your fitness regimen. In fact, you can conveniently start a fitness program with a respectable gym, river-view treadmills and spin cycles, daily yoga, health-conscious menus, and group fitness programs, bicycles available to check out, and high-intensity shore excursions enabling you to elevate your heart rate while exploring.
Magna was custom built for a stretch of the Danube River with wider locks than elsewhere in Europe. The vessel is twice the size of the typical river cruise ship with only 20% more passengers. Capacity is 196. That means larger staterooms, multiple restaurants, a water sports dock off the back, and a fully developed wellness program that is the passion of co-owner and vice president Kristin Karst.
“We are passionate advocates of living a healthy lifestyle, and we are always looking for new ways to enhance our wellness offerings that guests can enjoy while discovering the scenic landscapes and picturesque towns along Europe’s most iconic rivers,” said Karst. “Since introducing complimentary bicycles onboard in 2006, we have been leading the way in active river cruising.”
Magna guests are delivered to the doorsteps of Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovenia; and Passau, Germany, needing to unpack only once, as with other river cruises. But they can enjoy a wider menu of activities along with extra elbow room on the ship.
A significant portion of that extra space is devoted to a legitimate fitness center with river-view treadmills and outside spin cycles. Yoga and fitness activities are regular parts of the itineraries.
Dining is a highlight of all cruises. Ama means to make it tasty and healthy...on Magna and throughout its fleet.
Healthy food options are part of all menus. There always are gluten-free, low-sodium and vegetarian choices. There are also selections like vitamin shots and freshly baked whole-grain breads at breakfast and hydration stations with infused citrus and gemstone water.
To be fair, a greater fitness focus is not unique. Every cruise line is offering more healthy menu choices, fitness classes have become a regular part of many itineraries, and some ocean cruise gyms resemble 24-hour fitness - but with a view. Ama has given it particular focus.
Ralph Grizzle, author of The Avid Cruiser blog, says the Ama Magna experience is “very much akin to small ship ocean cruising… easily one of the best river cruises in Europe, if not the world.”
Other professional reviewers and those on TripAdvisor also are giving Ama Magna kudos.
“It’s all about the amazing use of space,” said Expedia Franchise Partner Elliot Finkleman of Ottawa, Canada. “Our room had more storage than most ocean ships. The decor is what you might expect from a hip, modern condo. It’s hard to find a flaw. The bathroom is practical and stunning. My wife Louise loved the lighting and mirrors.”
The roomier public areas allow guests to break from the pack and also make the ship accommodating for groups and families. The extra space and additional choice take the travel industry’s fastest-growing niche up a notch...or two.
After-dinner activities on the typical riverboat can be enjoyable but quite limited. Often the choice is listening to the piano player in the lounge or going on top, weather permitting, and gazing at a beautiful sunset as you float along.
There are no Broadway shows or wee hours parties as they are not part of the river cruise experience, which rests on full days of exploring, which in itself accumulates thousands of steps on guests’ apps. But Magna’s extra space facilitates more choice.
Lock constraints prevent Magna or a ship like it from navigating most of Europe’s rivers. But if you want to experience the fairytale stretch between Passua and Budapest, this is your best bet.
Magna Ports and Active Excursions
Castle Hill Hike
Coronation of Kings Walking Tour or Castle Hike
Vienna by Bike
UNESCO Media Arts Walking Tour or Full-day Bike Tour
City of Three Rivers Walking Tour or Danube Bike Tour