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Sailing the Rhone with Amawaterways

Natalie from Amawaterways recently sailed the Rhone and she has shared her experiences in a daily blog. So if you are considering a River Cruise this year why not take 5 minutes to have a read as her first hand account is really insightful.
We hope you enjoy – if by the end you want to knwo more about River Cruising in general then call our team who will be happy to answer any further questions you may have. Or if you want to you can chat online with Zoltan our very own River Cruise expert via our website.

Day 1

The alarm goes off at 04:30, I hit snooze……..a few minutes later I woke up in a startled panic thinking I had slept through and missed the flight! Of course I didn’t……a smooth and efficient check in later and off I fly to Lyon to begin my journey on the Rhone river.

The transfer time from the airport to the ship is approximately 45 minutes by coach. As we approach the ship, I start to get that excited feeling that I always get when I am going onboard again, you know the one that wakes you up early on your birthday or christmas day, or is that just me?! We were greeted by a talented gentleman playing the accordion, serenading us as we walked up the gangway to the ship, the double doors opened and we were welcomed by the immaculate crew with beaming smiles, my shoulders dropped and instantly I felt relaxed. We were given hot towels and were shown into the lounge, we knew we couldn’t have access to our cabins until 15:00, so we enjoyed the light lunch of soup and sandwiches that were available in the main lounge, it’s surprising how hungry travelling makes you. The main lounge has a selection of inviting sofas, warm, rich colours and tones which all compliment eachother and are framed by panoramic floor to ceiling windows showing the stunning views of the Rhone river and Lyon our home port for the evening. The main lounge is the main hub of the ship, there is a complimentary coffee and tea station with every type of tea you can think of, the main bar area which is staffed ready and waiting to take your order. The lounge has a piano for the resident pianist and a dance floor, which I am sure I will make use of whilst onboard.

15:00 quickly came around and I was shown to my cabin, luggage was already waiting inside and I was shown how to use the TV system which includes complimentary movies, music and even internet for staying in touch with home. The cabin is very spacious and well equipped with plenty of wardrobe space. One of the highlights is the French balcony which I cannot resist opening, I would definitely recommend you to upgrade where possible and enjoy the views from the privacy of your own French balcony.

After enjoying the view from my cabin I decided to have a wonder around the ship. The reception area boasts a dark wood and iron staircase which leads you to all decks on the ship. If you don’t fancy using the stairs, there is a lift that takes you to decks 3 & 2 and the restaurant. On deck 3 in the reception area there is a small library area where you relax and read the books on display. The Cruise Manager has a desk in the same area and is always on hand to assist you with any questions or needs you may have. The reception team are available 24 hours a day. To the left of reception there is a small gift shop that sells general toiletry items and a variety of gifts. From reception the staircase also leads down to the main restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, but there is also a speciality restaurant onboard called Erlebnis which is at the aft of the ship. It has 4 rectangle tables for 24 guests and a large glass show kitchen to watch the chef preparing your evening meal, I will update you on the experience later in the week when I have dined here. Everyone onboard gets the opportunity to dine in Erlebnis once during the cruise. There is a gym (which I am going to try and use) that has some free weights, a running machine and an exercise bike, plus a sauna and shower room. There is even a beauty/hair salon onboard too. Up on the top deck there is lots of space to take in the views with plenty of chairs and for anyone that wants to relax there’s a jacuzzi hot tub.

Showered (in the multijet shower that was amazing) and dressed for the Captain’s welcome night I made my way to the main lounge and was welcomed with a glass of champagne, greeted by the Hotel Manager, Cruise Manager and the one and only Captain – who also gave me a rose…..Ok not only me, all the ladies onboard also got one too. Our Cruise Manager presented the heads of the departments and gave us an overview of what to expect whilst onboard. The Captain conducted the safety briefing and then a toast to all guests onboard.

Dinner was served at 19:30, I made my way down to the main restaurant and was met by the very welcoming Maitre D who showed me to a table. It is an open seating policy and there are tables from 2 to 8 available. With everyone seated there is such a wonderful atmosphere with all of the waiters explaining the menu options and the wine waiter describing the red and white wines available which are free flowing during lunch and evening meals. With so many choices on the menu I was completely spoilt (menu attached to whet your appetite)…..in the end I managed to chose beef consommé to start, followed by sorbet, then Tranche of Beef Entrecote and Marinated Tiger Shrimp Tail for main course and rounded it off with vanilla ice-cream, cherry ragout and the most amazingly delicious macaroons. What an incredible first meal, I can already fill the pounds piling on and it is only night one!

After filling ,myself so full that I could barely walk, my double bed covered with plush white on white linen is calling me after my early start so off to bed for me ready for tours and the day in Lyon tomorrow………

Keep you updated on my adventure on the Rhone.


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