2021 Summer on the Rhine Cruise

A typical Rhine river scene - a town running along its banks, hills and castle, and the Amamora in the foreground.

The Rhine river has been a vital waterway since Roman times, features in myths and legends going back to time immemorial, and was the setting for perhaps the greatest opera ever written (certainly the longest!), Wagner’s four-part “Ring of the Nibelung”.

A medieval marine “superhighway”, its importance caused towns and cities to line its banks along it 764.3 mile length, giving us the parade of wonderful places to visit we can enjoy today.

Today, the Rhine is still very much a “working river” with lots of commercial traffic on it.  And, for us, it is the pathway to an unfolding series of treasured experiences and memories as we enjoy the beauty of the river, its towns and its villages, all from our base on a luxurious state-of-the-art river cruising ship.

The comfort and luxury of our “traveling hotel” means we avoid the pesky process of constant packing and unpacking, have an assured high quality stay, can relax and get comfortable while onboard the ship.

Every day sees us visiting lovely towns and villages in Switzerland, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium, offering us history, amazing architecture, culture, food, drink and entertainment.

A pre-cruise option features Zurich and Lucerne, and a Travel Insider exclusive post-cruise option takes us via Rotterdam and Antwerp to northern France for four days based in Lille, while exploring the region – to the coast and Dunkirk, and up into Belgium (Ypres, and Bruges).

This page tells you what you need to know about the tour in general.  We also have a detailed day by day itinerary so you can understand everything that you’ll get to see and do during your lovely Summer on the Rhine Cruise.

Start Date & Options

The cruise starts on Thursday 12 August in Basel.

You can board the ship any time from lunchtime, and our cabins will be available from 3pm.

Optional Pre-cruise Extension

Firstly, we always recommend you should arrive at least a day early when joining tours internationally.  This gives you a day to unwind after the flights, and also gives you an “emergency” day in case of problems with flights en route.  So, if nothing else, we urge you to arrive in Basel a day or two before the cruise.

Secondly, if you’re coming over early, why not use your extra days to good purpose, and consider joining the pre-tour optional extension, starting in Zurich and going on to Lucerne, then arriving in Basel and boarding the ship on Thursday afternoon.  These options are detailed on the day-by-day itinerary page.

End Date & Options

The cruise finishes on Thursday 19 August, in Amsterdam.

We arrive into Amsterdam on Wednesday afternoon, so you can leave any time on Thursday morning if you’ve an early flight to catch.

Optional Post-cruise Extension

If you have extra time, we’d of course recommend you add on our post-cruise extension.

We travel down to Lille in France, with stops in the port city of Rotterdam and the “Diamond city” of Antwerp.  A lovely four night stay in Lille gives you time to settle in to this great part of France, and we include plenty of touring around the region to show it to you.

After our extension, you might wish to travel on to Paris (a mere hour away by very high speed train), either conveniently direct to the airport for flying home (or elsewhere) or – like me – to spend a few days in Paris, too.

Our detailed day-by-day itinerary page explains the post-cruise option.

If there’s somewhere else you’d like to go, either instead or as well, please ask. I’m pleased to help you plan whatever you might want to do.

Most days there are optional opportunities to borrow one of the ship's bikes and go bike riding in the region.

All About River Cruising

Maybe you’ve cruised on a gigantic cruise ship before.  River cruising is very different.  Our lovely river cruiser, Amamora, has only 78 cabins, making for a more personal and less institutional experience.

The crew quickly get to know you by name and remember your preferences, and because you’re on board for a week, you also get to know fellow cruisers, making the experience more social and pleasurable in every respect.

Please click the tabs below for more information on what to expect on a river cruise.

Look at Everything that's Included

The red parts are the pre and post cruise options, the blue is the cruise. Click the image to open a larger image.

Food and Drink inclusions

  • Three cooked meals every day, served plated at your table (ie no long lines at buffets with slowly stewing hot items and wilting cold items)
  • Morning, afternoon, and evening snacks
  • Tapas menu during the day
  • Special gourmet “Chef’s Table” restaurant also available for dinner at no extra cost
  • Captain’s welcome ceremony with canapes and drinks the first night
  • Farewell ceremony with canapes and drinks the last night
  • A return-cruiser function one afternoon, also with drinks and nibbles
  • Unlimited free wine, beer, and/or soft drinks with every lunch and dinner
  • Sparking wine with breakfast
  • Gourmet coffee and tea available 24/7
  • Special “health waters” featured daily

Travel Insider Extras

  • An exclusive Travel Insider function prior to dinner one night with drinks and nibbles
  • An alumni/supporters function prior to dinner one night with drinks and nibbles
  • A high-value post-tour option to and around Lille
  • A small Travel Insider gift
  • Special Travel Insider $50 per person shipboard credit
  • Special Travel Insider discount off the regular cruise fare
  • Personal assistance from David Rowell during the cruise and post-tour to help with any extra needs or requirements you have

Other Inclusions and Features

  • Daily off-ship excursions every day at no extra cost
  • Free bike rentals from the ship if you want to explore on your own
  • Gym and wellness program on board
  • Evening entertainment most nights
  • We also stay in some ports until late evening giving you a chance to enjoy your choice of shore-side entertainments

Responding to Covid-19

At present – late June (we will update this section any time there are significant changes) new virus case numbers are declining in the EU and North America.  The countries we will be visiting are now accepting Americans with vaccination certificates.  Most of us have had a chance to be vaccinated if we wish, and probably everyone else will have a similar chance between now and the cruise.  We recommend you be vaccinated, for all the obvious reasons.

Amawaterways has a fastidious approach to hygiene, and is the only US based river cruise operator to have successfully operated a four month season of cruises during the worst of the pandemic in 2020.

Their cruises all fully comply with “best practices” and exceed host country guidelines.  All cabins have their own independent air conditioning units.

Currently, masking is only required while moving around on board the ship, and might be eliminated entirely by mid August.  Enhanced cleaning, plenty of hand sanitizing stations, a change from buffet to individually served plated meals, reducing the number of people per cruise, and social distancing in smaller sides groups for shore excursions, plus assorted other measures, all combine to give you a high level of safety at minimum impact to your wonderful cruise experience.

Amawaterways also offer you the ability to change your sailing date any time up until 48 hours prior to the start of your journey (if you deposit your booking by 31 July), with the money you’d paid being credited in full for a future Amawaterways cruise prior to 31 Dec 2023.  If you buy their Travel Waiver Plus insurance policy (by 31 July), this allows you to cancel as well as change your booking (ask us for full details).

Please ask if you have additional questions or concerns.

Cabin Types and Tour Cost

The spacious layout of the 210 sq ft BA & BB cabins. The AA & AB cabins are even larger!

Amamora has 78 cabins on three decks.  Their cabins are among the largest of any Danube cruise ship.

Cabins are typically either 210 sq ft or 235 sq ft in size, and with outside balconies as well as floor to ceiling windows.  There are some smaller 170 and 155 sq ft cabins that appeal to the budget-conscious travelers, and some 160 sq ft cabins on the lowest deck that have large portholes rather than floor to ceiling windows.

Suites are an wonderful 350 sq ft in size.

Of course, the better/bigger/higher up your cabin is, the more it costs.  We’ve written a detailed article on choosing a cabin on a river cruise ship, here.  Most people generally choose an AA/AB or BA/BB cabin, and others will choose a C/D/E cabin.  There’s no wrong answer, and you’ll love your cruise, whichever you choose.

The cabin choices and prices for the cruise is shown immediately below.

Note these rates include a special Travel Insider $2500 per cabin ($1250 per person) discount.

Cabin TypeSpecial Travel Insider Cruise Price per personSingle Supplement
top deck
350 sq ft
($7398 before discount)
top deck
235 sq ft
($5998 before discount)
middle deck
235 sq ft
($5798 before discount)
BA (only 2 remaining)
210 sq ft
top deck
($5598 before discount)
210 sq ft
middle deck
($5398 before discount)
170 sq ft – no outside balcony
mid and top decks
($4798 before discount)
155 sq ft – no outside balcony
top deck
($4498 before discount)
160 sq ft – fixed windows
lower deck
($4098 before discount)
E (possibly all sold)
160 sq ft – fixed windows
lower deck
($3799 before discount)

Rates are per person, share twin.  Single supplements (at a special discount – normally 50% of the full rate) are shown if you are traveling alone.

We can help to match together singles if you’d like to share with a compatible fellow single traveler but can not guarantee this.


In addition to the cruise (and pre/post tour options) rates, there is a $196 per person port charge.

Passengers are invited to offer a voluntary gratuity to the ship’s crew and to the ship’s Tour Manager at the end of the cruise.

Other Price Comments

The cruise and pre-cruise option can be paid for with credit card and no surcharge.  The post cruise option reflect a 3% discount for cash/check.

Due to the closeness to departure, full payment will be required within five days of when your cruise request has been confirmed.

Tour does not include the costs of travel to and from the tour start and end points, or anything not specified as included.

Amawaterways Return Cruisers

If you’ve been on a previous Amawaterways cruise, you are probably entitled to return cruiser loyalty benefits.  These range from $100 per person discounts up to cabin upgrades.  We’ll explain these to you if you qualify.

Special Travel Insider Savings

The biggest saving is of course the $1250 per person discount.  But there’s more, too!

Why not bring a friend or two with you, for more shared fun and fellowship.

To encourage you to do this, and your friends to travel with you, we’ll offer a 1% discount for each extra person you bring with you (other than anyone you are already sharing your room with).

Bring another couple, and they get a 2% discount – and you get the same 2% discount too!  Bring two couples and all of you get a 4% discount, and so on (up to a maximum of 10%).

Singles Save Too!

Travel Insider tours always have a large number of singles – our groups are friendly, inclusive, and welcoming, making them ideal for singles as well as couples and larger groups.

We do our best to make our tours not only as friendly as possible, but also affordable and fair for singles, too.

Amawaterways are offering reduced single supplements for singles on this cruise.  This has been shown in the table above.

More Helpful Information

Register Your Interest Now

Application to Join The 2021 Summer on the Rhine Cruise

Simply fill out and click at the bottom to send in your request to join this wonderful tour.



As soon as your application is received, we will quickly respond to confirm your request.

Tour Terms and Conditions

Our standard terms and conditions apply to this tour.

In addition, please note these extra terms :

1.   Because we are already within 90 days of the cruise, full payment will be required within five days of your cruise request being confirmed.

2.   US, Canadian, and many other citizens require a current passport that will not expire until after the date of their planned return from the EU in order to be admitted to the Schengen zone and EU countries.  A visa is not required.  Citizens of other countries should check with the airline that will transport them to the UK to determine what passport and visa requirements may apply.  Note that the EU requires a passport to be valid for at least three months after your planned departure from the EU.

3.  The cruise price is unlikely to change unless there is a major change in exchange rates.  The pre and post tour options area based on a wholesale Euro/Dollar exchange rate in the range of 1.16 – 1.22 (as shown, eg, in Yahoo Finance/Money – on 21 June 2021 it is showing a rate of 1.19).  If the exchange rate moves outside this range, and prior to full payment having been received by you, we will adjust the price up or down to reflect the change in underlying tour costs.  We will advise you if the exchange rate is materially changing and you can always lock in the price by sending in early full payment.

4.  Terms and conditions of Amawaterways also apply.  In particular, please note that the itinerary can occasionally (very rarely) change if water levels are too high or too low to allow the boat to travel.

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