AmaWaterways Plans Two New River Ships in Europe and SE Asia

AmaWaterways guests set out on a vineyard hike near Rudesheim, Germany. Photo by AmaWaterways.

River cruising is “off the charts” in demand by travelers eager to sail directly into the heart of a country or region. New options? In the latest development, AmaWaterways plans to set sail with two more new river ships in 2026.

The new AmaSofia will launch on Europe’s Rhine and Danube Rivers, while AmaKaia will begin sailing Southeast Asia’s Mekong River.

(Photo of river cruise guests hiking to a central European castle. Photo by AmaWaterways.)

New River Ships: AmaWaterways’ 24th in Europe

With an expected launch date of May 24, 2026, the custom-designed AmaSofia will be the line’s 24th ship to sail in Europe. The new river ship’s inaugural voyage will be the aptly named “Magnificent Europe.”

Sailing between Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Budapest, Hungary, the journey will take travelers along three rivers — the Rhine, Main and Danube. Guests will experience the culture, lifestyle and culinary traditions of the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

So, what’s to see and do? Travelers can head out on guided bike rides through scenic vineyards and small towns; visit a pretzel bakery; and tour spectacular castles and palaces. They can also opt for tasty culinary tours and learn about the region’s most historic cities.

Multiple Itineraries

In 2026, the new AmaSofia will offer 31 departures. In addition to the “Magnificent Europe” inaugural voyage on three rivers, the new ship will operate multiple Danube itineraries.

For example, guests can choose from “Melodies of the Danube,” “Romantic Danube” and the popular “Christmas Markets on the Danube.” Contact Pavlus Travel for top-notch service in managing your vacation booking.

At press time, the “Magnificent Europe” itinerary started at an estimated $6,300 per person, double occupancy plus port charges. That’s inclusive of a 10 percent early booking reward.

But talk with a professional travel advisor for the best pricing on all the above voyages — taking advantage of any promotional discounts or amenities available.

AmaWaterways is adding Pickleball to AmaMagna, which sails the Danube River.
(AmaWaterways operates multiple ships on Danube River itineraries. One of its new river ships for 2026 will sail the Danube and call at Durnstein, Austria, shown above. Photo by AmaWaterways.)

New River Ships: One to Sail the Mekong

In Southeast Asia, AmaKaia will join AmaDara sailing the Mekong. As one of the line’s new river ships in 2026, it will embark on the first of its two seven-night itineraries on August 3, 2026. They’ll include “Charms of the Mekong” and “Riches of the Mekong.”

“Guests will explore the ancient cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia. In addition, along the river route, they’ll enjoy regional delicacies, daily included excursions, local onboard entertainment, and luxurious amenities from AmaWaterways.

Traditional “Xe-Loi” Ride

Ever take a traditional “xe-loi” ride? Wondering what that is? Well, it’s a fun, covered trishaw (three-wheeled vehicle) ride through the busy streets of a Southeast Asia downtown area. Simply put, it’s a hoot.

A trishaw ride through Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Susan J. Young.
(The Meandering Traveler’s “xe-loi” ride (trishaw) through Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Susan J. Young.)

The Meandering Traveler has taken such a xe-loi ride in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We couldn’t stop chuckling as our driver frantically pedaled away through honking car and truck traffic.

Guests simply hang on! This is among the experiences guests can choose to explore a city. Let’s just say it’s fun and crazy at the same time.

More on the Mekong

During an AmaKaia river cruise, guests can also choose to visit local workshops and monasteries, attend a Buddhist Blessing Ceremony, and learn about the region’s heritage from people who, in many cases, have lived it.

“Guests also have great flexibility with a choice of 22 departures in 2026 and up to 38 in 2027,” says Shelby Steudle, president, Pavlus Travel. “Land extensions are also available in several cities including Siem Reap, gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Angkor.”

At press time, starting prices for AmaWaterways'”Charms of the Mekong” and “Riches of the Mekong” itineraries in 2026 were from $2,240 per person, double occupancy, and that’s inclusive of a 20 percent early booking reward. Port charges are additional.

Check with your travel advisor for the latest updates, though, as pricing can change rapidly.

AmaWaterways Fare Inclusions

On AmaWaterways' AmaKristina, the Chef's Table is hosted by a chef and waiters, shown here in front of the glass galley. Photo by Susan J. Young.
(On AmaWaterways, the Chef’s Table is a complimentary gourmet dining experience. Shown above, a chef and multiple waiters greet guests arriving at this onboard restaurant. Photo by Susan J. Young.)
Good to know? Cruising along global rivers with AmaWaterways includes the following within its cruise fares:
  • Fine dining in multiple onboard venues including The Chef’s Tablespecialty restaurant.
  • Unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.
  • Daily Sip & Sail cocktail hour with wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks.
  • Daily variety of small group excursions including hiking, biking and special interest tours.
  • High-quality Wi-Fi.
  • A wellness program with host-led fitness classes.
  • Airport transfers and much more.
To chat about the options above or any AmaWaterways river cruise and land package, be sure to contact a skilled, professional personal travel planner.

Important Notes from Pavlus Travel

  • If anything does tweak your interest in this blog and you DO have questions about specific pricing, brochures, savings, accommodations, accessible options and so on, please contact us at 800-528-9300.
  • Or visit us online at Pavlus Travel’s official agency Web site; there you can “live chat” with us online too!
  • This blog site is designed for “basic, general information” about travel. It’s not staffed by travel advisors.
  • Any price examples used in the above blog are subject to change. They also do not represent the full range of options; a travel advisor can assist with additional information.
  • Please don’t use the Reply Section below if you are asking for pricing, travel dates, accommodations, brochures or other specific requests. Please use the 800 number or online link. 

Leave a Reply