It’s a numbers game for AmaWaterways with nine new ships and one new mega-ship in the pipeline, backed by strong bookings for its 2024/25 sailings forcing bookings to open early for 2026 sailings.

The river cruise line has been the talk of the town with its ever-expanding ship inventory and newly released reservations on all of its 2026 river cruise products: Europe, Egypt, Asia, Colombia, Africa Safaris & Wildlife Cruises as well as pre-and post-cruise land packages.

While the new ships will launch over the next three years, with the AmaMagna 2.0 yet to have a firm release date, an expanded offering with more than 40 different itineraries on four continents can only mean the company is quickly climbing the ranks of the river cruise market.

AmaWaterways has only just opened an office in Sydney after two decades of allowing APT to exclusively charter its ships.

We take a deep dive into what the river cruise line has in store for the market, and how guests will benefit from their continued investment.

AmaMagna SK Bratislava Sunset 1
AmaMagna in Bratislava

What are AmaWaterways’ new ships and where do they sail?

AmaMagna 2.0

While the ship has yet to be named, we have confirmed that AmaWaterways is planning a twin to its very popular AmaMagna – the biggest river ship to sail the Danube. 

AmaMagna is Europe’s largest river ship at 135 meters long and 22 meters wide, almost double that of other river ships. Featuring ample space, it can accommodate 196 guests. 

According to a Travel Weekly report, company president and co-founder Rudi Schreiner said the second AmaMagna’s construction will soon begin and will be an improvement to its first ship. 

The biggest changes to the new AmaMagna ship will be to its engineering design, upgrading the vessel so it can navigate low water levels that sometimes affect Europe’s rivers, per the report.

Schreiner also confirmed sustainability to be a key focus, increasing battery power and solar panels, and the ability to collect data that monitor river conditions and upgrade fuel efficiency.

“The engineering side is a big, big thing because [the AmaMagna] was a prototype,” Schreiner said, per the report.

Other changes being considered include moving the gift shop and evaluating where the ship’s four restaurants will be located.

However, guests on the new AmaMagna can expect to continue to enjoy a game of pickleball on the ship’s sundeck, a full-sized swimming pool, and spacious cabins which Schreiner said in the report are very popular amongst its biggest clients, luxury ocean cruisers.


Luxurious lobby stairs aboard AmaLilia.

Of the nine ships to be launched, AmaLilia has already set sail earlier this year in Egypt.

With 41 staterooms, including 13 suites, AmaLilia cruises through Egypt in style with its sister ship AmaDahlia. 

Offering an immersive 11-night Secrets of Egypt & the Nile itinerary on the ships, AmaDahlia and AmaLilia, offers cruise and land experiences. A seven-night roundtrip river cruise from Luxor is paired with three three-night pre- and one-night post-cruise stays in historic Cairo. Popular optional land packages paired with this destination include Dubai and Jordan.

AmaMagdalena, AmaMelodia

AmaMagdalena Magdalena River Colombia Artist Rendering 1

AmaWaterways will be the first major river cruise line to sail the Magdalena River in Colombia when it launches its two state-of-the-art ships of just 60 and 64 passengers.

Despite some delays, AmaMagdalena is now expected to launch in January, with its sister ship slated to set sail a few months later. 

Already booking up, 2026 will see the continued enhancement of its two immersive itineraries, Magic of Colombia and Wonders of Colombia, with both cruises offering pre-and-post tours to take in Medellín, Colombia, and Panama City. The seven-night itineraries cruise between Cartagena and Barranquilla and guests enjoy locally immersive excursions and a variety of lively entertainment representative of the country’s colourful culture. 


UNESCO World Heritage, the Douro Valley beautiful endless lines of Vineyards, in Peso da Regua, Vila Real, Portugal.
UNESCO World Heritage, the Douro Valley has beautiful endless lines of Vineyards, in Peso da Regua, Vila Real, Portugal.

Slated to launch next year, AmaSintra will be the third ship to sail on the Douro joining AmaDouro and AmaVida, showcasing the popularity of its Portugal itineraries.

AmaWaterways currently offers two seven-night itineraries: Enticing Douro and Flavours of Portugal and Spain, both offering pre-and-post tour options.


RO Brasov Christmas Market 1
Brasov Christmas Markets

AmaSofia will explore the Rhine and Danube Rivers when it launches in May 2026 and marks the company’s 24th ship to sail in Europe.

The newly built ship will offer 31 departures and include popular Christmas itineraries but its inaugural sailing will be the Danube beginning May 24, 2026, on the 14-night Magnificent Europe itinerary, following the route of emperors, kings and queens as it journeys between Amsterdam and Budapest.


Mekong River guide

Initially when announced the new ship for the Mekong was called AmaKaia, but it has since changed to AmaMaya. AmaWaterways currently only has the AmaDara sailing on the Mekong, and the addition of AmaMaya signals its success in the region. 

Slated to set sail from August 2026 on seven-night Charms of the Mekong and Riches of the Mekong itineraries, which are easily combined with pre- and post-cruise land packages to discover the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia, or the bustling centres of Ho Chi Minh City Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, or Bangkok, Thailand.

AmaMaya’s 22 sailings are scheduled for 2026 and 38 for 2027, with more expected to be added accordingly. 

AmaStella, AmaVenita and AmaReina to return

APT AmaStella

Three AmaWaterways ships are returning to the fleet in 2025 on the Danube and Rhine rivers, according to a report in Travel Weekly.

The three ships were previously built and chartered by APT, who have leased the ships until AmaWaterways takes possession in November. 

“Those three ships are coming back into our fleet in 2025, and once we get the ships back in November they will go through major renovation and we will start operations again in March,” Schreiner told Travel Weekly. “It will take three months, roughly, to rebuild those ships.”

The report states AmaStella and AmaVenita will sail on the Rhine, while the AmaReina will sail the Danube.

New Land Packages in Europe

Bordeaux's a corker on the AmaDolce

Two new land packages are being added as part of the AmaWaterways’ seven-night Taste of Bordeaux sailings in 2026. Guests can book the new four-night pre-cruise option and spend two nights in Madrid, before heading to the romantic city of San Sebastián.

For guests looking to extend their food- and wine-focused cruise, a new three nights in Paris option has been added to include wandering around the Champs-Élysées; visiting the artist’s refuge of Montmartre, and finishing with an evening illumination tour of the “City of Light.”

New Excursions

Amawaterways offers river cruises in Europe.
Amawaterways offers river cruises in Europe.

Guests cruising on the Rhine and Moselle will have some new excursion options for 2026. The charming city of Utrecht has been added to the Captivating Rhine, Enchanting Rhine, and Christmas Markets on the Rhine itineraries. Guests can choose between a local beer tasting and a walking tour of the city. The stop in Strasbourg during Christmas season sailings has added two more excursion choices – a walking tour of the famous spa resort town of Baden-Baden or a visit to France’s oldest Christmas Market in Strasbourg, started in 1570.

On AmaWaterways’ seven-night Vineyards of the Rhine & Moselle guests will be able to explore Wiesbaden, famous for its Sekt (German champagne), and its “Kochbrunnen” – a historic thermal hot spring dating back to Roman times.


Teeming River Cruises offers safaris

Travellers sailing Africa’s Chobe River aboard the 28-passenger Zambezi Queen have five distinct itineraries to choose from, such as Discover Africa and Stars of South Africa.

AmaWaterways’ Africa itineraries combine the four-night luxurious river cruise experience with the choice of wildlife land safaris, city stays or cross-country rail travel for a more immersive experience.