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AmaBella (APT) Review

Find a AmaBella (APT) Cruise from £2,289

AmaBella (APT)
4.5 / 5.0
20 reviews

Pros
All-inclusive cruising and majority of cabins have two balconies
Cons
Lack of a quiet second lounge area
Bottom Line
Quality cruising with three dining venues and many inclusions in the fare

About

Passengers
161

Crew
49

Passenger to Crew
3.29:1

Launched
2010

Shore Excursions
63
Sails To
Europe
APT Cruise Deals
Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

AmaBella (APT) Overview

Launched in 2010, the 81-cabin AmaBella was one of the first of the Ama Concerto-class ships to debut a twin balcony concept -- a rarity in river cruising.

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A total of 52 generously proportioned cabins have a French balcony, with floor-to-ceiling windows that open out over a railing, plus a walk-out veranda with room for a table and two chairs. With windows covering most of the outside cabin wall, these staterooms are particularly light and airy.

Other notable amenities include a splash pool on the sun deck, combined hairdressing salon and massage room and a small gym with a sauna. An open bar, daily excursions and all tips are among the high number of inclusions and -- depending on the package booked -- there are also private home-to-airport transfers and onboard butler service.

All crew members speak English and are very warm and friendly. As AmaBella carries less passengers than some other riverboats of the same size there are high levels of personal service -- by day two you can expect the bartender to remember your favourite drink.

On the food front APT, through its link with AmaWaterways, is the only river cruise line that is a member of prestigious French gastronomic association La Chaine des Rotisseurs. The standard of the food is excellent and on each cruise there is a La Chaine des Rotisseurs dinner. Another unique feature is that on certain nights the main restaurant is divided into two halves, with an Italian menu served on one side and an international menu served on the other. AmaBella also has a separate Chef's Table restaurant featuring a tasting menu, and all passengers get to eat here for free.

Since 2016 AmaBella, owned by AmaWaterways, has been exclusively chartered by Australian-owned partner company APT, which celebrated its milestone 90th anniversary in 2017. Some ships in the Ama fleet are operated by both of the family-run companies, while others are solely chartered for APT's "luxury" branded European programme.

APT cruises are marketed in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., and these countries make up the majority of passengers onboard. However, anyone can book an APT cruise so you may find a sprinkling of other nationalities, including passengers from the U.S. and other English-speaking countries.

Unlike the majority of mainstream European river cruises, which generally average seven to 14 nights, APT offers much longer voyages, which take into account the long travel distance for its core Australian market. AmaBella sails exclusively on APT's Magnificent Europe cruises on the Rhine, Main and Danube. These start at 14 nights -- sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest or in reverse -- and extend to a 23-night journey taking in 23 destinations with land-based hotel stays in Berlin, Paris and Prague at the beginning and end of the trip.


Top AmaBella (APT) Itineraries

AmaBella (APT)
14 night magnificent europe amsterdam to budapest 2020

Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Rudesheim, Rudesheim, Miltenberg, Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Regensburg, Passau, Passau, Vienna, Vienna, Budapest, Budapest, Budapest

14 Night Magnificent Europe Amsterdam To Budapest 2020

AmaBella (APT)

View All AmaBella (APT) Itineraries (8)

Fellow Passengers

APT appeals to well-travelled passengers, mostly aged 50 and above and many of them retired with time to travel on the longer-than-average itineraries. However, there were people in their 40s and a few younger, on our cruise. Australians, who make up the majority of crew mates, tend to be a fun-loving crowd and the onboard atmosphere, especially in the evening, is livelier than you might get on vessels catering primarily to other nationalities. AmaBella mainly attracts couples, and there were some small groups of friends and one or two solo travellers.


AmaBella (APT) Dress Code

The dress code is "casual and comfortable" by day and "smart casual" for dinner. Passengers are not allowed to wear swimwear in the restaurant or lounges, and shorts are not suitable for dinner. There is one captain's night per cruise, which is when people tend to wear their best attire -- collared shirts and jackets for men (ties not required) and dresses or smart trousers and tops for ladies. The most important things to pack are comfortable shoes or trainers for the shore excursions as many of them involve walking along cobbled streets. The weather in Europe is also very changeable, even in summer, so it's a good idea bring layers, along with hats, sunglasses and a light raincoat. Umbrellas are provided onboard.

AmaBella Inclusions

AmaBella fares include an all-day open bar (with the exception of a small number of premium brands and Champagne) and you can even get sparkling wine at breakfast. Two wines, a white and red, are served with lunch and dinner. There is a complimentary 24-hour self-service tea and coffee station in the lounge and an ice machine is located at the entrance to the dining room. Bottles of water are placed in cabins and replenished daily and can also be collected from reception at the start of excursions.

Some cabin categories include butler service, complimentary laundry and room service dining and -- in the top suites -- a bottle of Champagne on arrival.

The ship carries a fleet of 24 complimentary bicycles, plus helmets, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship and during our cruise there was a very fast connection and, unusually for river cruises, few interruptions to the service or periods when it was unavailable.

The onboard currency is the euro. Gratuities to local guides, drivers, the ship's crew and cruise director are all included in the fare.

APT is particularly noteworthy for thoughtful touches that go over and above other lines. Prior to the cruise we received a large rucksack, washing bag, personalised cruise itinerary and magnetic name tags. And although we've never had the misfortune before, one of our suitcases was mislaid by the airline. APT provided a complimentary emergency kit, one for a man and one for a woman, containing essentials such as toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, T-shirt, underwear, socks and a pair of tights. A very welcome touch.


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AmaBella (APT) Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining5.04
Entertainment4.03.6
Public Rooms4.04.1
Fitness Recreation3.03.1
Family1.01
Enrichment3.03.7
Service5.04.3
Value For Money4.03.6

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Cruises on AmaBella (APT) start from £2,289 per person.

Awards and Recognition

AmaBella (APT) Member Reviews

AmaBella (APT)
suja
Sail Date: Sep 2019
So to sum up I think APT are relying on repeat custom from prior APT guests (with an average age of “very old”) who do not realise that there are far better river cruising options available.... Read More
AmaBella (APT)
teeandjay
Sail Date: Sep 2018
We had to change from the AmaVerde to the AmaBella on this APT cruise half way through our cruise because of low water on the Danube. This involved a four hour coach journey.... Read More
AmaBella (APT)
togidubnius
Sail Date: Sep 2018
As it was an APT cruise many of the passengers were Australian who on the whole are much more fun and interesting than some of the brits on board.... Read More
AmaBella (APT)
Allidudz
Sail Date: May 2018
Congratulations APT, you never disappoint.... Read More

APT Fleet

AmaReina (APT)
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

9 reviews

The 164-passenger AmaReina, which sails for Australia-based APT, offers a formal dining room and a casual all-day eatery, double-balcony cabins and a range of tour options.

AmaReina (APT) Cruises to Europe View All AmaReina (APT) Cruises
AmaVenita (APT)

AmaVenita sails on the Rhine, Main and Danube and operates all of APT's Royal Collection itineraries, designed specifically for guests from Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

AmaDara (APT)

APT launched AmaDara in April 2015 -- sailing the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia -- which features 48 cabins, all with private twin balconies.

AmaVerde (APT)
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


AmaVerde sails Europe's Rhine, Mosel and Main rivers, with the ship likely to appeal to those who appreciate great food and wine, coupled with pretty scenery.

AmaLyra (APT)

APT's AmaLyra launched in 2009, joining nearly identical sister ships AmaDolce (2009), AmaCello (2008), AmaDante (2008), AmaLegro (2007) and AmaDagio (2006). The ship cruises along Europe's great inland waterways, including the Rhine, Mosel, Main and Danube.

AmaPrima (APT)

AmaPrima, which debuted in 2012, uniquely features a splash pool with its own bar and bar stools in the water, which proves popular with passengers.

AmaSerena (APT)

A new ship built in 2015, AmaSerena hosts passengers on APT's Voyages itineraries, which are run in conjunction with the line's co-owners, AmaWaterways.

AmaCerto (APT)

AmaCerto debuted in 2012 with an emphasis on passenger comfort and indulgence. Most cabins feature twin balconies, including a French verandah and a balcony with seating.

AmaVida (APT)

In spring 2013, APT added AmaVida to its European fleet in order to give passengers the opportunity to cruise Portugal's charming Douro River.

AmaSonata (APT)

APT's 106-passenger AmaSonata, which debuted in 2013, has won rave reviews for its European cruises on the Danube and Rhine rivers.

AmaDolce (APT)

AmaDolce is equipped for enjoying Europe's great waterways, with a lounge at the back for panoramic views of the sights along the Rhine, Mosel, Main and Danube rivers.

AmaDante (APT)

A river cruise on APT's 148-passenger AmaDante, which launched in 2008, visits charming towns along the Danube, Rhine, Mosel and Main rivers.

AmaBella (APT)
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


APT co-owns AmaWaterways, a leading river cruise operator in Europe, and both companies operate the AmaBella. In Australia and New Zealand, the cruises are sold under the APT brand, with unique itineraries and inclusions.

AmaCello (APT)

Debuted in 2008, AmaCello features many of the modern conveniences river cruisers have come to love (and expect): wireless Internet, multifunction Web/TV systems, comfy sun decks and spacious bathrooms.All cabins have river views, making it a tempting option to simply relax in your room and watch the world glide by.

RV Samatha (APT)

Launched in 2016 on the Irrawaddy River, RV Samatha features a sun deck with swimming pool, day spa, fitness room, and a main lounge and bar.

Hebridean Sky (APT)

This small expedition ship, Hebridean Sky, was acquired and renamed by APT in 2014 and underwent a refurbishment in early 2016.

Island Sky (APT)

Refurbished in 2010, Island Sky joined the UK-based Noble Caledonia, which more recently merged with Australian travel company APT, in 1992.

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