Amsterdam Included

Between now and the end of March, AmaWaterways is including complimentary 2-, 3- and 4-night land packages on select 2024 and 2025 river cruises. What we at River Cruise Advisor particularly appreciate about these packages are:
  1. They’re nearly always in gateway cities, meaning that you either arrive in the city or depart from the city where your river cruise begins or ends.
  2. On the front end, having a buffer of two, three or four nights allows sufficient time to recover from delayed flights or delayed luggage. If your flight to Europe is delayed because of weather or other issues, no problem. The ship won’t sail without you if you have additional days built in before your cruise. Likewise, if your luggage is delayed by a day or two, no worries. It can catch up with you at your hotel rather than trying to catch up with a moving target as your ship cruises along the river.
  3. These packages allow you to recover from the jolt of time-zone changes on the front end.
  4. On the back end, they help you avoid something you will likely dread – the end of a wonderful river cruise. As others are boarding buses for the airport to fly home, you will be heading out for new adventures.
  5. The land packages help you get to know a destination that you might have otherwise missed.

Of particular interest to me is Amsterdam. That’s because in the days before my Dream Cruise, we’re taking advantage of a two-night land extension in the Dutch capital. Though my sail date, October 2, through October 13, 2024, is not included on AmaWaterways’ select sailings (meaning it does not qualify for complimentary land packages), I was able to offer it as a bonus for those who booked early. 

The Amsterdam package includes: 
  • 2-nights at NH Collection Barbizon Palace or Anatara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky (or similar)
  • Transfer from the hotel to the ship
  • All hotel taxes
  • Baggage handling at the hotel
  • Daily breakfast at hotel
  • Zaanse Schans Tour (Collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses)
  • City walking tour of Amsterdam with free time to visit Museumplein
  • English-speaking AmaWaterways host or hostess at the hotel
  • Welcome Reception at hotel

The value of the Amsterdam package is US$1,500. That’s typically what you’d pay to add this on to your AmaWaterways’ cruise. Worth it? I think so. For starters, our group will stay at the lovely Barbizon Palace. The five-star hotel is situated just across from Amsterdam’s Central Station making it easy to explore the city and the region. A quick check of rates on the hotel’s website shows beginning rates of $408 per night for a Superior Room (the lowest category) with breakfast. And our rate includes nearly $100 in hotel city taxes, not accounted for in the room rate quoted above.

During our time in Amsterdam before boarding AmaPrima for the Dream Cruise, we’ll enjoy a walking tour where we will see the great landmarks of this vibrant city. We’ll walk among some of Amsterdam’s 165 meandering UNESCO-designated canals, stroll over enchanting bridges and admire the city’s distinctive centuries-old architecture. We’ll also experience the thrills (and hazards) of numerous bicycles whizzing by in one of less than 40 cities worldwide that has its own “Bicycle Mayor.” Be sure to look both ways before crossing the street! We’ll also visit Zaanse Schans, where we’ll see authentic 17th and 18th-century windmills, houses and shops that were relocated to this picturesque area.
You shouldn’t simply sum up Amsterdam as a city of tulips, cheese and bicycles alone. There is so much more to this iconic European city, packed with layers upon layers of beautiful sites to see and experiences to be had. Most people know it’s quaint, friendly and “open,” but few know how dynamic this city is. Check out my Amsterdam City Guide here.
You can learn more about AmaWaterways’ complimentary land here. Also check out what AmaWaterways has to say about Amsterdam in this post.