Are River Cruises For Families? We Are Going To Find Out On The AMAMagna


We have been thinking and chatting about River Cruising for some time now! And asking the question, are River Cruises For Families?  The consensus has always been its not for families.

And despite Donna and I being convinced that as parents with older children River Cruising woulds be perfect for our families; At a recent cruise event where we got to speak to many brand representatives they were very clear, bring your kids but there is nothing for them. 

Some said don’t bring them its not for kids at all. I get kid free ships for those that don’t want to travel with children or teens. But if thats not the rule on a ship then its a wonderful way to see the world.

Grand Canal - Port Guide: Venice with kids

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However I really object to that general opinion, and here is why; People are assuming that all families want the big ship experience. They are also assuming that all families want large pools and slides and kids clubs. And many do, BUT NOT ALL.

We have had so many messages from families since we announced our River Cruise, families that before this had ruled out cruising. But are love culture and are open to River Cruising.

Some families like a balance of both. Family life is busy, some weeks we are like passing ships in the night with our teens between work, college and activities. The thought of going on a holiday and getting to spend real quality time together is really appealing to me. No competition from a kids club trying to lure them away, total bliss.

Yes we have holidays where they dip in and out of activities and clubs. But some holidays have to be for family time.

River Cruising Gives Families The Time To Connect

At the very same event we spoke to Stuart Perl, The Managing Director of AmaWaterways, who totally embraces family and multi generational travel. He asked us to not take his word for it, but to actually come along and find out for ourselves what River Cruising is all about.


Its refreshing to speak to people who understand that families come in all shapes and sizes with different interests. Being a parent himself he understands the need to put aside time for family. AMAWaterways embrace family travel to such a level they work alongside Disney to offer river cruises for families wanting a more intimate cruise experience with children from the age of four.

If your children are adventurers and our teens are, then River Cruising really does offer that chance to wander streets in continental towns and cities to explore and really find out about a region. Europe has so much to offer families.

Introducing The Brand New AMAMagna

AmaWaterways have just launched their newest ship the AMAMagna, which is every kind of perfect for family travel and families that want to spend time together.

No there are no kids clubs, or water parks! However there is fine dining for family meals, lounges to chill in the evening over a game of uno. Cycling and walking tours and a full host of excursions all included in the price of your cruise. Giving you the flexibility to take arranged excursions or self guided tours.

The AMAMagna is twice the width of the usual River Cruise Ship

And as such boasts four dining rooms. The Al Fresco Restaurant with outdoor space and retractable windows, Jimmy’s, a family-style bar and restaurant, and The Chef’s Table and main dining room. Giving families lots of choice.

Lounges On The AMA MAGNA

There is a gym and spa, pool and jacuzzi onboard to keep fit after all the fine dining. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the yoga and spinning classes. Magna had a chess board, putting green and cinema on board and water sports deck at the back of the ship which doubles as a wine bar.

There are adjoining staterooms available and several cabins do hold up to 4 passengers, making family travel easy. Each cabin had free wifi, flat TVs that double as a pc. And entertainment on Demand providing complimentary TV, movies and music library.

Cruise Cabin on the AMAMagna
Is River Cruising For Families?

So Are River Cruises For Families?

We will be onboard in a couple of weeks with the lovely Laura from Cruise Lifestyle to share as much as we can with you. But for now if you fancy a peek check out AMAWaterways instagram highlights from Magna I have to say I have become a little addicted! And keep an eye our for our stories on Cruising With Kids and Extraordinary Chaos in a couple of weeks. I cant wait to add River Cruising to our Family Cruise Hub to show parents just what Small Ship Cruising is really like?

Disclaimer, We are Cruising on the Romantic Danube Cruise as guests of AMAWaterways


  • Sarah Christie

    Sarah also writes for Mini Travellers Family Travel Blog and Extraordinary Chaos Craft and Lifestyle Blog. Both are award-winning blogs with a travel and family focus. She is married and has two boys, aged 18 and 22, who all love cruising as a family. Nothing is better than waking up every day in a new port with new and exciting things to explore. She aims to share how cruising as a family with young adults is the perfect choice for family travel. Her boys are sporty and love the activities, sports and dining options cruising offers. Sarah has worked with brands such as Walt Disney World, Mark Warner, Ikos Resort, Center Parcs, Laura Ashley, Belling and Next.

2 thoughts on “Are River Cruises For Families? We Are Going To Find Out On The AMAMagna”

  1. I agree that a river cruise is not as geared toward kids, but we had a great time on our river cruise in China with our three kids earlier this year. We planned ahead and brought some games and movies on a tablet just in case, knowing that there wouldn’t be activities for kids on the ship, but we kept pretty occupied with excursions, wandering the ship, and watching the views from our balcony and the decks. And the ship did offer some activities that we enjoyed: inner bottle painting and kite flying!

    Our kids were 13, 11, and 6 when we went. I think toddlers and babies would have been more challenging. We didn’t see many other kids, so the ones that were on the boat got lots of attention from the staff!

    • Kim, i think River Cruising is the perfect opportunity to spend a bit of family time we loved it an d cant wait to take out kids along x


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