AmaWaterways announced on Thursday plans to debut a new sailing on the Magdalena River in Colombia, the company’s first-ever river cruise in Colombia, and its first-ever itinerary in South America.
The debut is currently planned for December 2023, with the itineraries first going on sale in late fall, but excitement is already building for the AmaWaterways team who joined media on a press call on Thursday to talk about the new itinerary.
“As you know, I am always looking into new rivers, new destinations,” Rudi Schreiner, AmaWaterways’ co-founder, and president said on Thursday. “We are very, very excited.”
Schreiner said that while the search for new rivers for AmaWaterways is always ongoing, “I was always looking at Latin America.”
“I’m looking at every river around the world. I’m looking at rivers, I’m looking at the political situations and finding out what’s viable and where we can go. Colombia was always in our eye.”
The itinerary was built in partnership with Metropolitan Touring, an Ecuador-based travel company that owns and operates tours, hotels, and cruises in the area, including in the Galapagos. Metropolitan has been in business for 68 years and operated the first-ever expedition in the Galapagos in 1968.
“We are extremely happy,” Metropolitan Touring’s Francisco Dousdebes said. “I am so delighted to be part of this.”
Both Dousdebes and the AmaWaterways team mentioned a shared culture that helped build the partnership together.
The teams got together this year to sail the Magdalena River, which is located in the most northernmost part of the country. Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ co-founder and executive vice president, said that the trip showed just how much potential the river had.
“Colombia is such a thriving country,” she said. “There is so much happening and, yes, of course, it is about the colorful rich history and the artistic background. Most important it is about the genuine people—their smile, how they welcome you, this is so touching.”
The river is nicknamed “The Caribbean River,” and, according to Dousdebes, the actual area that the river flows throw remains fairly unchanged, including the nature around it and the culture and people.
The ship will be called the AmaMagdalena and the plan is for it to sail less than 100 guests in all-suite accommodations. Schreiner said that the design would be similar to AmaWaterways’ European ships, but “on the smaller side.”
However, the staterooms are expected to be larger than those on its European fleet, with all balconies and staffed by a local crew.
While more details about the specific itinerary will be released soon, for guests, Karst said that the itinerary will be perfect for “those who want to explore the world.”
“You have to be curious about the world and you have to be open to the world.”