I have been lucky enough to have been invited to the christening on the Lüftner family’s 14th ship, no mean feat for a family owned river cruise line. Mrs Lüftner’s speech outlined the challenge when she recalled standing and looking at all the ships lined up together in their winter dry dock and calculating that 70000 passengers a year needed to be found to fill them and to keep staff in jobs. Perhaps this thought keeps her awake at night but the whole family including the 3 grown up daughters seemed relaxed and very happy with their new luxury ship.
What is the thinking behind the new Amadeus Queen design?
So what is different about the brand new 2018 Amadeus Queen? This new 135m ship has been built by the same Dutch ship builders and closely managed by the Lüftner family. However, Mr ship builder outlined the ongoing challenges of building new European river vessels and how each one needs more thought. The challenge of increasingly busy rivers (2000 ships will dock in Amsterdam in 2018) and climate change leading to higher waters under bridges and lower waters at different times. In order that the Amadeus Queen can sail all the French rivers, Danube, Main, Moselle and Rhine without having to stop due to changing water levels, she has been built 15cm lower than even the last Amadeus ship, Amadeus Silver III. Ceilings have been lowered leading to less space for electrics and wiring. If such a decision has been made in such a short space of time, it is concerning that larger operators who have built large quantities of ships at the same time, perhaps are now experiencing issues with water levels that were perhaps not even envisaged 2-5 years ago.
What is the Amadeus Queen river ship like?
So, how has the Amadeus Queen changed from previous Amadeus ships? The decor is a more muted palate of silvers, neutrals and golds. And there is loads of light throughout the ship, especially in the core of the main stairwell. A large piece of misted glass sits above the stairwell which breaths light into all the decks, including the lower deck. Such thought has been put into bringing the lower deck into the heart of the ship. The fitness suite, hair dressers and massage room are full of light.
And without doubt the lower deck cabins are some of the most inviting on the rivers. The window is at a height that makes for a light space where you would happily lie on the bed and watch the enormous flat screen television and be happy to also spend time reading on the large under window seat. With cabins on the lower deck offering either no or very low single supplements they are on longer what might seem a second-choice option for a client who doesn’t want to share.
Going up to the middle and upper accommodation deck, the suites are larger than before and feel very well laid out. They feature the lovely walk in wardrobe which is a feature of Amadeus suites on their silver class ships. There’s a mini bar and a lovely corner seating area with a stocked library. The sit out balcony is small with only one seat, but the large amount of uninterrupted floor to ceiling glass in the stateroom, with the opening patio door brings in lots of light and sunshine.
The standard french balcony cabins can be found the middle and upper decks and feature 2 chairs and table, mini bar, smaller walk in wardrobe, safe and drop down electronic French window.
Amadeus Queen Lounge & Restaurant
The large public lounge and dining room make very attractive places to both when the ship is sailing and when moored. Lots of glass and light is something that Amadeus’ designers do really well.
The beautiful breakfast buffet offered loads of choice for both continental and North Amaerican palette and I had hardly sat down before a beaming smiling waiter – I have never seen an unsmiling Amadeus waiter or one that wasn’t wanting to have a little joke – had offered me coffee and an omelette or eggs in anyway my heart desired. They really are some of the friendliest staff on the rivers.
Lunch was a lovely buffet of about 50 different things and pure heaven, there was a waffle station with a chef preparing my beautiful Belgium waffle with sour cherries.
Our formal dinner was delicious with very good wines. Again, the highlight was the desert of brandy snap and summer fruits.
Yum. Now back to the lounge for the band (and Falco impersonator) and for the evening to come to a late end.
So, bravo Lüftner family for another excellent addition to your fleet and we look forward to our clients enjoying sailing on her very soon.
Alex, April 2018