AMA Waterways Africa cruises

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#1
New Albany, Ohio
555 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Just read where AMA will be offering river cruises as part of their trips to Africa. Industry keeps getting bigger and bigger.
#2
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,350 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by jacksonnh
Just read where AMA will be offering river cruises as part of their trips to Africa. Industry keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Yes, but very expensive.
#3
New Albany, Ohio
555 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I've got a few catalogs from 2008 and many of the prices have doubled and more. As river cruising becomes more popular we'll probably a lot more increases. Someone has to pay for all the new ships!
#4
NJ, USA
1,667 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We just received the Ama brochure and it looks very interesting but almost $9,000 pp and airfare puts it out of my league. The cruise portion is only 4 days but everything looks fascinating. If I could only pick the winning numbers........
#5
24,505 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I have a friend who goes on Safaris at least once a year, if not 2x a year. She has gone with a variety of different companies. I showed her this latest brochure and she does first class safaris for half of this amount and she would never consider a cruise for a safari.

She stays in camps which have tents with marble bathrooms in them. They have 5 star chefs at their campground and their day touring are often 2 and 4 people with a group leader. They have elephants walking outside of their tents in the morning (along with other wildlife).

In her opinion (she also cruises with lines like Regent) - she would never consider this option. She sees no benefit from the boat section and she thought the land was incredibly over priced.
#6
West Windsor, New Jersey
1 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Coral
I have a friend who goes on Safaris at least once a year, if not 2x a year. She has gone with a variety of different companies. I showed her this latest brochure and she does first class safaris for half of this amount and she would never consider a cruise for a safari.

She stays in camps which have tents with marble bathrooms in them. They have 5 star chefs at their campground and their day touring are often 2 and 4 people with a group leader. They have elephants walking outside of their tents in the morning (along with other wildlife).

In her opinion (she also cruises with lines like Regent) - she would never consider this option. She sees no benefit from the boat section and she thought the land was incredibly over priced.
What "first class safaris" would she recommend. We are looking into an Africa trip. After having travelled with AMA I appreciate the quality of the trip and would like to have something like that for a trip to Africa.
#7
Los Angeles, CA, USA
3,208 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Look at Tauck's African Safaris on their website. Tauck does a great job. We just returned from their India tour and Egypt/Jordan two years ago and their tours were First Class!!!
Sheila
#8
Calabasas, California
25 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by jacksonnh
Just read where AMA will be offering river cruises as part of their trips to Africa. Industry keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Dear jacksonnh,

We are very excited about our new Africa Safaris & Wildlife Cruise itineraries. We’ve had a wonderful response from our guests. Our inaugural cruise was a huge success. Seeing African wildlife from the balcony of a luxurious river cruise is a beautiful experience and we are so pleased to share it with our guests! And our guests can select the land itinerary that fits their African adventure wish list.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to offer these exotic destinations!

AmaWaterways Customer Relations
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AmaWaterways Customer Relations

#9
Virginia Beach, VA
4,673 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by mrs dbg
What "first class safaris" would she recommend. We are looking into an Africa trip. After having travelled with AMA I appreciate the quality of the trip and would like to have something like that for a trip to Africa.
We went on a land based trip to Africa several years ago. My favorite trip EVER!!! We flew into Johannesburg, spent the night in a B&B nearby, all arranged by our travel agent (based in Africa, not the US) and then flew to Kruger National Park in a small plane. We stayed at Tinga Private Game Reserve: http://www.tinga.co.za/ It was amazing!!!! We stayed in the Legends Lodge. All the pictures you see are amazing, but not even close to how amazing it is in real life! We saw everything. There were only 4 of us in our vehicle with a guide. You will feel like royalty, but not in a stuffy-formal way. Just really privileged to be experiencing what you are seeing and doing. Amazing.

If you are interested in my African contacts, email me at [email protected]
#10
NH USA
578 Posts
Joined May 2012
Thanks so much for posting this!

AMA's 19-day "Golden Trails of Africa" looks fantastic.

I was on a safari (not an AMA one) in Tanzania for 9 days last February - Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and The Serengeti. The cost was ~$6,000, not including airfare. So the cost of AMA's safari through several countries in 19 days is comparable. And I stayed at 3 of the same Serena Safari Lodges that AMA uses. Very nice!

I highly recommend a safari through Tanzania's northern parks. Unforgettable!
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Safari! Tanzania February, 2012 (The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara)
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#11
LA
1 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
It’s not so easy to put into words how wonderful my experience was on the AMA Golden Trails of Africa trip but I’ll do my best to convey the essence of the journey.
For me the trip unfolded like a finely planned dinner, albeit over 19 glorious days, with distinctive stages, each reflecting a singular focus and rhythm, all the while leading up to and complementing a distinctive and unique main course on the river, and capped with a relaxing and beautiful two day dessert.
Amboseli in Kenya was a perfect introduction to the African wildlife experience with magnificent herds of elephants, lion prides, wildebeests, and a fantastic array of birds throughout the plains and wetlands. Our guide was a joy and adjusted quickly to the rhythm of our group, providing information to enhance our experience while not usurping our sense of discovery. Our home base, Amboseli Serena Lodge, was everything we’d hoped for; luxurious, comfortable, and clean, with a terrific dining room and bar.
Next, we crossed into Tanzania where three distinctive wildlife areas beckoned. The first of these, Lake Manyara, is an exquisite, jungle gem, with the beautiful lake attracting myriad species into the area, making for some very up-close wildlife viewing. The Lake Manyara Serena Lodge is magnificent, perched high upon a ridge, providing a commanding view of the entire Lake Manyara park area: it’s nothing short of spectacular. Once again, the accommodations and cuisine were first rate; to put a point on it, the quality of lodging was outstanding the entire trip--- furthermore, I can’t imagine that the location of the lodges in each area could have been better.
On we travelled to Ngorongoro National Park and the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. Risking sounding like a broken record, I again have to say our accommodations were amazing; the lodge, similar to that at Lake Manyara, posits on a ridge, only this time built into and out of the lip of the Ngorongor Crater, offering unparalleled views over the expanse of the massive crater. Our full day trip down into the crater was absolutely magical; for me, it evoked a feeling of wonder that I have rarely felt since childhood. I couldn’t help but be moved by a sense of the timelessness of the place where the actions and interaction of the animals has been taking place, largely unobserved by man, for millennia.
After a sublime two nights at Ngorongoro, it was time to make our way to the magnificent Serengeti. It’s as if the table had been cleared and reset; we have began what will become part one of a two stage main course. The Serengeti is truly awe-inspiring, both in scale and scope. We covered a vast amount of territory and a variety of terrain in our three days of game drives there and I still felt that we only scratched the surface. What we did encounter were lions galore, both on the ground and some directly overhead in trees, not to mention leopards, also in trees, with and without their prey, herds and herds of elephants, a cheetah family stalking and bringing down a wildebeest (which was promptly and unceremoniously stolen by hyenas), towers of giraffes, hippos and crocodiles galore, and so much more on the land and in the air. Other highlights included witnessing the wildebeest migration and a gathering of thousands of zebras pausing at a watering hole prior to joining in with the migration. Our guide was excellent, understated but perfect at adding a piece of information here or there to enhance our understanding of what we were witnessing. He’d been with us for all of our time in Tanzania and was great at orchestrating and executing a plan for each day, leaving plenty of room for spontaneity.
By this point, we’d been to four different parks, each one unique but, step by step, grander and grander in scale. I have to say that I really appreciated the sequence of the journey to this point. And now, the ship was yet to come.
The Zambezi Queen: for the next four days, she was our home. And what a spectacular home she was. How can I describe how unique and delightful this part of the experience was? Imagine waking up and lying in bed, peering out of the floor to ceiling windows at hippos halfway submerged, marshes bedecked with grazing gazelles and impala, and elephants trudging in the distance as the ship slowly makes its way up and down the river. Then up to the top level with beautiful decks both fore and aft, settling into the dining area for a made to order breakfast, and then making ready for a game drive in Chobe Park. There was also the unique aspect of seeing the abundant shore and bird life from the perspective of the tender boats. In these boats we sidled up to a herd of elephants as they swam across the river, against the backdrop of a beautiful African sunset. So, here it is; the four days on the Zambezi Queen were nothing short of spectacular. I was sad to leave.
All good things must end…but not without dessert. The final two days of the trip were spent in and around Victoria Falls including a walking tour of the falls. It was a joy spending time, and perfect for winding down, at the Victoria Falls Hotel, a beautifully restored colonial style hotel. It was there that we had time to reflect on our experiences with our fellow travelers. Many shared that this had been the time of their lives. It was for me.
#13
Camano Island, WA
971 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Samba - Thank you for your elegant description of your adventure. Although we've been to luxury lodges in South Africa (in Sabi Sands and Madikwe), we have not experienced the magnificence of the Serengeti migration, which we long to do. Can you tell us when you were there?

The AMA package is quite expensive, even for a luxury trip in Africa. Can you give us your reflections upon your sense of the value received? (My guess from your effusive commentary is that you considered it to be good value.)

Cheers, Fred
#14
NH USA
578 Posts
Joined May 2012
For those of you interested in going to The Serengeti and seeing the Great Migration, here's an interactive map: http://www.eyesonafrica.net/migration.htm

The wildebeast and zebra move clockwise around The Serengeti, making a complete circuit in a year.

The reality of it surpasses any films you've ever seen. Being in the thick of it, masses of animals moving all around you, in steady streams...

And seeing it from a hot air balloon - wow!
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Safari! Tanzania February, 2012 (The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara)
Sailed! Maine Windjammer Stephen Taber 9-2008 4-day cruise of mid-coast Maine on a floating National Historic Landmark launched in 1871.
#15
Calabasas, California
25 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Dear samba 14,

We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your experience on our Golden Trails of Africa, which is one of our AmaVoyages itineraries.
Thank you for your positive comments, it means a great deal to us!


We look forward to welcoming you on board again in the future.


All the best,

AmaWaterways Customer Relations
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#18
New York
7,667 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
AMA hasn't posted information about their 2016 trips yet (I'm waiting too!).

The price for this trip seems high, but compared to the luxury land safaris I've been researching (for example with &beyond) it is good value. It includes more days than most land packages and also includes both Victoria Falls and the Serengeti -- most packages force you to choose between Tanzania and South Africa. And of course you don't get a river cruise on a land package!
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Email me: [email protected]

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
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Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Caribbean B2B 1-2019

Completed [click on links for reviews]:
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016
Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016
Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016
AmaDagio Provence 9-2015
Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015
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Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#19
1,501 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
There are interesting posts on this blog by someone who recently traveled with AmaWaterways on the Stars of South Africa itinerary. Just click "newer post" near the bottom of each page to read through all the relevant posts.

Pictures from the Zambezi Queen start here. Wow.

The last Africa post is dated June 21st.
#20
New York
7,667 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Shorex
There are interesting posts on this blog by someone who recently traveled with AmaWaterways on the Stars of South Africa itinerary. Just click "newer post" near the bottom of each page to read through all the relevant posts.

Pictures from the Zambezi Queen start here. Wow.

The last Africa post is dated June 21st.
Thanks for posting this, but I have to say it feels like it's all about the author. After clicking through all the screens related to this trip I have no idea what the AMA safari would be like.
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Email me: [email protected]

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Backroads Italian Lakes Walking Tour 5-2017
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Caribbean B2B 1-2019

Completed [click on links for reviews]:
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016
Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016
Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016
AmaDagio Provence 9-2015
Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015
Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015
Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino 9-2014
Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014
Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014
AmaCello Rhine 8-2013
Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013
Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974