Trip Review

Rhine Castles &

Swiss Alps

by Daniela DeGarbo


FROSCH Independent Travel Advisor Daniela DeGarbo recently sailed on the beautiful AmaSerena from Basel to Amsterdam with a pre-night in Zurich. She shares her cruise experience below!

The Ship

The minute you step aboard the AmaSerena, you will appreciate the inviting public spaces, elegant décor, and added luxury touches throughout the vessel. Our check-in process was simple since we completed all the documents before arrival. The ship was at two-thirds capacity and never felt crowded.

As is typical of an AmaWaterways cruise, the staff was wonderful. I was impressed with Jelena, our Cruise Manager. Her attention to detail was amazing and her upbeat personality was contagious. I know it was difficult for her to adapt to the ever-changing COVID protocols, but she did it with a smile.

What to Expect When Sailing Right Now

The staff and guests on board were diligent in following the COVID protocols. We sat with the same guests in the dining room for the duration of the cruise. We wore masks while moving about the ship and on the daily excursions.

In the ports of call, social distancing was expected everywhere. Many venues restricted guest capacity. We also showed proof of vaccination at restaurants. None of the guests had issues with these protocols. Everyone was happy to travel again.

A Gondola Ride and Wine Tasting in Rüdesheim

Our most enjoyable excursion began with a gondola ride in the Rüdesheim Valley. We marveled at the scenic landscape on our 10-minute ride up the mountain. At the top, we got to see the beautiful Niederwald Monument. This monument was completed in 1883 to commemorate the unification of the States of the German Confederation. The views of the Rhine River and the many vineyards of Germany’s most famous Riesling wines were amazing!

Our day continued with a delicious wine tasting with Adolf Störzel, the current owner of his family winery that goes back generations. We enjoyed his stories and insight into the local winemaking process and the unique types of grapes of the area.

The Gorgeous Castle Views

We were fortunate to have perfect weather to relax on the top deck or in our cabin while passing the many castles along the river. As we sailed through the Rhine Gorge, Jelena shared the history and anecdotes of the different castles. During this time and anytime we were on the ship, the bartenders served all our favorite drinks. Try the coffees onboard too. They are wonderful!

Top-Notch Entertainment

The entertainment was great as always. Along with the talented piano player in the lounge every evening, we had two evening singing performances of French favorites. On another night, musicians played popular songs from the 60s and 70s, including Sweet Caroline and YMCA.

The three-piece string trio was outstanding. The classic music renditions warmed my heart.

All the musicians mentioned that they were very grateful to be playing again, and we were just as grateful to enjoy their performances. Although we could not dance because of social distancing, we still had a lot of fun.

Daniela’s Tips

Choose a Balcony.
If you stay in a stateroom with a balcony, you will enjoy great views, anytime.

Be Organized!
Complete all your forms before you travel. Have your documents ready to show when you arrive. And most importantly, you will want to have comprehensive insurance coverage. Your travel advisor can guide you through the process.

Know the Rules!
Keep up to date with the COVID protocols while visiting each country. Your Travel Advisor and your Cruise Manager can assist.

Schedule Your COVID Test for Your Return to the US.
Our airport arrivals and departures went smoothly during our entire trip. We arranged our COVID testing at an approved location ahead of our flight, and it worked out well. If you plan to test at the airport, allow plenty of time for test results before your flight departure. Your Travel Advisor can help with any questions you may have.

Take Your Travel to the Next Level

Our travel advisors have ‘been there, done that’ in destinations across the globe. You’ll appreciate our excellent service and honest, genuine advice when we suggest the perfect place to stay, the experiences to splurge on, the attractions to skip, and the travel restrictions you need to know. You’ll be a VIP every time you travel with FROSCH.

Let’s start planning your next adventure; we’ll take care of all the details.