Luxury river cruise innovator AmaWaterways announced a groundbreaking partnership with Metropolitan Touring, South America’s leading tour operator, to introduce a new river cruise experience in Colombia. Becoming the first luxury river cruise line to sail the Magdalena River, this alliance brings together the remarkable in-depth destination expertise of Metropolitan Touring and the industry’s leading team of river cruise experts at AmaWaterways.
Starting in December 2023, guests will be immersed in unique experiences on shore as well as on board a new custom-built, all-suite, eco-friendly river cruise ship. The new ship and cruise programme will incorporate years of design experience from AmaWaterways’ President and Co-Founder Rudi Schreiner - affectionately known as the ‘Godfather of River Cruising’ - plus Metropolitan Touring’s decades of expertise in expedition cruising in the Galápagos Islands.
“Not since my early university days of exploring the Amazon River have I felt the excitement of discovering a new destination that is so rich in biodiversity and culture, as I found on the Magdalena River in Colombia,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “I’m absolutely captivated by the rich history, wildlife and friendly welcome that awaits our guests when our intimate, all-suite ship sets sail in December 2023.”
“Colombia has always been a country close to my heart and every trip I’ve made to the Magdalena over many years has been full of amazing, life-affirming experiences that touched my soul. Finding the right partner to develop the first-ever eco-friendly river cruise experience for Colombia was therefore of utmost importance to me and our company,” said Paulina Burbano de Lara, chief executive officer of Metropolitan Touring. “We know that Rudi, Kristin and all the AmaWaterways team share our passion for the River Magdalena and we’re delighted that together we will create innovative and enriching experiences for guests.”
Guests will be able to choose between two seven-night itineraries with pre- and post-cruise land programmes exploring the magnificent Magdalena River and delving into Colombia’s vibrant cultural and natural heritage. Accompanied by a skilled team, which will include a wellness manager on-board, river cruise travellers on the Magdalena River will enjoy in-depth connections with local nature, wildlife, culture, flavours and people, as well as activities such as kayaking, hiking and birdwatching.
“Drawing on each company’s expertise, AmaWaterways and Metropolitan Touring have together created a unique river cruise and land programme that will immerse travellers in the beauty of the “River of a Thousand Rhythms,” said Camilo Calderon, General Manager of Metropolitan Touring Colombia. “Our guests will enjoy the modern comforts of an upscale river cruise ship, with exclusive experiences and unparalleled service, hallmarks of both companies, to the very heart of Colombia’s soul.”
“It is incredibly exciting to be able to launch a new river cruise destination like Colombia, with such a colourful history and artistic background,” said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “We are celebrating 19 years of creating authentic river cruise experiences in Europe, Asia and Africa and now, with our world-recognised destination partner, Metropolitan Touring, we will be able to offer our guests an opportunity to explore a fourth continent while discovering the hidden gems of Colombia along the majestic Magdalena River.”
Specific itineraries are currently being developed with more details anticipated in the coming weeks.