A passion for adventure, a relentless desire to travel off the beaten path and the completion of the Rhine-Main- Danube Canal fueled AmaWaterways’ Co-Founder and President, Rudi Schreiner, to innovate river cruising, earning him the well-deserved nickname, “the Godfather of River Cruising.”
Growing up in Vienna, close to the Danube River, I always had a deep connection to rivers, but this is only part of what ignited my love of travel, and eventually my river cruise vision. When I was 21, I found my passion for exploring the world while on a research mission to study how social structure affected the architecture of communities. My roommate and I drove from Vienna to Nepal, taking additional trips to Turkey, Syria and other countries along the way.
When we returned from our 7-month journey, we sold our story to the largest newspaper in Austria. The following year, we embarked on another adventure, driving from New York down through Central America to Peru, where I built my very first river vessel, a raft, and sailed down the Amazon River.
These experiences were life-changing and ultimately led to my lifelong love of travel. But it wasn’t until the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal opened in 1992 that I finally realized my vision: to create an industry around long-distance luxury river cruising – and to share the transformative experiences I had by showing people the world, one river at a time.
Rudi Schreiner is the Co-Founder, Co-Owner and President of AmaWaterways. He has been recognized as the “Most Innovative Cruise Executive” and was presented with the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
A Dream Was Born
In July 2002, along with my Co-Founders Kristin Karst and the late Jimmy Murphy, I started AmaWaterways. I would design and build the ships, Kristin would fill them, and Jimmy would provide the guidance and wisdom we needed to turn this dream into a reality.
We have always listened to our guests’ feedback and taken it to heart, creating enhancements and guest-focused innovations, from our twin balcony staterooms to our fleet of complimentary bicycles to The Chef’s Table restaurant. We continue to innovate with the recent launch of the AmaMagna, which is redefining the river cruise experience. I have had this unique ship on my mind for years, and I am thrilled now she is finally here.