Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways has been a passion project for its founders since its creation fifteen years ago. But the story truly began long before this.
Born in Vienna, at the heart of the Danube and with a love for adventure, travel and architecture, President Rudi Schreiner designed his first ship back in 1975 while sailing the Amazon for seven months. From there, it wasn’t long before he was spearheading innovative and memorable experiences for other travelers throughout Europe. In 1992, upon completion of the Rhine-Main-Danube canal, Rudi became a driving force for river cruise travel, developing operations and itineraries for many of today’s major cruise lines. He continues constantly innovating and reimagining what it means to travel by river—and for these efforts has been recognized by travel agents worldwide as the “Most Innovative Cruise Executive” several years in a row, as well as being presented the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)—the only river cruise executive to ever win this award.
Executive Vice President, Co-Founder and Co-Owner Kristin Karst discovered her love of river cruise traveling early on as well, having been born in Dresden along the Elbe River. She brings her extensive experience in luxury travel, river cruising and customer service to AmaWaterways.
Rudi and Kristin partnered with Jimmy Murphy, a brilliant travel entrepreneur who built Brendan Vacations, one of the most successful tour operations in the United States. His son Gary, who played a major part at Brendan, now carries on his father’s tradition in his role as Vice President of Sales.
These families came together with the goal to create the premiere travel experience for AmaWaterways’ guests. Fifteen years, and over 20 ships later, award-winning AmaWaterways continues to be the leading pioneer in river cruising. With a commitment to innovation and astute attention to detail, every AmaWaterways guest can be assured the most exceptional travel experience possible.