After a decade of successful operations in Europe aimed primarily at German-speaking clientele, A-ROSA reached out to the North American market in 2013. The line kept their product offering essentially the same, but added English-language tours and announcements on three vessels. The cruises remain a quintessentially European experience, which works for most (but not all).
All Inclusive: The line throws everything but the kitchen sink into its cruise fares.
Uncommon Onboard Features: Passengers can indulge in the onboard swimming pool, enjoy a
Number of onboard fitness options, or spend some quality time in the larger-than-average shipboard spa.
Emphasis on Wellness: Hiking, kayaking, and cycling tours ashore are offered in many ports of call.
Shorter Options: A-ROSA offers a number of four-and-five-night river cruises for those who want a quick jaunt along the Danube.
Limited Departures: Compared to other river cruise lines that have literally dozens of ships sailing back and forth every week, finding a sailing date on A-ROSA might be tricky thanks to the line’s somewhat limited sailing schedule.
No Long Voyages: If you’re in the market for a 14 or 21-day long river cruise, you won’t find it here. The majority of sailings are a week long.
If you think all river cruises are designed for well-coiffured senior citizens with graying hairlines, think again: A-ROSA distinguishes itself with pouty, red lips and a red rose splashed across the bow and appeals to active adults who are as interested in challenging themselves with long cycles or kayak trips as they are in soaking up sun on deck as the shore inches by. An all-inclusive experience, A-ROSA throws nearly everything into the cruise fare, from drinks to transfers and gratuities. Special offers are frequent, so it’s always a good idea to check out the line’s website for discounts; in the past, A-ROSA has also offered special deals for solo cruisers which eliminated the dreaded single supplement fare.
The A-ROSA experience is aimed squarely at adult travelers who are still professionally employed, active, and curious about the world. The onboard experience caters to this, with cycling tours, a larger-than-average fitness center, enhanced wellness options, and healthy culinary choices. But that doesn’t mean it’s not relaxing: If you just want to lounge in a deck chair, or bathe in the onboard swimming pool, nobody will scold you.
A-ROSA is entirely all-inclusive, so you can keep your money in your wallet while on board. Enrichment options are plentiful, and guides and onboard staff display a high level of knowledge about the places you’ll be seeing on your journey. Despite the fact that you’re sailing on a ship operated by a European cruise line and staffed with, you guessed it, Europeans, A-ROSA’s Englishspeaking itineraries are offered exclusively to North American guests. However, that doesn’t stop the line from providing an immersive experience: Expect European and Mediterranean-influenced cuisine on board, coupled with local beers, wines and spirits.
Your fellow guests will be active and tend to skew a bit younger than guests on other cruise lines thanks to A-ROSA’s attractive wellness options.
Constantly expanding with each passing year, A-ROSA offers voyages along the Danube, Main, Moselle, Rhine, and France’s Rhone and Saone rivers. Themed voyages are also offered, like special Holiday voyages through Europe’s Christmas Markets.
Open-seating dining is standard. Buffets (common in Germany) are emphasized more than on other river cruise lines, but even these are decidedly better than you might expect. Food offerings are of an unusually high quality, and healthy, Mediterranean-style fare is emphasized. If you’re looking for a burger and fries, though, you won’t find it on A-ROSA.
Organized entertainment isn’t nearly as elaborate as on oceangoing ships, but entertainers are brought on in most ports. Frankly, most guests prefer socializing over cocktails to organized song-and-dance routines.
A-ROSA will accept passengers under the age of 18, provided they share a stateroom with an adult (no putting the kids in their own stateroom on these voyages.) There aren’t any specific provisions or programs designed specifically for children, but older teenagers travelling with their parents who have an interest in Europe or history should do all right.
Not that A-ROSA doesn’t want kids on their ships; the line routinely offers some great family savings, with special promotions that allow children between the ages of 2-15 to sail for free when they’re accompanied by a paying adult.
Expect a high level of service on A-ROSA ships from the primarily German crew. Note that while service is exemplary, it’s also personable: There’s no stuffiness here.
A-ROSA boasts a fleet of ten river cruise vessels, three of which are dedicated to the Englishspeaking market: A-ROSA Flora, A-ROSA Silva, and A-ROSA Stella. Each is capable of carrying between 174 and 186 guests.