AMA Waterways vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 3.5
Value — 3.5
Guide — 3.3
Activities — 3.5
Lodging — 3.5
Transportation — 3.5
Meals — 3.5
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

Solo traveling

5.0 October 2016
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
As a senior solo traveler, safety and price are very important to me. I am so tired of paying the single supplement, charged by most travel vendors. With AMA Waterways, an E category cabin can often be booked without the single supplement charge.

Once onboard, AMA Waterways invites the solo travelers to dine at the Captain's Table. This is done on the first night so that you can meet other solo travelers. While I didn't do a lot with the other solo travelers, it was nice to know that I could find someone with whom I could share a meal, if I found myself alone.

AMA Waterways also has different categories of walkers for excursions. They have a fast-paced group, a moderate-paced group and a group for gentle walkers. They have thought of everything!
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Tour Ama Waterways Company Reviews

Ama Waterways Never Disappoints

5.0 January 2015
L
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I'm very glad to see that Ama is expanding to Asia and Africa because I've cruised with them in Europe and I think they have the best food of any of the European river cruise lines, not to mention big cabins. I also like their little touches like the travel guides they hand out so you can explore the ports on your own if you like, or just learn more about what you're going to see along the way. Now I can't decide whether to try out their Asia or Africa cruises, but it's something i don't mind thinking about.
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Tour Ama Waterways Company Reviews

This is incredibly frustrating. Be very very careful when using this company

1.0 December 2016
P
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I booked a cruise with AMAwaterways - first mistake - through their designated travel agent Avoya Travel - second mistake. I paid $800 deposit. Six months later I was asked to pay the balance. Avoya Travel asked if they could use my credit card. My wife was in hospital and I delayed answering until we discovered what was wrong and when I got the diagnosis and we couldn't travel. I told Avoya Travel and asked them not to charge my credit card. Avoya Travel still charged my credit card account without my permission!!! When I phoned up I discovered the agent was on holidays and I couldn't speak to her. Through major detective work I managed to reach and talk to her and she told me it would be dealt with. It was not and still has not been to this day, six months later.
I asked my credit card company to dispute the amount paid and they are in the process of doing that now but the company is fighting this all the way. Be aware that I cannot get through to anybody in the company and the travel agent isn't responding. This is incredibly frustrating. Be very very careful when using this company, they do not allow direct access on complaints. This is no way to gain customers. I would like to talk to somebody in the company about this but I cannot.
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Tour Ama Waterways Company Reviews

Life-changing and enjoyable!

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a holiday gave me a chance to slow down, and take the time to feel part of the natural world: the sun, to notice the hook-beaked oyster catchers and families of rare seals, to enjoy the wonderful food, the sunshine, scudding clouds, waves lapping and the feeling of being held safely by the St Hilda whilst being at the mercy of winds, tides and waves. It was fun to share tasks with fellow passengers and to laugh. I haven't laughed so much for years. And I loved seeing beautiful coastal parts of Scotland for the first time from the sea, gaining the chance to wonder at the histories and cultures that have flourished, been lost and yet live on in the remote, unusual places where we moored. I discovered my sea-legs, but I found much more - the pleasure of a little bit of distance from land, the new perspectives it gives and sheer joy of experiencing the sea, and its role in revealing new dreams and uncovering old ones. All this was in the company of knowledgeable crew - sea-farers who made the whole cruise delightful from start to finish and easy-peasy for a land-lubber like myself.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

A Delight

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was a fantastic holiday - there is something magical about being in a ship, relying on wind and waves, seeing beautiful scenery, eating lovely food, helping sail the ship and enjoying the experience with a group of witty, friendly, knowledgeable people.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

It's fascinating to be on a slow journey

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This holiday was like no other: it was stepping into another world where the wind, sun and sea mattered because our lives were held by the ship and these big elemental forces. It was a realm of sea faring lore, laughter and fun, where the elements - water, wind and tides - mattered and shaped and influenced our journey. It's easy to laugh on a ship because you are sharing the camaraderie of crew and ocean and somehow the sea is lighter than the land. Instead you have the myths and stories of sea and mysteries of the deep - Moby Dick, Jonah, Noah's Ark and Ring of Bright Water! It's fascinating to be on a slow journey with time to reflect and to be looking at the strange, populated and then depopulated, fought over Scottish coastal landscape from a new perspectives. It's fun to work with the charming, witty, friendly skippers and fellow crew hauling anchors and sails. But, most of all, it's a joy to be on, and in, and feeling the elemental ocean. I felt safe and found my sea-legs, but I also stumbled into a new world, one that enriches and ignites dreams.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 26 Trips 7 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 429 $ 166
Operator Type River Cruise Line Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Luxury Standard
Regions
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Calabasas, California, United States Oban, Scotland
Year Established 2002 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A
Top Trips
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      About AMA Waterways

      Known especially for its top-notch onboard regional cuisine, Ama is the only river cruise line to join La Chaine des Rotisseurs, a prestigious gastronomic society. Passengers tend to be affluent, over age 50, and interested in a mostly casual, all-inclusive experience with minimal hassle; cruise directors make sure everything runs smoothly. Good service is prized.

      Ama has won awards for its spacious, stylish cabin designs, and passengers can expect lots of complimentary perks: shore excursions, wine and beer at lunch and dinner, Internet access in every cabin (in Europe), and bicycles for use in port are all included in the price. Many cabins in its newer ships have both French and outdoor balconies.

      Originally called Amadeus Waterways when it was founded in 2002, California-based AmaWaterways later changed its name but hasn’t changed its prime customers: mostly North Americans, British, Australians, and English-speaking Europeans (English is the official language onboard).

      Ama has undergone rapid expansion and now cruises on three continents. Europe tops the roster, with fifteen ships sailing the Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, Douro, Seine, and Rhone rivers. Three ships ply the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers in Southeast Asia, while Russia (on the Volga-Baltic Waterway between Moscow and St. Petersburg) and Africa (on the Chobe River in Botswana) each sport one ship.   


      About St Hilda Sea Adventures

      St. Hilda Sea Adventures provide the unique experience to see Scotland from the sea. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travellers, and small multi-gen groups.

      What Makes Them Stand Out?

      Taking only up to 11 guests (6 on St Hilda and 11 on Seahorse II), their tours are incredibly unique, as you cruise aboard a classic ex-tall ship (St Hilda) or a proper small ship (Seahorse II). Activities include sailing, swimming, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or, you can simply choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by.

      Who Travels With Them?

      All ages and all types enjoy traveling with St. Hilda Sea Adventures. Families, couples, and solo passengers are all welcome. Passengers can choose to do as much or as little as they like. This is a great trip for young kids to enjoy as well, for the thrill of hoisting the sails like a true sailor.

      Where Do They Operate?

      The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides specifically. Such a niche focus is a huge positive for those interested in getting a unique view of this part of the world.

      Why Travel With Them?

      Their Scottish cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife and to cruise aboard a small ship with skipper and chef and a small group of passengers. All food is included, and there are many opportunities for interesting excursions. Some excursions are included in the price however, you can also arrange excursions based on your interests. These are not included but allow for a wonderful amount of personalization to your travel experience with St. Hilda Sea Adventures.

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