Q – (5.12.24) We can’t wait to sail the AMA Spirit to Vietnam and Cambodia. But a friend who follows social media more closely than I ever will, just advised us that AMA has been sold and that it is no longer an American company. We’ve sailed with them twice before, once on the Duoro in Portugal and once for the Christmas markets along the Rhine. We love the line and the people it attracts. We know that you rate them highly but we now have some worries that the AMA we know will not be what we have experienced in the past. Any advice you can offer?

A – Yes, we suppose AMA Wasterways will change – for the better!  After all, the founders remain very much in charge but the line now has an infusion of cash that is the ency of  other complanies that compete in the “river trade”.  

The  French investment firm, L. Catterton, has acquired a significant stake in AMA. The founding owners, Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst, and the Murphy Family are part of a consortium of investors. Centares is the travel and hospitality branch of  L. Catterton,. The investment group has $9.6 billion under management and the company is a part of the family of funds owned by Bernard Arnault in France. Mr. Arnault is said to be the world’s richest man.  Under the Arnault umbrella, AMA will now share ownership with many familiar brands including:

Tiffany & Company – Louis Vuitton – Christian Dior – Moet & Chandon – Fendi – Bulgari – Givenchy

Many of the friends of AMA, including those of us who know Rudi, Kristin, and Garry Murphy as three of the most approachable, intelligent and down-to-earth executives in the industry, are thrilled that this group now has the funding to accompany their vision to create products in the river cruise market that will operate in new marlets and at the highest possible levels. AMA will remain a product specifically suited for a majority of American guests although the European market will continue to be an important part of their overall demographics.

You can now tell your friends to stop believing what they read on social media. You can also tell them that your personal riverboat company has “more money behind it” than any of its competitors. You will love your Mekong River Cruise and when you go to bed at night know that Mr. Arnault will make certain that you continue to have the very best experiences on AMA.