AmaWaterways staff fleeing fires: Office closed, Online system down
California is on Fire and AmaWaterways River Cruises tour operator is closing offices at their Calabasa Headquarters.
In Southern California, the Calabasas blaze comes as firefighters are battling the Getty fire, which broke out shortly after 1:30 a.m. along the Interstate 405 Freeway near the Getty Center and spread to the south and west, rapidly burning more than 500 acres and sending people fleeing their homes in the dark.
A brush fire Monday morning in Calabasas forced the closure of parts of the 101 Freeway near Las Virgenes Road, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Due to service interruptions and evacuations taking place as a result of the wildfires currently affecting areas of Los Angeles County (CA), AmaWaterways Headquarters located in Calabasas will be closed today, Monday, October 28.
In an email to Ama Waterways travelers and travel agents, the company said:
“During this time, our Online Booking System accessed via our Travel Advisor Portal will also be temporarily unavailable. Please check our website for the latest updates.
The safety and wellbeing of our employees are of the utmost importance, and our thoughts are with them as well as with our valued guests and travel partners within the affected areas.”
Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways was founded in 2002 by three families; however, their river cruise story began well before that. Co-Founder and President Rudi Schreiner was born in Vienna, at the heart of the Danube. His love of design drew him to architecture, but his even greater love of travel drew him to places far and wide. In 1975, he traveled to South America for a journalism assignment on the Amazon. It was here he designed his first ship, using what he could find to build a raft that would take him up and down the river during the next 7 months. Soon thereafter, he started working in travel, creating unique tour experiences in Europe.
When the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal was completed in 1992, Rudi was quick to envision a new tourism business developing around long-distance river cruising. The significance of the canal’s completion meant connecting two of Europe’s greatest rivers: the Rhine, via its tributary the Main, with the Danube, allowing travel from the North Sea all the way to the Black Sea. More than 800 years prior, Charlemagne dreamed of connecting these two rivers, so 1992 fulfilled his vision and created a new visionary in Rudi.
Rudi started the North American operations for many of today’s major river cruise companies, developing itineraries and ships that would become the templates for what we know river cruising to be today. After years of success as a driving force in the industry, Rudi decided to start his own venture — one that would provide guests with a higher standard of luxury travel by river. That’s when he teamed up with Co-Owners and Co-Founders Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy to start AmaWaterways.