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Mega river ship AmaMagna has become increasingly popular among Australians, with a growing number booking ahead.

There has been an increase in the number of Australians booking cruises on the AmaMagna 18 months in advance, a spokesperson for APT told River Cruise Passenger. The Balkan itinerary from Bucharest to Munich is particularly popular.

“We have found the Balkan itinerary to be popular with our (Australian) passengers as it cruises on the lower Danube River,” said Alice Kay.

Australians like the wider width of the ship and the greater range of dining options on board, particularly the alfresco dining restaurant and Jimmy’s Wine Bar which is “great for social gatherings.”

“They also love the cinema and the enhanced wellness area with juice bar. Guests also like the service-service laundry and larger suites which start at 205sq ft (19 sq metres),” said the spokesperson.

The Aussie endorsement comes as reports from Europe suggest other lines are looking to increase the size of ships.

APT, which partners with AmaWaterways, said they knew of no plans for a second ship as yet.

However, there have been reports that APT and AmaWaterways will decide at a board meeting scheduled for October 7 whether a second mega river ship, similar to the AmaMagna, should be built.

The line’s co-founder Rudi Schreiner said he has been doing some research and meeting with shipbuilders to see whether there was an easier and less costly way to get another megaship built.

Because of her 22 metre width, the AmaMagna is confined to cruising on the Danube only. Her inability to pass through the river’s locks also presented some construction challenges, he told Travel Weekly.

He said that AmaMagna’s hull was built in Serbia with the plans to bring Dutch shipbuilders there to do the finishing work. But the idea did not go well with the shipyard. So he had to put the ship on a Korea freighter from the Black Sea through Turkey’s Bosporus, through the English Channel to the Netherlands. A similar trip had to be organised to get her back to the Danube.

This presented complicated and expensive logistics which Mr Schreiner said he would like to avoid if a second mega ship was built.

The company already has two ships on order and one of them could be turned into megaship.

The AmaMagna can accommodate 196 passengers – about 40 to 50 more people than on a traditional ship half its width. It also has a smaller main dining room with more open-air venues where guests can enjoy gourmet food and fine wine.

Other unique features include the spacious Zen wellness centre, a bigger fitness centre, an outdoor studio and a yoga tent on the sundeck.