Amadeus River Cruises’ new flagship Amadeus Queen features new design technology to enable the ship to continue sailing when other vessels are affected by high water levels.

At the ship christening on 4 April in Amsterdam, the ship builders revealed that the height of the 162-passenger vessel had been reduced by 15cm (5.9in) to allow it to sail under bridges and overcome challenges caused by extreme water levels caused by excessive rainfall or melting spring snow.

Amadeus Queen – the 14th ship to join the expanding Amadeus fleet – was constructed at the De Hoop shipyard in the Netherlands, which has built river ships for the line for 20 years.

Shipyard president Patrick Janseens said it was the first time they had been asked to reduce the height of a European river vessel, which are usually all identical in length, width and height.

He said: “It is a brand new design and was not without its challenges as it meant there was less room in ceiling spaces for electrical wiring and other installations. There is no other ship like it and it will mean that in high water levels this ship will be the last one still sailing and being able to pass under bridges and complete the voyage when other ships have to stop. Climate change has meant that river levels have become increasingly high at certain times of the year, which has impacted itineraries when ships cannot sail under bridges.”

Another standout new feature on the ship is the line’s first indoor swimming pool with a retractable roof. The area also includes a bar and in the evening it will be used for talks and film screenings.

In an additional first, Amadeus Queen was the first ship to be christened at a new berth built at Amsterdam’s western dock to accommodate the growing number of river ships – 3,000 this year – calling at the city,

Amadeus River Cruises is a family-owned and operated line founded by Dr Wolfgang Luftner and his wife Martina. Their daughter Corina, who has christened four other ships in the past, is godmother of the Amadeus Queen.

The ship has 69 standard cabins, ranging in size from 172 to 188 square feet, mostly with panoramic drop-down windows and French balconies, and 12 suites that measure 284-square-foot suites and have walk-out balconies. All cabins boast Amadeus River Cruises’ trademark walk-in wardrobes. Amenities include a gym, massage room and hair salon – the latter a rarity on river vessels.

Amadeus Queen will sail on the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers as well as the Dutch and Belgian waterways and bookings can be made via the line’s UK general sales agency Fred.\River Cruises.

In 2019 Amadeus River Cruises will continue to grow with the launch of sister ship Amadeus Star. The maiden voyage will be a seven-night Tulip Serenade itinerary departing from Amsterdam on 12 April.