Dave Natale

Friends of Dave Tours

Dave Natale

I am an adventurous and well travelled American who has lived in Germany for over 14 years. I started my career in travel working for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and then spent many years as a cruise agent and ultimately as a sales manager within the Carnival family of cruise lines. I met a German in the Caribbean in 1999 and moved to Germany shortly afterwards. Life has since been a wild ride with so many fun twists and turns that sometimes I have to pinch myself to prove that it's real. I am single and have 2 dwarf dachshunds named Clio and Chlóe that have me trained perfectly to their desires.

Now I have two lives. In one I run a day tour company called Friends of Dave Tours for cruise ship passengers who want exciting, interesting day tours while visiting the port city of Warnemünde, Germany. My website FriendsofDaveTours.com is the place to see what I have to offer. I am the top rated tour guide for my area at TripAdvisor.com with 100% 5-star ratings and Rick Steves recently featured my tour as the one to take for Warnemünde in his new guide Cruising Northern Europe.

In my second life, I sponsor several fantastic AmaWaterways River Cruises per year where I organize everything from the itinerary, tours, and special extras that help create memories to last a life time. I do this under my new company DNA Tours, Gmbh.

I live in Berlin and Warnemünde, Germany...splitting my time between the two.

We don't do anything small at Friends of Dave Tours and my attention to detail and flair for entertaining make every trip a lifetime experience.

Coming Up:
Provence Cruise August 28, 2014 (pre- in Barcelona/post- in Paris)
Normandy Cruise Sept 4, 2014 (combinable with Provence cruise)
Beautiful Duoro/Portugal Oct 21, 2014 (pre-Lisbon/post-Madrid)
Christmas on the Rhine Dec 1, 2014 (post-Lucerne & Zurich)
Riches of the Mekong Feb 3, 2015 (Land tour in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Mihn City)
Europe's Rivers & Castles May 23, 2015 (pre- in Paris/post- in Prague)
Magnificent Europe July 15, 2015 (no organized pre/post, but I can help for Prague & Amsterdam)
Provence & Spain Oct 5, 2015 (pre- in Barcelona/post- in Paris)
Christmas Time Cruise on the Danube Nov 28, 2015, (pre- in Prague, no planned post in Budapest, I can help)
Hidden Wonders of Myanmar Jan 6, 2016



Europe » Germany » Berlin March 13th 2016

One of the most important decisions to make when booking your AmaWaterways river cruise is what kind of insurance to take: Ama's regular insurance, their Worry Free policy or a privately booked policy from one of the many good companies out there. For me, there are several things to consider aside from the fact that Ama insurance is ONLY for residents of North America: 1. Both Ama policies cover pre-existing conditions if booked at the time of deposit. Pre-existing is considered any condition that you have been to the doctor for, taken medicine for, or have had any active treatment for within the past 6 months. So even if you take regular blood pressure medication, but have not been to the doctor for a long time, this is considered pre-existing. (Keep in mind, that the pre-existing ... read more

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate April 12th 2015

In other blog entries I’ve talked about embarking or disembarking for Ama’s Enchanting Rhine cruise in Amsterdam or Basel. Both of those cities could not be more opposite from each other, but somehow wonderfully fitting complements to this romantic journey through Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Someone once asked me if I had a preference of which direction to sail on the Rhine, and while the tone of the cruise definitely takes on a different aura depending on where you begin, I must admit that I don’t see an obvious advantage to one over the other and like each equally. I did have the feeling that we got to sleep in a bit more when sailing upstream, but the scenery is so breathtaking, who wants to spend their morning in bed? For the purpose of ... read more
St Ursula's
Köln
Alte Rathaus, Köln

Europe February 24th 2015

Guests on an AmaWaterways Rhine River cruise will either start or end their journey in Basel, Switzerland. I have my own set of standards on whether I think the organized tour is right for you or not and would like to share some of my thoughts. I absolutely 100% endorse booking Ama's package if this is your first river cruise and you want the total 'Ama experience' and wish to have the benefit of a cruise guide in the Tour Hotel, included basic tours, and to have Ama move you and your luggage easily and smoothly from point city to ship, all while hosting you on informative basic tours. Ama uses only luxury hotels and 5 star coaches and guides. This is the excellent option if you don't want to have to arrange much ahead of ... read more
Meeting the Ama Boat for our Lake Lucerne ride
The view from my room / Radisson Blu Lucerne
Zurich Hotel Room / Continental Hotel

Europe » Germany » Berlin January 24th 2015

It seems odd to be planning trips for 2017 already, but if I have learned anything during the whirlwind of the past 2 years, it's that these trips sell out early, especially during the high seasons. My 2015 schedule is already mostly sold out and it's only January! So I have spend this cold and frosty January planning and updating my escorted group cruises and just added Vietnam for January 2017. You can see the full schedule here .... read more


The cruise season in Warnemünde is upon us again and I must say, I have never been so fully booked so early: it seems our 200+ authentic, 5 star ratings at Trip Advisor and Rick Steve's recommendations have been very, very helpful. Most of our tour dates are either sold out, 70% sold out, or on their way; Christian, Hannes and I are looking forward to a great 2016. It just goes to show that dedication to your customer and providing what you promise are the sure ways to success: letting your work speak for itself without trying to influence what others say about it is what I call honest and professional. I am so proud of all of my and Christians' comments at Trip Advisor because every single one of our reviews is 100% organic ... read more
You Can't Fool Them!
I Really DO Get the BEST Guests!

Europe » Germany » Mecklenburg-Vorpommern » Warnemünde April 21st 2014

As the cruise industry grows in Warnemünde and more and more ships are stopping here, some of our cruise guests are unaware that overflow cruise ships don't stop in charming Warnemünde at all. Rather they are forced into the industrial harbour on the other side of the river and a good 20 minute car ride away from our lovely town. This is because Costa and the German line AIDA have regular weekly sailings out of Warnemünde, and they take up the two main cruise docks. Of course, many people do not realize that Warnemünde is a part of Rostock (and has been since the 13th Century) but that doesn't help if you are on one side of the river and all the good stuff is on the other. The seaside vacation resort of Warnemünde is on ... read more
Aerial View of Warnemünde Cruise Passenger Terminal
The Warnow and the Harbours
Nuclear Harbour, Not

Europe » Germany » Mecklenburg-Vorpommern » Warnemünde April 20th 2014

There have been a lot of rumblings surrounding Mr Putin and how our Summer Baltic season will be affected, and most people here believe that everything will be fine: "No one in Russia wants to hurt the St Petersburg tourist trade," they say. Yet any time something happens that might affect my guests, I put my thinking cap on and analyze the situation to see where I can optimize, improve.. and most importantly, I trouble shoot every possible scenario. After 85+ cruises (and all those years at Disney, Hilton, Cruises Only and Carnival Corp) I think I know what my guests want... plus, I am pretty good at knowing what the trends are. I'd already noticed last year that lesser copy cats were trying to do what I was by using trains, but with over-sized groups ... read more
Wismar / Krämer
Parachutes and Dave's Balcony
Hansa Sail

Asia » Vietnam February 2nd 2014

I must confess that neither Vietnam nor Cambodia was ever on my wish list of places to visit, but when Ama Waterways offered this itinerary some of the Friends of Dave VIP Club expressed interest to go and I decided to create a group and see what happens. I am so happy that I did... no, I am thrilled, because it was one of the most eye opening and personally enriching trips I have ever taken. Over the next few blog posts I will do my best to share the wonder of this trip and to assist you in preparing. I will be offering this itinerary again February 2, 2015 and again in 2017 (in 2016 I am leading a group to Myanmar) so I hope that these posts will help you prepare. First and foremost, ... read more
Happily Ensconced in Business Class
Lobby of the Sofitel Hanoi/ New Side
Pool Area in Sofitel Hanoi

Europe » Germany » Mecklenburg-Vorpommern » Warnemünde January 3rd 2014

One of the great joys of building my tour business in Warnemünde is seeing the discovery of a new "great place" come across my guests faces. No one arrives expecting much from Warnemünde. By the time I am done, the history, local stories and people, insider tips for shops, restaurants and bars.. as well as the best beach spots have been shared and my guests have seen the most charming parts of town unfold in the best of lights. That is what a good tour is all about... that's why I love doing what I do. This year I will expand my Warnemünde tour for 2014 and create special Warnemünde Discovery tours for some of our ships with difficult port times (like the Queen Victoria, Silver Whisper) and expand the access to folks from all lines. ... read more
Our Gorgeous Beach
The Fisherman and Captain's Houses
Not the Caribbean... the Baltic!

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich October 14th 2013

OK, I admit this may be a 'smart ass' toned blog entry, but everyone reading this knows me... so, here it goes: Folks from across the pond coming to Europe who insist on going into a store and not comprehending why they won't take your US dollars... simple question... will you take Pesos? Thank you. OK.. I can't just stop. I heard some REALLY mind boggling comments on my last trip on the Rhine from people who really might want to consider international travel. 1. "My bank told me NOT to take my ATM card with me to Europe because it could be stolen." (This Einstein also did not bring any pin numbers for his credit card and was completely unable to get any cash anywhere). He thought he could use US dollars everywhere. My response: ... read more




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