Budapest to The Black Sea River Cruise - MS Emily Brontë

Budapest to The Black Sea River Cruise - MS Emily Brontë

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15 Days
From

$4795

Budapest to The Black Sea River Cruise - MS Emily Brontë

15 Days Starting and ending in Budapest, Hungary

Visiting: Budapest, Kalocsa, Belgrade, Iron Gates, Pleven, Bucharest, Danube Delta, Constanța, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi, Ivanovo, Belogradchik, Lepenski vir, Novi Sad, Osijek, Vukovar

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Ship Name:
MS Emily Bronte
Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Ship Capacity:

167

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

12-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Cruise, River Cruise

Interests:

Cultural, History

From:
$4795 (USD) including Flights from the UK

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Tour Overview

On this incredible river cruise through the Balkans, we start by exploring the stunning sights of Kalocsa and Belgrade, with its magnificent Kalemegdan Fortress. Then it's off to Pleven passing through the Iron Gates Gorge and the Djerdap locks before visiting Bucharest. Known as 'little Paris' this gem of a capital city will capture your heart with its romantic buildings and tree-lined boulevards.

Then we explore the very best of The Danube Delta and enjoy a cruise through Europe's largest area of wetlands and marshlands - a UNESCO-listed site. From here we see Constanta where you can explore it's charming Old Town and museums, Veliko Tarnovo and the village of Arbanassi.

After taking a scenic drive to the spectacular rock formations at Belogradchik we visit Lepenski Vir - one of the most important Mesolithic archaeological sites in Serbia before travelling to Novi Sad, Osijek and Vukovar. Finally, on the final leg of this stunning river cruise we discover the imperial city of two halves - Budapest.

Highlights

  • Happy by day two or we'll bring you home with a full refund

  • Enjoy four guided tours, including Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi, the Churches of Ivanovo, Belogradchik Rock and Mesolithic Lepenski Vir.

  • Discover the only European capital built at the confluence of two rivers, Belgrade.

  • Explore Pleven at leisure, enjoy one of the town's many museums and wander through the tranquil Old Town.

  • Visit Bucharest and explore the Palace of Parliament, the Athenaeum and the Orthodox churches and squares that 'Little Paris has to offer.

  • Marvel at Belogradchik Rocks, gigantic natural sandstone sculptures that cover an area of 35 square miles.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrival In Budapest
Location: Budapest
Meals Included: Dinner

You fly to Budapest, where a coach transfers you to your five-star cruise ship, moored in this beautiful city. The friendly crew will welcome you on board and help you settle into your spacious, luxuriously appointed suite. The ship remains here overnight, so watch dusk descend over Hungary’s capital as you enjoy your first dinner on board.

Day 2 : Kalocsa
Location: Kalocsa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

One of the most thrilling aspects of a cruise is waking up somewhere new, and there’s a real sense of excitement as we explore lands unknown to many until the Iron Curtain lifted. Hungary itself has so much to offer; situated at a crossroads in central Europe, it’s a mesmerising blend of European and Ottoman influences, rich in culture and history. Our adventure begins this morning when we arrive in Kalocsa, a city whose 1,000-year-old lore swirls with tales of warlike bishops, saintly kings, rampaging Ottomans and Magyar heroes. Among its fine buildings you’ll discover an impressive Baroque cathedral and the grand Archbishop’s Palace, with its Ceremonial Hall displaying a replica of the Hungarian holy crown.



You can choose to enjoy a walking tour of the town seeing the sights plus the fascinating Paprika Museum; the region is one of the biggest producers of the seasoning that’s an essential part of Hungarian cuisine – goulash being a famous example. There are many types and strengths of ‘red gold’, but the best variety is said to come from here, due to its rich colour and robust flavour.



Alternatively we take the short drive to a paprika house on the outskirts of the town to learn more about its production before continuing on a scenic drive into the Puszta, Hungary’s Great Plain, a hauntingly atmospheric prairie whose spirit is burnt into the Magyar soul. Stretching as far as the eye can see, it is home to villages seemingly frozen in time, while Hungarian grey cattle, spiral-horned sheep and buffalo graze on its pastures. The Puszta is also famed for its horses, and we visit an equestrian farm to watch a performance by some of the region’s most skilled riders. You’ll have the opportunity to take a horse-drawn carriage ride and experience this unique wilderness from a different perspective.



We return to the ship for lunch as our elegant vessel seamlessly glides away from her mooring. Later we enjoy a welcome drink with the Captain in the lounge before descending the elegant staircase to the restaurant for a special Welcome Dinner.

Day 3 : Belgrade
Location: Belgrade
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we arrive in historic Belgrade. The only European capital built at the confluence of two rivers, the city has been fought over numerous times, most recently during the Second World War and the Kosovo War, when it faced months of NATO airstrikes. Dramatically sited overlooking both rivers is Kalemegdan Park, which includes in its grounds the city’s iconic fortress, a stronghold built by the Celts, expanded by the Romans and besieged over a hundred times during its history – all detailed in its military museum. Despite its past, Belgrade is now a revitalised and forward-looking city and a delightful and varied place to explore, with delicate Art Nouveau facades tucked away among the stark concrete towers of the Communist era. We enjoy a guided tour, seeing all the main sights such as the cathedral, Republic Square and Prince Michael Street with its wealth of 19th-century buildings, some bearing the scars of recent conflicts among their intricate Habsburg ornamentation. After lunch, you are free to explore this fascinating capital, still one of the least visited in Europe. Maybe you’d like to wander the Old Town’s lattice of winding streets, pausing for a welcome drink in one of the grand coffee houses or visit the bubbling bohemian quarter, which is being transformed into a 21st-century cultural hub by an influx of creative talent.



As the evening draws in, relax with a stroll or a drink on the Sun Deck before tonight’s culinary delights.

Day 4 : Iron Gates Gorge
Location: Iron Gates
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For many, today will be a highlight of the cruise as we begin our passage through the magnificent Iron Gates Gorge. One of the most memorable stretches of the Danube, this is where the river cuts its mighty path between the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges, forming part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. The ‘true’ Iron Gates is a single narrow gorge, but the name covers an entire 83-mile stretch of valleys where towering limestone cliffs plunge into the depths below. During the 1960s and ’70s, two hydroelectric power stations were built here and their dams raised the river level by over 100 feet, submerging a number of historic settlements. We pass through the Great Kazan, meaning ‘cauldron’, where the river narrows to just 500 feet. As the Captain skilfully steers us through, you’ll see the huge sculpture of a Romanian hero – Decebalus – carved into the rock. Created in the 1990s, at over 130 feet high it is the largest rock relief in Europe – it even dwarfs the US presidents at Mount Rushmore. Decebalus was the last king of Dacia, the kingdom stretching from the Carpathians to the Black Sea. A warrior through and through, he fought the Roman Empire in three campaigns before the Emperor Trajan got the better of him. Decebalus fled into the Carpathians, taking his own life rather than being captured.



On a day like this, the spacious Sun Deck comes into its own. Watch the spectacular scenery drift by from the comfort of a sun lounger or maybe enjoy a drink with new friends. You may even find an ice cream being served on the Bow Deck, which is beautifully attired with soft furnishings and stylish wooden fittings.

Day 5 : Pleven
Location: Pleven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

By now you’ll have come to appreciate the luxuries on board your five-star ship – little touches from complimentary dressing gowns and slippers to plush carpets in the corridors and the marble-topped bar. Crossing the border into Bulgaria tonight, you awake in Nikopol, a town dating back to Roman times, and after breakfast we drive across the Danubian Plain to Pleven.



We enjoy some free time here, so perhaps visit the St George Chapel Mausoleum or one of the town’s many other museums. Or simply wander the Old Town and enjoy the tranquillity of its pedestrian-only streets.



During lunch we slip our moorings for an afternoon’s cruising, so why not enjoy the invigorating river breeze up on the Sun Deck? It will soon be time for dinner, so reconvene with your fellow travellers for an aperitif in the bar.

Day 6 : Bucharest
Location: Bucharest
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Today we visit Bucharest, with its tree-lined boulevards and elegant belle-époque villas – echoes of the hedonistic 1900s when it earned the nickname ‘Little Paris’ – dotted among the utilitarian architectural legacy of Communist rule. Dominating the capital city of Romania, though, is the astonishing Palace of the Parliament, a colossal concrete extravagance commissioned by the Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu. Started in 1984 and still unfinished, it is the second-largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon – so big that only 400 of the 1,100 rooms are used. Furnished with all the gaudiness expected from a heartless despot at the head of a bankrupt state, from marble staircases to mosaics and chandeliers, to some it’s a marvel, to others a monument to vanity.



On our guided tour we see the Palace of the Parliament, which really has to be seen to be believed, and the city’s other main sights, such as the former royal palace – now the national art museum – and the Athenaeum with its impressive Baroque cupola and remarkable acoustics. There are also some superb Orthodox churches and squares, including Revolution Square, named after the 1989 uprising that swept away Ceausescu’s regime.



There’s also time to explore this vibrant city under your own steam. Lunch isn’t included today, so seek out a cosy restaurant in the Old Town for a fortifying plate of traditional meatballs, generously spiced with garlic, dill and parsley; freshly stuffed peppers or a hearty vegetable and dumpling soup.



We return to the ship with time to relax before dinner. Perhaps borrow a board game or novel from the library or book yourself in for a manicure or pedicure at the on-board Hair and Nail Salon.

Day 7 : Danube Delta
Location: Danube Delta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight we cruise towards the city of Tulcea, clinging to seven hills overlooking the river and regarded as the gateway to the vast Danube Delta on the edge of the Black Sea. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Danube Delta is the best preserved and second largest river delta in Europe, consisting of 2,200 square miles of rivers, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands, where nearly 3,500 animal and fish species, and 1,700 types of plant, make their home. A bird-watcher’s paradise, the maze of canals bordered by willows and oaks offers the perfect breeding ground for countless species. Millions of Egyptian white pelicans arrive here every spring to raise their young, while equal numbers of Arctic geese come to escape the harsh Northern European winters. Keep an eye out for cormorants and white-tailed eagles. After lunch, we disembark to take an excursion on smaller boats into the heart of this inspirational and tranquil place. Our guide helps to point out some of the fascinating flora and fauna – you could spot a colourful kingfisher or a catfish darting beneath the water’s glassy surface.



As dusk begins to fall on this magical landscape, we slip our moorings again. Enjoy another delicious dinner, maybe tonight choosing a more intimate dining experience in the Bistro at the stern.

Day 8 : Constanta
Location: Constanța
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we begin our return passage, but these lands still have so much to reveal. Hold on to your hat up on deck, as this area is well known for its windy weather and windmills were once a common sight. Watch the rocky shoreline drift by, dotted with the occasional ruined fortress. We depart for the ancient city of Constanta, described by the Roman poet Ovid as ‘the end of the world’ and with a history dating back over 2,500 years. Originally known as Tomis, it is said that Jason landed here with the Argonauts after finding the Golden Fleece. Situated on several trade routes, it became a thriving commercial centre during Roman times and still is today. Numerous remains from Greek and Roman times are on display in the city’s archaeological and mosaics museums, the latter housing the largest – an impressive 9,150 square feet – and best-preserved Roman mosaic in the world. Constanta’s landmark is the Art Nouveau casino, with its views of the Black Sea. Now unused, it was built by the Romanian King Carol I, who hoped its construction would transform the city into a bathing resort for the elite during the inter-war years, something that never quite transpired. More recently, it became one end of the shortest navigable route between the North and Black Seas when the Main-Danube Canal opened in 1992.



There is free time to explore, so perhaps visit one of the museums or simply enjoy the sea air with a portside walk.

Day 9 : Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi & Ivanovo
Location: Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi, Ivanovo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Crossing into Bulgaria, we arrive in Rousse, a city known as ‘Little Vienna’ for its wealth of fine 19th-century buildings. A scenic drive brings us to possibly Bulgaria’s most beautiful city – Veliko Tarnovo, the ‘City of the Tsars’ and former capital, located in a rugged landscape entangled by the meanderings of the Yantra River. Its Old Town is clustered on three hills with its houses stacked on steeply sided valleys, while the remains of the once-impregnable fortress complex stands on Tsarevets Hill. Within the walls of this redoubt are the ruins of the Tsar’s Palace and, at the summit, the Patriarch’s Palace, which includes the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God. Much of Veliko Tarnovo was destroyed by the Ottomans, but in the 19th century it became an important trading centre again. Tucked away in its picturesque cobbled streets are tiny workshops, where you can watch copper pots being beaten or wooden utensils skilfully carved. It is delightful to wander here, keeping an eye out for interesting traditional snacks to try, admiring the architecture while soaking up the atmosphere.



Later we head to the village of Arbanassi, set high on a plateau. During Ottoman times, it became a commercial centre for traders and their caravans, crammed with wares bound for places as distant as Italy, Russia and even India. Perhaps visit one of the richly ornamented mansion houses of the period, with their fortress-like stone walls, or the unassuming Church of the Nativity – once inside you’ll be dazzled by the intensely coloured frescoes.



We end the day with a visit to the Churches of Ivanovo, a fascinating complex of churches, chapels and monasteries hewn into the solid rock during the 12th century and with frescoes dating back to the 14th century, so exquisite and historically significant they are now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Day 10 : Belogradchik
Location: Belogradchik
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning why not take a cup of coffee up on deck and soak up the spectacular open spaces of this landscape, where thick woods of fragrant pine and silver fir cling to the banks, forming a hazy outline on the distant horizon? After lunch we moor in Vidin, home to the Baba Vidin, the only entirely preserved medieval fortress in the country. From here, we drive into this rugged wilderness and suddenly the horizon is dotted with huge sandstone cliffs, in a spectrum of orange-reds and yellows, eroded into huge, bizarre shapes. These are the Belogradchik Rocks – unique and dramatic, they cover an area of 35 square miles, some reaching as high as 600 feet. Many of these gigantic natural sculptures are named after people or objects they are thought to resemble, while others are associated with colourful legends.



We return to the ship for dinner. Later on, maybe enjoy a drink in the lounge with your companions while the resident pianist plays gentle melodies.

Day 11 : Iron Gates & Lepenski Vir
Location: Iron Gates, Lepenski vir
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning’s cruising brings us once again to the dramatic splendour of the Iron Gates Gorge, at the heart of Serbia’s Djerdap National Park. The gorge was cut out of the Carpathian mountains over millions of years as the Danube drained the Pannonian Sea. Among the park’s forests of ancient oak, hazel and beech lies a rich preserve of game, including deer and wild boar. Mountain goats roam the rocky cliffs of Djerdap Kazan, while bears, wolves, foxes and wildcats populate the dense woodland. Keep an eye out for eagles and falcons, too. Why not enjoy the splendour of this stretch of the river from a sun lounger on deck or through the panoramic windows in the ship’s lounge?



This afternoon we moor in Donji Milanovac and take the short drive to Lepenski Vir, one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, dating back to 9,500 BC. It consists of a series of Mesolithic villages located on a high terrace overlooking the Danube. The wooden houses were laid out in a fan shape and used one of the first types of concrete as their foundations, while their floors were made of sandstone, often covered with limestone plaster and decorated with red and white pigments. Our guided tour will reveal more about this fascinating place and how these ancient people lived.

Day 12 : Novi Sad
Location: Novi Sad
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The numerous fortresses along the Danube are reminders that the area has been fought over for centuries and this morning we pass one of the most impressive – the medieval Smederevo Fortress. After a lazy day we moor in Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city, in the shadow of the Fruska Gora mountain, its fertile slopes terraced with vineyards. The climate and the proximity to the Danube make this region ideal for wine production, particularly Riesling, but there are many others produced here including Bermet, a vermouth-like dessert wine with a unique aromatic sweetness. Enjoy a guided tour of this vibrant city which flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, becoming known as the ‘Athens of Serbia’. See its old Town Hall on the impressive main square, flanked by lovely 19th-century architecture, its ancient castle and synagogue. Towering over it all is the mighty Petrovaradin Fortress with its complex system of underground tunnels. The minute and hour hands of its iconic clock face are reversed, supposedly so that fishermen could still tell the time at a distance. You can learn more about the fortress and its history at its museum.



We moor here this evening, so why not enjoy an after-dinner stroll and take in the relaxed ambience of this lovely city?

Day 13 : Osijek & Vukovar
Location: Osijek, Vukovar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we cross into Croatia and stop in Vukovar, the country’s largest river port, located at the confluence of the Danube and Vuka Rivers. Vukovar boasted a prosperous manufacturing industry and a picturesque Baroque centre until the tragic events of the civil war unfolded, and the city was almost completely destroyed. Renovation to restore the city to its former glory is very much ongoing.



Here we enjoy a guided tour, seeing the main sights and learning about the city’s tumultuous past. We then drive to the historic city of Osijek, which hugs the banks of the River Drava. We explore the Old Town – behind its thick stone walls lies an intriguing market square, lined by handsome public buildings with pastel-coloured facades. In the Upper City you’ll see the neo-Gothic cathedral, its red-brick spire soaring above the rooftops. Much of Osijek has been restored, but some buildings still bear the scars of the fighting.



This evening we cross into Hungary again, as the chef presents tonight’s appetising menu.

Day 14 : Budapest
Location: Budapest
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As gentle pastoral landscapes slip by, Budapest’s brooding skyline comes into view once more. Straddling the Danube, this imperial capital is a collage of palatial buildings, grand domes and attractive Baroque churches with soaring spires. From Roman ruins to Ottoman Turkish baths and elegant Art Nouveau facades, the eclectic mix of architectural styles reflects the city’s varied history, with numerous foreign powers ruling here over the centuries. We enjoy a guided tour, seeing all the main sights of this lovely city including the iconic Parliament Building, the National Gallery with its huge collection of Hungarian masterpieces, and the Matthias Church with its intricate rose windows. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps head back to the Castle District to take in the panoramic views or explore one of the city’s many museums and galleries.



The Captain’s Dinner is served this evening, with a superb menu reflecting the countries and regions we have visited. As the sun sets on this memorable city, retire to the bar with your fellow travellers to reflect on all you have seen during this exceptional cruise.

Day 15 : Return Home
Location: Budapest

Today at the appropriate time you return to the airport for your return flight.

Ship Details

MS Emily Bronte

Image Of Ship

It is extremely difficult to convey just how extraordinary this outstanding ship really is and exactly what distinguishes it from similar vessels. It would be very easy to just say ‘luxurious’ but it’s much more than that; we have deliberately avoided the current trend for a minimalist style where you could be anywhere in the world, creating instead a unique yet exquisite blend of understated taste, style and elegance at the highest level. Immediately striking is just how exceptionally spacious this new vessel is as you enter a gleaming, richly coloured marble-floored lobby flooded with natural light from a stunning atrium above. Moving inside, exceptional creativity from Europe’s finest design studio has produced a superbly balanced masterpiece of onboard style, utilising sustainable rich hardwoods, gleaming brass and polished copper, sparkling glass and intricate wrought iron. The ship is beautifully illuminated throughout – including the exterior and imaginatively furnished with harmonious colour schemes, all designed to create the serene atmosphere reflective of the golden age of cruising which time after time you tell us you adore.

The restaurant rivals the finest on shore establishments taking fine dining to another level complemented by delicate European porcelain, gleaming glassware and the intuitive service in which the Swiss excel. This superb vessel carries 44 in-house trained crew members serving just 169 guests (similar size vessels may carry well over 190 passengers) giving the ratio which our experience proves is concurrent with our first class service levels.

Furthermore your suite will easily exceed your expectations for not only will you enjoy the most discerning décor, so too the ship’s dimensions afford the ultimate in space and comfort - a minimum 16 square metres (172 square feet), with upgrades available to ‘Superior’ and ‘Deluxe’ accommodation.

Ship Name:

MS Emily Bronte

Adults Only Areas:

adults only

Ship Children Facilities:

none

Ship Nursery:

none

Smoking Areas:

some

Ship Size:

boutique

Ship Style:

luxury

Ship Type:

river

Ship Currency:

EUR

Ship Language:

en-GB

Ship Capacity:

167

Ship Crew Count:

44

Number of Decks:

3

Number of Cabins:

88

Number of Large Cabins:

0

Number of Wheelchair-Friendy Cabins:

0

Ship Launch Year:

2017

Ship Length (Meters):

135 M

Ship Width (Meters):

38 M

Diamond Deck (Upper Deck)

Panorama Lounge & BarBistro RestaurantReceptionTravel DeskSouvenir ShopDiamond Deck SuitesSuperior SuitesSuperior Stern SuitesDeluxe Balcony Suites

Emerald deck (Lower)

Fitness & Wellness CentreHair & Beauty SalonEmerald Deck Suites

Ruby Deck (Middle)

RestaurantKitchenRuby Deck SuitesSuperior Suites

Sun Deck

Seating AreaSplash PoolPutting GreenTerrace

Your suite will easily exceed your expectations for not only will you enjoy the most discerning décor, so too the ship’s dimensions afford the ultimate in space and comfort - a minimum 16 square metres (172 square feet), with upgrades available to ‘Superior’ and ‘Deluxe’ accommodation.

Deluxe Balcony Suites (Grade DBS )

If you’re looking to really spoil yourself, at a staggering 25 square metres (269 square feet), the world-class Diamond (upper) Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites are for you. Fifty percent larger than standard suites, they allow for an even more generous living area for the ultimate in space and comfort. In addition you will enjoy a private exterior balcony complete with table and chairs - perfect for an ‘al fresco’ breakfast should you wish or just a quiet morning coffee or a pre-dinner ‘sundowner’ whilst watching the world drift by. With the same fittings as standard suites, exquisitely and lavishly appointed to the very highest standard, plus complimentary soft cotton bathrobes and slippers adding the final little touch, this really is the epitome of river cruise luxury!

Suites (Grade EDS DDS RDS RDSS EDSS )

A gleaming wood door opens revealing your exceptionally appointed suite. At 17 square metres (183 square feet), its generous dimensions are amongst the largest you will find on a cruiser gracing any European river. Imaginatively designed and appointed to the highest specification, with all the luxury you would expect to find in a smart ‘boutique style’ hotel, your comfort definitely won’t be compromised on any level!The gleaming marble bathroom features a powerful fully glazed shower with a large ‘rainshower’ head, superbly refreshing after a hard day’s sightseeing. Clever design allows for ample space, and contemporary lighting, complimentary cosmetics by ‘Crabtree and Evelyn’ and fluffy towels, makes preparing for the day ahead an absolute pleasure.The chic styling of a talented designer’s eye extends to the entire suite with generous use of hand-crafted tropical hardwoods blended with premium fittings, discreet thoughtful lighting and a colour scheme of calming neutral tones, creating an ambience to put you in the most relaxed frame of mind from the very first minute! A full size bed assures a good night’s rest in crisp cotton linen of the finest quality - a turndown service each evening adds the finishing touch. Please note all suites have two twin beds with individual bedding which can be moved together or separated accordingly.You will enjoy a particularly generous seating area with two chairs and a table, enabling you to unwind in comfort in the privacy of your own suite whilst a bow camera conveys live images of the ship’s progress to your flat screen TV, ensuring you won’t miss a thing. Careful consideration has been given to the tiniest details with individually controlled air-conditioning so you set the temperature that you desire, a hairdryer, safe, minibar, telephone and the convenience of tea (our meticulous planning even extends to familiar teabags!) and coffee making facilities ensure a familiar home from home experience. Suites on the Diamond (upper) and Ruby (middle) Decks have ‘French Balconies’ – panoramic floor to ceiling sliding glass doors bringing riverside life just that little closer! Indulge in the luxury of?Riviera Plus?when you stay in an upper deck cabin or suite. In your well-appointed cabin, you’ll find a range of extras to make your experience extra special. Suites on the Emerald Deck are slightly smaller, measuring approximately 16 square metres (172 square feet) and have smaller fixed windows. Some are available for sole occupancy with no supplement and are subject to availability.

Suites (Grade EDS DDS RDS )

A gleaming wood door opens revealing your exceptionally appointed suite. Its generous dimensions are amongst the largest you will find on a cruiser gracing any European river. Imaginatively designed and appointed to the highest specification, with all the luxury you would expect to find in a smart ‘boutique style’ hotel, your comfort definitely won’t be compromised on any level!The gleaming marble bathroom features a powerful fully glazed shower with a large ‘rainshower’ head, superbly refreshing after a hard day’s sightseeing. Clever design allows for ample space, and contemporary lighting, complimentary cosmetics by ‘Crabtree and Evelyn’ and fluffy towels, makes preparing for the day ahead an absolute pleasure.The chic styling of a talented designer’s eye extends to the entire suite with generous use of hand-crafted tropical hardwoods blended with premium fittings, discreet thoughtful lighting and a colour scheme of calming neutral tones, creating an ambience to put you in the most relaxed frame of mind from the very first minute! A full size bed assures a good night’s rest in crisp cotton linen of the finest quality - a turndown service each evening adds the finishing touch.You will enjoy a particularly generous seating area with two chairs and a table, enabling you to unwind in comfort in the privacy of your own suite whilst a bow camera conveys live images of the ship’s progress to your flat screen TV, ensuring you won’t miss a thing. Careful consideration has been given to the tiniest details with individually controlled air-conditioning so you set the temperature that you desire, a hairdryer, safe, minibar, telephone and the convenience of tea (our meticulous planning even extends to familiar teabags!) and coffee making facilities ensure a familiar home from home experience. Suites on the Diamond (upper) and Ruby (middle) Decks have ‘French Balconies’ – panoramic floor to ceiling sliding glass doors bringing riverside life just that little closer! Suites on the Emerald Deck are as above except they have smaller fixed windows and are available for sole occupancy with no supplement. 

Superior Suites (Grade SS SSS )

Bringing your cruise to another level, why not upgrade to a Superior Suite available on the Ruby (middle) and Diamond (upper) decks. Substantially larger at 23 square metres (247 sq. feet) and with the additional space devoted to the living area, you will immediately notice the benefit as you relax in your stylish surroundings. Of course the identical high quality furnishings and fittings as the standard suite are evident throughout, again with stunning views from the panoramic floor to ceiling sliding glass doors.Indulge in the luxury of?Riviera Plus?when you stay in an upper deck cabin or suite. In your well-appointed cabin, you’ll find a range of extras to make your experience extra special. 

The stunning restaurant on the Main Deck serving buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and four-course dinner

Bistro

At the Bistro with its open kitchen, large panoramic windows and al fresco seating, enjoy a more intimate dining experience whilst taking in the fantastic views. Here in the evenings the chef presents his personal signature dishes to a small number of diners with menus varying according to the seasons; this intimate dining experience can be reserved on board at no extra charge. When the weather allows the panoramic windows may be fully opened on to the terrace to allow a delightful al fresco dining experience.

Main Restaurant

The restaurant rivals the finest on shore establishments taking fine dining to another level complemented by delicate European porcelain, gleaming glassware and the intuitive service in which the Swiss excel.

The Diamond Deck is where you will find the very heart of the ship - the superb panoramic observation lounge and bar; a lounge in every sense of the word, complete with plenty of comfortable leather armchairs and sumptuous sofas where you can sink into warmly colourful cushions in beautiful quality fabrics with a freshly made cup of tea. A thick wool carpet feels lovely underfoot and the tasteful contemporary lighting above creates a welcoming and refined ambience, further complemented by the discreet and intuitive service resplendent of the finest five-star hotels. So just sit back with your favourite cocktail and take in the truly mesmerising view.

After a superb dinner in the restaurant perhaps it’s time for a digestif accompanied by the soothing tones of the ship’s pianist or unwind with a book from the smartly wood panelled library. 

Boutique gift shop

For your holiday souvenirs

Lounge and Bar

To enjoy cocktails and the early risers' breakfast

Souvenir Shop

Boutique gift shop for your holiday souvenirs

Excursions

On our river cruises we love to take you right into the heart of each town or city you visit along the way, and during your cruise local guides will offer a variety of guided walking tours, panoramic coach tours and/or visits to museums and local cultural favourites such as a wine tasting in Burgundy and a train journey through the Swiss mountains. You will have a good mix of touring and free time to learn about the history and the little quirks of each place, with plenty of time to explore at your own leisure. Please check the itinerary of the cruise for more specific details.

Please note: there are no dedicated kids or teens facilities onboard.

Head on up to the truly spectacular deck and watch life ashore slip by from the comfort of a sun lounger, perhaps under shade if the weather gets too hot! There’s always the refreshing splash pool too or why not try your hand on the putting green. 

On the Emerald Deck is the fitness centre, perfect for working off all those delicious meals or for something less strenuous treat yourself to a relaxing massage. So you will always look your best there is a hairdresser’s too which also offers manicure and pedicure treatments.

Fitness Centre, Spa and Wellness Area

On the Emerald (lower) Deck is the fitness centre, perfect for working off all those delicious meals or for something less strenuous treat yourself to a relaxing massage. So you will always look your best there is a hairdressers too which also offers manicure and pedicure treatments. 

Putting Green

Try your hand on the putting green on the Sun Deck

Splash Pool

Small but refreshing splash pool on the Sun Deck

Tips are not charged at a set percentage and are not included in the holiday cost, as we understand that giving a gratuity should be entirely at your discretion.

As a guideline we would recommend giving €8-12 per person per day should you feel that is appropriate. Usually, an envelope is left in your cabin on the final evening, for you to drop off at reception, if you choose to, the following morning. The tips are divided equally between the crew.

Should you also wish to give a gratuity directly to your Riviera Travel Cruise Director and Concierge, this is also at your discretion.

Age Restrictions

The minimum age limit is 12 years old at the date of departure. We reserve the right to limit the number of children on any particular cruise. Any minor must be accompanied by and share a cabin with an adult aged 21 or over. If the adult is not the minor’s parent, a ‘Parental Consent Guardianship Form’ must be signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to sailing.

Air Conditioning

Our ships are fully air-conditioned throughout. Each cabin has individual air-conditioning and heating controls.

Disabled Facilities

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us or call us on 01283 688 518 to discuss these concerns.MooringDue to the popularity of river cruising at some mooring places, or where our ship is moored alongside another vessel, access to the ship may be via the sun deck and require the navigation of steps so passengers must be able to walk on and off the ship themselves, without the use of crutches or other aids, as gangplanks can be positioned at a steep angle.On boardOur ships are not adapted for wheelchair access; if you are intending to take a wheelchair or mobility scooter with you, it is essential that you please contact us to let us know. Wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be used on excursions however cannot be used on board the ships due to safety reasons and must not be left in corridors, the lounge or restaurant or any other public areas, but must be stored at reception.River cruises operate with a smaller crew than ocean cruises and do not have the crew available to personally attend to passengers with reduced mobility; therefore, a travelling companion would need to be able to help with any physical needs.Whilst most of our ships have a lift on board, it does not operate to all decks.River cruising on European rivers offers the opportunity to take in the scenery from the comfort of the ship. If you are unable to do some of the shore excursions, your river cruise can still be enjoyable and worthwhile, so please contact us with any concerns or questions you may have.Shore ExcursionsFor our river cruises which include an extension and feature a hotel stay, the hotels we use have been chosen due to their location and standard, the facilities offered can differ, it is therefore important that we make the appropriate enquiries with our suppliers on your behalf to ensure any special needs or requests can be catered for.AccommodationFor our river cruises which include an extension and feature a hotel stay, the hotels we use have been chosen due to their location and standard, the facilities offered can differ, it is therefore important that we make the appropriate enquiries with our suppliers on your behalf to ensure any special needs or requests can be catered for.Overseas Transport ArrangementsAll of our tours involve coach travel. The coaches we use have not been adapted for wheelchair access.Air TravelWe are able to arrange airport assistance, from the check-in desk to the plane, for anyone with reduced mobility. This is a free service which must be arranged with the airline prior to travel. If you would like us to arrange this assistance for you it needs to be pre-booked more than 48 hours before your flight departs.EurostarIf you have reduced mobility and are travelling by Eurostar to your cruise, please contact us. Should you need to travel in your own wheelchair, Eurostar does have specially adapted wheelchair spaces which need to be pre-booked. If you would like assistance at St. Pancras, we can provide you with information and contact details for Eurostar Assist, although we cannot reserve this service for you directly.

Dress Code

There is no requirement to bring formal dress; smart/casual is acceptable for both day and evening as there is no dress code enforced. However men are requested not to wear shorts for dinner or vest tops at any time in the dining room. Men may wish to wear a jacket and tie for dinner. The Captain’s Dinner offers the opportunity, should you wish, for more special attire.

Drinks Packages

We offer a selection of drinks packages available to purchase and the price is dependent on the length of the cruise, so please check each tour page for more details. This includes the following with lunch and dinner: draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rose house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu. The drinks package must be added to your booking for all passengers in a cabin prior to departure and you can do this by calling the reservations team.If you choose not to purchase a drinks package, there is a vast selection of drinks on board each ship available for individual purchase. 

Laundry Service

A limited laundry service is available on board, except on the day of disembarkation. A dry cleaning service is not available.

Medical Facilities

If you have any concerns about your health whilst on tour, please see your Cruise Director or Concierge. They will be able to advise you about chemists and availability of doctors, etc. In an emergency you could always phone our emergency number as issued on your itinerary. There are no on-board medical personnel, although specific crew members will have basic first aid training. However, the ship can stop at any time to transfer any passenger requiring emergency medical attention to local medical facilities.

Smoking and E-Cigarette Policy

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted anywhere on board except for designated areas on the sun deck.More and more countries in Europe are adopting a stricter legislation on smoking in public places. Smoking is not allowed on any public transport and there may be other restrictions in hotels, bars and restaurants.

Special Dietary Requirements

In the morning a full breakfast is served which includes healthy options and your choice of eggs made to order. For lunch enjoy salads from the buffet, soup and a choice of main courses, including local dishes, plus dessert. The four course a la carte dinners include a selection of international and regional specialities. We cater for most dietary requirements, please ensure you advise our sales team when making the booking.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    14 nights on board a 5-star ship

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • Fully Guided

    The services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and concierge

  • International Travel

    Return flights & transfers

  • Meals

    All meals except lunch on day six

  • Morning/afternoon tea and coffee

  • All visits and excursions as mentioned

  • Airport transfers

  • Coach travel as mentioned

  • Travel to and from port of embarkation

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuity

  • Insurance

Check out our Q&As

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    For cruises, the minimum age limit is 12 years old at the date of departure. We reserve the right to limit the number of children on any particular cruise.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Return flights & transfers

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this Operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome

21-May-2021

Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Trustpilot
Barry, GB  

Rhine Christmas markets cruise

09-Dec-2019

Just completed a 5 day trip on the Rhine. Our first river cruise and a tester for future cruises. The boat was well appointed and the cabin and public areas were spotlessly clean. The staff were attentive and contributed to the very relaxed atmosphere on the boat. The quality of the food surpassed that which we have experiened on sea cruises in recent years. I have written little because it was a faultless experience. We have booked a further cruise (in France) on the basis of our experience.

Trustpilot
Joan Yarker (Google Reviewer)  

My first cruise and I...

23-Sep-2023

My first cruise and I couldn’t have done better than my recent Seine River cruise. Carmen the tour organiser was excellent and always willing to go the extra mile to sort out any problems. The crew were amazing , friendly and helpful, the captain was great when explaining the controls on the bridge. Everything was very clean, food truly delicious and the pianist a delight and I was able to indulge my passion for dancing. My fellow guests were a delight and I made many new friends. Thank you Riviera

Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Rob Steele (Google Reviewer)  

My 3rd Riviera trip within...

16-Feb-2024

My 3rd Riviera trip within a year and I wasn't disappointed 😁 This time it was https://www.rivieratravel.co.uk/escorted-tours/southern-india-coastal-route-solo-travellers This trip, although not cheap, it really offers exceptional value for money as you see a lot of Tamil Nadu and Kerela, stay in fantastic hotels, excellent breakfasts every day as well as some lunches and dinners also included. George Bareham, our "Tour Manager" was brilliant, very professional, but also friendly and diligent. Satheeshan, our local guide was helpful and picked me up antibiotics when I got ill, he was a nice chap, if (for my taste) went on a bit and used 20 words when 1 would suffice. Mr Sweeny, our coach driver was fantastic,really professional and an exceptionally good driver. His assistant, Murgon wad a delight, always smiling and attentive. This is a full on trip, early morning starts and quite a packed itinerary, but still leaving time to laze around some brilliant hotel swimming pools. Only a couple of suggestions to improve the holiday. More shopping time in Cochin and change carriers from Etihad who, unfortunately aren't the excellent airline they used to be. But, will I use Riviera Travel again - Yes 😁

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Dates & Availability

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Sep 16, 2024 - Sep 30, 2024
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Sep 16, 2025 - Sep 30, 2025
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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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