Riviera Rose and Riviera Radiance are Riviera Travel's two new ships for 2025. Credit: Riviera Travel

Everything you need to know about Riviera Travel's two new ships for 2025

Author: Sarah Riches

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Riviera Travel is expanding its fleet of river vessels with the launch of two new ships in 2025. Sarah Riches takes a sneak peek

Terraced vineyards and hilltop forts are just some of the charms lining the banks of the Danube and Douro.

Yet these great rivers offer unexpected delights, too – such as the chance to hear nightingales warble, inhale the fragrance of orange groves and spot beavers busy making dams.

If you’ve always dreamed of completing a grand tour of Europe, now you can do it in style aboard two new ships – Riviera Radiance and Riviera Rose – which are the first in Riviera Travel’s fleet to bear the company name.

Premium accommodation on the new ship will be Riviera’s largest yet. Credit: Riviera Travel

Riviera Radiance

Launching in March 2025, the 178-guest Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube, which winds 2,850km southeast from Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea.

Meandering through 10 countries, this is Europe’s second longest river – only Russia’s Volga is longer – with highlights including the old town of Linz, with its pastel houses as colourful as Love Hearts; Budapest’s Gothic cathedral and Belgrade’s lively waterside cafés.

After an afternoon exploring, you can rejuvenate in the spa or fitness room, sip drinks in the lounge or take a dip in the pool on the sundeck.

When it’s time for dinner, you can take your pick from the ship’s main restaurant or speciality venues Riverview Kitchen – where you can watch the chefs at work – and Mosaic, a new concept serving meat and fish delicacies from a market menu, alongside vegetarian and vegan dishes from a garden menu.

Premium accommodation on the new ship will be Riviera’s largest yet. At 32sqm, the four Grand Suites will feature a separate lounge and outdoor seating.

Six voyages in 2025 include a seven-night Blue Danube sailing on 31 March and 3 November.

Designed for solo travellers, this will call at Vienna, Durnstein, Budapest and Bratislava. The same itinerary will depart between April and October for couples and families.

Budapest is a stand-out river cruise destination. Credit: Shutterstock

A 14-night Budapest to the Black Sea cruise, meanwhile, will depart in May, June and September.

As well as guided tours of the Mesolithic site Lepenski Vir in Serbia, Bulgarian highlights include Veliko Tarnovo city, Arbanassi village, the Unesco- listed rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo and sandstone formations known as the Belogradchik Rocks.

During the festive season, the Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets itinerary gives you five nights to hunt for stocking-fillers in Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava.

The seven-night Christmas on the Danube cruise is a more relaxed affair, departing on 21 December for Bratislava, the Wachau Valley, Melk, Salzburg, Linz, Vienna and Budapest.

You can also ring in 2026 with New Year on the Danube – a five-night sailing from 29 December, with New Year’s Eve in Vienna and calls at Budapest and Bratislava.

Riviera Rose

Launching in April 2025, the 114-guest Riviera Rose will operate on the Douro, which stretches 897km from the Spanish Picos de Urbion mountain range to the Portuguese city of Porto.

Weaving through the Douro Valley, the ship will sail past terracotta-tiled mansions, whitewashed villas and enchanting meadows. Scan the horizon and you may spot golden eagles soaring over olive groves, or even the zebra- striped mohican of a hoopoe.

Onboard, unwind in the fitness room, take a dip in the pool on the sundeck or order cocktails in the bar and lounge before dinner.

Riviera Rose will have 57 staterooms (cabins) across three decks, including four Balcony Suites with outside seating. Standard staterooms will feature French balconies with sliding doors and an indoor seating area.

The ship will have 30 departures, with the first setting sail on 1 April 2025. Its seven-night Highlights of the Douro Valley & Salamanca itinerary will feature tours of Porto’s old town, Mateus Palace and Castelo Rodrigo’s Gothic fort, as well as the Spanish Renaissance city of Salamanca – now a Unesco world heritage site – and tastings from the region’s vineyards.

Read more about Riviera Travel

About Sarah Riches

After a five-year stint living in Asia, Sarah was inspired to become a travel journalist. Sarah has freelanced for Condé Nast Traveller and National Geographic Traveller and is the author of London Almanac (2010) and Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to British Customs & Culture (2024). She was also the deputy editor of Time Out Abu Dhabi, Where London and London Planner, digital editor of Wanderlust – the UK’s oldest travel magazine.