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TUI River Cruises has made the shortlist for the 2022 Wave Awards. Credit: TUI River Cruises

Set sail with TUI River Cruises

Author: Kaye Holland

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Reasons to book a TUI River Cruise soon add up.

Want to explore the fascinating and varied continent that is Europe? A river cruise could be the way to go.

A cruise along one of Europe’s longest and most beautiful rivers – be it the Danube, Main, Rhine, Moselle, or Dutch & Belgian Waterways – ticks off time-warped villages and cosmopolitan cities, all while only unpacking once.

Searching for a reputed river cruise company? Allow us to introduce you to TUI River Cruises. TUI, the UK’s largest travel company, launched its newest venture – take a bow TUI River Cruises – in August 2021, following a pause due to the pandemic.

Three vessels – TUI Maya, TUI Isla, and TUI Skyla – make up TUI River Cruises’ fleet. The ships have been transformed with multi-million-pound makeovers and now feature two bars, two restaurants (plus an al fresco barbecue spot on some itineraries), and deck areas designed to allow for relaxing, wellness, and more strenuous activity – meaning there really is something for everyone.

-READ MORE: Maiden voyage: TUI Discovery-

The new river cruise line combines the stand-out service that the travel giant is known for along with culture-packed itineraries encompassing big-name cities like Vienna and Budapest as well as smaller hidden gems (Boppard and Rudesheim, anyone?)

Here are 11 reasons to set sail with TUI River Cruises this year.

TUI River Cruises has spent millions refurbishing the fleet. Here's a lounge on board TUI Maya.Credit: TUI Cruises.

A trusted expert
As the name suggests, TUI River Cruises is part of TUI, one of the world's leading travel companies, so you know you’re in good hands.

Passengers booking a TUI river cruise can look forward to the first-class service (there’s one crew member for every four guests) you’d expect from TUI as well as memorable experiences, nightly entertainment, and an array of restaurants and lounges.

-READ MORE: TUI River Cruises reveals 2023 summer sailings -

Shore thing
Love exploring? You’ll love TUI River Cruises. The new line offers an array of shore experiences to choose from – we’re talking an average of 12 per itinerary – from guided walking tours to wine-tasting workshops and more.

Even better? Every seven nights, guests receive a £120 shore experience voucher to spend on an excursion of their choice. Just so you know, shore experience credit is included on sailings departing before winter 2023.

Think of TUI ships as floating hotels. Credit: TUI Cruises.

Sophisticated ships
Think of TUI River Cruises' three ships as floating hotels with their golds, pastels, and light-wood interiors, complemented with panoramic windows throughout. But it’s not a case of all style and no substance: Maya, Isla, and Skyla also feature top-notch facilities.

You’ll find a cornucopia of lounges and restaurants for sipping cocktails or tucking into an à la carte meal. Worried about the extra calories you’re consuming? Practice pilates on deck before taking in the scenery from the top deck and socialising with new friends.

-READ MORE: New TUI River Cruises ship TUI Isla sets sail for the first time-

Sweet dreams
TUI River Cruises’ stylish and well-equipped cabins and suites create the perfect environment in which to unwind and recharge. There are no inside cabins on any of the ships so stellar views are guaranteed.

Check in to a cabin with a porthole, window, or French balcony and admire the riverside views together with welcome touches such as air-conditioning, hairdryer, flat-screen television, safe, and tea and coffee making facilities.

Say hello to TUI Isla, one of TUI River Cruises' three beautiful ships. Credit: TUI River Cruises.

A modern approach
Not a fan of old-fashioned fixed dining arrangements? We hear you. Happily, there are no set dining times or seating plans onboard Maya, Isla, and Skyla – allowing passengers to dine where, when and with whom they wish.

And because the ships are smaller than ocean liners, you can look forward to a more relaxed pace, with plenty of time to take in a new destination.

-READ MORE: TUI River Cruises & Marella Cruises launch winter 2022 sale-

Oodles of space
Pleasingly – in fact, essential in these post-Covid times – there’s plenty of space onboard Maya, Isla, and Skyla. There’s a maximum of 155 guests on board any sailing. As such, you can really get to know your fellow passengers throughout the week, while also having your own space.

What’s more, for those of us who prefer a child-free cruise, all of TUI’s ships are adults-only so you can expect a grown-up atmosphere. Huzzah.

A hassle-free holiday
Arguably the biggest revelation when it comes to booking a TUI River Cruise is this: it’s genuinely a holiday. All you have to do is get yourself to the airport in order to catch your flight to your embarkation port – TUI takes care of everything else. Flights? Check. A speedy check-in? Consider it done. Seamless transfers freeing up more time to discover a new destination? Sorted.

-READ MORE: Tui reveals most popular cruise destinations -

Affordability
A TUI River Cruise represents exceptional value. All meals with drinks are included (think tea, coffee, and juices with breakfast and soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner) while anyone bringing local wine back on board from a day’s tasting ashore can do so with no corkage charge. Of course, if you do fancy treating yourself to a killer cocktail (you are on your hols after all) you can always pay as you go.

Tips and service fees are taken care of too, and you’ll also enjoy £120 (per person) of experience credit across the seven days of your TUI River Cruise to use on the tours of your choice. Whether you want to go sightseeing with a local expert, sample wines of the region, or set out on a guided bike ride, the choice is always yours. Setting sail for a fortnight? Take advantage of £240 of experience credit on 14-night sailings!

TUI cruises will take you to see the iconic Budapest parliament building. Credit: Kafkadesk.

Overnight stays and late departures on some itineraries
As part of their ‘destination immersion’ philosophy, TUI River Cruises offers overnight stays in cities such as Vienna, Amsterdam, and Budapest so that passengers can get a proper feel for the destination.

-READ MORE: Marella Cruises announces Spain & Greece cruise holidays -

You can also look forward to leisurely daytime sailings (itinerary dependent) allowing you to view the constantly changing river landscapes – think rural vistas, castles, cathedrals, and grand architecture – for Europe’s rivers are never less than scenic.

Cruise with confidence
TUI’s River Cruise Promise means the ship will only sail if TUI can guarantee the cruise will go ahead without significant changes – and there will always be 24/7 support on standby.

Meanwhile, to help maintain social distancing in these pandemic-era times, the layouts of the restaurants and bars onboard have been adapted to allow for sensible social distancing. Added to this, each ship is regularly deep-cleaned to exemplary new hygiene standards allowing you to set sail in the knowledge that you are, in likelihood, safer at sea than on land.

Factor in Atol protection, free amends, help with testing and your money back in just 14 days should, heaven forbid, TUI be forced to cancel the cruise, and peace of mind is guaranteed.

Deck life. Credit: TUI River Cruises

Green credentials
Maya, Isla, and Skyla have gone green. Make no mistake: TUI River Cruises has adopted a number of sustainable measures, including cutting down on single-use plastics (the river line provides passengers with reusable water bottles in cabins) and using local produce as much as possible in restaurants. Elsewhere cabin carpets are made from recycled fishing nets and cruise news and updates onboard are now available digitally on TUI’s Navigate app, rather than in paper form.

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