Tui River Cruises will soon start constructing its first new-build ship. Credit: TUI River Cruises

TUI River Cruises announces first new-build ship

Author: Kaye Holland

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TUI River Cruises has commissioned its first new-build river ship which will operate Portugal’s Douro River from 2025

Tui Alma will become the fifth ship in the line’s fleet and will homeport in Porto. Packages go on sale tomorrow (December 14).

Alma – which means ‘soul’ in Portuguese – will be purpose-built for the Douro, which is smaller than most European rivers, with trips focusing on daytime sailing.

The vessel will offer seven-night trips sailing a five-location itinerary for up to 123 passengers. Departing from Porto on a round-trip, Tui Alma will call at Entre-os-Rios, Peso de Regua, Vega de Terron, and Barca d’Alva.

Like its sister ships, Tui Isla, Tui Maya, and Tui Skyla, Tui Alma will be 'full board plus’ as standard with the option for guests to upgrade to all-inclusive. Fares start at £1,499 per person for a deck one standard cabin, with flights from Gatwick in October 2025.

Construction on Tui Alma is scheduled to begin early in 2024.

The line’s managing director specialist business, Chris Logan, said: “This is a huge moment for TUI River Cruises and a defining moment in our journey. Given we only launched back in 2021 it’s a testament to the response of our customers that we’re able to deliver a newbuild ship.

"We’re so excited to create something amazing for our guests. We’re designing the ship with true flexibility and choice in mind by making spaces different from day to night to allow the customer a choice of how to spend their day/evening onboard.”

The news coincides with Tui River Cruises going on sale for summer 2025, which features 21 itineraries across 12 countries.

There are three new itineraries: a five-night Windmills & Waterways in April 2025 in the Netherlands, for Keukenho Gardens, plus historic Hoorn as a new port of call.

Also new is Sail the Southern Rhine, a six-night trip visiting Germany and Switzerland, and Danube Gems – a seven-night sailing that calls at some smaller ports. TUI Maya and TUI Skyla will sail on the Danube while TUI Isla will operate on the Main, Moselle, and the Rhine, all offering various durations from three-night to 15-night sailings.

Head of river cruises, Katy Berzins, added: “We’re so excited that Tui River Cruises are expanding. We’ve gone from the European waterways of the Rhine, Danube, Main, and Moselle to our recently announced sailings on the Nile and now we get to offer our customers the chance to experience the Douro.”

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]