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Credit: TUI River Cruises

New TUI River Cruises ship TUI Isla sets sail for the first time - what's onboard?

Author: Harriet Mallinson

Published on:

Updated on:

TUI River Cruises today celebrates the maiden voyage of brand new cruise ship TUI Isla as the vessel set sail down the Rhine. This is what guests can expect onboard.

TUI Isla is the latest ship to join the TUI River Cruises fleet and was christened earlier this week.

Today she sails her first-ever itinerary, Rhine Explorer, setting off from Basel, Switzerland.

TUI Isla will cruise to Strasbourg, France and then onto some of Germany’s well-known cities such as Rudesheim, Koblenz and Cologne before finishing her itinerary in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Cruise TUI UK & I said: “We’re delighted to complete our TUI River Cruises fleet with TUI Isla setting sail."

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He went on: "Her addition allows us to visit ports of call and destinations we haven’t been to before. We’ve had some incredible feedback from guests sailing onboard TUI Maya and TUI Skyla since they launched last year so we’re thrilled to be able to offer even more itineraries to our guests.

“TUI Isla is our third ship, completing the TUI River Cruises line up so we’re pleased we can operate fully as a river cruise line, and welcome new and returning customers onboard.”

- READ MORE: TUI Maya review: What's it like onboard TUI's first ship? -

The Godmother of the ships is Courtney Smith, a TUI retail homeworker who has been with TUI for five years. Smith pushed the button for the traditional bottle smash at the ship's christening ceremony on March 28.

“I am honoured to be TUI Isla's Godmother," said the Godmother. "It’s amazing to finally be able to christen her, and the fact she is the final ship of the fleet makes it really special.

So, what can passengers sailing on the new TUI River Cruises ship expect?

TUI Isla: Go to the Club Lounge for coffee and cocktails amidst plush purple chairs and brass fittings. Credit: TUI River Cruises

TUI Isla Cabins

There are seven different types of cabins on this ship. All TUI Isla cabins come with air-conditioning, a hairdryer, a flatscreen TV, a safe and tea and coffee making facilities. Whats more, they’re all on the outside of the ship, with a porthole, window or French balcony.

Standard Cabin: These measure up at 12m² and come with a desk and a fixed double bed. You can also expect tea and coffee-making facilities, a Smart TV, and Molton Brown toiletries.

Superior Cabin: These come with extra space in a 15m² superior cabin. They line up a king-size bed – which can be converted into two singles – along with a large dressing table and a lounge chair with a drinks table. You can also expect tea and coffee-making facilities, a Smart TV, and Molton Brown toiletries. There’s a fridge, too, as well as a two large porthole windows.

French Balcony Cabin: These cabins are the same size as all the standard cabins, at 12m², but they come with the added bonus of a French balcony. Floor-to-ceiling doors also make the views unmissable. Plus, there’s a desk and a fixed double bed. You can also expect tea and coffee-making facilities, a Smart TV, and Molton Brown toiletries.

- READ MORE: How to pick a river cruise cabin -

Superior French Balcony Cabin: These cabins line up a king-size bed, which can be made into two singles, along with a large dressing table and a lounge chair with a drinks table. They’re 15m², with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that offer top-notch views of the river. You can also expect tea and coffee-making facilities, a Smart TV, a fridge, and Molton Brown toiletries.

French Balcony Suite Cabin: At 24m², these are a lot bigger than other cabins, giving you extra space for a sofa, a coffee table, a fridge, a dressing area, and a larger bathroom with a rainfall shower. There's a desk and a king-size bed, which can be converted into two singles. Expect perks such as an amenities kit packed with Molton Brown toiletries to take home and use of a bathrobe and slippers plus an included continental breakfast in bed each morning. There’s also a Smart TV and USB ports.

Single Cabin: These single cabins are the same size as standard cabins at 12m² but instead of a double bed, there's a single, as well as a desk and lounge chair.

French Balcony Single Cabin: Similar to standard single cabins but with a French balcony, complemented by floor-to-ceiling glass doors. That’s on top of a single bed, a desk and a lounge chair.

French Balcony Suite Cabins come with sofa, a coffee table, a fridge, a dressing area, and a larger bathroom plus rainfall shower. Credit: TUI River Cruises

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TUI Isla dining

There are two restaurants on TUI Isla - Verdastro and Bistro. Both serve buffet breakfasts and à la carte meals for lunch and dinner. Barbecues are also sometimes on the top deck where you'll find sunbeds, tables and chairs.

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

Verdastro

Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu changes daily, with fresh, seasonal food sourced from local suppliers. For dinner, there’s always a meat, fish, vegetarian and pasta dish. Guests can pick from tables for two, four or six.

Bistro

Bistro, the second restaurant, is more casual and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu changes halfway through the sailing and an afternoon tea buffet is hosted once per cruise.

TUI Isla: Bistro, the second restaurant, is more casual and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Credit: TUI River Cruises

TUI Isla Entertainment

The ship has two main entertainment venues where you can enjoy a drink, watch comedians or take part in a quiz.

Observatory

Here guests will find widescreen windows for admiring the panoramic views as well as an outdoor terrace – a sheltered spot complete with tables and chairs.

The Observatory hosts happy hour every evening between 6.30-7.30pm, with cheap drinks and free canapés. The venues offers nightly entertainment, ranging from talented musicians and quizzes to international and local guest acts.

- READ MORE: How to pick the river cruise line that’s right for you -

Club Lounge

Come here for coffee and cocktails amidst plush purple chairs, brass fittings, mirrored tables and a roaring digital fireplace, before heading to one of the restaurants.

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