As river cruises are thankfully back on the agenda following the FCO’s removal of the travel ban, Tui River Cruises has revealed the final images of its newly-refurbished cruise ships ahead of their launch this November.

The river cruise line has begun the exciting 100-day countdown until the launch of its new river ships, which will set sail from Thursday 26 November with Christmas and New Year itineraries and a full programme from April 2021.

Tui River Cruises: ship exterior

The three ships within the fleet, Tui Isla, Tui Maya and Tui Skyla, have undergone a major multi-million-pound makeover and judging from the images revealed by Tui, the money has certainly not gone to waste.

According to the cruise line, it has taken 12 to 18 weeks to transform the ships into ‘stylish floating boutique hotels’. Evidently no expense has been spared on the ships’ interiors, featuring a sleek and contemporary decor with elegant bejewelled tones and luxurious furnishings.

Guests will have their pick of two restaurants on board, both complete with floor to ceiling views of the river – Verdastro, an elegant fine dining experience, and Bistro, a more casual scene.

Tui River Cruises: observatory Tui Skyla

In terms of watering holes, two brand new bars will also be on board, including the Observatory which features glass sliding doors opening out to the terrace and the Club Lounge, a relaxing coffee and cocktail bar with a digital fireplace and signature scent.

Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to the accommodation, with a choice seven cabin types per ship with three cabins for solo travellers. For those wanting a more luxurious experience, there are 36 suites across the three ships, featuring walk-in wardrobes, double French balconies and spacious bathrooms.

Tui river cruises: french balcony suite cabin

Tui River Cruises is offering 32 itineraries along the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main and Dutch and Belgian waterways, with the added flexibility of three to 14-night sailings for those wanting a short break or those opting for a longer getaway.

The river cruise line has announced that passengers will receive a £120 credit per seven-day itinerary to use towards shore excursions and the addition of 12 new winter excursions expands the total on offer to 150.

The new additions include visits to Christmas markets and Christmas themed city walking tours, guaranteeing more choice when it comes to exploring.

Tui Isla will sail three festive Christmas itineraries including ‘Mistletoe & Rhine’, ‘Yuletide Wonders’ and ‘Rhine Gems’ throughout November and December.

Tui River Cruises: Skyla observatory terrace

Meanwhile, Tui Skyla and Tui Maya will set sail in April 2021 from Frankfurt and Budapest.

To add a little festive cheer to passengers’ winter sailings, Tui has introduced a new ‘Little Extras Package’ costing £35 per cabin, which includes extras such as priority check-in, a small group ship tour, welcome prosecco and chocolates, a personalised card from the captain, one continental breakfast in bed and a late cabin check-out.

Tui UK and Ireland managing director of cruise, Chris Hackney, said: “Following the change in government advice on river cruising, holidaymakers now have the chance to explore Europe from its rivers and waterways.

“We’re working hard to get ready for our first sailings and with so much to discover on a river cruise, we’ve put exploration at the heart of our offer. Customers will disembark from their ship with picturesque landmarks only a stroll away.

“Our excursions programme is outstanding and customers can make the most of them with a £120 excursion credit per seven-day itinerary on us.”

Ahead of its first sailings, Tui has followed in the river cruise industry’s footsteps and implemented a number of new Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

Tui river cruises: Skyla restaurant

Measures include a pre-boarding medical questionnaire and temperature screenings for all passengers; extra cleaning measures around the ships smaller excursion group sizes to aid social distancing; and mandatory face maks for customers on flights, airports, on transfers and onboard ships.

Fortunately, both restaurants on board Tui’s ships already have waiter service for lunch and dinner and passengers will be pleased to learn buffet service hasn’t been removed altogether, with it being offered at breakfast with the assistance of the crew. A breakfast a la carte option will also be available should guests prefer.

Visit tui.co.uk/destinations/info/river-cruise-with-confidence for more information on Tui River Cruises.