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The Ultimate River Cruise Experience...



Everyone is raving about River Cruising so I am pleased to say I was lucky enough to experience this for myself at the CLIA Riverview Conference Vienna 2023.

I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5 (at a ridiculous hour I must add!) and met up with 9 MMT colleagues, and yes from minute one, I knew the trip would be a great success. We checked smoothly into our British Airways flight and got to know "The Vienna 10" over breakfast. We arrived in Vienna and spent the afternoon at the Conference and had a fantastic insight into life on a River Cruise.


Crammed full of information, we were taken to our host ship for the first night, TUI MAYA. There was a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere on board and a comfortable home-from-home feel. The decor was simple and complimented an Adult only ship, catering for a maximum of 155 guests. All TUI River ships are offered on a full board basis, have two restaurants, a small Wellness Area and offer entertainment during the day and every evening.


We settled into our cabins and then headed for a typical Gala Evening dinner. We enjoyed a delicious 4-course meal and our glasses were never empty, thanks to the excellent service from the friendly staff. After a relaxing time in the bar, we headed off for a comfortable sleep before another busy, exciting day.

Day two, again a bright and early morning, a 'spoilt for choice' breakfast and a brisk walk along the Danube to the Trade Fair. All the River Cruise Trade teams were there, full of enthusiasm and giving us the best opportunity to know and digest what River Cruising has to offer.


This followed with a fabulous lunch on board Avalon Envision, and what a ship this was! The food and overall ambience of this ship were simply incredible. An insight into the fabulous cuisine, again paired with wine to suit all tastes. Next was AMA Viola, with its beautiful sundeck with pool and swim-up bar, a state-of-the-art gym and exquisite decor, all on offer with the new "Experience Colombia" on its itinerary.


So, after viewing some of the beauty of the Danube from the water we then headed off into the beautiful city of Vienna on a Big Bus Tour. The wonderful whistle-stop tour of this city was full of history and amazing architecture which sang from the rooftops. Home to the world-famous Sacher Torte cake and quaint Cafes to sit and watch the world go by... What more could you wish for?

On our return to the water's edge, we then checked into our next host ship for the night and how lucky was I to be wining and dining on the Scenic Jasper! A welcome on board followed by a freshen-up in our beautiful Balcony Suite, complete with a butler! Followed by an incredible meal complimented with delicate wine for all tastes. Nothing was too much trouble for the incredibly friendly and gracious staff.


Dinner was a lavish relaxed affair. A fantastic menu serving local cuisine to immerse you into the country you are visiting and the always available salmon, chicken dishes and steak! After-dinner drinks and cocktails flowed into the night along with dancing to a local band that had been invited onto the ship. Those onboard electric bikes for customer use are a definite must-do to burn off those calories the next day!

A fantastic atmosphere, one in which I would have liked to spend more time in! For one of the largest vessels on the river, the personal touch to the 169 passengers on board was second to none. Breakfast the following morning was absolutely amazing, everything was freshly cooked. Complete with Moet, what more could you wish for? The All-Inclusive offering certainly helped you go "overboard"!

Very sad to say goodbye to Scenic Jasper, we then boarded again onto the Avalon Envision with a very welcoming reception, followed by a tour of this superb ship with some of the largest suites on the river, this gorgeous ship with signature window facing "beds with a view" is now very much on my bucket list!


I was feeling very spoilt for choice but sadly had a plane to catch! We transferred to the airport having had the most amazing opportunities and left with such lovely memories of river cruising. This was my first time on a River ship and it certainly didn't disappoint. I left feeling inspired with a wide knowledge base and a great understanding of what River Cruising has to offer.

I will certainly be going back for more!

It is true to say "There is a River Cruise for Everyone!"




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