European river cruise operator Riviera Travel is launching four new ships in 2017 and a fifth ship in the spring 2018, doubling its size. The all-suite MS Emily Brontë, MS Thomas Hardy, MS Oscar Wilde and MS Robert Burns will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, as well as tributaries, while the Douro Elegance will sail the Douro River.
“We’re thrilled to be launching five new five-star ships over the next year as we expand into the U.S. market,” said Jana Tvedt, Vice President at Riviera Travel’s U.S. national sales office. “These new ships will allow us to meet growing demand for our European river cruises and represent a significant increase when compared to the 13 ordered this year by Cruise Lines International Association cruise line members.”
Specifications and highlights of the new ships:
MS Emily Brontë, MS Thomas Hardy, MS Oscar Wilde and MS Robert Burns:
- 88 suites
- 169 guests, 44 crew
- 442.9 feet
- Christenings: Brontë and Hardy, Feb. 24, 2017; Wilde, August 2017; Burns, spring 2018.
- Rivers: Rhine, Main and Danube, as well as tributaries (Moselle and Netherlands waterways)
Highlights: The Emily Brontë, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde and Robert Burns are all-suite ships. Suites are a minimum of 183 square feet with upgrades available to Superior and Deluxe accommodations. Diamond and Ruby Deck suites bring the French balcony inside with stunning views from panoramic floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass windows. A second restaurant on each ship, the Bistro, offers a more casual dining experience, featuring an open kitchen where the chef presents signature dishes to a small number of diners from menus that vary according to the season. When the weather allows, the panoramic windows may be fully opened on to the terrace to allow a delightful al fresco dining experience.
MS Douro Elegance:
- 63 cabins/suites
- 126 guests, 36 crew
- 262.5 feet
- Christening: March 25, 2017
- River: Douro
Highlights: The Douro Elegance is constructed with the latest technology and a strong environmental ethic in mind, purpose-built to fit the unique size limitations of the Douro’s five locks. Upper and Middle Deck cabins and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows that slide down halfway so you can watch the river scenery drift past; Deluxe and Superior Suites also include Juliet balconies. At the christening for the Douro Elegance, builder Douro Azul named English soul and R&B singer-songwriter Joss Stone godmother for the ship.