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Riviera River Cruises Review | What Makes Riviera Different? | What We Like About Riviera​

Courtesy of Riviera

Our Rating

5/5

Founded in the UK as Riviera TravelRiviera River Cruises has three decades worth of experience as a tour operator, and rave accolades from guests for its river cruise product.

What We Like

What We Like About Riviera

Founded more than 30 years ago in the UK as Riviera Travel, Riviera River Cruises has recently started targeting English-speaking guests from the United States and Canada for its value-priced river cruise offerings in Europe.

The company has a fleet of 12 vessels on the rivers of Europe, with more on the way. Unlike other river cruise lines, Riviera offers a price-point that is substantially lower than most of its competitors. It does this by “unbundling” some features, like inclusive drinks. You’ll pay extra for things like bottled water and beer, wine and spirits, but Riviera believes the overall cost savings justify the add-on charges by making river cruising accessible to a wider swath of people who might be put off by the multi-thousand-dollar-fares charged by other lines.

For those who want to add a touch of all-inclusivity to their Riviera experience, the company is offers drink packages that start at roughly $129 per person for an average weeklong voyage, and $259 for longer voyages. This adds draft and non-alcoholic beer, red and white house wine, bottled water, soft drinks, and juices on a complimentary basis to lunches and dinners served onboard. Spirits, or drinks purchased outside mealtime, come at an additional but reasonable cost.

robert burns bar menu

Riviera also offers some unique extras aboard its ships, including two dining venues aboard most ships, luxury toiletries from Crabtree & EvelynL’Occitane or Rituals (depending on the ship), onboard fitness centers, and even steam rooms and saunas aboard select vessels. Other niceties – like the tea and coffee-making facilities included in every cabin – reveal the line’s British heritage.

Perhaps one Riviera’s strongest features, however, is just how solo-traveller-friendly the line is. Every ship in the fleet offers cabins that can be booked, depending on availability, for little to no solo traveller supplement.

The Best Line For Solo Travelers

Not only does Riviera hold between four and six solo cabins for every single one of its departures, but it also offers a number of solo only itineraries. This means that there is no single supplement on any cabin and that all of those onboard are rooming alone. 

Riviera’s Solo River Cruise itineraries include: 

Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch Bulbfields – 4-nights roundtrip Amsterdam  

The Seine, Paris & Normandy – 7-nights roundtrip Paris

Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg – 7-nights roundtrip Cologne 

Burgundy, the River Rhône & Provence – 7-nights from Lyon to Avignon 

Rhine & Moselle – 7-nights roundtrip Cologne 

The Blue Danube – 7-nights roundtrip Budapest 

The Douro, Porto & Salamanca – 7-nights roundtrip Porto  

Rhine Cruise To Switzerland – 7-nights from Basel to Cologne 

River Cruise Guarantee

Worried that you’ll overpay for your river cruise? Or that you’ll be unhappy on board? Riviera says they’re confident that you’ll experience neither of those unpleasant situations, and they’re backing it with guarantees. If you find the same vacation at a lower price Riviera will refund the difference. Riviera’s guests are also protected by the company’s happiness guarantee. If a guest isn’t satisfied by the second day of their cruise, Riviera will assist in bringing them home with a full refund. Note that the cost of air is not included. The thinking is that your flights can be rescheduled, or you can spend time in Europe before returning home on your scheduled flight, using the full refund. There are terms and conditions so be sure to read the fine print

Where Riviera Cruises

Currently, Riviera River Cruises offers river journeys through Europe on the Danube, Douro, Main, Moselle, Rhine, Rhone and Seine rivers. The company also offers small ship ocean cruises in the Adriatic. 

The shortest itinerary offered by Riviera River Cruises is the five-day “Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch Bulbfields” voyages in April, while the longest itinerary currently on offer is the 15-day “Cruise the Heart of Europe” voyage from Vienna to Budapest. Another 15-day itinerary, “Gems of Eastern Europe”, sails roundtrip from Budapest, Hungary to the Black Sea and the Lower Danube.

The Riviera River Cruises Fleet

The Riviera River Cruises fleet is primarily made up of newer river cruise vessels carrying between 126 and 169 guests. 

All Riviera River Cruises vessels have a certain number of staterooms that are available to solo travellers with no single supplement, subject to availability. These are usually a lower-category stateroom, but the removal of the single supplement is a huge bonus to travellers wishing to take a solo river cruise journey.

Staterooms and Suites are stocked with luxury toiletries, and all rooms have beds that can be set up as either two twins or one queen. Owing to Riviera’s English origins, tea and coffee-making facilities are present in all accommodations across the fleet.

While there are some differences between the ships of the Riviera fleet in terms of size and layout, all feature classic, elegant décor; 24-hour tea and coffee stations; spacious sun decks; and two dining venues: a traditional restaurant and a more casual, stern-facing bistro that serves up light fare throughout the day.