Tui River Cruises Is Ready To Set Sail: Christmas Markets and New Year itineraries from 26 November 2020 and 2021 programme from April
Europe’s leading travel company, TUI, has begun a 100-day countdown to the launch of its newest venture TUI River Cruises. The river ships will set sail from Thursday 26 November with Christmas and New Year itineraries and a full programme from April 2021.
Following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s removal of the travel ban for river cruises, final preparations are now underway and the first images of the newly refurbished adult only ships are revealed today and new excursions for this winter announced.
Ahead of its first sailings, the new river cruise line is implementing a number of new health and safety measures to protect both customers and employees, whilst delivering the brilliant experiences that TUI is known for. These measures include:
• Transfer buses will be regularly deep-cleaned between journeys, hand sanitiser will available for passengers. Staff will wear protective equipment and social distancing will be encouraged where possible.
• Passengers will be asked to fill in a health questionnaire whilst on their transfer to the ship and will have their temperature checked before boarding.
• Extra cleaning measures in place around the ships.
• Both restaurants are already waiter-service for lunch and dinner. At breakfast, the restaurants have an a la carte menu as well as a small buffet offering where customers can choose from either/both. The teams on board will assist customers wishing to use the buffet.
• Excursion group sizes will be smaller to help with social distancing and to give customers maximum flexibility they can cancel any excursions 48 hours in advance if they change their minds
• Customers will need to wear face masks on their flights, in airports and they may be asked to wear them on transfers and onboard the ships
All three ships, TUI Isla, TUI Maya and TUI Skyla went through a major multi-million-pound makeover, taking 12 to 18 weeks to transform them into stylish and comfortable floating boutique hotels.
Customers will have the choice of two restaurants both complete with floor to ceiling views of the river, – Verdastro, an elegant fine dining experience, and Bistro, a more casual scene. Two brand new bars will also be onboard, the Observatory with 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. Customers can choose from a selection of local wines during lunch and dinner as part of the full board plus board basis. In addition, cruisers can also purchase local wines on-shore which the waiter can serve to them during their meals with no corkage charge.
There is a choice of seven cabin types per ship with three cabins for solo travellers. As part of a the river cruise lines sustainability initative, all cabin carpets have been made from recylced fishing nets giving them a unique, subtle finish. For those wanting a more luxurious trip, there are 36 suites across the three ships. All suites come with walk in wardobes, double French balconies and spacious bathrooms.
All 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.
The river cruise line offers 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. TUI Isla will sail three festive Christmas itineraries including Mistletoe & Rhine, Yuletide Wonders and Rhine Gems throughout November and December. Whilst TUI Skyla and TUI Maya will be preparing to set sail in April 2021 from Frankfurt and Budapest.
To add a little more luxury to winter sailings, a new Little Extras Package has been introduced costing £35 per cabin. The package 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.
Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Cruise for TUI UK &I 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.”
“First sailings are already proving popular and we’re looking forward to welcoming our first guests onboard TUI Isla in 100 days’ time. Our teams are working really hard behind the scenes to ensure customers can cruise with confidence and enjoy their holiday with us.”