*Updated as of 24/04/2019*
It has just been announced that Tui is to launch into the river cruise market with three of its own ships in Summer 2020.
Cruisers can expect three 155-passenger vessels to sail seven-night itineraries along the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle.
The ships will sail under Tui River Cruises, offering adult-only cruises with tips and service charges to be included just like sister brand Marella Cruises.
Offering 19 itineraries to go on sale on April 25th, the lead-in price for a seven-night sailing is £1,099.
The ships will be named Tui Maya, Tui Isla and Tui Skyla, all after their close association with water and rivers.
All three will be renamed and refitted after they move over to Tui River Cruises from current operators Werner-Tours and Reisebüro Mittelthurgau Fluss, in October.
He also stated the new river programme will be sold only in the UK market and hinted at the prospect of more ships being added to its three-vessel fleet.
“This is just the start for us. In terms of how big we get it depends on appetite at this stage – we have just launched.
But there is an opportunity for us on the main European rivers going forward. At the moment we are concentrating on sailings from Amsterdam and we will probably go as far down as Serbia.”
Hackney said he thought people would be attracted by Tui’s reputation for quality and flexibility and after extensive research, narrowed down the type of customers he believes would be attracted to the new river fleet:
“We looked at the typical customer base that were going on an ocean cruise, but there were also customers who had not sailed on Tui’s ocean cruises that wanted to go on a river cruise and explore.
Tui River Cruises will have that great service that we offer with Marella Cruises and it will sit under the Tui umbrella.”
Every guest will receive a £120 credit for excursions including bike tours, cookery classes and sightseeing tours.
The refit to the three vessels for their transfer to Tui River Cruises will add:
-A second bar that will serve coffee by day and cocktails by night
-Three restaurants: a main dining room, a lighter dining area and an al fresco barbeque restaurant
-An outdoor area for relaxation during the day, transforming into an evening venue which will offer light entertainment.
-A small spa area and whirlpool
Between 75 and 80 cabins will be available, ranging from standard, superior and suite class, aswell as single cabins. and suites that will feature a private balcony.
The three river ships will be offering 19 itineraries and will go on sale April 25th 2019 with £1,099 as the lead-in price for a seven-night sailing.
As always, service is at the forefront of Tui River Cruises with a 4/1 crew ratio. Guests are guaranteed friendly service and to benefit from end to end expert support including a 24-hour helpline.
Customers will be offered full board plus the opportunity to personalise their experience with a premium drinks package, cabin type, excursions and even cocktail choice.
There will be a handful of suites on the Tui river ships which is something different for a river cruise.
What is included in Tui River Cruises?:
-Direct flights from UK airports
-20kg luggage allowance
-Airport transfer (to and from your ship)
-Full board plus- breakfast, lunch and dinner
-Tea, coffee and juices with breakfast
-Wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
-Barbecues on deck, weather permitting
-1GB of Wi-Fi per cabin, per week
-£120 excursion credit per person, per 7 days
-Live entertainment every night
-All tips and port charges
What do you think of Tui launching river ships? Did you see this one coming? Are you a fan of Marella already and are now considering hitting the river with its sister brand? Let us know below!
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