Riviera River Cruises Review: Cruise Ship Guide, Itineraries, Bookings & Deals

Riviera River Cruises is renowned for its exceptional service, elegant accommodations, and immersive itineraries, offering guests an unforgettable journey through some of Europe’s most scenic waterways. With a fleet of beautifully appointed ships and carefully crafted itineraries, Riviera River Cruises provides travelers with the perfect combination of luxury, comfort, and adventure. One of the hallmarks of Riviera River Cruises is its commitment to providing guests with a truly immersive experience. Each itinerary is carefully curated to showcase the highlights of the regions visited, from historic cities and charming towns to picturesque countryside and iconic landmarks. Whether cruising along the Rhine, Danube, Douro, or other European rivers, guests can expect to discover hidden gems, uncover local culture, and create lasting memories along the way.

In a Nutshell…

  1. MS Riviera Radiance: A five-star vessel offering spacious suites and attentive cabin crew.
  2. MS Riviera Rose: Another exquisite ship with French balconies for stunning views.
  3. MS Emily Brontë: A graceful ship that glides along Europe’s waterways.
  4. MS Charles Dickens: A British vibe and thoughtful amenities, including tea and coffee-making facilities.
  5. MS George Eliot: A comfortable river cruiser for exploring scenic destinations.
  6. MS Geoffrey Chaucer: A vessel that combines luxury and smooth navigation through locks and bridges.
  7. MS William Wordsworth: Spacious cabins and fine dining options on this elegant ship.
  8. MS Douro Splendour: Perfect for meandering along the Douro River in shallow and deep waters.
  9. MS Thomas Hardy: Discover awe-inspiring landscapes while cruising in style.
  10. MS William Shakespeare: A floating boutique hotel with all the comforts for a memorable journey.

History of the Riviera River Cruises

Riviera River Cruises has a rich history that spans over several decades, evolving from its humble beginnings to becoming a prominent player in the river cruise industry. Founded in the early 1980s by Michael Wright, Riviera Travel initially offered tours to various countries before venturing into river cruising in 2009. The company’s concept of “escorted touring on water” attracted a slightly older market, ensuring that customers stayed engaged and satisfied with their travel experiences. Over time, Riviera River Cruises expanded its offerings, built its own luxurious ships, and curated itineraries that showcased the best of European waterways and beyond.

Riviera River Cruises experienced significant growth and expansion over the years, solidifying its position as a leading operator of river cruises and curated tours. The company’s fleet of ships, which now includes 13 five-star vessels, is one of the youngest in the industry, with no ship older than six years. This commitment to maintaining a modern and luxurious fleet reflects Riviera’s dedication to providing guests with exceptional travel experiences. The company’s transparent pricing model, which allows guests to choose additional services like drinks and gratuities based on their preferences, sets Riviera apart in the industry.

Riviera River Cruises places a strong emphasis on luxury, comfort, and personalized service for its guests. The MS Geoffrey Chaucer and MS George Eliot, two of the company’s newest ships, offer modern amenities, spacious accommodations, and a range of onboard facilities designed to enhance the cruising experience. From well-appointed cabins with French balconies to a fitness center and hair salon, Riviera ensures that guests have everything they need for a relaxing and enjoyable journey. The company’s commitment to providing a high level of service, including complimentary Wi-Fi, guided tours, and alternate excursions, contributes to a memorable and enriching cruise experience.

Riviera River Cruises offers a wide range of itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including popular routes along the Danube, Douro, Moselle, Rhone, and Rhine. The company’s dedication to creating immersive experiences for guests is evident in its carefully crafted tours that showcase the history, culture, and natural beauty of each destination. Whether sailing through the picturesque landscapes of the Douro Valley or exploring the historic treasures of the Seine, Riviera’s itineraries cater to a variety of interests and preferences. The availability of single-occupancy cabins with no supplement and dedicated solo departures reflects Riviera’s commitment to inclusivity and personalized travel experiences.

As Riviera River Cruises celebrates its 40th anniversary, the company reflects on its journey from its modest beginnings to its current success. The milestone anniversary is a testament to Riviera’s enduring legacy, exceptional service, and dedication to providing travelers with unforgettable experiences. With a focus on continuous improvement, innovation, and customer feedback, Riviera remains at the forefront of the river cruise industry, offering guests the opportunity to explore the world in comfort, style, and luxury. As the company looks ahead to the future of travel in a post-pandemic world, Riviera River Cruises continues to inspire wanderlust and loyalty among its customers, setting the stage for many more years of exceptional river cruising experiences.

Destinations of Riviera River Cruises

  1. The Blue Danube (Danube River):
    • The Danube, often called the “beautiful blue Danube,” flows through ten countries and borders nine more.
    • It meanders past four national capital cities: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade.
    • Along this historic waterway, you’ll encounter imposing castles, baroque churches, and medieval towns.
    • Music lovers will appreciate the legacy of Mozart, Beethoven, and the Strauss family in cities like Vienna and Salzburg.
  2. The Romantic Rhine (Rhine River):
    • The Rhine winds through Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
    • Explore fairytale landscapes dotted with vineyards, charming villages, and hilltop castles.
    • Visit Cologne’s magnificent cathedral, the Lorelei Rock, and the picturesque Rhine Gorge.
  3. The Douro Valley (Douro River):
    • Portugal’s Douro River takes you through terraced vineyards and historic towns.
    • Savor the flavors of port wine in Porto and admire the scenic beauty of the Douro Valley.
    • Explore Salamanca in Spain, known for its golden sandstone architecture.
  4. The Seine (Seine River):
    • Paris, the “City of Light,” is the starting point for Seine River cruises.
    • Sail past iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
    • Discover the charming villages of Normandy and Monet’s beloved Giverny.
  5. The Majestic Danube (Danube River):
    • From Budapest to Bucharest, the Danube reveals its grandeur.
    • Explore the Iron Gate Gorge, the Carpathian Mountains, and the medieval town of Brasov.
    • Dive into history at the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest.
  6. The Rhône and Saône (Rhône River):
    • Cruise through southern France, from Lyon to Avignon.
    • Marvel at Roman ruins in Arles, visit the Papal Palace in Avignon, and taste exquisite wines in Burgundy.
    • The Rhône showcases Provençal landscapes and culinary delights.
  7. The Mekong Delta (Mekong River):
    • Venture beyond Europe to Vietnam and Cambodia.
    • The Mekong River reveals floating markets, ancient temples, and lush rice paddies.
    • Explore Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, and the Angkor Wat complex.
  8. The Elbe (Elbe River):
    • Sail through Germany’s picturesque countryside, from Prague to Berlin.
    • Discover Dresden’s baroque architecture and the historic town of Wittenberg.
    • The Elbe offers a serene escape into nature.
  9. The Guadalquivir (Guadalquivir River):
    • In Spain, the Guadalquivir takes you to Seville, known for flamenco, Moorish architecture, and tapas.
    • Explore Córdoba’s Mezquita and the Alhambra in Granada.
  10. The Po (Po River):
    • Italy’s Po River flows through Venice, Ferrara, and Bologna.
    • Admire the art and architecture of Venice, visit Renaissance palaces, and savor Italian cuisine.


The fleet of Riviera River Cruises ships is designed with the utmost comfort and convenience in mind. From spacious cabins and suites with panoramic views to stylish lounges and dining areas, every aspect of the ships is carefully crafted to provide guests with a luxurious and enjoyable experience. Whether relaxing on the sun deck, taking a dip in the onboard pool, or enjoying a gourmet meal in the elegant restaurant, guests will find themselves surrounded by elegance and comfort at every turn.

One of the highlights of a Riviera River Cruise is the exceptional service provided by the onboard staff. From the moment guests step on board, they are greeted with warmth and hospitality by the attentive crew members, who go above and beyond to ensure that every aspect of their journey is flawless. Whether it’s providing personalized recommendations for shore excursions, arranging special celebrations, or simply offering a friendly smile and a helping hand, the crew of Riviera River Cruises ships are dedicated to creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for every guest.

Riviera River Cruises offers a range of itineraries to suit every traveler’s interests and preferences. Whether it’s exploring the historic cities of Europe, cruising through the picturesque countryside, or discovering the cultural treasures of lesser-known destinations, guests can choose from a variety of options to create their perfect vacation experience. With expertly guided tours, immersive cultural experiences, and plenty of free time to explore at leisure, Riviera River Cruises ensures that every guest enjoys a truly unforgettable journey.

In addition to its immersive itineraries and exceptional service, Riviera River Cruises also offers guests a range of onboard amenities and activities to enhance their experience. From live entertainment and educational lectures to wellness activities and cooking demonstrations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on board. Whether relaxing with a drink in the lounge, attending a wine tasting session, or participating in a guided walking tour, guests can expect to be entertained and engaged throughout their journey.

Overall, Riviera River Cruises offers travelers a luxurious and unforgettable way to explore Europe’s waterways. With its exceptional service, elegant accommodations, and immersive itineraries, Riviera River Cruises provides guests with an unforgettable journey that will leave them with memories to last a lifetime. Whether embarking on a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, guests can trust that a Riviera River Cruise will exceed their expectations and provide them with a truly unforgettable travel experience.

– Reviewed by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

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N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for thedigitalglobetrotter.com and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. Thedigitalglobetrotter.com does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

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