Viva Cruises River Cruises Review: European River Cruising in Luxury

The Viva Cruises river cruise ships offer a unique and immersive experience for travelers seeking an all-inclusive, year-round cruising adventure along the waterways of Europe. With a focus on comfort, sustainability, and cultural exploration, Viva Cruises has established itself as a standout player in the river cruise industry. Viva Cruises operates a fleet of intimate, purpose-built river vessels, the largest of which is the 195-passenger Viva Two. These ships are designed with a focus on sustainability, featuring innovative technologies such as catalytic converters, particle filters, and solar panels to minimize their environmental impact. The small size of the ships allows for easy navigation through the intricate European waterways, providing guests with exclusive access to lesser-known destinations.

In a Nutshell…

  1. All-Inclusive Experience: VIVA Cruises offers an all-inclusive package that includes welcome champagne, a reusable water bottle, and a minibar in your cabin. Enjoy high-quality non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks throughout the ship, along with WiFi access.
  2. Full Board Dining: Indulge in delicious meals with full board service. Breakfast buffets, multi-course gourmet dinners served at your seat, and flexible meal times ensure a delightful culinary experience.
  3. Light-Flooded Cabins: The cabins are designed with elegance and flooded with natural light, providing a comfortable retreat during your river cruise.
  4. 2025 Itinerary Variety: Explore VIVA Cruises’ river cruises program for 2025, featuring a perfect balance between relaxation and adventure. Discover captivating destinations along the way.
  5. Exclusive Cultural Trips: Embark on cultural journeys aboard the SWISS RUBY. Explore Amsterdam, North Frisia’s natural beauty, or follow the Hanseatic League’s historical path with expert guidance.
  6. Danube Cataracts: An 11-night cruise takes you through Passau, Bratislava, Belgrade, and more, showcasing the stunning Danube River landscape.
  7. Rhine Course North: A 7-night voyage covers Basel, Breisach, Strasbourg, Mannheim, and other charming Rhine cities.
  8. Rhine City Trip: Although currently booked out, this upstream journey explores Amsterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen, and more.
  9. Enchanting Danube: A 7-night cruise from Passau to Linz offers enchanting views of the Danube River.
  10. Picturesque Danube Delta: A 13-night adventure includes Vienna, Novi Sad, Budapest, and the captivating Danube Delta.

The History of Viva River Cruises

Title: A Literal Journey Through Time: The History of Viva Cruises River Cruise Ships

Viva Cruises is a leading provider of river cruises in Europe, with a rich history that spans over a decade. This review will delve into the literal aspects of the company’s history, focusing on its origins, growth, and the evolution of its fleet.

The story of Viva Cruises began in 2009 when the company was founded by a group of experienced travel industry professionals. The company’s founders shared a passion for river cruising and a desire to provide guests with a unique and authentic experience.

The company’s first vessel, the MS Swiss Ruby, was launched in 2010. The ship was designed specifically for river cruising, with a sleek and modern exterior and a range of facilities designed to enhance guests’ comfort and enjoyment. The MS Swiss Ruby featured spacious cabins, a restaurant, a lounge, and a sun deck, providing guests with a luxurious and comfortable cruising experience.

The MS Swiss Ruby was a pioneer in river cruising, offering guests a unique and authentic experience. The ship’s small size allowed it to access remote and hard-to-reach destinations, providing guests with a true sense of adventure. The ship’s crew was friendly and attentive, providing exceptional service and ensuring that guests had a memorable experience.

In the years that followed, Viva Cruises continued to grow and expand. The company introduced new ships to its fleet, each one building on the success of its predecessor. The MS Swiss Emerald was launched in 2011, followed by the MS Swiss Sapphire in 2012. These ships were larger and more luxurious than the MS Swiss Ruby, reflecting the company’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.

The turn of the decade marked a significant period in the history of Viva Cruises. The company introduced a new generation of ships, starting with the MS Swiss Crystal in 2013. This ship was specifically designed for river cruising, with a sleek and modern exterior and a range of facilities designed to enhance guests’ comfort and enjoyment.

In 2017, Viva Cruises launched the MS Viva Tiara, marking a new era in the company’s history. This ship was the first in the fleet to feature a custom-built wellness area, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate during their cruise. The MS Viva Tiara was also equipped with a range of environmentally friendly features, such as a waste management system, a water treatment plant, and a heat recovery system.

The company continued to innovate and expand in the following years. In 2019, Viva Cruises introduced the MS Viva One, a state-of-the-art river cruise vessel. This ship featured a range of advanced technologies, including a hybrid propulsion system and a dynamic positioning system, which allowed the ship to maintain its position without using anchors.

Throughout its history, Viva Cruises has remained true to its founding principles of providing high-quality river cruises, combining comfort, style, and exceptional service. The company’s fleet has evolved over the years, reflecting changes in guest preferences and advances in ship design and technology.

Today, Viva Cruises operates a fleet of seven ships, sailing to some of Europe’s most beautiful and historic destinations, including the Rhine, Danube, and Seine rivers. Each ship offers a unique and unforgettable experience, combining modern design, comfortable cabins, and an array of onboard amenities.

In conclusion, the history of Viva Cruises is a literal journey through time, reflecting the evolution of river cruising over the past decade. From the launch of the MS Swiss Ruby in 2010 to the introduction of the MS Viva One in 2019, the company has continually innovated and expanded, offering guests a unique and memorable river cruise experience. The company’s rich history is a testament to its commitment to excellence and its passion for river cruising.

The Viva Cruises River Cruises Fleet

Viva Cruises River offers a fleet of river cruise ships that provide travelers with exceptional experiences along some of Europe’s most beautiful waterways. With a focus on comfort, luxury, and personalized service, the Viva Cruises fleet promises unforgettable journeys through picturesque landscapes, historic cities, and charming villages.

The fleet consists of several modern and elegantly designed ships, each offering its own unique features and amenities. One of the highlights of traveling with Viva Cruises is the opportunity to explore Europe’s most iconic rivers, including the Rhine, Danube, Main, and Moselle. Whether you’re cruising through the majestic Rhine Gorge, admiring the stunning scenery of the Wachau Valley, or exploring the historic streets of Vienna, each itinerary offers a diverse range of experiences that showcase the beauty and culture of Europe.

The ships in the Viva Cruises fleet are designed with passenger comfort and convenience in mind. Spacious cabins with panoramic windows offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, while luxurious amenities such as plush bedding, modern bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs ensure a comfortable stay. Guests can relax and unwind in stylishly appointed lounges and observation decks, where they can socialize with fellow travelers, enjoy live entertainment, or simply take in the passing scenery.

Dining onboard Viva Cruises ships is a culinary delight, with talented chefs preparing a variety of delicious dishes using locally sourced ingredients. From gourmet dinners served in elegant dining rooms to casual meals enjoyed al fresco on the sun deck, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Special dietary requirements are also catered to, ensuring that all guests can enjoy their dining experience to the fullest.

In addition to exquisite cuisine and comfortable accommodations, Viva Cruises offers a range of onboard activities and entertainment options to keep guests entertained throughout their journey. From informative lectures and cooking demonstrations to live music performances and themed parties, there’s always something exciting happening onboard. Guests can also take advantage of shore excursions led by knowledgeable guides, providing them with unique insights into the destinations they visit.

What sets Viva Cruises apart is its commitment to providing exceptional service and creating memorable experiences for its guests. The dedicated crew members go above and beyond to ensure that every aspect of the journey is seamless and enjoyable. From the moment guests step onboard to the time they disembark, they are treated with warmth, hospitality, and attention to detail that sets Viva Cruises apart from other river cruise lines.

Another highlight of traveling with Viva Cruises is the opportunity to explore lesser-known destinations and off-the-beaten-path attractions. With carefully crafted itineraries that include visits to charming towns, historic landmarks, and cultural sites, guests can experience Europe in a whole new way. Whether it’s sampling local wines in the vineyards of the Rhine Valley, exploring medieval castles along the Danube, or taking a scenic bike ride through the countryside, there’s always something new and exciting to discover with Viva Cruises.

Overall, the fleet of Viva Cruises River offers travelers a luxurious and immersive way to experience the beauty and culture of Europe’s most iconic rivers. With its stylish ships, exceptional service, and diverse range of itineraries, Viva Cruises provides guests with unforgettable journeys that leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first river cruise adventure, Viva Cruises offers a truly exceptional experience that will exceed your expectations.

Destinations of Viva Cruises River Cruises Cruises

  1. Danube Cataracts (11 Nights):
    • Embark on a mesmerizing journey along the Danube River. Explore enchanting cities such as Passau, Bratislava, Belgrade, Donji Milanovac, Golubac, Novi Sad, Kalocsa, Budapest, Esztergom, and Vienna. Witness the stunning landscapes and historical treasures that line this iconic waterway.
  2. Rhine Course North (7 Nights):
    • Sail through the heart of Europe on the Rhine River. This voyage covers cities like Basel, Breisach, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Rüdesheim, Coblenz, and Cologne. Immerse yourself in the rich culture, vineyard-dotted hillsides, and charming towns.
  3. Rhine City Trip (Upstream):
    • Although currently booked out, this route explores the Rhine’s urban gems. Discover Amsterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Düsseldorf, Coblenz, Rüdesheim, Speyer, and Strasbourg. The architectural marvels and riverside beauty await.
  4. Enchanting Danube (7 Nights):
    • Set sail from Passau to Linz along the Danube. Explore the captivating cities of Melk, Esztergom, Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna. Be enchanted by the river’s timeless allure.
  5. Picturesque Danube Delta (13 Nights):
    • This extended adventure takes you from Vienna to the Danube Delta. Traverse cities like Kalocsa, Mohács, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Giurgiu, Fetești, Sfântu Gheorghe, Tulcea, Ruse, Vidin, Veliko Gradiste, Vukovar, Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna. Witness the delta’s unique ecosystem and cultural diversity.

Distinctive Features:

  • All-Inclusive Experience: Enjoy welcome champagne, a reusable water bottle, and a minibar in your cabin. Savor high-quality drinks throughout the ship.
  • Light-Flooded Cabins: Retreat to elegant cabins flooded with natural light.
  • Cultural Trips: Aboard the SWISS RUBY, explore Amsterdam, North Frisia’s beauty, or follow the Hanseatic League’s historical path with expert guidance.

Where VIVA Cruises Usually Sails:

  • VIVA Cruises operates on several European rivers, including the Rhine, Rhône, Main, Moselle, Seine, and Danube. Departure ports vary, with Düsseldorf, Basel, and Amsterdam being common starting points.


One of the defining features of a Viva Cruises experience is the all-inclusive nature of the voyages. Passengers enjoy a hassle-free journey, with meals, drinks, gratuities, and even Wi-Fi included in the fare. This comprehensive approach to pricing allows guests to fully immerse themselves in the cruise experience without worrying about additional costs.

Viva Cruises takes great pride in its culinary offerings, providing guests with a variety of dining venues and a focus on locally sourced, regional cuisine. The ships feature three distinct restaurants, including the main Riverside Restaurant, the intimate Bistro, and the specialty Moments dining venue, each offering a unique gastronomic experience. The flexible dining times and open-seating policy create a relaxed and convivial atmosphere onboard.

The Viva Cruises experience is characterized by personalized service and attention to detail. The crew-to-guest ratio ensures that passengers receive exceptional care and support throughout their journey. The ships also offer a range of amenities, including a spa, fitness center, and outdoor leisure facilities, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of guests.

Viva Cruises is committed to providing guests with immersive cultural experiences, allowing them to connect with the destinations they visit. The cruise line offers a variety of shore excursions and activities that showcase the local history, traditions, and natural wonders of the regions traversed. From guided tours to independent exploration, passengers can delve into the rich heritage of Europe’s waterways.

In conclusion, Viva Cruises offers a unique and exceptional river cruise experience that combines all-inclusive luxury, eco-friendly practices, diverse dining options, personalized service, and cultural immersion. Whether exploring the Danube, Rhine, or other European waterways, guests aboard Viva Cruises can expect a seamless and enriching journey that sets a new standard in river cruising.

– 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 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. 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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