Five most luxurious river cruise ships

River cruising is a special way to travel. These slow-paced holidays embody freedom and serenity, offering passengers the chance to completely unwind in the most inspiring of surroundings. And when we say ‘inspiring’, we aren’t just talking about the destinations you will experience.

River cruise ships serve indulgence in droves. Delicious dining, cosy staterooms and excellent on-board facilities mean passengers want for nothing. Some vessels, however, go the extra mile, offering guests a one-of-a-kind experience. Here are five of the most luxurious river cruise ships on the water.

S.S. Joie de Vivre (Uniworld)

Uniworld’s newest river cruise ship, S.S. Joie de Vivre, launched in Paris last month with pomp and circumstance fit for a Hollywood A-lister. Unsurprising, since she was christened by none other than Dame Joan Collins.

This chic and sophisticated super yacht has luxury whittled into its very keel. It isn’t every day you can embark on a French river cruise alongside authentic antiques, fine artwork and décor inspired by Parisian design. From the Roaring Twenties to the Swinging Sixties, S.S Joie de Vivre’s interior perfectly balances retro styling with modern conveniences. Not that this river cruise ship is all style and no substance.On-board, guests will find the indulgent Club L’Esprit spa and wellness centre, alongside the glitzy ‘Claude’s’ restaurant and seven-course haven, Café du Vin. True Francophiles can even enjoy classic French films in an intimate

On-board, guests will find the indulgent Club L’Esprit spa and wellness centre, alongside the glitzy ‘Claude’s’ restaurant and seven-course haven, Café du Vin. Francophiles can even enjoy classic French films in an intimate on-board cinema. Ooh la la!

Crystal Bach (Crystal Cruises)

Crystal is a magical river cruise line: not least because of its fleet of stunning ships. Committed to providing guests with the finest travel experience available, the service and facilities on-board all Crystal river cruise ships is unrivalled.

Crystal Bach is, undoubtedly, the jewel in Crystal’s crown. This state-of-the-art ship typifies Crystal’s ethos of service, space, quality and choices. From buffets and grills to bistros, all dietary desires are catered for, with passengers even able to enjoy private dining. An expansive fitness centre and spa aim to help you enjoy your river cruise in complete relaxation, while the all-suite accommodation comes complete with Nespresso machines and private butlers.

This is all before you consider the legendary capitals and enchanting landscapes you will explore along your journey. Hosting river cruise holidays along the glittering Rhine and Moselle rivers, passengers can enjoy castles, terraced vineyards and UNESCO World Heritage sites aplenty.

Scenic Amber (Scenic)

Scenic’s fleet of Space-Ships puts the ‘luxury’ in luxury river cruises, particularly their newest river vessel, Scenic Amber.

Step on-board to find an open air vitality pool: the perfect place to start your day, or relax with a cocktail and simply enjoy the scenery. Foodies will love Portobellos, a fine-dining restaurant offering five spectacular courses and specially-selected wines to a select group of 30 passengers. Then there are the staterooms. All accommodation is cosy and welcoming, while balcony suites come complete with a Scenic Sun Lounge that transforms each room into a veritable orangery.

Scenic Amber’s luxurious interior is complimented by a range of awe-inspiring itineraries. Gliding serenely along some of Europe’s most celebrated passageways, you could find yourself docking in picturesque Nuremberg, Budapest or Vienna.

Emerald Sky (Emerald Waterways)

Emerald Waterways specialises in river holidays that guide passengers along some of Europe’s most magical stretches of water. And alongside beautiful ports, complimentary bicycles and views to die for, you can enjoy your river escape in complete luxury.

Five-star service and exquisite interiors await. The Horizon Bar & Lounge is the impressive heart of the ship: a chic, contemporary space equipped with skilled bartenders and plush sofas – the perfect place to relax with your companions. But before you sit down to recount the day’s events over a glass of wine, why not dine under the European sky at the Sun Deck’s Sky Barbecue: a gastronomic feast for the soul with views to warm the heart.

Emerald Sky’s staterooms offer plenty of space to stretch out and relax. The ultimate luxury, however, can be found in this river cruise ship’s Panorama Balcony Suites: spacious private balconies with unrivalled views. Imagine taking a dip in the heated swimming pool – retractable roof open to the fresh air – before sinking into plush sheets.

Viking Skadi (Viking Cruises)

Named after the Norse goddess of winter, Skadi is one of Viking Cruises’ most innovative ships. Associated with hunting and skiing, the goddess lends her name to a river cruise ship that helps discerning travellers to explore the River Volga.

Immortalised in Russian folklore as ‘Mother Volga’, this majestic river acts as gateway to the likes of Moscow and St Petersburg. Skadi is the perfect vessel for the journey, thoughtfully designed to provide premier river cruise holidays. As well as spending more time in each port, the ship incorporates expanded restaurants, deluxe staterooms and public areas designed to help you socialise and relax. Don’t miss the sun deck: a picturesque walkway complete with an organic herb garden, solar panels and a putting green.

Our favourite thing about Viking Skadi’s state-of-the-art design, however, is the Observation Lounge. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors flood the space with natural light and spectacular views. You might find it hard to tear yourself away!

Are you daydreaming about luxury river cruises on one of these stunning vessels? We have a huge range of itineraries that are sure to cure your itchy feet. Speak to our Cruise Concierge on 0800 197 0854 to plan your perfect expedition.

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