We already did a rive cruise on the Danube, the Seine and the Main. Now we are going with VIVA Cruises from Düsseldorf along the Rhine to the Netherlands, where we visited some very nice places like Amsterdam, Rotterdam oder Hoorn.
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Things to know about VIVA Cruises
“Enjoy the moment” is the declared motto of VIVA Cruises, which has been represented on the market since 2018 as the in-house organizer of the renowned Swiss shipping company Scylla AG. The fleet of the young river cruise company based in Düsseldorf currently comprises thirteen ships that travel with their guests on board the most beautiful rivers in Europe: be it on the Danube, the Main, the Mosellethe Rhine, the Rhône, the Seine or even on the Baltic Sea. City hoppers, nature lovers, foodies or culture lovers discover European cities and landscapes from the water all year round with VIVA Cruises and enjoy extraordinary events and experiences on their routes.
Particularly noteworthy is the VIVA All-Inclusive concept in which, in addition to full board, high-quality drinks such as sparkling wine, long drinks, cocktails and wine are also offered soft drinks and coffee specialties as well as a minibar in the cabins that is always filled. Free Wi-Fi and an included tip complete the concept.
The hygiene & health concept of Viva Cruises
In order to meet the major challenges posed by the corona pandemic, VIVA Cruises has developed a comprehensive hygiene and health concept that is constantly updated.
Upon arrival on the ship, our state of health was checked for symptoms by means of an extensive health questionnaire, a temperature measurement and a (self-)check. In addition, the “vaccinated, recovered, tested” rule applies on board, i.e. we had to present proof of a current, negative antigen (rapid test) or PCR test result, a complete vaccination or recovery at check-in. In addition, concrete rules of conduct were laid down on the ships (minimum distance of 1.5 meters, wearing a mouth-nose mask in public areas, wayfinding system, use of disinfectants, etc.) and communicated with the help of a large display in the foyer. A reduced number of passengers, an optimized restaurant concept with increased table spacing and service on the seat as well as a reduced number of guests on shore excursions support the implementation of these measures. The only places where guests do not have to wear mouth-nose protection is the sun deck and tables in the restaurant or lounge.
Our river cruise was accompanied by a nurse who took the daily temperature measurement of the guests. Anyone who had not yet been fully vaccinated or recovered at the time of the trip had to have a (free) rapid test carried out every two days.
Our route “Rhine Discovery Journey North”
For a week we were on the Rhine with VIVA TIARA from Düsseldorf and got to know some of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. From the pretty port towns of Deventer and Kampen we continued to Enkhuizen and Hoorn, where we crossed the largest lake in the Netherlands – the IJsselmeer. From here our ship took us to the two metropolises Amsterdam and Rotterdam, on to Dordrecht and to the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk and as a conclusion to the city of Nijmegen. After seven days on board, we arrived back in Düsseldorf with many beautiful memories in our luggage.
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Our River Cruise Ship VIVA TIARA
Our home for a week was the ship VIVA TIARA. The river cruise ship was built in 2006, modernized in 2020 and has been sailing under the VIVA Cruises flag since March 2020. This makes VIVA TIARA the first own ship of VIVA Cruises. The ship has 76 light-flooded outside cabins that can accommodate 153 guests. Due to the pandemic, there were not quite as many passengers on our journey. Of the possible 153 passengers, the ship was occupied by only 68 guests and thus had a capacity utilization of 44%. The international crew was nevertheless fully represented with 40 people. The 110-metre-long and 11.4-metre-wide VIVA TIARA operates in the Rhine, Main and Danube trades.
On the deck and cabin plan of the VIVA TIARA you can see the 3 different decks diamond, ruby and emerald. The majority of the cabins are 15 m² 2-bed cabins,from which you can enjoy the passing landscape on the Diamond and Ruby Deck via a French balcony. On the Diamant Deck there are also two 19 m² Junior Suites,which also have a French balcony. The Rubin Deck has two slightly smaller, 17 m² Junior Suites, also with French balconies. The cabins on the Emerald Deck have windows that cannot be opened.
As we had our stroller on board, it was great that there was an elevator that connected the lobby to the Diamant Deck, Rubin Deck and restaurant.
From home we have already looked at photos of the cabins on the VIVA Cruises homepage so that we can get an approximate impression of how we will “live” in the one week. We stayed in a 15 m² 2 bed cabin with a really nice blue-grey colour scheme, which was relatively central to the ruby deck. Particularly beautiful was the French balcony, which brought enough daylight into the cabin through the floor-to-ceiling windows and also completely released the view to the outside.
The furnishing of the cabin was very practical: to the right of the entrance was the bathroom and on the other side a spacious wardrobe with a stocked minibar. To the right of the cabinet was a small desk with a corner shelf, which served as a pure storage area for us. We stowed our suitcases under the bed for the one week without any problems, so that they did not stand in the way. All cabins on the VIVA TIARA are perfectly equipped with a flat-screen TV, a Nespresso machine, beauty products from RITUALS, a hairdryer, a safe, air conditioning as well as a shower and a toilet. The crew had put us a baby cot in the cabin, which we set up next to our bed. By the way, a nice welcome gift is the included champagne bottle that each cabin receives.
The heart of the ship and the most important meeting point is the spacious lounge, a very tastefully decorated lounge with a bar and perfect views of the water. The bar is open daily from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., so after shore excursions and dinner, the majority of passengers come together and end the day with a beer, wine or cocktail.
On the VIVA TIARA there are two different restaurants: on the one hand the main restaurant Riverside, where you can easily choose a free table and on the other hand a bistroincluded in the VIVA All-Inclusive concept, for which you can reserve seats both for lunch and dinner.
In addition to the shore excursions, the food always plays a (very) important role on board a cruise 🙂 One thing we can definitely say: We were well catered for at VIVA TIARA. The quality of the food was outstanding, it was always delicious and the plates were nicely presented.
Breakfast was served daily from 7.30 am to 9.30 am for all passengers in the main restaurant. Due to the Corona-related hygiene regulations, there was no normal self-service buffet, but you could choose the things you would like to have at a small buffet and an employee then handed over the filled plate. We liked the variety of the breakfast buffet very much: fresh fruit & vegetables, bread & rolls, various cheese and sausage cold cuts, yogurt, muesli etc. At the table there was still a separate menu, from which you could, for example, still order egg dishes.
For lunch (12.30 to 14 o’clock) and dinner (18.30 to 20.30 o’clock) we were also always in the main restaurant where the food was served à la carte. For this purpose, there was a small menu with different dishes to choose from. At dinner there are a total of four courses, where you can put together your food from 2 to 3 appetizers, 1 to 2 soups, 3 to 4 main courses (meat, fish, vegetarian) and 3 desserts (sweet dessert or cheese). At lunch, the selection was a bit more reduced, but no less delicious 😉
Other Facilities on Board
In addition to the main restaurant, the bistro and the lounge with bar, there is also a boutique on board as well as a wellness area with sauna and steam bath, which is available to guests free of charge. On our trip, the wellness area was unfortunately still closed – due to the pandemic.
Our tip: By the way, there are some bicycles on the ship, which you can rent for free for exploring the city. We think that’s really great!
The ideal place to enjoy a river cruise and the passing landscapes is the sun deck with plenty of lounge chairs and more seating. On the top deck there is also a hot tub, which – also due to the pandemic – could not be used at the moment.
Our River Cruise experience with Baby
The river cruise on the Rhine was not our first river cruise with our little daughter. We were already with her in October 2020 on an A-ROSA ship on the Main and have already noticed there that she likes the holiday on board very much. Of course, it is a bit challenging to live in a 15 m² cabin for a week, but we adapted our processes to the circumstances so that we could quickly come to terms with the situation. The game was played on the bed and the floor, the little mouse could pull itself up on the chairs and from the large window she could look out really nice. There was a lot of new things for them to discover on board, so that neither she nor us got bored.
Since our stroller was a bit bulky for the cabin, we could easily park it near the lobby. Since we only needed it for our shore excursions anyway, this was perfect. On board we simply carried our daughter or she crawled herself. By the way, a baby/cot was already in our cabin when we moved into our room – but unfortunately without a real mattress, sheets, duvet and pillows. In the restaurant we directly got a baby high chair and if we had a special food request for our daughter, it was immediately implemented by the kitchen. At no time did we have the feeling that we were out of place with a small baby (which of course sometimes screams) or would disturb someone. On the contrary, all passengers and crew members were happy and chatted with her. That was really nice ❤
All travel reports of our river cruise on the RhineFor one week we were on the Rhine with VIVA TIARA from Düsseldorf and got to know some of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. From the pretty harbor towns of Deventer and Kampen, we continued to Enkhuizen and Hoorn, where we crossed the largest lake in the Netherlands - the Ijsselmeer. From here, our ship took us to the two metropolises of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, on to Dordrecht and the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk, and finally to the city of Nijmegen.
» VIVA Cruises - Our cruise ship VIVA TIARA
» Deventer - Sights & Photo Spots of the Hanseatic City
» Kampen - Things to do in the former Hanseatic City
» Enkhuizen - Historic harbor town on the IJsselmeer
» Hoorn - Things to do in the historic town
» Amsterdam - The most beautiful photo spots & sights
» Rotterdam - The most beautiful sights & photo spots
» Dordrecht - Sights & our walking tour in the city
» Kinderdijk - The 19 windmills of Kinderdijk in Holland (UNESCO)
» Nijmegen - Sights of the oldest city in the Netherlands
» Düsseldorf - Sights & the most beautiful photo spots