I visited 11 ships in 48 hours

Emerald Cruises, Emerald Dawn

Emerald Cruises is always a firm favourite of mine due to the sleek modern appearance and the unique innovations such as the indoor pool that transforms into a cinema space in the evening. They have a range of cabin categories, but their Panorama Balcony Suites are beautiful and feature an all-weather balcony with floor-to-ceiling windows and seating area, which means you can enjoy the river views all year round. Something else unique about the Emerald Star-Ships is that they feature Single Staterooms which, although slightly smaller, allow solo travellers to sail without the hefty supplement.

Emerald Dawn Suite

AmaWaterways, AmaSerena

We were lucky enough to have lunch onboard the AmaSerena, and once again, I was so impressed with the quality and choice of food onboard AmaWaterways. They really do have something for everyone, and even lunch is a culinary experience.

The ship oozes a homely feel, and the staff certainly make you feel welcome and relaxed as we walk around. One of the best bits is the French & outside balcony cabins. This means you get the best of both worlds depending on the weather; Outside balcony for sitting outside and taking in the sights and fresh air, French Balcony for being able to enjoy the beautiful views from the comfort and warmth of your cabin.

Ama Serena dining area

Did you know that AmaWaterways has continuously implemented important measures to minimize environmental impact and 20 of their European ships have received the prestigious Green Awards to recognize quality, safety, and environmental performance.

Uniworld, S.S Victoria

This was by far one of the most luxurious river cruise ships I have had the pleasure of experiencing, and it's new to the Uniworld fleet. With only 55 cabins, all French balconies, this ship hosts some of the largest cabins on the river with modern and sleek designs.

S.S Victoria lounge

River ships are restricted in size and shape due to the many locks and bridges they will navigate on their chosen rivers, and I always say it's really difficult to do something different with the spaces. The S.S Victoria certainly excelled in this challenge and has some beautiful and unique spaces onboard. The main lounge features a conservatory-like glass ceiling that floods the lounge with light from every angle, the lobby area features an additional dining venue; The Bistro which showcases snacks and light bites throughout the day and evening, and on the upper deck, you will find the Vista bar where despite the rainy weather in Amsterdam, I could envision myself sat here sipping a cocktail sailing down the Moselle valley.

This ship is a great addition to the Uniworld fleet, and her sister ship, the S.S Elisabeth will be joining the fleet in 2025.

Travelmarvel Polaris

My favorite space on Polaris has to be Mcgeary's Bar at the aft of the ship. Aptly named after the Mcgeary family who run APT & Travelmarvel, the space is unique and welcoming with bar stools and dark-wood panelled walls. The cosy Irish bar also offers pub-style meals. It offers customers a different option to the main lounge and a private space away from the hustle and bustle.


Avalon Waterways, Avalon Imagery II

Finding a favourite thing about this ship was really easy – the best views on the river! Avalon Waterways feature award-winning Panorama Suites with beds that face the view. Over the last 10 years, they have worked hard at refurbishing their entire fleet to ensure this feature is applicable no matter what river you sail on. It takes “room with a view” to a whole new meaning and it brings you closer to the regions you are sailing through.

Avalon balcony view

Almost 80% of cabins onboard an Avalon ship are Panorama Suites which just shows their commitment to this feature. On a river where you would be sailing a lot during the day such as the Douro or South of France, it would be hugely beneficial and definitely worth the upgrade from a Deluxe Stateroom.

Riviera Travel, MS Geoffrey Chaucer

Riviera Travel surprised me, but in all the best ways. The staff lined the lobby area to welcome us onboard, and instantly I felt relaxed and comfortable onboard.

My favourite part about this ship was the River View Kitchen, which is located at the aft of the ship with large panoramic windows. It allows guests to enjoy a more intimate dining experience whilst taking in the fantastic views. In the evenings, the chef prepares locally inspired dishes in an open kitchen and a table can be reserved onboard at no extra charge. If the weather allows, the panoramic windows may be fully opened onto the terrace to allow for an al fresco dining experience.

MS Geoffery Chaucer lounge

As I mentioned above, the physical shape and size of the ships are dictated by the rivers they sail on, but each one has something special and unique to suit all different wants and wishes. Our team is armed with all the best information and personal experience to ensure that they can match the right ship to the right person which with so much luxurious choice, is a real skill!

Call Panache Cruises on 0161 513 8200 if you want to learn more about Luxury cruise ships

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