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CLIA River Cruise Conference 2022 review

Trip Reports

With European river cruise holidays very much in demand at the moment, I was excited to fly to Budapest for the CLIA River Cruise Conference, with the opportunity to visit ten very different ships.

Seeing this range of different ships gave me an enhanced experience, and means I can give the very best advice and levels of service when talking all things river.

I had a look at A-ROSA DONNA, I was one of the very first to step on board APT Travelmarvel's brand new Vega, designed with a modern and contemporary feel, and I also toured TUI's vessel Skyla, an option for the mainstream holiday market.

Most interesting to me were three of the brands we know and love at Mundy Cruising. Uniworld's S.S Beatrice is a luxury ship with a very unique style of decoration, carrying up to 152 guests in a variety of suites. She features a stunning white chandelier which is your first impression as you board, a grand staircase and various pieces of artwork throughout.

Uniworld S.S. Beatrice - Lobby staircase

There are two Royal Suites which are a very generous 390 square feet, each is very different in style and design with full size bath tub, and French balcony in both the bedroom and separate lounge area, giving plenty of natural light and views as you sail along the Danube. There are four dining options, including Mozart's, the main restaurant, which has floor to ceiling windows both sides, a perfect spot for breakfast with a view! Fares include all meals, drinks, a selection of excursions and pre-paid gratuities.

AmaWaterways' ship AmaVerde was redesigned in 2021 and offers a relaxed feel on board, carrying up to 160 guests with the ever popular twin balcony stateroom. Having the private outdoor balcony space is great for watching the world go by, with plenty of light and fresh air while travelling. Their largest suite is 350 square feet.

AmaWaterways - AmaVerde

A great sun deck features plenty of seating, a small pool with a swim up bar and space for barbecues and outdoor social events while you sail past a variety of old castles and little villages along the way, and the ship also boasts one of the nicest a la carte dining options that I saw over the few days, The Chef's Table. Having sailed on Ama a few years ago it was great to get back on board, she may not be extravagant luxury but this is a great ship to consider for the Danube.

Scenic Amber - one of Scenic's fleet of spaceships - was not a disappointment. She carries up to 169 passengers offering a contemporary experience which can appeal to a wider demographic. All suite grades come with your very own private butler and they vary in size from the standard with no balcony to their finest Royal Suite which is a very impressive 475 square feet. The main bar has a clean and modern design and utilises technology with the extensive bar and cocktail menu available on an iPad. The main restaurant offers tables of various sizes with an open dining concept.

Scenic river cruise in Budapest

You do not need to worry about anything when you are on board, all of your dining, drinks, selected excursions and tips are all taken care of making it a relaxing and worry-free holiday, enhanced by spa treatments, electric assisted bikes to explore ashore, or the option to work off the extra calories in the small but well equipped gym.

In summary there truly is a ship and style for everyone, and this great 3 night conference has given me the knowledge and expertise to point you in the right direction and find a perfect match for you. My top tip is to extend your river cruise itinerary to include an extra night or two on land, especially in cities like Budapest, Vienna and Bucharest.

Helen Fensom
Meet the author

Helen is a Cruise Consultant at Mundy Cruising

More about Helen

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