Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises
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Courtesy of Riverside Luxury Cruises
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Riverside Luxury Cruises

Our Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

In the spring of 2023, Seaside Collection, the owners and operators of 11 boutique properties in Europe and the Maldives, made a splash with the introduction of Riverside Luxury Cruises as well as the bold intention to be “the most luxurious river cruising experience in the industry.” The first in its fleet of five ships is Riverside Mozart, widely regarded as the most luxurious ship on European rivers, originally designed and operated by Crystal Cruises. Rounding out the fleet are Riverside Ravel, which also set sail in 2023; Riverside Debussy, sailing its inaugural voyages under the Riverside flag in spring 2024; and, coming soon, Riverside Mahler and Riverside Bach. 

What We Love

The Generous Amount of Space Everywhere: With each all-suite ship accommodating a maximum of 110 to 162 guests, intimacy is the name of the game with Riverside Luxury Cruises. That’s not to say the ships are small, however. Rather, each ship’s rooms range in size from just under 200 square feet for the smallest suites to nearly 900 square feet for the two-bedroom Owner’s Suites, all with king-sized beds (and Owner’s Suites even have bathtubs and ambient lit fireplaces). Add to that comfortable and spacious public spaces and outdoor Upper Vista Decks that run the length of the ships and guests will find plenty of room to move and enjoy front-row views of the passing scenery.

The Unique Itineraries: Riverside Luxury Cruises is mindful when it comes to developing its itineraries, focusing on iconic spots and smaller destinations along the Danube, Main, Mosel, Rhine, Rhône, and Saône rivers. Not only will guests visit cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, and Basel, but also smaller riverside villages where they can uncover new-to-them gems and mingle with locals. What also sets the cruise line apart is that it really offers a range of itineraries from three to 14 days, and that these can be extended and combined however guests see fit.

Best Known For

The Impeccable Service: In addition to their spaciousness, every single suite across the fleet has its own dedicated butler to make sure that guests’ every want and need is taken care of, from spa appointments to restaurant reservations. In fact, butlers will even help with pre- and post-cruise vacation plans. Service in general is impeccable (there’s a 2-to-4 crew-to-guest ratio): Servers quickly learn guests’ mealtime preferences and bartenders remember guests’ favorite cocktails or wines.

The Memorable Experiences: In addition to the excursions curated by the Riverside Luxury Cruises experts that are designed to appeal to all types of travelers — think Active, Culture, Learn, See, Taste — each cruise includes bespoke events created exclusively for Riverside Luxury Cruises guests. These are truly exclusive, such as a private evening concert at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Who It's Best For

Lovers of Luxury: From the elegant marble bathrooms that feature heated Toto toilets to the opulent and expansive spas and fitness centers, as well as the generally elegant décor and upscale atmosphere, those who enjoy the finer things in life will love Riverside Luxury Cruises. Even better, from the moment guests are checked in and shown to their suites, everything is taken care of. The only decisions that lie ahead are which excursions to opt into, if any at all; which wine to sip at dinner, though the sommelier can help with that; and whether to watch the world go by from the comfort of their suites, the panoramic Palm Court Lounge, or the outdoor Vista Upper Deck.

Serious Gourmands: Each ship has at least four (far more than the average river cruise) exceptional dining venues that offer elevated made-to-order dishes that not only tempt the tastebuds (think caviar, foie gras, and an herb-crusted beef filet) but are beautifully presented, too. Bread is baked fresh daily, and pasta is prepared from scratch. Food is generally seasonally based and fresh, and inspired by the regions and ports the ship is passing through, so the menu changes daily. The culinary team (helmed by award-winning chefs) is also nimble to accommodate guests’ dietary preferences, from gluten-free to vegetarian and vegan. Guests can simply let Riverside Luxury Cruises know of any concerns ahead of time and be rest assured that they’ll be taken care of.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

It’s Quiet: Because Riverside Luxury Cruises launched so recently, the new river cruise line is still getting its sea legs, which means that guest counts are lower than their already-low maximum capacity. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however — you may just feel like you’re sailing on your own private charter.

Susan B. Barnes
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger