European Luxury River Cruises

Riviera MS William Shakespeare

This vessel is available on our ‘Rhine & Moselle’ tour, ‘Rhine Cruise to Switzerland’ tour and ‘Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg’ tour.

Overview

We are proud to unveil the latest addition to our fleet – the brand new, state-of-the-art, five-star MS William Shakespeare. Specially commissioned and designed to our exacting specifications, she is, without doubt, one of the world’s finest river cruise ships. We have worked tirelessly with one of Europe’s most experienced and respected luxury shipbuilders, Veka Group, to create the perfect ship, featuring many unique, ground breaking

innovations. The finest of materials have been used in construction with virtually no expense spared; its sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods, highly polished brass and wrought iron fittings, thick pile high-quality carpets, luxuriously comfortable deep armchairs and settees will absolutely delight you. In addition the ship’s spacious layout, subtle and tasteful lighting, elegant décor, luxurious cabins and excellent facilities are undoubtedly the very best on cruise ships today. Superb attention to detail continues outside the vessel, where the extensive use of glass and polished stainless steel complements her sleek modern profile perfectly. As the ship glides, serenely, through the water, she truly is a wonderful sight to behold!

As you would expect, the ship also incorporates the very latest in modern construction techniques and safety systems, ensuring your cruise is as comfortable and secure as possible. Finally the ship carries just 140 passengers and with 35 crew; a 4:1 ratio ensures excellent service levels. With many similar size vessels carrying 180 passengers or more, you will find the extra space, especially in the restaurant, very noticeable indeed.

The Decks

The four-deck design helps to enhance the ship’s spaciousness and is typified by the delightful lobby on the Hamlet (upper) deck. As you are greeted on board, you will appreciate the five-star quality of the warm-coloured wood and marble that has been extensively utilised, whilst above, the innovative atrium tastefully bathes the whole welcoming scene in natural light. There is also a lift and small boutique stocking those essentials which always run out whilst one is away!

Moving towards the front of the ship you will find the classically appointed Globe lounge and bar, with a wide selection of comfortable and elegant seating. Here you can relax and enjoy the delights of the passing scenery through the superb observation windows on both sides of the vessel, whilst the forward facing panoramic bay window ensures the most extensive and uninterrupted viewing of any river cruise ship! The welcoming bar offers a full range of drinks sourced from all over the world, including the finest wines and spirits. When the sun sinks slowly below the riverside hills this is the perfect place to relax and reflect on another day’s experiences. Then, as the evening progresses into darkness, subtle lighting evolves through colour and intensity accompanied by gentle piano background music, creating a very special ambience. However should you prefer a good book to read you can always visit the library, which, with its leather-effect wall linings, offers a gentile environment reminiscent of the golden age of cruising.

To the rear of the ship is the Midsummer bar, with large panoramic windows and outside seating, where again you can enjoy and relax, watching the passing scenery. Here, in the evenings the chef presents his personal signature dishes for just 24 diners – this intimate dining experience can be reserved on board at no extra charge.

Stairs and a lift lead down to the Othello (middle) deck, where the culinary delights of a superbly elegant restaurant are enhanced by sparkling crystal and crisp, high-quality table linen. Here the ship’s outstanding chefs will amaze you with superb fine dining of the highest order, using freshly prepared seasonal produce to create very best of European cuisine.

The sumptuous breakfast buffet, with omelettes and fresh eggs prepared to order, ensures a great start to the day and a lunchtime buffet ensures you can eat a full meal or something as simple as a fresh crunchy salad – just as you desire. The evening dinner features excellently executed dishes with silver service, plus a relaxed atmosphere and our ‘open seating’ policy that ensures your dining experience is one you will always look forward to.

Wonderfully illustrating the extraordinary attention to detail focussed on the William Shakespeare’s design is the use of special ‘sound absorbent’ paint on the restaurant ceiling to reduce noise levels whilst dining – remarkable! Another outstanding restaurant feature are the large tinted panoramic windows, so as you enjoy your epicurean adventure you will also be able to enjoy the scenery as it glides past – you miss nothing!

A further staircase descends to the Romeo (lower) deck, where a small but well equipped fitness suite is available for the energetic, whilst others may choose to plump for an invigorating sauna! There is also a hairdressing salon so you can always look your best (small additional fee).

Crowning the ship is the magnificent Sun deck, where you are very welcome to visit the Bridge whenever you wish except when berthing or navigating locks. You can discuss life on the river and view the fascinating technologically advanced array of ‘state of the art’ navigation and control equipment, whilst highly skilled officers guide all 110 metres of the William Shakespeare carefully along the river. Of course the view from

the sun deck is just wonderful, whilst the informal café style seating is an ideal place to relax with like-minded travellers. Just absorb the magical

sights, sounds and unique river atmosphere whilst perhaps availing yourself of the attentive bar service. Or just relax on a sun bed and read a book, solve the crossword from a deck chair, take a dip in the whirlpool, play chess, try your hand on the putting green or just relax and admire the ever-changing kaleidoscope of stunning views passing by.

 

Cabins

The cabins are very tastefully appointed, featuring a wealth of mahogany, leather, marble and Italian soft furnishings, which blend together to create an ambience of true quality and elegance. In keeping with this theme, spacious marble bathrooms have a washbasin with plenty of space for cosmetics, a WC and a glazed shower with fittings by ‘Grohe’.

Cabins on the Hamlet (upper) and Othello (middle) decks have “French Balconies” with full floor to ceiling glazed doors. These have another unique innovative feature – a first on any river cruise ship. The doors slide completely away against the ships side, effectively disappearing from view (excepting the safety barrier of course!), thus creating a true panoramic extension to your already large cabin area. From here you can enjoy the delights of fresh air and magnificent views whilst retaining your own privacy.

At 15 square metres (161 square feet) cabins are spacious (amongst the largest on European rivers) and well appointed with hotel standard beds (not bunks or berths), safe, telephone, hair dryer, tea and coffee making facilities plus individually controlled air-conditioning. They have flat screen TV with satellite channels and also receive images from a bow-mounted camera, so you can see exactly where you are cruising from the comfort of your own bed! Two chairs and a small table are provided for your convenience plus an umbrella for those hopefully rare, showery days. Tasteful lighting, subtly changing in harmony with the time of day is again a unique feature, whilst high quality bathrobes and slippers add the final elegant touch.

Cabins on the Romeo (lower) deck are slightly smaller at 14 square metres (151 square feet), but feature the same amenities apart from one armchair and table and have smaller, fixed windows. Cabins for sole occupancy are available on this deck at no supplement (subject to availability).

Deluxe Suites

Why not treat yourself to an upgrade? On the Hamlet (upper) deck there are four unique deluxe suites of 22.8 square meters (245 square feet), featuring sliding glass doors leading to an outside balcony with table and chairs. With almost all the extra space being devoted to the living area, these suites represent exceptional comfort and luxury – taking your cruise to another level.

Dining

As you enter the restaurant the mouth-watering aroma of roasting Provençal Lamb drifts tantalisingly from the galley. Smartly uniformed, friendly and intuitive waiting staff professionally guide you to your classically set table with its crisp white linen, premium quality European china, polished fine glassware and gleaming cutlery whilst freshly baked bread is immediately placed before you with effortless style.

Welcome – you’re at home. Quality dining is an integral part of your river cruise experience – and our ships take this to the highest five-star levels with superb cuisine prepared by a dedicated and highly professional brigade of chefs. Take a stroll on the Sun Deck as the river gradually awakes, and enjoy Early Risers’ tea or coffee and freshly baked pastries. The full breakfast buffet is a sumptuous affair with innumerable hot and cold options, plus a popular omelette station prepares dishes to order.

Or if you prefer, why not enjoy continental breakfast in your cabin: breakfast in bed as enchanting scenery and riverside life drift gently by – priceless! Naturally complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the day and a very comprehensive lunch buffet allows selection of as little or as much as you wish from an extensive and tempting selection. Don’t forget to leave some room for afternoon tea and the chef’s special patisserie – it’s just too tempting to ignore!

The day’s culinary highlight is the splendid four-course dinner: entrée, soup, main course and dessert – all within the ambience of a high quality restaurant. Our carefully designed menus include international classics together with dishes reflecting the regions we pass through, with careful selections from local markets. In addition, the ‘Welcome Dinner’ enjoys an extended menu and towards the end of your cruise, the Captain proudly hosts his excellent ‘Gala Dinner’ featuring specialities of the countries and regions through which you’ve travelled.

Our clients constantly tell us they love our informal free seating and smaller tables policy, quite unlike the inevitable regimentation of many cruise ships which is exactly the atmosphere we are trying to achieve. Then there’s the wine list. We take great pride in its excellent quality and style, including not only the classic choices but also an extensive range of local wines. Many of these are extremely well-priced, delightful hidden gems and rarely marketed outside their production area.

Please indicate any special dietary requirements on booking.

 

 

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