MS Swiss Tiara
Built in 2006, the Swiss-managed, five-star MS Swiss Tiara is a real jewel in the crown of the luxurious Riviera Travel river cruise fleet. She sails four European itineraries, mostly on the majestic Danube and Rhine rivers. Her sleek modern exterior is contrasted with traditionally tasteful décor inside, featuring marble, wrought iron and highly polished woods and brass fixtures and fittings.
MS Swiss Tiara attracts a discerning cruiser who appreciates the classic style and comfort of the ship’s cabins and public areas. With a maximum capacity of 140, and with 36 crew onboard, including a cruise director and tour manager, the atmosphere is intimate and the service is attentive.
UK-based Riviera Travel prides itself on attention to detail and making sure its passengers’ experience is as comfortable and hassle-free as possible, with no hidden extras or seasonal booking discounts. This means Swiss Tiara passengers also choose the ship as they know they’re in trustworthy hands. Passengers tend to be British and very interested in the culture and history of their itinerary.
The Ruby Deck is home to the ship’s main restaurant where full breakfast buffets with omelette station and lunch buffets are served every day. The restaurant also hosts the nightly four-course dinner which is designed using seasonal ingredients reflecting the itinerary. The open seating policy is relaxed, but the sparkling glass and china, pristine table linen, atmospheric lighting and wood and marble furnishings give an upmarket feel.
The bar at the rear of the Swiss Tiara transforms every evening into the Chef’s Restaurant with stunning panoramic views and seating for just 24 pre-booked diners to enjoy the chef’s specially-prepared delicacies.
The Lido Bar & Restaurant on the Diamond Deck is a great alternative venue for light lunches and dinners that can be reserved once onboard. Passengers can also enjoy an early bird breakfast here.
Tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day from the self-service beverage station, and you can even enjoy breakfast in bed. Afternoon tea is also a delicious daily ritual.
Evenings onboard MS Swiss Tiara are low key, with the extended menu of the Captain’s welcome dinner and farewell gala dinners, featuring local specialities, being the ship’s social highlights. Some passengers choose to dress up for these meals but there is no formal dress code. Otherwise, passengers are content to relax with a drink in one of the Forward Observation Lounge’s leather armchairs as they savour the panoramic views and listen to live piano music. Alternatively, if the weather’s nice, it’s very pleasant to find an outside armchair in the cosy Lido Lounge or a deckchair on the front Sun Deck.
The small splash pool is a refreshing place to cool off after you’ve been sunbathing on the Sun Deck. You can also amuse yourself on the putting green or challenge your partner to a game of giant chess. There is a small library in the Lido Lounge and a boutique where you can stock up on essentials.
All offshore excursions are included in the price you pay, and the next day’s adventures are detailed in the nightly newsletter. Guided tours include the chance to explore the cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, and the opportunity to visit the many castles, museums and monasteries of historic Europe. The itinerary is also occasionally brought alive onboard with events like a classical string quartet recital.
All 74 cabins on the MS Swiss Tiara are decorated in a neutral palette, with warm tones adding to the cosy but contemporary feel. The Standard Cabins are generously-sized at 161 sq. ft. and every cabin has a safe, mini bar, phone, climate control and hairdryer. A nightly turn down service and comfortable hotel style beds add to the feeling of comfort and luxury. Because of Swiss Tiara’s popularity with British travellers, all cabins also have tea and coffee making facilities.
All three decks have 193 sq. ft. suites whose added space gives a feeling of luxury. All cabins on the Diamond and Ruby Decks feature French balcony windows that slide open, while the cabins on the Emerald Deck have two picture windows.
MS Swiss Tiara has an onboard hairdresser and Wellness area with whirlpool, sauna and steam room. There is a lift between the Ruby and Diamond Deck to aid passengers’ movement around the ship.
MS Swiss Tiara’s four eight-day itineraries are Medieval Germany – the Main to the Danube River Cruise, Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg River Cruise, The Blue Danube River Cruise and the Rhine Cruise to Switzerland ,which can be extended to 11 days with a trip on the Glacier Express train.