The TUI River Cruises fleet welcomes TUI Maya in summer 2020. This adult-only ship sets sail along Europe's picturesque waterways with a maximum of 155 guests and boasts an impressive 4:1 staff to guest ratio. You'll soon find your way around thanks to her compact size, while the easy going, friendly atmosphere adds to your cruise experience. TUI Maya’s four decks are lined with bars, restaurants, lounges, and leisure facilities; alongside stylish cabins and suites featuring riverside views, air-conditioning, hairdryer, flat-screen televisions, safe, and tea/coffee amenities. Full Board Plus means dining in the two restaurants and a range of drinks are included in your cruise fare; plus you'll have the flexibility of personalising your cruise by choosing your own cabin type, excursions, and premium drinks package. Round-the-clock assistance is also available via the TUI 24-hour helpline. Most days your ship will drop anchor at one or two ports of call where you'll have the freedom to join an organised excursion or explore the local sights solo at your own speed.
Verdastro main restaurant combines its elegant green-and-gold decor and a daily-changing menu of fresh, seasonal, and locally-sourced cuisine with open-seating at tables for two, four, or six diners. Start the day at the breakfast buffet before an a la carte, waiter-served lunch and dinner. Alternatively, you can opt for the more casual dining option of the Bistro and choose from the a la carte menu or feast on a range of dishes at the buffet. Additionally, why not enhance your culinary experiences with open-air dining on the top deck from the barbecue, weather permitting?
Plush navy chairs, brass fittings, and mirrored tables set the scene in the Club Lounge; your go-to for morning coffee, followed by socialising with your fellow guests by the roaring digital fire and a gin and tonic or two. Full Board Plus means you can enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, and juices with breakfast, followed by soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner. You also have the option to upgrade to a premium drinks package which includes draught beers, branded spirits, cocktails, and premium coffee.
The top deck of TUI Maya is the daytime hub on warm days; whether it’s sunbathing on a cushion-topped lounger, helping yourself to a tasty treat from the open-air barbecue, or joining in a yoga or Pilates session. Step into the Atrium where you can play board games, lose yourself in a novel in the library, or indulge in retail therapy in the onboard shop. Escape to the health and wellbeing area on Deck 2 to unwind in the sauna. Panoramic river-side views are on the menu in The Observatory by day, while after dinner it’s the hotspot for thrilling entertainment from musicians and comedians.
Day 1: UK to Frankfurt, Germany
Fly from selected UK airports to Frankfurt and be transferred to the port to board TUI Maya for your seven-night Rhine Gems cruise. You'll have plenty of time to explore this vibrant German metropolis; admire the glistening, glass skyscrapers in the financial district and see the pretty-as-a-picture Romerberg Square where half-timbered houses huddle around a Medieval church. There’s also the 54-acre Palm Garden, which opened in 1871, and a whole district of museums to discover if time permits.
Day 2: Koblenz, Germany
You’ll reach the start of the romantic Middle Rhine Valley this morning. Step ashore in Koblenz which also happens to be the place where the Rhine and Moselle meet, visit the exact spot at Deutsches Eck, also known as German Corner. Then, follow the pretty riverside promenade all the way along to the neo-classical Electoral Palace. Depending on how you’re doing for time; you can also take a cable car up to the hilltop fort.
Day 3: Mainz, Germany
It’s all about history today, as you pull into Mainz. Dating back to the 1st century AD, this place is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Take a wander around and admire the Romanesque cathedral, the central Marktplatz, and the Gutenberg Museum which is dedicated to all things printing. You’re here all day, which means there’s also time to stretch your legs by doing the Three Bridges Walk – a two-hour scenic riverside circuit.
Day 4: Mannheim, Germany
Your next port of call is Medieval meets modern in Mannheim. You can wander around its Marktplatz, tour its lavish Baroque palace, and visit countless museums. This is a city famous for being one of the world’s most inventive; it was here that Karl Drais introduced the first bike in 1817 – and a sculpture marks his inaugural ride. A huge TV tower moves things into the 21st century and you can ascend to the top for panoramic views or to dine in the revolving restaurant.
Day 5: Kehl (Strasbourg), Germany
You get two stops in one today. The ship drops anchor in Kehl, Germany, which is just across the river from the French city of Strasbourg. This place has been passed between Germany and France for centuries and you’ll notice stamps everywhere you turn. Gaze in awe at the ever-so-pretty Palais Rohan and the Petite France district with its half-timbered houses, canals, and pretty bridges. Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg is a must-visit too; climb to the top of its tower to take in the views across the picturesque Black Forest.
Day 6: Rastatt, Germany
After docking in Rastatt last night; you can rise as early as you like to explore this 'city of palaces'. There are two opulent mansions to choose from – both are perfectly preserved, as they weren’t hit by any World War II raids. Schloss Rastatt’s striking coral exterior is matched by an equally extravagant interior of frescoes, chandeliers, and tapestries. And it’s the same story at Schloss Favorite; which features a unique room covered in mirrors.
Day 7: Rudesheim, Germany
Wine’s at the heart of today’s town. You’ll glide into Rudesheim nice and early, giving you plenty of time to tour its taverns and timber-dominated old town. Make a beeline down Drosselgasse to sample a glass or two of the local Riesling. Alternatively, make for the hills and the hard-to-miss Niederwald Monument – just a walk or cable car ride away. From the top, you can take in the Rhine Valley’s picture-perfect striped vineyards, castles, and winding river bends.
Day 8: Frankfurt, Germany to UK
Today your cruise comes to an end. Disembark and be transferred back to the airport for your return flight back to the UK.