TUI Isla sails into the TUI River Cruises fleet in summer 2020. This compact and laidback adult-only ship will travel along Europe's scenic waterways with a maximum of 155 guests and the impressive 4:1 staff to guest ratio means you'll be well looked after on board. TUI Isla's four decks are lined with bars, restaurants, lounges, and leisure facilities; complemented by stylish cabins and suites complete with riverside views and welcome touches such as air-conditioning, hairdryer, flat-screen television, safe, and tea/coffee making facilities. Enjoy the Full Board Plus system where dining in the two restaurants and a range of drinks are included in your cruise fare; with the flexibility of personalising your cruise by choosing a premium drinks package, cabin type, and excursions. TUI's 24-hour helpline gives you access to round-the-clock assistance on or off the ship. Your cruise itinerary will be jam-packed with fascinating ports of call where you can join an organised excursion or explore the local sights independently.
The open-seating Verdastro main restaurant combines an elegant green-and-gold decor with a daily-changing menu of fresh, seasonal, and locally-sourced dishes. A hearty buffet breakfast will fuel your day; while lunch and dinner comprise a la carte fare served by waiter to your chosen table. A more casual option can be found at the adjacent Bistro where you can pick from the a la carte menu or help yourself to culinary treats at the buffet station. Weather permitting you can also feast on open-air cuisine on the top deck thanks to outdoor events such as barbecues.
The plush navy chairs, brass fittings, and mirrored tables in Club Lounge provide the perfect setting for a reviving mug of coffee by day and a cocktail or two by the roaring digital fire in the evening. 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 can also upgrade to a premium drinks package to enjoy your favourite draught beers, branded spirits, cocktails, and premium coffees.
The top deck of TUI Isla is a multi-purpose area where you can top up your tan on a sun bed, help yourself to freshly-cooked cuisine from the barbecue, or find your inner chi at a yoga session. The Atrium gives you access to the library, board games, and the onboard shop. The health and wellbeing area on Deck 2 hosts a sauna if you want to escape the hustle and bustle. The Observatory with its widescreen windows is your go-to by day for panoramic views; in the evening it's the place to head for vibrant entertainment from live music to rib-tickling comedy.
Day 1: UK to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Fly from selected UK airports to Amsterdam and be transferred to the port to board TUI Isla for your seven-night cruise. You'll have plenty of time to discover how Amsterdam earned its nickname of Venice of the North; see how canals slice through the charming centre of the city, painting a postcard-perfect picture. Spend the night here to watch Amsterdam really come to life; sip frothy beers in canal-side bars, dine in cosmopolitan restaurants, and sample the best brews around from the famous coffee houses. The A'DAM Tower is open until late, offering a 360-degree viewing deck and Europe's highest swing.
Day 2: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Make use of today to really uncover Amsterdam's gems. The jam-packed museum quarter is a good place to begin; the iconic Rijksmuseum takes centre stage but there's also the Van Gogh Museum and all of its fascinating exhibits. Take a relaxing 20-minute walk in the opposite direction to uncover Rembrandt House Museum and Anne Frank House which was the former home of the teenage wartime diarist. TUI Isla sets off for your next stop late this evening.
Day 3: Dordrecht, Netherlands
Dordrecht is today's port of call, where you'll find a selection of museums to explore. Inspect the paintings by Rembrandt's pupils along with the work of other Dutch Masters at Dordrecht Museum. Follow the signposts of Dordrecht Round Walk; which will lead you past some of the city centre's 950 monuments and you can marvel at 18th-century merchant buildings, charming quay areas, and the old city's gates.
Day 4: Veere, Netherlands
The ship drops anchor in Veere, where everywhere you look you'll be surrounded by spectacular waters. Lined with some of the country's best beaches to the north, this municipality is also fronted by a huge lagoon ideal for water sports. Take the morning to browse the quiet city at leisure and enjoy its peaceful village vibe. Known as one of the prettiest in the Netherlands; elegant riverfront townhouses with stepped gables complete the image for this location.
Day 5: Ghent, Belgium
Yesterday you'll have waved goodbye to the Netherlands and today you'll wake up in Belgium. The ship docks early and leaves late; you'll have plenty of leisure time to go sightseeing around the Medieval buildings of Ghent. Visit the turreted castle, 11th-century cathedral, and the 91-metre-tall Belfry.
Day 6: Antwerp, Belgium
This morning's itinerary will take you to Antwerp, Belgium's second charming city. Medieval meets modern here; thanks to the Gothic cathedral, riverside fort, and a collection of arty museums and high-end designer shops. Discover the striking MAS and MoMu museums in the 't Eilandje neighbourhood. Check out Rubenhuis; a museum housed in the 17th-century home of painter Peter Paul Rubens.
Day 7: Utrecht to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Spend today in Utrecht, known as Amsterdam’s laidback cousin. Explore quirky museums in the city; particularly Speelklok's jam-packed with old musical instruments, while another is dedicated the famous children's book character Miffy. The huge cathedral tower, actually detached from the cathedral itself, is a worthwhile climb for better views of the city. Afterwards, stop by one of the quaint pavement cafes for a frothy stein of beer or a rejuvenating coffee.
Day 8: Amsterdam, Netherlands to UK
After arriving in Amsterdam overnight, today your cruise comes to an end after breakfast. Disembark and be transferred back to the airport for your return flight home to the UK.