TUI River Cruises – Your Ultimate Guide

This is a sponsored post for TUI River Cruises.

River cruising is one of the fastest-growing tourism industries in the world, and honestly it’s not hard to see why. You get a lot of the benefits of an ocean cruise – comfortable accommodation in a moving hotel, great dining and entertainment – but right at the heart of some incredible cities, and at a much more relaxed pace.

TUI River Cruises

TUI River Cruises offers fantastic value, welcoming ships, exciting itineraries and more, and in this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to understand exactly what a TUI river cruise is like, and why you should be considering it for your next getaway.

Let’s take a look.

Book your river cruise now for big savings

Up to £200 extra off on summer 2024 sailings!

TUI River Cruise Ships

TUI River Ship

A river cruise ship is very different from an ocean cruise ship – not least in size. TUI’s ships cater to no more than 155 guests, while most ocean cruise ships are home to thousands. So you already know that you’re going to experience a much more relaxed atmosphere onboard.

That’s reinforced by the adults-only policy on TUI river ships. While some river cruise lines allow families onboard, the market is much smaller and so TUI – for now – has decided to keep ships calm exclusively for adults.

There will still be a choice of restaurants onboard, though you’re looking more at two than the 10+ you might find on ocean ships. The menus do change though, so don’t worry about having to enjoy the same dishes every night – there’s plenty of variety.

Despite the smaller size of the ships and the crowds onboard, there’s still plenty to do. Daytime activities can include cookery demos and cocktail-making lessons, while at night you can expect a resident musician and singer, dance acts, quizzes and other varied activities.


The beauty of a river cruise is how you are whisked right into the heart of every destination. Unlike an ocean cruise, where you might have an hour (or more) to travel from the port to actually get into the city, with a river cruise you’re right there.

Just step off the ship, and your tour begins. A lot of people like to use their ship as a base for the day, returning for lunch or for a rest before setting off to explore once again. It all feels a lot more casual and you have the chance to explore at your own pace, either alone or with the excursions offered.

The most popular rivers are the Rhine, the Main, the Moselle, the Danube and the waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium but you can also experience a Nile river cruise if you want to explore the wonders of Egypt.

You’ll be able to see major capital cities on a TUI river cruise, including the epic Budapest and the beauty of Vienna, but you’ll also see smaller ports that are home to historic castles, charming restaurants, Christmas markets and more.

And in 2025, the new ship TUI Alma will offer river cruises on the Douro in Portugal and Spain for the first time.

All-Inclusive Fares

TUI River Cruise All Inclusive

When you book an ocean cruise, typically you get your food, your entertainment and your accommodation, but everything else costs extra. There are a few exceptions where you get drinks and tips included – such as Marella Cruises, also owned by TUI – but ocean cruises typically have a lot of extra costs to pay.

Not so with a TUI river cruise. You get ‘Full Board Plus’ as standard on your cruise, which means all of your accommodation, food and entertainment are covered along with your drinks during your three meals each day, tips, and even free WiFi for you to enjoy during your cruise. Plus your flights and transfers are included in the fare, too.

This means there’s no worrying about budgeting or whether or not you should have that next glass of wine – just relax, since you’ve taken care of it all already.

Award-Winning Service

TUI River Cruises has won multiple awards in recent years for its outstanding service and the value for money that it offers.

In the 2023 Cruise Critic Editor’s Picks Awards, the cruise line won twice – once for Best Value for Money and also the Best for First Timers award, showing that TUI is a great cruise line if you’ve never tried a river cruise before.

And at the Wave Awards 2023 – where I won Favourite Cruise Blogger – TUI River Cruises was voted as the Best River Cruise Line!

Final Word

TUI River Cruises offers some fantastic cruise options, and with the value for money they provide, you can have an incredible holiday without having to break the bank.

As the cruise line becomes even more popular, more dates will sell out, so if you’ve been thinking about booking then I’d recommend making the leap – you’ll love it!

Book your river cruise now for big savings

Up to £200 extra off on summer 2024 sailings!

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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