MS Emily Bronte Review - June 2017

Ian Warren – 12/06/17


I had never been onboard any of the ships in the Riviera Travel fleet, so jumped at the chance to visit their new 5 star MS Emily Bronte. This was despite the fact it was just a day trip, and meant that I had to leave my house at ­­­4.30am to get to the airport in time for my flight to Germany! When you have read my review, and watched my video, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850 to book your cruise, or for more details about Riviera Travel.

This all-suite ship only entered service earlier this year, and generally carries less than 170 passengers and around 44 members of crew. Although all the suites can take 2 people, a number are usually set aside for single travellers, some of which carry no single supplement.


We had a good tour around the ship, and looked in the various grades of accommodation, all of which were pretty impressive. You can see the pictures in my photo album on Facebook, and they are also shown in my video below. The restaurant is bright and inviting, and has a range of table sizes from 2 to 8, and the Bistro is also available for dining. The upper deck has a small putting green and a small whirlpool, as well as a good number of tables, chairs and sunbeds. At the front of the ship there is a great area to sit, which has a glass screen to keep the wind off, and also outdoor heaters in the canopy above for those cooler evenings.   


The standard of the fixtures and fittings onboard, and the quality of the food served to guests, are better than the prices paid would imply. Although I have always known, from customer feedback, that Riviera Travel’s river cruises offer great value for money, it is good to have now confirmed this for myself.

Accommodation is spread across three decks, and the various categories of suite are as follows: –

  • Emerald Deck Suite – these are 17 sq mtr (183 sq ft) and have high level fixed windows
  • Ruby Deck Suite – these are 17 sq mtr (183 sq ft) and have a French Balcony
  • Diamond Deck Suite – these are 17 sq mtr (183 sq ft) and have a French Balcony
  • Superior Stern Suite – these are 19.5 sq mtr (210 sq ft) and have a French Balcony
  • Superior Suite – these are 19.5 sq mtr (210 sq ft) and have a French Balcony
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite – these are 25.5 sq mtr (274 sq ft) and have a private sit on balcony
  • All suites onboard have the following features as standard – individually controlled air conditioning, safe, minibar, hairdryer, telephone, flat screen TV, and of course tea & coffee making facilities. The beds are hotel style, with the finest cotton linen, and can be double or twin layout, and suites also have a seating area with a table and two chairs. The Ensuite bathrooms have marble surfaces, fully glazed shower with a large ‘rain-shower’ head, and toiletries by ‘Crabtree & Evelyn’.


Facilities onboard include the following: –

  • Large sundeck with loungers, tables and chairs, putting green and whirlpool
  • Large panoramic lounge and bar with plenty of comfortable seating
  • Main restaurant where everyone can be seated at one sitting
  • Alternative dining venue the Bistro, with open kitchen and terrace, at no extra charge
  • A small fitness centre
  • Relax with a massage, or book an appointment at the hairdresser’s, for an additional charge
  • Relax with a book in the library, or browse for souvenirs in the shop
  • Keep up to date with your emails, or post photos of your holiday, courtesy of the complimentary Wi-Fi


The price you pay for your Riviera Travel river cruise includes all of the following: –

  • Return flights or rail connections from a choice of UK regional airports and train stations
  • Resort transfers to and from the ship
  • Full board accommodation from early-riser breakfasts through to late night snacks
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 24 hours a day
  • A programme of escorted walking tours and excursions, with local guides and tour managers
  • Bicycles for use ashore

Although alcoholic and soft drinks aren’t included, there is the option for 2018 cruises to pre-purchase a package giving you wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard. Alternatively you can just buy drinks as you wish, and example prices for the 2017 season include wines from €2.50 to €5.25 for 15cl, spirits from €5.50 for 4cl, beer for €2.50 for 25cl and €5.25 for 40cl, cocktails from €6.50, and cans of soft drink for €2.50.

Riviera Travel offers river cruising in Europe on the Douro, the Dutch Waterways, the Rhone & Saone, the Moselle, the Rhine, the Main, the Main-Danube Canal, and the Danube Rivers. The ships in their European fleet are as follows: –

  • Five-star MS Emily Bronte, MS Thomas Hardy, MS Robert Burns & MS Oscar Wilde
  • Five-star MS Lord Byron & MS Jane Austen
  • Five-star MS William Shakespeare & MS Charles Dickens
  • Five-star MS Swiss Corona & MS Swiss Tiara
  • Five-star MS Douro Elegance & MS Douro Serenity
  • Four-star superior MS Swiss Ruby

There is a good selection of itineraries to choose from.

  • Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch Bulbfields
  • Bruges, Medieval Flanders, Amsterdam & the Dutch Bulbfields
  • Rhine & Moselle
  • Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg
  • Medieval Germany, the Main to the Danube
  • Rhine Cruise to Switzerland (Glacier Express extension available)
  • Cruise the Heart of Europe
  • Budapest to the Black Sea
  • The Blue Danube (Budapest extension available)
  • The Douro, Oporto & Salamanca (Lisbon extension available)
  • Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
  • The Seine, Paris & Normandy
  • Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets

If you want to travel further afield, Riviera Travel also offers ‘A Journey on the Mekong’, aboard the RV Mekong Prestige II or RV Mekong Adventurer, and ‘A Journey on the Ganges’, aboard the RV Bengal Ganga.

As well as river cruises, Riviera Travel also offers a range of other holidays.

  • Escorted tours throughout Europe and many long haul destinations (my own holiday this year will be on their ‘Switzerland, Matterhorn & Glacier Express’ tour)
  • Small ship cruising in the Mediterranean on the MV Aegean Odyssey
  • Tall ship cruising in the Mediterranean on The Royal Clipper
  • Cruise the Dalmatian Coast on motor yachts MV Corona, MS Admiral and MS Aquamarin
  • Transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2, with land extensions including Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountaineer, New York, Las Vegas and the original Queen Mary

For details of any of the holidays offered by Riviera Travel call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850 now

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