TUI River Cruise ships have a standard of two onboard restaurants and bars. A please-all top deck, featuring sunbathing, lounging and activity zones. A Full Board Plus package as standard. So, you’ve got three meals and drinks at mealtimes included in the price. And you can look forward to free unlimited Wi-Fi all over the ship.

135m Long | 12m Wide | Decks: 4 | Cabins: 79 | Restaurants: 2 | Bars: 2

The standard cabins measure up at 12m² and come with a desk and a fixed double bed. You can also expect tea and coffee-making facilities, a Smart TV, and Molton Brown toiletries.

Deck 2 French Balcony Suite Cabin CHAT RIVER CRUISING HERE 

At 24m², they’re a lot bigger than our other cabins, giving you extra space for a sofa, a coffee table, a fridge, a dressing area, and a larger bathroom with a rainfall shower. You’ll also get a desk and a king-size bed, which can be converted into two singles. What’s more, you can look forward to plush perks, like an amenities kit packed with Molton Brown toiletries to take home, and use of a bathrobe and slippers. There’s also a Smart TV and USB ports. A Continental breakfast in bed each morning is part of the package, too.

  •  Deck 3 French Balcony Suite Cabin

    Same as the French Balcony on deck two There’s also a Smart TV and USB ports. A Continental breakfast in bed each morning is part of the package, too.

    Other Cabins including Single cabins are available.



    Dining-wise, you’ve got your pick of two restaurants, Verdastro and Bistro. Both restaurants plate up buffet breakfasts, before transforming into an à la carte for lunch and dinner. You can look forward to a six-course gala dinner on every sailing, too. Our cruises are on a Full Board Plus basis, which means dining at our two restaurants and a range of mealtime drinks are included. If you fancy a bigger selection of drinks or want a glass of wine outside of mealtimes, you’ll need to upgrade to the All Inclusive package, or pay as you go.

    •  Verdastro on Deck 3

      There’s an elegant green-and-gold colour scheme in our main restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu changes daily, with fresh, seasonal food sourced from local suppliers. For dinner, there’s always a meat, fish, veggie and pasta dish. You can choose from the buffet or the menu at breakfast, while lunch and dinner are an à la carte affair with waiter service. Seating-wise, you can pick from tables for two, or pull up a chair with friends on a table for four or six.

    •  Al fresco dining Available on Deck 4

      As well as sunbeds, the top deck’s also laid out with tables and chairs. When the weather permits, we’ll put on outdoor events, like barbecues. You can get drinks up here, too.

    •  Bistro on deck 3  CHAT RIVER CRUISING HERE 

      Things are a little more casual in Bistro, our second restaurant. It’s attached at the hip with Verdastro, giving you an extra dining option. Like Verdastro, it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can choose from the buffet or the menu at breakfast, while lunch and dinner are an à la carte affair, with the menu changing halfway through the sailing. Plus, it hosts an afternoon tea buffet once per sailing.


TUI Isla cruise areas:

  • Main
  • Danube
  • Dutch & Belgian Waterways
  • Moselle
  • Rhine

click for TUI webpage for ISLA

TUI webpage for MAYA

TUI webpage on SKYLA (only Danube)





1   Problem

I’m Commander Kieron Philips… or was. I’ve been discharged from my military service; not that the Army uses that term nowadays. There won’t be much paperwork on it. There was never much paperwork on anything they had me do.

I can sense when something’s very wrong, but the real skill is to figure out what it is before it kills you. Maybe I’m overthinking things, suffering from no longer being in military service, but something feels wrong. Maybe I need more therapy, but I used to be paid to feel this right.

The hairs on the back of my neck, the sensitive skin under my ears and on my cheeks sense change; the pressure, the texture, and the temperature. The air in this small plane has been less fresh than on my long-haul flight, but now the doors must be open. People are reaching overhead for their bags, hurrying to queue, to leave. Like so many young soldiers I watched rush in under fire, when a cool head might have saved them, they are keen to get off. Their bulky hand luggage appears too heavy. Re-location? A mass exodus from Colombia to Costa Rica?

Perhaps they’re hawkers, off to sell to tourists on beaches, and this excess hand luggage is their stock. That would explain the impatience; every minute lost is a missed sale.

‘Stand up and join the queue’, I tell myself, but I remain fixed in the penultimate row at the rear of the plane. The larger part of me is not ready to stop profiling others and join the civilians. I never asked to be a real civilian. 

I had changed planes for the second time at Cartagena after a long flight across the Atlantic, so I’ll have to wait for my checked-in case if it managed to follow me. My hand luggage is two uniforms: ‘parade’ for a casual event, and ‘ceremonial’ for formal evenings, plus black boots. None of that leaves my side now I can no longer replace it. Everything else I own is replaceable and stowed below, hopefully. I’m wearing civvie hiking boots just in case I can get to see Braulio Carillo National Park before we sail. I’m ready to dump bags and run, although I suspect that’s a long shot. A travel-day often vanishes, and so far, this has been two days, three planes. 

I feel the heat now, but I’m used to that. I convince myself that the queue at immigration, then a wait at baggage reclaim, will put me behind the semi-locals with their excess hand luggage arguments at customs, so I should stay put. But the real reason is the woman behind me. I can’t turn and look, but I noticed her earlier. She’s built like an athlete: wide shoulders, toned arms. She hasn’t moved either. An athlete would be up, and in this race. She, however, has a worrying coolness and is waiting for something.

Our page on cruise insurance & antigen testing: click> INSURANCE & TESTING

CHAT GROUPS – a fantastic way to help others and a place to find answers. We run Facebook Groups for cruisers – see the list in black boxes after the ships and fleets listed above. CHAT RIVER CRUISING HERE – FRIENDLY FACEBOOK GROUP