2015 River Ship Launches

River cruising is set to continue as one of the hottest holiday trends and it comes as no surprise that cruise lines are introducing new ships to their fleet year on year! With demand continuously growing and river cruises selling out it’s great news for those who are dying to try out a river cruise in coming years!

Viking River Cruises

Taking the lead is Viking with 14 new ships joining their fleet this year – not quite as many as last year’s record breaking 18 vessels but still a large amount!

Ship Names - Viking Eir, Viking Gefjon, Viking Lofn, Viking Mani, Viking Mimir, Viking Modi, Viking Skirnir, Viking Ve, Viking Vidar, Viking Vili, Viking Astrild, Viking Beyla, Viking Mandalay and Viking Orient

10 of Viking’s new vessels will be additional Award-Winning Viking Longships set to sail on the Rhine, Main and Danube! We are not expecting any dramatic change to the style and layout – just small changes to décor! Viking’s Longships are designed to carry 190 passengers, built with 95 staterooms; 2 Explorer Suites, 7 two bedroom Veranda Suites, 39 Veranda Staterooms, 22 French Balcony Staterooms and the remainder are lower-deck staterooms with a window.

There will be 2 smaller sized vessels launching on the Elbe – Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla. Unfortunately for Viking their ‘Longships’ are too large to navigate the shallow Elbe & so the newer ships will be designed specifically for their Elbe Itineraries with customised hulls and engines. The 2 smaller sized vessels will have a different layout and carry a more intimate, 98 passengers in 49 staterooms.

The final 2 Viking ships scheduled to launch this year are designed specifically for Burma – Viking Orient and Viking Mandalay. Both ships will carry 60 passengers each and every stateroom will be a generous 168 square feet, decorated in colonial style.

Myself and my colleague, Dawn travelled onboard one of Viking’s Longships just a few months ago, you can find a blog of our time on-board here.


AmaWaterways, 'Officially the best river cruise fleet in Europe', confirmed they will introduce two new Certo Class river cruise ships in 2015, AmaSerena and AmaVista AND a new custom-designed Vessel for the Mekong, AmaDara.

AmaSerena & AmaVista, currently under construction in the Netherlands, will each carry 164 guests and feature the same modern, elegant styling introduced aboard the AmaCerto in 2012.

Both new Certo Class ships will feature spacious, luxurious accommodations with most staterooms boasting AmaWaterways' unique Twin Balcony concept that includes both a French and a full step-out balcony within one single room. New to both ships there will be a number of connecting cabins, perfect for families and friends travelling together. Staterooms will also equipped with state-of-the-art entertainment on demand systems which provides complimentary access to internet, Hollywood movies and a library of streaming music.

Scheduled for delivery in March 2015, the two new European Certo Class ships will offer new opportunities to experience AmaWaterways' culturally immersive voyages.

AmaDara, scheduled for delivery in August 2015 will hold 124 guests and feature a similar colonial style décor as seen on AmaLotus but with a slightly different layout; all accommodation will be towards the aft of the main reception and all public areas towards the front. It is rumoured that there will be no lower-deck cabins and all cabins will have either a French balcony or an outside cabin. Guests travelling onboard AmaDara will have access to a swimming pool on top deck, a fitness centre and salon and spa services.

Phil, our MD visited AmaSerena and AmaVista in the shipyard a few months ago.. check out his images of the ships being built here.

Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways have scheduled two new Suite Ships, Avalon Tapestry II and Avalon Tranquillity II, for delivery this spring – bringing the total in their fleet to 10!

The new Avalon ‘Suite Ships’, will offer the same state-of-the-art sleek design, spacious suites and focus on service as their sister ships in the fleet.  All the ships will offer two full decks of Panorama suites with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create unique ‘open air balconies’.

The Avalon Tapestry II will join the Avalon Poetry II (launched 2014) and sail a range of cruises on the Rhone, Saone and Seine doubling capacity on French rivers.  Tapestry II will sail the popular ‘Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches’ itinerary on a year- round basis whilst Poetry II sails the 11 day ‘Burgundy and Provence’ from the Cote d’Azur to Chalon-sur-Saone from March to September. A combination of both river cruises is available on the 16 day ‘Grand France’ cruise.

Emerald Waterways

Emerald Waterways, the newest river cruise line in the market is set to launch 2 new ships March 2015, Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn. Both ships will be of similar design and layout to sister ships Emerald Star and Emerald Sky. Both will carry 182 passengers in 92 stateroom. There is set to be 5 stateroom categories; 2 solo cabins, 18 standard staterooms, 60 panorama balcony suites, 8 grand balcony suites and 4 owner’s suites.

The 2 new ships will each feature Emerald’s innovative pool/cinema area – an indoor heated pool by day, with a retractable roof…which at the flick of a switch transforms into a cinema room by night! Other features for guests to enjoy include a gym, hair salon and massage room.

Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn will sail the Rhine, Danube and the Main!

Gill, one of our River Cruise experts was lucky enough to experience a Danube river cruise on-board Emerald Star late 2014, her blog with images can be found here.

Scenic Tours

Scenic Jasper & Scenic Opal
Scenic Tours is expanding its feet of Space Ships with 2 new arrivals in 2015, Scenic Jasper and Scenic Opal. Both will be a similar size and layout to existing Scenic Space Ships at around 443 feet long.

Both Scenic Jasper and Scenic Opal will carry 169 guests in 85 cabins. There is a total of 16 stateroom categories on-board – the majority of which feature a step-out balcony. Every stateroom with a step-out balcony will benefit from Scenic’s ‘Sun Lounge Concept’ – whereby the balcony doors open up completely to the stateroom.

Scenic Jasper and Scenic Opal are set to launch April 2015 and will both be sailing the Rhine, Danube and the Main!


“We are delighted to name our new 2015 Super Ship after such a great historical figure as Maria Theresa who had a wonderful and long legacy,” said Guy Young, president of Uniworld. “In addition, Maria Theresa was the mother of Marie Antoinette, so in the spirit of our award-winning ship, S.S. Antoinette, we are confident the S.S. Maria Theresa will be equally as magnificent.”

"Our aim is to transport each guest into experiencing the fantasy of living in an 18th-century Baroque castle. We designed the S.S. Maria Theresa to take our guests on a journey back in time with an onboard atmosphere and style seamlessly integrated with the history and architecture of the very places they will visit onshore, as well as provide them with the latest in luxurious comfort and technology, of course," states Toni Tollman

S.S. Maria Theresa will offer 64 chic staterooms, 10 extravagant suites and one remarkable Royal Suite, holding a maximum of 150 guests and 57 staff members. In true Uniworld style, each stateroom will be unique but all feature sumptuous fabric-wall coverings combined with rich-handmade carpets, antique furnishings, original art, canopy or four poster custom made-to-order English Savoir beds draped in the finest monogrammed bed linens, and open-air or French balconies.

S.S. Maria Theresa will launch March 2015 and will serve the line’s popular "Tulips & Windmills," "European Holiday Markets," and "Grand Christmas & New Year's Cruise" itineraries.

Riviera Travel River Cruises

Riviera Travel have confirmed two new river ships for 2015, MS Charles Dickens and MS Jane Austen! Both will boast four spacious decks to the same specification and standards of Riviera’s existing fleet, but of course, with their own added personality. Their elegant décor will be finished with luxuriously comfortable deep armchairs and settees plus subtle and tasteful lighting. Built to Riviera Travel’s high quality and specific requirements, made with sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods, highly polished brass and wrought iron fittings.

Holding just 140 passengers, with four carefully designed decks, MS Charles Dickens and MS Jane Austen will be noticeably more spacious than similar sized ships, which carry 180 guests. Plus with 35 crew members, the service will be to Riviera Travel’s exceptional standards!

If you would like further information regarding any new ships for 2015 please do not hesitate to call our river cruise experts who will offer their honest advice.

Come Back Soon. Jess - RiverCruising.co.uk