The 2004-built MS Swiss Corona is the oldest girl in UK-based Riviera Travel’s fleet of river cruise ships. However, thanks to the most modern design techniques and safety features, this ship is still in its prime. Boasting three air-conditioned decks and a wealth of amenities that ensure guests experience a 5* cruise, the MS Swiss Corona is one of the finest vessels on European rivers.
The ship’s maximum capacity accommodates 140 passengers – predominantly loyal British customers who have an interest in culture, history and enrichment on their holidays. Riviera Cruises are also popular with other English-speaking markets, including Australia and the USA. All staff and crew onboard speak English too, so there’s no need to worry about translation difficulties. There’s a high crew to passenger ratio of less than 1 : 4, which helps to guarantee an excellent level of service and little personal touches that are bound to be appreciated.
‘Open dining’ in the main restaurant, situated on the Ruby Deck, ensures guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner without feeling overly formal. Breakfast and lunch services consist of a self-serve buffet system (with omelette station at breakfast), while dinner service is a four-course a la carte menu that dishes up regional speciality cuisine and European favourites that should suit every tastebud. Alternatively, enjoy a light lunch, dinner or early breakfast in the Lido Lounge at the aft of the ship, on the Diamond Deck. Early risers can also take tea or coffee with freshly baked pastries on the Sun Deck.
Relax in one of the two lounges on board, drink in hand. The Forward Observation Lounge offers superb views and comfortable chairs, while the full bar service ensures your glass can be kept topped up. As dusk approaches, a pianist plays background music to contribute to the refined and relaxing ambience, and the dancefloor opens up for evening entertainment. There is also the intimate and warm Lido Lounge on the Diamond Deck, which is equipped with a bar and small library.
Hot beverages are available at no extra charge, from the 24hour self-serve station. There is also an option for afternoon tea for a quintessentially British experience. There is no dress code enforced, but smart casual is a good option. If you do wish to dress up, the Captain’s Dinner is a great time to do it.
Low-key entertainment is available every evening, with an onboard pianist providing relaxing melodies in the Forward Observation Lounge. Most guests are happy to relax in one of the bars or lounges with pre-dinner drinks and aperitifs, before retiring to their suites.
The welcome dinner and Captain’s gala dinner are highlights of any cruise, both offering a great reason to dress up to the nines and enjoy the evening with new-found friends. Maybe pick up something new in the onboard boutique?
The Sun Deck is a perfect place to relax between shore excursions, with plenty of comfortable chairs and loungers available – plus deck games including giant chess and shuffleboard, and a putting green to keep guests entertained. There’s also a small splash pool – perfect for warm weather days.
Guests will be made aware of activities via a daily programme, which ensures everyone knows what the plans are. Shore excursions occur in every port, but passengers are free to explore independently if they wish. Expert local guides are available if you’d like to make the most out of the trip.
The Swiss Corona’s stylish staterooms are decorated beautifully, and possess all of the mod-cons that you might expect, including plenty of storage space, security safe, TV (with GPS system that can tell you where you are, and bow and aft cameras which mean you can enjoy the view without leaving your bed!), hairdryer, air conditioning and a comfortable ‘proper’ bed. There are also tea and coffee making facilities in the room (very British) as well as in the public areas of the ship – perfect for the first brew in the morning!
The 161 sq. ft. standard cabins on both Diamond and Ruby decks offer sliding patio style windows with French balconies so that guests can enjoy the views and fresh air at any time. Emerald deck cabins have smaller fixed windows. All cabins have en-suite facilities, and guests can enjoy a nightly turn-down service.
There are a limited number of Diamond and Ruby deck suites, which offer even more space at 193 sq. ft., luxurious seating areas and phenomenal views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and French balconies.
The wellness centre onboard is equipped with sauna, solarium, steam room and whirlpool for the ultimate pamper session whilst sailing along a river. The Sun Deck is also kitted out with enough sunloungers and comfortable chairs to allow guests a place in the sunshine to watch the world go by.
For active types, there is a small but functional fitness suite with a selection of exercise equipment on offer. The onboard hair salon can ensure that even after a workout session, there isn’t a hair out of place!
The MS Swiss Corona tends to sails along the Rhone and Saône, weaving through some of France’s beautiful towns and villages. Guests can enjoy a 7night river cruise, with an array of shore excursions available. A return trip on the Eurostar is included as standard (or return flights are available, at a supplement). From the vineyards of the Burgundy region to the rugged Ardeche gorges and medieval Avignon, a trip on the MS Swiss Corona will provide guests with a captivating close-up look at some of France’s most spectacular regions.