So you’ve found a fabulous river cruise aboard the absolutely amazing MS Lord Byron – but is the ship “truly one of the finest ships of this type afloat anywhere in the world” as described in Riviera Travel’s brochure?
Online reviews from previous travellers can be a useful guide, but this is a new ship which doesn’t start cruising until next season. Without any reviews of the MS Lord Byron it can be difficult to gauge whether the ship is right for you. In this post I’ll look at some of the factors and resources one might consider in making that final decision.
MS Lord Byron Star Rating & Amenities
The MS Lord Byron is classified as a 5 star ship by Riviera Travel. However, unlike hotels there is no independent standardized rating system in place for river cruise ships. The rating is therefore set by the tour operator (in this case Riviera Travel) or the ship operator (Scylla AG, Switzerland). It is a useful guide to the standards and amenities onboard, but comparisons across different operators are difficult.
The 140 guest capacity of the MS Lord Byron is, by comparison, low for a modern river cruise ship of this size, resulting in a staff to passenger ratio of 4:1. Cabins are to be relatively generous in size at 161 sq.ft. up to 242 sq.ft. for the four deluxe suites. All cabins on the middle and upper decks also feature floor to ceiling glass windows opening to a French (Juliette) style balcony. Bathrooms will be of a quality standard with marble and glass fittings throughout.
Public areas also promise to be luxuriously fitted out in common with the ship operators other 5 star river cruise ships. As well as a modern, comfortable restaurant, the ship features a panoramic observation lounge, Lido bar, sundecks with chairs and loungers, boutique, Spa with sauna, steam room, beautician and whirlpool.
The next thing to look at is Riviera Travel themselves, what is the standard of the tours they operate? What do previous customers say? And if you’ve been somewhere else with them before what did you think?
My view is that Riviera have a strong following and are very well respected for providing high quality tours at excellent value. Given that they wouldn’t want to undermine their reputation I think one can be comfortable that they believe that the MS Lord Byron meets their high standards and are happy to have it for their flagship cruises.
One other area that can be useful to look at is the ship operator. Scylla AG first started operating river cruise ships 1974 and over the years have build up a fleet of 17 modern ships, with the MS Lord Byron being the latest edition. Scylla charter ships to a number of organisation, as well as Riviera in the UK there is also Tauck, a highly regarded US tour operator.
The fact that Scylla are building their own fleet of boats places them firmly in the top tier of ship operators, and as a new ship the MS Lord Byron benefits from all their 38 years of experience in river cruise ship design and operation.
Feedback from travellers on other Scylla river ships suggests a very attentive service, fine food – and Swiss efficiency of operation – are all part of the package. You can see a sample menu on the itinerary pages (see the links at the bottom of this post).
Given our experience of Riviera Travel and Scylla we really like the MS Lord Byron! We believe it offers excellent quality and value and expect to see some really strong reviews coming through next year.
If you have any questions please give us a call or use the comments box below and we’ll do our very best to answer it for you.
Want to know more …
MS Lord Byron River Cruises
Click the link below for more detailed information on the river cruise itineraries, MS Lord Byron images, departure dates and prices for the tour.