Five Star Dining, Lounges & Bars

Five Star Dining, Lounges and Bars

Here you will find everything you need to know about dining on board our luxury European river cruise vessels including lounges and bars, dietary requirements, special requests and drinks packages.


Fine Culinary Experiences 


Quality dining is an integral part of your river cruise experience – our ships take this to the highest five-star levels with superb cuisine prepared by a dedicated brigade of chefs.

Start the morning with a delicious breakfast. Take a stroll on the Sun Deck and enjoy early risers’ tea or coffee with your freshly baked pastries. A heartier option is the full breakfast buffet, a sumptuous affair with more than 60 hot and cold options, as well as a popular omelette station for eggs just the way you like them. If you prefer a more relaxed morning, have continental breakfast served in your cabin as you watch riverside life drift gently by.

A very comprehensive lunch buffet allows a selection of as little or as much as you wish from a most appetising selection. Don’t forget to leave some room for afternoon tea and the chef’s special patisserie – it’s just too tempting to even attempt to ignore.

The day’s culinary highlight is the splendid four-course dinner: entrée, soup, main and dessert, all in the elegant ambience of a first-class restaurant. Our carefully designed menus include international classics, along with dishes that reflect the regions we pass, with hand-picked selections from local markets. In addition, the Captain proudly hosts his excellent ‘Gala Dinner’ featuring specialities of the countries and regions through which you’ve journeyed.

Of course, any mealtime would not be complete without drinks. See below for drinks package information.

"The food was amazing with so much choice each and every day, beautifully prepared and served by quality waiters. It was something to remember. "


Example river cruise restaurant menu

Basket of bread at breakfast buffet

Chocolate sprinkled pudding with strawberry and fork

Prawn cocktail and slice of aubergine


Comfortable Lounges & Bars


Relax in our lounge areas where the ship’s designers have created a genteel atmosphere of understated elegance with a wide selection of comfortable seating. Where could be better to lose yourself in conversation with like-minded new friends, sip a coffee, perhaps play chess or bridge, or just relax whilst admiring the incredible scenery?

The welcoming bar offers a full range of drinks sourced from all over the world, including the finest wines and spirits. When the sun sinks slowly below the riverside hills, this is the perfect place to relax and reflect on another day’s experiences. A modest selection of books can be found on each ship, and the lounge and bar areas are the perfect setting to relax and get lost in a story.

On board all our five-star ships, except the MS Douro Elegance and the MS Douro Splendour, the stern bar transforms into the ‘chef’s restaurant’ for dinner, with magnificent panoramic windows and cosy seating. Here, the chef presents his personal favourite signature dishes using the finest seasonal produce. Reservations for this fantastic dining experience can be made on board.

Don’t forget the bartenders and their wonderful enthusiasm and skill. Why not order an extravagant cocktail, or take a look at the classic wine list offering a fantastic selection of traditional and local wines? You won’t be disappointed by the prices either – take a look at a sample bar menu list here. Please note that the example bar menu provided here is not applicable to every cruise and the selection of drinks available and prices advised will vary from ship to ship. 


Bistro dining table with chairs and orange cocktails before panoramic windows

Stools around bar area

Bistro dining area with wine glasses and stripey chairs


Welcome Drinks & the Captain's Dinner


It is extremely important to us that you feel comfortable and relaxed on board the ship, so a welcome reception will be held in the lounge for you to meet the other guests as well as the captain and his crew. Generally, the reception is held on the second night of the tour and is followed by the Welcome Dinner.

Towards the end of the cruise, the Captain formally invites you to the prestigious gala dinner, with an extended menu offering six elaborate courses of fine food. This is the perfect opportunity to dress up if you wish, adding to the exhilarating atmosphere. The day on which this dinner takes place will be confirmed in your final travel documents.

There is a musician on every ship providing subtle entertainment as you relax in the lounge. The tour manager will give presentations on your upcoming destinations and a quiz night is often held.


Tray of fruit puddings with kiwi slices

Cosy restaurant with green plants

Fish and tomato dish


Special & Dietary Requirements

Our talented and creative chefs will always do their best to accommodate your requests, where possible. We are able to provide for vegetarian, gluten-free, low-sugar, lactose-free and vegan diets on most of our ships. We ask that you contact the reservations team prior to departure to confirm details with the specific ship on which you will be staying.

"One of our party was coeliac  she was very impressed with the care that was taken to ensure she always had plenty of choice."


Seating Policy

At Riviera Travel, we want you to feel like you're at home with friends, so we have a policy of informal free seating and smaller tables, avoiding the typical regimentation of many cruise ships. Tables are set for four to six people for a more personal, intimate experience.



Drinks Package


While we include everything you might need in our prices, we never charge for something you might not. If you prefer to pre-order your drinks, you can purchase our drinks package which offers a selection of drinks during lunch and dinner.

Simply relax and when it’s time to dine in the restaurant, take your pick from a range of: draught beer; non-alcoholic beer; soft drinks; juices; red, white and rosé house wines; and wine recommendations from the menu by the glass.

  • 5 day cruises: £69 per person
  • 6 day cruises: £79 per person
  • 8 day cruises: £109 per person
  • 15 day cruises: £209 per person

Drinks packages must be purchased by all guests in the same cabin or suite, and do not include drinks from the bar. To book the drinks package please call the reservations team.  If you choose not to purchase a drinks package, there is a vast selection of drinks on board each ship available for individual purchase.

Take a look at a sample bar menu list here. Please note that the bar menu provided here is not applicable to every cruise and the selection of drinks available and prices advised will vary from ship to ship. This is only an example.



Find Out More About Life On Board


Please note that the above information is for our European river cruise collection. For all other cruises please visit the tour page and/or the ship page for further information.

Download Your Free Guide to River Cruising