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TUI River Cruises to breathe new life into entertainment

New vocal performances and improved top deck activities, such as virtual reality golf, escape rooms and chocolate art, are on the way
TUI River Cruises said fresh onboard entertainment is coming, crafted in collaboration with Live Business which won a tender to continue providing entertainment services for the operator's daytime and nighttime programmes.

The offering takes strong consideration of different customer preferences, offers variation and flexibility, and each itinerary and ship programme will have some links to the destinations visited.  

The onboard team will also increase with the addition of a cruise experience manager. This will be alongside a three-person entertainment team.   

TUI River Cruises MD - specialist business, Chris Logan, said, ‘We don’t want to settle for a traditional river cruise model. We, of course, offer incredible itineraries, onboard beautiful ships, with impeccable service, but we also want to be innovative and modern, responding to customers' needs and demands.’

He added, ‘Many of our customers return to us, and so it's imperative we evolve and offer as much variety as we can.’ 

Coming up for 2024 

A TUI River Cruises team will perform ‘bespoke vocal’ productions. The style shall be a cross between an intimate cabaret set and a bigger performance in the evening. These evenings shall be supported by local acts and include additional elements, such as quizzes, for added variety.  

The operator will also offer enhanced craft activities, for instance, a chocolate painting workshop guided by the resident team where passengers learn the art of working with chocolate to explore flavours and create art. 

A digital escape room experience using augmented reality is another addition, with passengers invited to use their own devices or on board VR headsets.

Further improved top deck activities are coming, either hosted with a team member such as virtual reality golf, or giant deck games. A digital games table for use at any time, day or night, will be added.

Favourites such as stargazing and silent disco will continue.

Destination enrichment activities

Over half of TUI River Cruises’ passengers said destination is the most important factor when choosing a cruise, leading the operator to add destination enrichment activities to the daytime programme – mobile photography workshops, for example, to help capture moments when out and about. 

Fresh brief

TUI River Cruises’ head of river cruises, Katy Berzins, said of the continuing collaboration with Live Business, ‘The brief was fresh, and we tasked them with showing us what more we could do that perhaps isn’t typically seen on a river cruise. 

‘We’re excited to roll out what is set to be a real showcase of enriching experiences. 

‘Guests can pick and choose what suits them, be as involved as much or as little as they please. 

‘The vocal productions on board river cruise ships aren’t typically seen, and we are aiming for a real intimate professional experience.’ 

Remodelled entertainment structure 

A spokesperson for Live Business added, ‘Live Business Group are extremely excited to continue our partnership with TUI River Cruises as the brand enters the next chapter of growth and development. Fundamentally, the TUI river cruise guests are at the forefront of every decision we make to provide the best possible onboard experience and service levels. Guests can expect to see a unique and innovative entertainment programme across the fleet…’ 

They went on to add that ‘by offering unrivalled and distinguished entertainment concepts throughout the daytime and evening within a remodelled entertainment structure, TUI & Live Business have broken away from the conventional model and redesigned the onboard experience that will shape the future of the river cruise industry for many years to come.’