VIVA Riverside Altstadt – the Düsseldorf hotel check on the river

Under Views of Emily Brontë you will find all the photos of the floating hotel.

Available soon: Click here for our detailed portrait of MS Emily Brontë in our STORY@SEA.

The choice of hotels in Düsseldorf is generally extensive and everything is on offer in terms of style, location and price. But be careful! Anyone travelling to Düsseldorf on the Rhine for a few days between January and March for business or pleasure should not rush into booking accommodation. Because there is something special at this time: The VIVA Riverside Altstadt Hotel literally docks on the Rhine promenade in the form of an elegant river cruise ship. And that’s not all: the berth at the foot of the Oberkassel Bridge is in the immediate vicinity of Düsseldorf’s world-famous Old Town, the Maritime Museum and the elegant shopping street Königsallee „Kö“.

Those who book the VIVA Riverside Hotel are choosing a maritime accommodation: in the boutique hotel on the water, guests immerse themselves in an elegant river cruise world – but without setting sail. The cruise ships have one thing in common: they are furnished to a high standard, from the lounge to the restaurant to the cabins – everywhere is very clean, lovingly furnished and cosy.

The concept of VIVA Riverside

During the low season in autumn and winter, VIVA places one or more ships, usually in Düsseldorf and Cologne. The riverboats are then available as floating accommodation, especially during trade fairs – but also on other dates. These can be booked directly via the provider or via the usual hotel portals.

However, the product of a classic „river cruise“ is not found on board and this should be clear to you before booking. The ship becomes a pure hotel – similar to those on land. In my eyes, the ship hotel has unbeatable advantages: A central berth on the water with a view of the river landscape or the shore, high-quality accommodation, an excellent ship’s kitchen, the sun deck for relaxing and going for a walk and perhaps the most important thing: a consistently friendly crew who know what is important and who make no difference whether the ship is a cruise ship or a floating hotel.

During your stay on the ship, everything works just like in a hotel on land: drinks at the bar, which is open from 10am to 11pm, cost separately, as does dinner in the restaurant. I tried it out and was impressed by the above-average presentation and quality of the food. I would have loved to order everything again…

The price level is attractive in relation to the quality delivered and in no way has to hide from other hotels. I would go so far as to say: „On the contrary“ – it easily outperforms other hotels.

One thing has become rather rare in hotels these days: breakfast included in the room rate. At VIVA Riverside, it’s not only included, it’s high quality, plentiful and tasty. The connection to river cruises cannot be denied here – all the better 😉.

Incidentally, companies and private individuals can charter the VIVA Riverside ships for events or private occasions such as wedding celebrations. The catering concept can be individually arranged during the stay: Anything is possible – nothing is a must. Such extensive and flexible offers were not available on the river or hotel scene a few years ago and it is not surprising that they are obviously well accepted by customers.

The room choice – better known as the cabin offer

In principle, the rooms on offer depend on the ship used. Therefore, the design and the size of the cabins always vary slightly depending on the ship. However, no major surprises are to be expected, as the ship owner „Scylla“ is known in the industry for its high standards.

What the guest is always offered are the exclusively available outside cabins. In this particular case, the Emily Brontë offers the smallest cabins with 16m2 on the lowest Emerald Deck. The windows here are relatively small due to the proximity to the waterline; however the same cabin standard is offered compared to those cabins on higher decks.

The cabins above are between 17m2 and 25m2 in size and offer large window fronts with sliding elements on the Ruby and Diamond decks, so that the popular French balconies can be found here.

MS Emily Brontë also offers four Deluxe Balcony Suites, which have an amazingly large „real“ balcony.

All cabin categories are equipped with a 40-inch flat-screen TV, fridge, safe, hairdryer, air conditioning, telephone, bathroom with (rain) shower, tea and coffee making facilities and a small seating area with table. Free WIFI is also available. If you are missing an umbrella or slippers, you can easily get them at reception.

Emily Brontë and the VIVA Riverside fleet

VIVA Riverside can draw on about 40 ships from its Swiss parent company Scylla for its hotel concept and position and deploy them flexibly. And so you can find hotel ships from „A“ like Alina to „W“ like William Wordworth in the range of offers.

During my stay at the „VIVA Riverside Altstadt“, MS Emily Brontë was used as described.

You can find out how the ship got its special name and how to pronounce it in our detailed ship portrait, which introduces the ship and its amenities.


Not least because of the excellent quality of the beds, I got up the next morning feeling wonderfully rested and ready to start the day. The only issue, however, I was able to deal with: Eight pillows on the bed were seven too much for me personally and the bedside alarm clock glowed so brightly that I had to pull the plug to be able to fall asleep.

The extensive breakfast buffet with its crispy baked goods, fresh fruit and warm dishes made my start to the day on the river even sweeter.

Overall, the „hotel“ product is very successful and will inspire every traveller to stay in such a „different“ way – it doesn’t always have to be a glass complex of high-rise buildings in the middle of an urban concrete jungle. This attractive alternative clearly demonstrates this.

Tip: In contrast to the cruise operation, the hotel ship is also open to non-hotel guests for coffee and cake, an evening at the bar or an enjoyable dinner. You can take this opportunity to get a taste of the river cruise feeling and look around on board.

And who knows? Maybe the current “ shorebird“ will soon be the enthusiastic cruiser of tomorrow – at least I wouldn’t be surprised – thanks to VIVA Riverside…

MS Emily Brontë of Scylla / Riviera Travel

Advertising: SHIPS@SEA visited the VIVA Riverside Hotel on board the Emily Brontë at the invitation of VIVA Cruises.



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