MS VistaClassica Review and Specifications
Specifications of MS VistaClassica
|Year built||1990 / Age : 30|
|Builder||Baars BV (Sliedrecht, Holland)|
|Building cost||CHF 15 million|
|Owner||Classica River Cruises GmbH|
|Operator||1AVista Reisen Kreuzfahrten|
|Speed||8 kn / 15 kph / 9 mph|
|Length (LOA)||107 m / 351 ft|
|Beam (width)||11 m / 36 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||1300 gt|
|Decks with cabins||2|
|Former names||Ursula III, MS Heinrich Heine|
Review of MS VistaClassica
MS VistaClassica cruise ship was launched in 1990 and until 2017 (as "MS Heinrich Heine") was owned by Union Group (Bulgaria) and operated by its subsidiary company Dunav Tours (Ruse Bulgaria). Until 2018, the riverboat was often chartered by the German cruise travel agencies Phoenix Reisen and Nicko Tours.
MS Heinrich Heine was purchased in 2017 by Classica River Cruises GmbH (Basel-based cruise shipping company). Currently, under the 1avista Reisen charter, the renamed to VistaClassica ship cruises on Rhine and Moselle rivers, targeting predominately German travellers.
The ship features a comfortable Bar Lounge, small library, Sauna Room, Solarium (sundeck area), indoor swimming pool. Sun Deck features pool deck (swimming pool, sunbathing area, with fitness area with outdoor gym equipment), shaded seating area (deckchairs, loungers), Giant Chess Board and quoits-play area (on the partially covered sundeck). Cabin decks are connected via stairs and 1 lift (passenger elevator), also giving access to the restaurant. Boat's staff is well-trained and friendly. The main onboard language is German.
Onboard dining is complimentary, fixed (with assigned seating) and includes buffet breakfasts and lunches, and waiter served 4-course dinners with themed menus and local (cruise itinerary-based) cuisine specialities. The main course for dinner is selected at noon, from an a la carte menu. All meals are served in common dining times. Tea, coffee with cakes and pastries are offered in the afternoon as well as late-night snacks. Open bar and table drinks like draft beer, house wine, soft drinks (coke, lemonade, juices, mineral water), tea and coffee (from 8:00 to 24:00) are included. Dishes for special diets (gluten-free, lactose-free, diabetics, etc) are provided upon request. Special dietary requirements, food allergies and intolerances must be notified in advance. The traditional Captain's Reception (cocktail party) and Captain's Dinner (gala dinner menu) are formal events held in the Restaurant.
The well-stocked breakfast buffet (7-9 am) offers eggs, sausages, bacon, various breads-rolls, types of sausages and cheeses, dairy products, yoghurts, fresh fruits, eight muesli varieties. Lunch buffet's opening hours are cruise tour itinerary-based (ports and excursions). At lunch are offered 1 fish dish, 1 meat dish, hot side dishes, 1 soup, salad buffet, dessert station. On embarkation day, coffee, tea and cakes are available in front of the Restaurant, but for just about 30 min. On days without tours, a cake is served in the Lounge. On "tour days", the offer is limited to coffee-tea and midnight snacks (canapes).
The 4-course dinner is served on-site and includes 2 appetizers, 1 soup, 1 main course (pre-order in the afternoon is required), 1 dessert. Main course choices always include 1 meat and 1 fish dish. Dietary requirements, light diets and vegetarian preferences are catered for. Waiting staff (mostly from Eastern European countries) is German-speaking, well-trained, friendly and helpful.
Onboard entertainment (in the Salon-Bar / Lounge) includes live music performances, crew show, playing cards and board games, bingo, skat tournaments, music quiz, napkin folding lessons, evening dance parties. Shore excursions are offered at additional cost in every port of call along the cruise tour itinerary. At each stop are complimentary provided maps and tour guide explanations.
MS VistaClassica has a total of 55 staterooms on 2 decks. All staterooms are outside and equally-sized (12 m2 / 130 ft2). Some twin cabins can be booked as singles (at 50% supplement).
All MS VistaClassica cabins offer as standard amenities either partially opening window (with sliding down upper section) or non-opening Porthole windows, en-suite bathroom (washbasin, WC, shower, under-sink storage, hairdryer, razor socket), flat TV (satellite reception, ship info channel, real-time bow camera views, weather forecast), phone (onboard calls only - Reception Desk, passenger cabins, wake-up service), wall-mounted mirror, round table with chair, above-bed shelf, wardrobe (hangers, no drawers), electronic safe box (in the closet), 220V power sockets, individually controlled air-conditioning.
Vista Classica ship is not suitable for wheelchair passengers. Moorings are often not handicap-accessible.
1avista VistaClassica cruise deals
1avista Reisen cruise deals are inclusive of:
- River cruising, stateroom
- shipboard dining - breakfast (buffet), waiter-served lunch and afternoon coffee-tea (with pastries), waiter-served dinner, late-night snacks
- Captain's Dinner (special menu), Welcome Cocktail party
- Unlimited beverages (between 8 am - 12-midnight) - house wine, draft beer, soft drinks (cola, lemonade, juices, mineral water, coffee, tea
- onboard facilities and live entertainment program
- German-speaking tour guide
- luggage transport (embarkation and debarkation)
- all Gov taxes and port fees
Not included in cruise fares are arrival-departure and transfers (to/from the boat), personal expenses, tours (shore excursions), gratuities (recommended EUR 7 pp per day).
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The Germany-flagged riverboat VistaClassica (ENI number 08948008, hull number 732) was previously operated under the names "Ursula III" (1990-1993, by Triton-Reisen AG) and "MS Heinrich Heine" (1994-2018, by Nicko Tours via WT Cruises / Rotterdam-based company).
Vessel's construction started on March 1, 1990 (keel laying). Boat's launch (float-out) was on November 1, 1990. The ship was officially delivered on April 6, 1991. In the period 1994-2007, the vessel was owned by Triton Travel AG (Basel-based shipowner). Between 1994-2007 the shipowner was Premicon AG (via the subsidiary company KD Cruises / Koln-Dusseldorfer). In 2000, Viking River Cruises acquired KD Deutsche Flusskreuzfahrten GmbH (Cologne-based). In 2007, the ship was sold to Giljam River Cruises (subsidiary of Dunav Tours Bulgaria / Rousse-based company) and chatered to Nicko Tours for cruises on the rivers Rhine, Moselle and Saar.
The ship is powered by three Caterpillar marine diesel engines (model 3412 DI-TA / 12-cylinder ) with combined power output 1,5 MW. The propulsion system is based on three rudder propellers (AquaMaster) and one Jastram bow thruster (200 kW).
Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.
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