TUI Skyla

Former names: TUI Sonata (2010), WT Sonata

TUI Skyla current position

TUI Skyla current location is at Europe Inland (coordinates 48.25572 N / 14.41747 E) cruising en route to BUDAPEST. The AIS position was reported 1 hour ago.

Current Position

Specifications of TUI Skyla

Year of build2021  /  Age: 3
Flag state Malta
BuilderP+S WERFTEN GmbH (Stralsund, Germany)
Speed12 kn / 22 km/h / 14 mph
Length (LOA)135 m / 443 ft
Beam (width)11 m / 36 ft
Passengers143 - 154
Decks with cabins3
Last Refurbishment2020
Sister-shipsTUI Isla (TUI Allegra), TUI Maya (TUI Melodia)
Former namesTUI Sonata (2010), WT Sonata
Christened byCatherine Hawkins
OwnerTUI AG (via TUI UK & Ireland)
OperatorTUI River Cruises UK

TUI Skyla Review

Review of TUI Skyla

The 2020-built/2021-inaugurated TUI Skyla cruise ship, like the sisterships TUI Isla and TUI Maya, is a riverboat owned by TUI AG and operated by its subsidiary company "TUI UK and Ireland". The new brand "TUI River Cruises" ( was established in 2019 and targets predominantly the UK passenger sourcing. The 3 TUI boats were officially launched in 2020 following extensive drydock refit (and complete refurbishment) projects. However, due to the Coronavirus crisis, the brand's inauguration was postponed for ~1,5 years (August 2021 instead of the planned March 2020).

The vessel (ENI number 65000001) was launched in 2010 (originally named "TUI Sonata") being built by P+S WERFTEN GmbH (shipyard in Stralsund Germany) and with original passenger capacity 188. Its initial owner was Premicon Flussreisen GmbH (Limassol Cyprus-based river shipowner). When chartered by Werner-Tours Touristikinternational GmbH, the ship was named "WT Sonata". TUI Sonata's sisterships were TUI Allegra (fka Excellence Allegra, now TUI ISLA) and TUI Melodia (fka Excellence Melodia, now TUI MAYA).

TUI Sonata cruise ship (TUI Skyla)

The boat TUI Skyla is currently Malta-flagged (MMSI 248684000) and registered in Valletta.

TUI River Cruises (company/brand history and ownership)

TUI River Cruises (fleet) is a separate company part (fully-owned subsidiary) of TUI AG (British-German travel and tourism corporation). Part of TUI Group is also TUI Cruises - a UK-based joint venture cruise company (50-50) of TUI AG and RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (USA-based passenger shipping company). TUI started cruise shipping operations in 2009, targeting predominantly the German-speaking market with a premium travel vacation product. German and English are the main onboard languages on all TUI Schiffs (ships). TUI's sister-brands are Marella Cruises UK and Hapag-Lloyd-Cruises.

TUI's newest travel brand offers adults-only riverboat travel experiences with the ultimate flexibility to create luxury sailing vacations with a choice of optional packages. TUI UK's customers are able to add to the shipboard basis shore excursions (land tours), beverages (beer, wine, soft drinks with all meals) or premium drinks package. TUI's new cruise company also provides some of the industry's most spacious staterooms (including Suites with step-out balconies) and the most extravagant Sundeck areas currently available on the European market.

TUI Skyla river cruise ship

The German corporation TUI AG (shipowner) announced in April 2019 that it had acquired 3 riverboats for its new UK-focused brand "TUI River Cruises". The new company was due to start operations in 2020-Q2 (summer), complementing TUI's UK brand Marella.

Bookings on TUI's riverboats were opened on April 25, 2019.

In December 2019, TUI signed an exclusive partnership with Live Business UK (one of Europe's largest entertainment program developers and suppliers) for TUI River Cruises. By this deal, Live Business UK prepared the onboard entertainment programming for the boats and is also responsible for recruiting cruise directors, hosts, ship musicians, guest performers, local tour guides and other experts.

Decks and Cabins

TUI Skyla staterooms (79 total, on 3 decks out of 4) are in 2 types and 9 categories, contemporary decorated, with King-size double beds (convertible to two twins / lower single beds), mirrored vanity tables (writing desks) armchairs, low tables with lounge chairs, modern large slide-opening wardrobes, electronic safe box (in the closet), smart HDTV (satellite reception, ship info channel with daily scheduled activities, real-time camera views), 220 V power sockets, en-suite bathroom (single-sink vanity, WC-toilet, glass shower, hairdryer, slippers, bathrobes), individually controlled air-conditioning.

Most staterooms are double-occupancy. Suites are triple-occupancy (fitted with corner sofabeds) and additionally have mini-bar (fridge) and two French Balconies. All Lower Deck cabins are with porthole windows (two non-opening, round-shaped windows per cabin) located near the ceiling (riverside, at water level). All staterooms on Main-Middle and Upper decks are French Balcony cabins with floor-ceiling (wall-to-wall) windows slide-opening to a railing (false balcony).

  • French Balcony Suite (Decks 2-3) are sized 24 m2 (260 ft2) and feature King-size bed (convertible), bigger bathroom, sofabed, separate dressing area.
  • Superior French Balcony Cabin (Decks 2-3) are sized 15 m2 (160 ft2) and each fitted with King-size bed (convertible to twins).
  • French Balcony Cabin (Decks 2-3) are sized 12 m2 (130 ft2) and have a fixed double bed (non-convertible).
  • Superior Cabin (Deck 1) is sized 15 m2 (160 ft2) and has King-size bed (convertible to 2 single beds).
  • Standard Cabin (Deck 2) is sized 12 m2 (130 ft2) and has a full-sized window (non-opening) and fixed double bed (non-convertible).
  • Standard Cabin (Deck 1) is sized 12 m2 (130 ft2) and has a fixed double bed and two Porthole windows.
  • Single Cabin (Deck 1) and French Balcony Single Cabin (Deck 2) are sized 12 m2 (130 ft2) and fitted with a single bed, desk and lounge chair.

Shipboard facilities

Skyla Atrium is the ship's main hub. The Lobby area houses the Reception (24-hour Guest Services Desk/assistance, luggage, cashier) and the Cruise Manager's/Director's Office (itinerary information, excursion bookings, future cruise booking). At the Library Lounge can be played popular board games. The Boutique Shop sells TUI-logoed merchandise, handmade souvenirs and premium brand gifts.

Sun Deck (top deck) is zoned, with dedicated areas for activities, sunbathing and relaxation. This large-sized open-air deck features BBQ (space for barbecues), Herb Garden, premium garden sofas, sunbathing area (with deckchairs, sunbeds and daybeds). The activities area is dedicated to outdoor group classes, including stretching, pilates, yoga. Also on Sun Deck is Navigation Bridge (aka "Wheelhouse" on riverboats and smaller ships) and awnings. All structures are retractable and lowered when passing under low bridges.

TUI Skyla river cruise ship

TUI Skyla boat's deckplan as facilities shows:

  • Lower Deck 1: Cruise Cabins, staff and crew cabins
  • Main Deck 2: Cruise Cabins, Lobby (Reception), Health and Wellbeing Zone (fore-located, with large whirlpool, Sauna, Gym, treatment rooms for massages)
  • Upper Deck 3: Bistro, Verdastro, Club Lounge, Observatory, Terrace
  • Sun Deck 4: BBQ, Lounge, Relax, Herb Garden

The Skyla ship has two main restaurants - Verdastro (for seasonal dishes and with daily changing menu) and Bistro (casual dining venue) both located aft on Upper Deck.

  • Verdastro (Main Dining Room/MDR) has a stylish green-and-gold color scheme. The venue offers buffet-style breakfast and lunch, while dinner is an a la carte, waiter-served affair. All meals are prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Tables are available for two, four or six guests.
  • The Bistro (adjacent to Verdastro) is more casual and provides an alternative dining option. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Passengers can choose from a la carte menu or sample the daily buffet food offerings.
  • Alfresco dining is available on Sun Deck's BBQ area. Weather permitting, there the crew organizes outdoor dining events, such as light lunches and barbecues. Passengers can get drinks up there, too.

Full Board Plus is standard which means that 3 meals and drinks at mealtimes are part of the cruise package. Premium coffee and cocktails are not included as part of the line's standard dining package. Passengers have to upgrade to a premium drinks package or pay extra.

The Club Lounge is specialized in coffee by day, cocktails by night, and boasts with its digital fireplace, brass fittings, plush navy chairs, and mirrored tables. Alternatively, the Observatory offers a pretty terrace to the table and nightly entertainment ranging from musicians to guest acts, such as comedians. The Observatory lounge features widescreen windows, an outdoor terrace, comfy sofas and heaters.

TUI Cruises riverboat (aerial view)


TUI Skyla operates on river cruise tour itineraries in Germany, Holland and also cruises on the Dutch and Belgian waterways. Year-round departures are offered from homeports in Germany (Passau and Frankfurt) and Holland (Amsterdam).

TUI River Cruises itineraries are themed as:

  • 7-day "Bavarian Discovery" cruise (March-June 2020), from Passau to Frankfurt, visiting Regensburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Marktbreit, Wurzburg, Miltenberg, Wertheim. Prices started from GBP 1240 per person.
  • 7-day "Bavarian Discovery 2" cruise (March-May 2020) from Frankfurt to Passau visits Wertheim, Wurzburg, Marktbreit, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg. Prices started from GBP 1640 per person.
  • 7-day "Rhine Gems" cruise (April-May 2020) roundtrip from Frankfurt visits Koblenz, Mainz, Mannheim, Kehl, Rastatt, Rudesheim. Prices started from GBP 1340 per person.
  • 7-day "The Moselle Valley: Vines and Views" cruise (April-May 2020) roundtrip from Frankfurt visits Koblenz, Bernkastel-Kues, Trier, Piesport, Traben-Trarbach, Cochem, Boppard, Oberwesel. Prices started from GBP 1440 per person.
  • 7-day "Marvels of the Main" cruise (April 2020) roundtrip from Frankfurt visits Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Marktbreit, Wertheim. Prices started from GBP 1390 per person.

Shore excursions range from active tours for adventurers, sightseeing city tours (led by local expert guides) to bicycle tours (with complimentary premium bikes carried on the ship). TUI offers GBP 120 OBC (credit) to any tour bookings, allowing customers the opportunity to tailor their holidays to dates/times and their personal preferences. All gratuities (onboard and ashore tips) and service charges are included in the river cruise fares.

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TUI Skyla Wiki

TUI Skyla (ENI number 65000001) belongs to the TwinCruiser boat type, in which passenger sections are structurally separated from the drive unit. TwinCruiser-class riverboats have two separate hulls linked to each other by clutches. The advantage of such separation is that the transmission of vibrations and noises can be mostly avoided.

The vessel TUI Skyla (inaugurated in August 2010 as TUI Sonata) is powered by two MTU marine diesel engines (model 12V-4000 M60) with total power output 1,6 MW. The engine builder MTU Friedrichshafen is a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems and among the world's largest manufacturers of diesel engines and propulsion systems. MTU produces diesel engines for ships (passenger and cargo vessels), heavy vehicles, military vehicles and trains in the power range 20 kW to 10 MW (up to 13410 HP output) and also sells Mercedes-Benz engines for industrial applications and gas turbines.

The riverboat's propulsion system is based on two 4-wing Veth rudder propellers plus one bow thruster (Jastram Azimuth Jet). Onboard energy supply is provided by three diesel generator sets (310 kVA, model Cummins KT-1150-G).

TUI Skyla ship was officially christened on November 24, 2021, by godmother Catherine Hawkins (college exam officer).

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.