Ship review: Nicko Cruises' river ship NickoVision - Cruise International

Ship review: Nicko Cruises' river ship NickoVision

By Jeannine Williamson | 15 Jul 2022

River cruise ship NickoVision on the Danube, Budapest

River cruise ship NickoVision sailing on the Danube in Budapest. Picture: Holger Leue

Find out what to expect on Nicko Cruises’ new river cruise ship, NickoVision, as it sails its first season on the Danube

European river vessels have to comply with strict length, height and width guidelines to fit into narrow locks and sail under bridges, which makes it a tricky job for lines that want to do something a bit different with their ships.

Nicko Cruises, however, has managed just that with its new flagship NickoVision. In fact, its clever, well-thought-out design makes it hard to believe it carries up to 220 passengers, which is more than many other ships sailing on the Danube.

Although the Nicko name might not sound that familiar, the long-established German line now offers English-speaking sailings aimed at Brits, which are bookable in the UK through cruise specialist Light Blue Travel.

Panorama Lounge on Nicko Cruises' NickoVision

Panorama Lounge on Nicko Cruises’ NickoVision

What is the food and drink like on NickoVision?

Seasoned river cruisers will immediately notice the details that make NickoVision decidedly different. Split-level decks and extensive use of glass make the ship feel incredibly light and airy throughout, and create a real sense of space that is most noticeable in the public areas.

Instead of one long lounge with a bar, the room has been divided in two, with the bar situated at the bottom of a curved staircase overlooking the front of the ship, and a lovely outdoor area for sundowners on warm evenings.

A ceiling only covers part of the main dining room, with some of the tables visible from the bar and lounge, and again this makes it feel especially bright and spacious. Notably for a river vessel, there are two additional alternative dining venues, both included in the fare.

Marios Grill restaurant, NickoVision

Marios Grill restaurant, NickoVision

Cosy, jazz-themed Manhattan has all the atmosphere of an intimate bistro on dry land and again features a two-level design. It’s great for couples who prefer to dine alone as there are lots of tables for two, another rarity on most river ships.

At lunchtime, it offers a lighter buffet option and in the evening serves the same à la carte menu that’s offered in the main dining room.

At the back of the ship is Mario’s Grill, serving burgers and the like at lunch and becoming a steakhouse in the evening.

The vessel has a gym and sauna and there are loungers, deckchairs and a hot tub positioned around the spacious sun deck, which also has a sheltered area for breezy days.

Nicko Cruises NickoVision

Upper deck cabin on Nicko Cruises’ NickoVision

What shore excursions can you do on NickoVision?

The line’s motto is ‘Time to Discover’, reflected in unhurried itineraries that feature full days and overnights in cities such as Vienna and Budapest.

Passengers can join included excursions, which are mostly walking tours, and still have plenty of time to do their own thing.

Additional for-fee excursions are also available, such as a trip on Vienna’s landmark Prater wheel at night and a tuk-tuk tour in Budapest.

NickoVision sails the Danube and fares include flights and transfers, four shore excursions on a week-long sailing, a drinks package covering wine, beer, cocktails and soft drinks, Wi-Fi and tips. No-fly cruises are available.

Book a cruise on NickoVision with Light Blue Travel

A seven-night Danube cruise on NickoVision, departing on October 24, 2022 and sailing round-trip from Passau, starts from £1,645 per person including flights. Find out more from Light Blue Travel.

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