When the first vessel joins Transcend Cruises in spring 2024, it will be the first of two identical -- and as yet unnamed -- vessels sailing for the charter-only line that is specifically aimed at the group travel market.
Working in partnership with Swiss-based management company United Rivers, the vessel will be used to provide flexible European cruises of three nights and upwards for all types of groups including corporate, social and family groups.
The ship and its sibling vessel will carry 120 passengers, fewer than most other vessels of the same size, and the additional space will be used for facilities to host conferences, meetings and events.
Transcend Cruises is a new concept in the river cruise world and will operate ships and cruises that are customized specifically for group travel. Up until now, groups have been able to hire some mainstream riverboats on a partial or full-ship charter, which involves booking pre-packaged itineraries usually available to general vacationers rather than the bespoke sailings offered by Transcend Cruises that include tailor-made sailing durations, first-for-river corporate facilities and adaptable food and beverage experiences.
The line anticipates that many passengers onboard the vessel will be corporate guests attending conferences and meetings being held on the ship, as well as group travel and even weddings and private events. Unique hotel-style convention facilities have been incorporated into the ship design, including the Forum, a theater spanning two decks with tiered seating and unobstructed views for all attendees. The venue will be used for live events, presentations and videos and incorporates the latest AV facilities. T
Additional business and multi-purpose venues include The Studio, on the lower deck, which can be adapted for uses such as a trade show floor, group activities, kids' club or yoga studio. Other spaces include an aft lounge that can be used as an alternative restaurant and two private dining rooms that can double as 12-seat meeting venues, again with full AV capabilities.
The main lounge also has a flexible seating configuration, AV equipment, dance floor with a digital ceiling and can host all passengers for a large program or be divided into zones for smaller groups. The main dining room can also double up as a venue for an event or presentation.
Other public areas include oversize wellness, spa and fitness facilities spanning three decks and measuring 2,600 square feet in total. The sun deck features an outdoor movie theater, with a 144-inch self-raising screen, and can also be used for silent discos. In total, there are five spaces onboard that can accommodate all guests.
The ship's 60 identical cabins all measure 210 square feet and are divided across two decks. Unlike most river vessels there are no lower deck cabins with fixed windows and all the staterooms have French balconies. In common with the rest of the ship the cabin set up offers far more flexibility than other vessels and interconnecting accommodations can be configured to create 30 two-room suites comprising a bedroom, with a double bed or twin beds, and a living area.
Constructed at the Den Breejen Shipyard in the Netherlands, Transcend Cruises describes its vessels as "the only 100 per cent low-emission, new-build river fleet in Europe". The ship will incorporate electric maneuvering, peak power battery systems to generate power from batteries rather than generators, and fuel and water storage systems to reduce fuel burn and emissions. As well as being energy saving, these features have also enabled the line to save space and build the ship with a reduced draft to help avoid potential low water issues that can sometimes affect river ships.
The will be furnished with natural materials and cabins will feature sustainably produced mattresses and eco-friendly bed linen.
Following its debut in spring 2024, the vessel will sail on the European waterways, including the Rhine, Danube and Moselle.
The ship measures 443 feet and carried 120 passengers at double occupancy with 54 crew.