MS Antonio Bellucci
Recently launched, the state-of-the-art, five-star MS Antonio Bellucci has taken her rightful place at the top table of European River Cruise ships. The finest of materials have been used in construction; sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods, highly polished brass and cast iron, thick pile high-quality carpets, luxuriously comfortable deep armchairs and settees and on the outside displaying her sleek modern profile, gliding serenely through the waters, she is a sight to behold. It also incorporates the very latest in modern construction techniques and safety systems ensuring your cruise is as comfortable and secure as it can possibly be, whilst its spacious layout, elegant décor, luxurious cabins and excellent facilities are undoubtedly amongst the very best.
The four deck design enhances the ship’s spacious ambience typified by the delightful lobby on the Bellucci deck (top) where, as you board your aspirations are instantly realised. Making extensive use of warm-coloured wood and marble; comfort, style and exquisite taste are evident. There is a small boutique stocking those essentials you always seem to run out of whilst away. Just forward is the classically appointed panorama lounge and bar with a selection of seating bathed in natural light from a superb glass atrium roof, quite unique on a river vessel. Here you can relax and enjoy the delights of the passing scenery through the superb custom designed observation windows on either side plus a panoramic bay window promises some of the most extensive and uninterrupted viewing of any river cruise ship! The bar is proud to offer a full range of drinks sourced from all over the world, including a selection of fine wines and
whiskies and when sun sinks slowly below the riverside hills the refined “club" atmosphere makes the perfect place to relax and ruminate over the splendours of another day’s experiences. As the evening progresses, the gentle piano accompaniment adds to the refined atmosphere but should you find the need for a good book you can always visit the ship’s library in the Captain’s Corner which with its leather-effect wall linings gives rise to a gentile atmosphere reminiscent of the golden age of cruising.
The lobby and lounge are the heart of the ship whilst stairs and a lift lead down to the Da Vinci (middle) deck and the culinary delights of the elegant restaurant enhanced by sparkling crystal and crisp, high-quality table linen. Here the ship’s outstanding kitchen brigade led by their experienced Executive Chef will amaze you with superb high class dining, freshly prepared on board featuring the very best of European cuisine served in the most convivial of surroundings.
The sumptuous breakfast buffet, with omelettes and fresh eggs prepared to order, ensures a great start to the day whilst at lunchtime there is an extensive buffet so you can have as much or as little as you wish. Dinner is silver service in a relaxed atmosphere and an ‘open’ seating policy is always practised. All in all the dining experience aboard the Antonio Bellucci really is one to relish. A superb feature of the restaurant are the wonderful floor to ceiling tinted panoramic windows, so as you enjoy your epicurean adventure inside, outside the scenery glides gently past and you do not miss a thing! A further small feature, but it illustrates the detail to which the ship has been designed, is the use of special ‘sound absorbing’ paint on the restaurant ceiling in order to reduce noise levels whilst dining – remarkable!
A further staircase descends to the Caravaggio (lower) deck where the small but well equipped fitness suite is available for the energetic whilst others may choose to plump for an invigorating Sauna! Served by two staircases, the Sundeck is the uppermost part of the ship. Here you are very welcome to visit the Bridge and learn about the ship’s workings (except when berthing or in locks), hear about life on the river, view the fascinating array of state of the art navigational and control equipment, whilst the highly skilled officers guide the Antonio Bellucci’s 110 metres serenely along the river. Of course the view from here is wonderful and the informal café style seating is an ideal place to relax with like-minded friends soaking up the magical sights, sounds and unique atmosphere of the river whilst perhaps availing yourself of the attentive bar service. Perhaps take a dip in the whirlpool or just relax and admire the ever changing kaleidoscope of stunning views as they pass serenely by. All this is just a few hours away!
The Antonio Bellucci’s cabins are very tastefully appointed featuring a wealth of mahogany, marble and crushed velvet Italian soft furnishings which blended together create an ambience of quality and elegance. In keeping with this theme the spacious marble bathrooms have WC, washbasin with plenty of space for cosmetics etc, glazed shower cubicle with powerful shower and fittings by ‘Grohe’. All cabins on the Bellucci (upper) and Da Vinci (middle) decks boast “French Balconies" with full floor to ceiling sliding glazed doors allowing you to enjoy the delights of fresh air and magnificent views from the privacy of your own cabin. At more than 15 square metres they are spacious and well appointed with hotel standard twin beds (not bunks or berths), safe, telephone, hair dryer and individually controlled air conditioning. The private bathroom features a proper shower cubicle (not a curtain) plus of course WC, with high quality bathrobes and slippers adding the final touch of elegance. These are amongst the largest of cabins on Europe’s rivers and have flat screen TV with satellite channels which also receives images from a bow mounted camera so you can see exactly where you are cruising even from the comfort of your own bed! Two armchairs and a small table are provided for your convenience plus thoughtfully, an umbrella for those hopefully rare!, showery days.
Stern cabins on the Da Vinci (middle) deck and the standard cabins on the Caravaggio (lower) deck are slightly smaller, but feature the same amenities except armchairs. Caravaggio deck cabins have smaller fixed windows with some available for single occupancy at no supplement. Single supplements apply for other cabins and decks.
As you enter the restaurant the mouth-watering aroma of roasting Provençal Lamb drifts tantalisingly from the galley. Smartly uniformed, friendly and intuitive waiting staff professionally guide you to your classically set table with its crisp white linen, premium quality European china, polished fine glassware and gleaming cutlery whilst freshly baked bread is immediately placed before you with effortless style.
Welcome – you’re at home. Quality dining is an integral part of your river cruise experience – and our ships take this to the highest five-star levels with superb cuisine prepared by a dedicated and highly professional brigade of chefs. Take a stroll on the Sun Deck as the river gradually awakes, and enjoy Early Risers’ tea or coffee and freshly baked pastries. The full breakfast buffet is a sumptuous affair with innumerable hot and cold options, plus a popular omelette station prepares dishes to order.
Or if you prefer, why not enjoy continental breakfast in your cabin: breakfast in bed as enchanting scenery and riverside life drift gently by – priceless! Naturally complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the day and a very comprehensive lunch buffet allows selection of as little or as much as you wish from an extensive and tempting selection. Don’t forget to leave some room for afternoon tea and the chef’s special patisserie – it’s just too tempting to ignore!
The day’s culinary highlight is the splendid four-course dinner: entrée, soup, main course and dessert plus a salad buffet is always available – all within the ambience of a high quality restaurant. Our carefully designed menus include international classics together with dishes reflecting the regions we pass through, with careful selections from local markets. In addition, the ‘Welcome Dinner’ enjoys an extended menu and towards the end of your cruise, the Captain proudly hosts his excellent ‘Gala Dinner’ featuring specialities of the countries and regions through which you’ve travelled.
Our clients constantly tell us they love our informal free seating and smaller tables policy, quite unlike the inevitable regimentation of many cruise ships which is exactly the atmosphere we are trying to achieve. Then there’s the wine list. We take great pride in its excellent quality and style, including not only the classic choices but also an extensive range of local wines. Many of these are extremely well-priced, delightful hidden gems and rarely marketed outside their production area.
In addition to the main restaurant, we are proud to unveil the unique new ‘Chef’s Restaurant’, open for dinner only on the Lord Byron with huge panoramic windows and seating for just 24 diners. Here the chef presents his personal favourite signature dishes with a fixed menu using the finest of seasonal produce. This superb dining experience must be reserved on board.