Viva la difference! The river ship that breaks the rules by offering an easy-going, intimate café as well as a main restaurant and bistro

Cosy corner: Part of the Moments restaurant (Picture: Dave Monk)

Many European river ships follow the same basic layout – the lounge and bar on one floor, the big dining room one deck down centred on a big buffet area, and maybe a small bistro at the back.

Step change: The café itself has a slightly lower central tables area (Picture: Dave Monk)

But Viva Two, launched in April, shakes this up by placing the bar area on a separate level midway between the lounge and the dining room – and introducing a cosy 60-seat restaurant called Moments on the bottom deck. There’s still a bistro at the back too.

Magic Moments: The restaurant has a bar area, serving hatch and buffet

Moments is unlike anything I’ve seen on a European river boat before. It’s an open, split-level venue with a salad bar and light menu, such as burgers, for lunch and a regionally-themed tasting menu, with wine pairings, in the evenings.

Split-level: The lounge steps down into the bar area (top of picture) and creates an open space above the main dining room (Picture: Dave Monk)

The night I ate there we started with Danube foie gras paté, French Saint Jacques scallop and Portuguese calamari ceviche, followed by Düsseldorfer mustard soup.

Raising the bar: The drinks area is separated from the lounge (Picture: Dave Monk)

For the main course there was Danube fillet of pike perch, Rhine poached egg in green sauce, French entrecôte and Portuguese gambas a guilho.

Comfortable: The lounge on Viva Two (Picture: Dave Monk)

Finishing off the 11 tasting samples, arranged over three dishes, was Austrian coffee house parfait, Rhine lemon blueberry trifle and French crème brûlée.

Viva pitch: The Viva Two ship (Picture: Dave Monk)

Viva’s parent company, Scylla, introduced this restaurant concept on Nicko Vision but Moments takes it one step further.

The whole 190-passenger ship has an easy-going atmosphere, spacious sun deck and a fitness and wellness area. In September 2024, the fleet will be joined by sister ship Viva Enjoy.

See also:

Scylla celebrates 50 years with spectacular light show on the Danube

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