50 Years Scylla

DAMCO 21 001
The idea

The idea of giving people a good time while traveling on our own ships eventually stuck with me. That was in 1969. That year we bought an old tugboat, the Damco 21, converted it into a passenger ship, christened it MS Scylla and set out on our first river cruise in 1974.

The foundation

In America, the first cell phone sees the light of day, Volkswagen introduces a completely new vehicle design with the VW Golf, and the Swedish pop band ABBA begins the soundtrack of the 1970s and makes music history. Finally, on September 3, 1973, it's "Cast off!" for Scylla: With Scylla Tours AG, André and Martha Reitsma found the family business in Basel and thus a true pioneer of the river cruise industry.

The first trip

The MS Scylla, the company's first passenger ship, began her maiden voyage in March of the following year.

A real family business

The MS Scylla is the first ship of the shipping company to set sail under the Swiss flag in 1974. 1st captain on board: the company founder himself. And while André Reitsma navigates the ship safely through the heart of Europe across the Rhine, the Moselle and along Dutch and Belgian waterways in the company's first tourist season, Martha Reitsma takes on all the operational tasks of hotel manager and interior designer.

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Revolutionary equipment

The "MS Switzerland" is the first ship with radio, telephone, TV, safe and mini-bar in the cabin.

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The first on the Main-Danube Canal

The "MS Switzerland II" sails for the first time on the Main-Danube Canal. In 1988, this ship was also the first ship with a height of 5.5 meters and thus suitable for the Neckar, the Saar and the Main-Danube Canal, which was still under construction at the time.

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The first on the Po

With the "Venezia" we are the first river cruise company to travel the Po.

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Two decks and balcony cabins

The "Swiss Crown" surprises with a second deck and balcony cabins.

RUBY Aussen 1244 (1)
The Atlantic coast of northern France

The Swiss Ruby is the first river cruise ship to sail along the Atlantic coast of northern France.

BW Bistro 6146
The first stern bar

The first stern bar and the first restaurant on two decks celebrate their premiere on the MS Amelia.

BW HR Andorinha Exterieur 4505
The Douro

We found VIVA Cruises and present the MS Andorinha, one of the most luxurious river cruisers of its time and our first ship for the Duoro.

MS Seaventure

From Hapag-Lloyd Cruises we buy the MS Bremen.

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New standards

With the VIVA ONE and the VIVA TWO, we are building two ships within a very short time that set completely new standards in terms of comfort, sustainability and luxury.

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Scylla celebrates its 50th anniversary and VIVA Cruises its 5th anniversary.

VIVA TWO Near Mohacs Danube River 13.05
New ships

The fleet grows with the construction of the MS PORTO MIRANTE for the Douro and the VIVA ENJOY for the Rhine and Danube.