FEW make the short journey north from Amsterdam to the quiet town of Horn. But they should.

If anywhere is the antithesis of the bustle and hustle of the Dutch city, famous for its night life as much as its culture, then the small hamlet with its quaint, tidy harbour and fabulously preserved eighteenth century town centre is it.

Horn is a community that was born from its links to the water: which is why even today there is no better way to visit the town than to arrive in style from the sea.

Which is what we did; and in what style!

Our arrival was the first by one of the latest, and I would venture one of the most friendliest, comfortable and stylish, riverboats that in recent years have turned the rivers and waterways of Europe into the must-experience form of travel.

The MS Serenade 1 had carried us at a leisurely pace not too far during our short adventure: cruising along the Rhine from the Germany city of Cologne with its imposing cathedral and bustling squares, stopping at Arnhem and then on to Horn itself.

Amsterdam was to come, with its promise of museums, galleries, shopping and, of course, people-gazing. But for now the pace was gentle, the hospitality superb, and as the flat countryside of northern Europe rolled by, time to enjoy our riverboat experience.

MS Serenade 1 is the first exclusive charter from the multi-award-winning escorted tour and cruise operator Titan. Having built up an enviable reputation introducing guests to riverboats belonging to numerous operators – a service which Titan continues to provide – the company has decided to bring its own particular flavour and expertise to its own craft.

The result is a wonderful blending of European waterway know-how, beautiful design and service, and a particularly British flavour from a company that has built its reputation on understanding its UK clients.

Titan took control of the four-star, 68-cabin vessel this year and for her inaugural season she will cruise the waters of the Rhine, Danube, Main and Dutch waterways.

The ship has been refurbished to Titan’s specifications. The 68-cabins are located across three decks, with French balconies on the two higher decks, all offering some of the most spacious staterooms available on Europe’s rivers.

Guests quickly discover their rooms have been provided with contemporary decor to include flatscreen TV, mini bars, tea and coffee making facilities, and generous sized bathrooms with separate bath and shower – a must with many UK passengers.

The ship has two superior suites with private balconies and seating areas.

But no one, I would suggest, chooses a riverboat holiday to spend their time in their cabins, no matter how comfortable. The delight of taking a river cruise is the intimacy of the craft and making new friends on the journey. Here Titan has taken extra care to ensure public areas are welcoming, comfortable and luxurious.

The spacious Panorama Lounge provides a place to relax during the day and is the hub for musical entertainment during the evening as guests gather around the cocktail bar and restful seating areas.

The Sun Deck and Sky Lounge atop the ship provide a 360 degree observation point as well as the ideal spot to relax in the late afternoon sun after an enjoyable day sightseeing with your exclusive Titan guides.

The ship has an on-board gym for those who must, and a sauna to revitalise tired limbs before a spot of evening dancing.

Dining on board is in the relaxed elegance of the ship’s main restaurant where delicious four-course lunch and dinner menus reflect the regions the MS Serenade 1 is travelling through, sourced from local ingredients. For those who are still peckish a midnight snack is served in the panorama lounge each evening. Wine and beer at lunch and dinner is complimentary.

For those going ashore, Titan provides a cruise manager on board MS Serenade with local guides offering rare insight into the popular tourist spots as well as those hard-to-find places only the locals know of.

Cornering Titan MD Andy Squirrell on board MS Serenade 1 he explained why Titan had decided to introduce their own ship. “After many years of working with some of the world’s leading operators we know what makes a great river cruise,” he commented.

“Every aspect of the cruise experience on board the ship has been designed with needs and interests of the Titan traveller in mind.”

After our all-too-short cruise I was certainly of the opinion that Titan understand their market and MS Serenade will prove immensely popular with their clientele.

The company is the only escorted tour operator to offer free home transfers on every itinerary and all departure dates with no mileage supplements; which means the Titan experience begins and ends at your own front door. Certainly, with the airport assistance I experienced and transfers to and from the ship, I found the whole shore-to-ship experience a boon. Fully recommended.

In the end it was all too short. Horn proved glorious, it’s small fortified tower rightfully protecting a heritage site town centre that quite amazed. Amsterdam was as bright and bustling as always, its sights best seen perhaps from one of the many small pleasure cruisers that ply the canals.

Our trip on board MS Serenade 1 had been just a taste of the possibilities of journeys to come. Titan are considering adding another exclusive charter ship to their portfolio in a year or two. On this experience, such plans will float well with clients old and new.

Factfile: Cruises on board MS Serenade 1 begin at £629 per person for a five-day Rhine Christmas Markets Cruise this winter.

There are discounts of up to £250 per person available on some forthcoming cruises, subject to availability.

For the 2018 season, MS Serenade 1 will include such itineraries as a six-day Dutch Waterways and Beautiful Keukenhof Gardens Cruise from £1,149 per person which includes a saving of up to £100 pp.

For those seeking a longer river cruise experience, MS Serenade 1 will visit seven countries on her Easter European Odyssey visiting Budapest, Belgrade, Bratislava and Vienna with prices starting at £3,249 pp.

More details can be found by visiting titantravel.co.uk or calling Titan on 0800 988 5873