River cruises are the hottest trend in travel and savvy globetrotters have realised the combination of smaller ships, educational experiences, intimate settings and increased luxury provide unmatched comfort and convenience. Travelling by river cruise provides a unique accessibility to destinations without the hassle of rail or car, or indeed of packing and unpacking. Smart ship design and technology is opening up new river destinations and formerly unreachable locales.
If you’re thinking of embarking on a river cruise this year, why not cruise with the world’s best and most awarded luxury river cruise line? Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is described as “floating boutique hotels” with more suites, more dining venues, with five-star farm-to-table cuisine, and more luxurious finishes, all the while maintaining an impressive 2:1 staff to guest ratio. Service is at the heart of this family-owned business and many guests leave feeling they are part of an in-the-know global family.
The Uniworld fleet comprises 17 spectacular vessels, five of which are “Super Ships”, so named because of their first class features and innovations. These include elegant staterooms and suites equipped with bespoke Savoir of England beds (favoured by royalty and rock stars), complete with pillow menu, bathrooms appointed in Italian Carrara marble with Hermès amenities, smart televisions, not forgetting, of course, the in-suite butler service.
Indeed these “Super Ships” are the only ships on rivers with fully-equpped spas, state-of-the-art gyms, heated swimming pools, ship-wide WiFi and art collections to rival museums. Original pieces by Picasso, Monet and Chagall are part of the décor as are real waterfall features. In 2020, in Italy the current River Countess will undergo a complete transformation and debut as a new Super Ship, the SS La Venezia.
The combination of luxury and space on board is matched by carefully considered excursions, which are in high demand. In addition to all-inclusive European itineraries, there are also voyages in Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, India and Egypt – a total of 23 rivers in 24 countries worldwide.
Popular European cruises include the eight-day “Enchanting Danube” cruise from Budapest to Passau, taking guests beyond the must-see destinations with insider tips and tours. There’s also the enchanting eight-day “Castles Along the Rhine” tour, which travels from Amsterdam to Basel. The eight-day “Brilliant Bordeaux” itinerary sails along three stunning rivers – the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde – on a fascinating historical journey through southwest France. Quintessentially French experiences include private artisanal wine tastings, guided village tours, visits to farmers’ markets and Bordeaux heritage walking tour with a local expert.
Uniworld itineraries feature more than 80 exclusive experiences reserved solely for its guests – like private access to popular museums, such as the Kunstkammer in Vienna, with local experts leading tours in English. Bicycles and Nordic walking poles are provided for onshore use, should guests wish to plan their own day, while exercise and wellness classes are part of the daily activities and entertainment provided.
Gourmet travellers will enjoy the culinary delights on board this luxury cruise. Working with the finest chefs and the freshest ingredients sourced from local farmers’ markets and regional suppliers, menus are matched with distinctive wines and beers chosen by experienced sommeliers. Uniworld’s all-inclusive luxury cruises include unlimited beverages, including many premium spirits and wines, as well as all onboard and onshore gratuities and airport transfers.
Need to Know: Uniworld is currently offering up to 30 per cent off select itineraries in Europe, with 8-day all-inclusive river cruises beginning at €1,889 per person. To learn more or to book a luxury cruise, call a Uniworld Specialist on 1800 98 98 98 or visit www.uniworld.com.