One of the world’s best and most awarded luxury river cruise lines, Uniworld offers some of the most spectacular itineraries to bucket-list destinations such as Egypt, Peru, Russia, Asia and Europe.
Its fleet of 21 luxurious ships, which can accommodate an average of 120 guests, has one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios in the industry. It also offers an all-inclusive experience with enticing shore excursions, world-class gourmet cuisine, wellness treatments and impeccable service that’s the envy of other lines.
Uniworld’s decades of superior nautical experience has created an entirely new category of luxury river cruising. This industry-leading experience was a major reason the line was acquired by The Travel Corporation, an industry powerhouse founded by the late Stanley Tollman and wife Beatrice – ‘Bea’ for short. TTC’s portfolio cuts across 40 top brands, including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Contiki, Costsaver, Brendan Vacations and Red Carnation Hotels (named after the flower Stanley wore in his lapel). The hotel collection of four- and five-star luxury properties was the brainchild of Beatrice, who was inducted into the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2019.
The Tollmans have always been at the cutting edge in the travel industry and grew their portfolio to include luxury escorted tours, small group adventures, luxury cruising, safaris and youth travel. Early believers in sustainable travel, the Tollmans created Travel Corporation Conservation Foundation, later renamed TreadRight, which today supports more than 55 projects.
Bea and her creative team are behind the design of the interiors of every new and updated ship, taking it to the next level of an elegant floating hotel with chic lounges, panoramic restaurants, exquisite antiques and original artwork displays designed to give a luxurious touch in all riverview staterooms and suites.
Since the acquisition of Uniworld 18 years ago, TTC has made substantial investments in the line’s fleet of ships, crew and staff to ensure that guests are so well looked after that they will have an unforgettable experience. Throughout the pandemic, all staff and crew at Uniworld were retained. So when Uniworld restarted sailing in June last year, guests received the same gracious and attentive standard of service as before.
As Uniworld kick-starts its new river season this month,
a noticeable trend is upmarket Australian cruisers are booking higher suite categories. They are also spoiling themselves, combining more luxurious land, cruise and rail holidays.
“We are calling this ‘go big’ with your next holiday,” a Uniworld spokesperson said. “More guests are signing up for Egypt, cruise-and-rail itineraries, longer French itineraries, and many are opting to upgrade to our suites to get incredible extra amenities,” the spokesperson added.
Combining the best of river cruising, land and train travel, Uniworld’s Cruise and Rail itineraries are an exciting way of seeing the world. With a pre- or post-cruise addition, you will embark on the best private train experience. For instance, you can choose to spend 14 days exploring the glamorous cities of Milan and Venice in Europe, cruising through romantic northern Italy on board SS Venezia, before boarding a private train to soar to the snowy peaks and charming lakeside towns of the Swiss Alps.
You can also explore Egypt, one of the hot destinations in 2022. Once cruising the Nile was reserved for queens and pharaohs. Today, Uniworld has a romantic, adventure-filled 12-day itinerary to experience Egypt and the Nile’s most wondrous sites in style. You can wander among the towering ruins of the Temple of Karnak or the entrancing Temple of Luxor, or pay homage to the first female ruler at Temple Hatshepsut. Also included is an exhilarating ride in a felucca, a traditional Nile River sailboat. This captivating journey starts and ends in Cairo, where you will also visit the famous Egyptian Museum with its stupendous collection of pharaonic artefacts and treasures recovered from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
In keeping with tradition, Uniworld takes great pride in maintaining its close relationship with guests with the mantra: “No request too large, no detail too small.”
This ensures guests never have to worry about all being taken care of during their river journeys, which means they will come back for more – time and time again.
What marks out Uniworld’s boutique river ships from other lines’ vessels are the bespoke, destination-inspired interiors.
The spacious river cruise ships reflect Bea’s penchant to recreate them as elegant floating hotels with inviting spaces, exquisite antiques, custom-made fabrics and original works of art.
Each ship’s design is inspired by the very rivers upon which they cruise. With distinctive themes, colour palettes and personally selected artwork, each element has been thoughtfully considered and flawlessly rendered. This ensures that no two suites are the same. Adding to the luxurious experience is fine cuisine, unparalleled service and beautiful immersive shore excursions.
As part of the onboard service, guests have access to an attentive butler during their voyage. Uniworld’s butlers don’t moonlight in other positions, so they can deliver exemplary service to suite guests, including packing and unpacking services. (Butler service is not available on Russia, Egypt, India and Asia itineraries.) Suite guests will also receive a crystal carafe, refilled daily with their choice of brandy, whisky and vodka.
Uniworld fleet newcomers
The SS Sphinx joined Uniworld’s collection of river ships last year when it plied the Nile, taking guests on a 12-day Egyptian adventure. With 42 well-appointed suites, this Super Ship is decked out with fine Egyptian cotton, marble and hand-carved blonde wood to showcase the country’s craftsmanship.
SS Venezia also launched last year, taking guests on an eight-day cruise of the Venetian lagoon and the Po River. It has four decks, three of which are named after islands in Venice and are decorated with brightly coloured Murano glass.
SS São Gabriel
SS São Gabriel is the line’s newest ship on Portugal’s Douro River, catering for 100 guests with lavishly appointed suites. The ship’s butler service gives guests the option to dine at any time they choose.
Mekong Jewel is the line’s newest and most luxurious ship on the Mekong River. The all-suite Super Ship has two dining venues: a main restaurant and an al fresco eatery on the upper deck. Constructed with sustainable, eco-friendly materials, it features a swimming pool, spa, sauna, gym, hair salon, nail bar, two lounges and a library. She offers 13-day voyages on the mighty Mekong, taking in sights from
Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap.
The Aria Amazon has been designed to explore the Peruvian Amazon in luxury with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving guests fabulous views of the majestic rivers and rainforest. There’s a Jacuzzi, indoor lounge and bar on the top deck and an outdoor observation deck. Five-star cuisine, curated by top chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, is designed to give you an immersive experience.
Uniworld will operate their first annual Rivers of the World cruise, a 46-night voyage from Cairo to Lisbon, on board five new Super Ships, in May next year.
It has been so popular that it is now sold out, and Uniworld has opened a waitlist for 2023, as well as the highly anticipated 2024 voyage. Discover two continents and nine countries as you visit Egypt, the Mediterranean, the Alps, Central Europe and Northern France, all on one trip.