Ever heard of Uniworld cruises? If you’re a fan of river cruising you should have because they’re the only 6* Ultra Luxury River Cruise experience! Not to worry if not though because as always the www.CRUISE.co.uk team are here to enlighten you, and tell you why Uniworld should be your next cruise line!
Uniworld was established in 1976 and is the sister company to 5* hotel franchise: Red Carnation Hotel Collection, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they have been referred to as ‘floating boutique hotels’. The line is most known for visiting Europe’s top locations, but also travel further afield and offer trips to India, China, Cambodia and Egypt! Continue reading for the low down on the luxury cruise line, and find out why we think it’s fit for royalty!
Did you know? Despite being incredibly lavish, Uniworld doesn’t forget about those less fortunate. They’re environmentally conscious and have partnered up with numerous charities, such as: Whole World Water – giving safe drinking water to those who need it most!
Meet the Fleet:
Uniworld boast 21 ships in total, with around 130 passengers on average, so you’re guaranteed a cruise experience that’s less busy but more personal! There are currently 14 Europe ships, an Egypt ship, a Vietnam and Cambodia ship, an Indian ship, a Russian ship and 2 China ships.
You’ll find a bunch of various different passengers on board, but you’ll definitely have one thing in common, your great taste and love of luxury! After 50 years of owning and operating luxury boutique hotels worldwide, they have gained valuable expertise that creates the ultimate luxurious surroundings for guests with attention to detail in everything from decor to service.
That being said, the cruise line is also becoming increasingly popular with solo passengers. This is down to the detailed itineraries, open seating arrangements, and small group excursions, making it easier for lone travellers to socialise and make new friends.
Families similarly choose Uniworld as there are carefully crafted itineraries available just for children, including arts and crafts workshops and trips to amusement parks!
Did you know? The line was voted #1 World’s Best River Cruising for Families! And it’s easy to see why.
Decor & Atmosphere:
Decorated to resemble a British Country House, you’ll find furnishings inside that are fit for the Queen herself with original artworks from famous artists and vintage decor that resembles a boutique hotel.
The overall feel is nothing short of elaborate with the elegant French balconies, Italian marble lined bathrooms and beds that are handcrafted by the same people who make beds for Europe’s top hotels!
That’s not all either, no ship is like the other as each has its own colour scheme, and the furnishings subtly reflect the region you’re travelling to. Uniworld really have thought of everything!
When it comes to entertainment with a Uniworld ship, the excursions are really where it’s at. There’s a huge range of onshore experiences available, offering a personalized adventure, so there’s really something for everyone! (Plus kids aged 4-18 sail for 50% off! Now we know where they get their family friendly status from!)
They offer a ‘Choice is Yours’ excursion where you can choose to do pretty much whatever you like, there are options available to suit all abilities and needs. This way you choose from a vast array of activities and make your experience that bit more personal.
If you’re more active, or fancy some exercise after being cooped up on a ship, then the ‘Go Active’ experience may interest you. You can go on a guided hike led by a local naturalist or sports guide, or go by yourself with the use of the ships on board complimentary bicycles and Nordic walking sticks!
If it’s a gentle stroll you’re after there’s ‘Gentle Walking’ excursions where you can visit the local cafes and galleries.
For those interested in learning about the local villages, take advantage of ‘Village Day.’ You’ll be taken on a guided tour of the rural and village life, giving you a close look at small European and Russian towns, you can discover how the village thrives.
One of the most popular excursions is the ‘Do as the Locals Do’ option, providing authentic cultural experiences, like exploring the local’s favourite spots and tasting regional foods.
There are even ‘exclusive excursions’ offering unforgettable experiences, such as, fine wine tasting, classical concerts, etc. We really meant it when we said they have something for everyone!
To compliment the excursions and to help you learn more about the region, there are on board lectures available from: art historians, academics and locals, to tell you all about the local culture and what makes that region the best.
For those of you who just want to relax, there’s the Serenity River Spa where you can unwind after a day jam packed full of excursions. There are swimming pools on most ships, some of which are heated. Yes, please!
Westbrooke from London said: “The excursions were excellent. From Polesella (which doesn’t seem very interesting itself – it’s a mooring, not a port) you could visit Bologna and have a pasta-making workshop!” Read more here!
Dining on board a Uniworld ship is just as luxurious as everything else! They have open seating arrangements which is typical of most river cruises, but don’t let that fool you, this is no run of the mill dining experience. Your meal is made from the finest ingredients, sourced from farmer’s markets along the river you’re sailing on, so your meal genuinely reflects the region and the season. Uniworld go above and beyond when it comes to the personal experience, the culinary staff learn your tastes and provide you with options that you’ll love.
Meals are served at set times with a buffet Early Riser Breakfast that has something new each day, there’s light lunch dining available, and of course it wouldn’t be a true country house style without Afternoon tea, which is served each day in the main lounge.
In the evenings al fresco dining is available in the ships Sky Lounge, or you can even enjoy your delicious meal on the sun deck (weather permitting of course) for dinner under the stars. If you’re feeling peckish between meal times, there’s a bistro menu that offers all day snacking and 24/7 tea and coffee stations!
Every part of the Uniworld experience is inspired by the region you’re travelling in, even the wines and beers served at dinner are some of the finest local beverages. Can’t get enough of that bottle of Merlot? Head on over to the classy bar in the evening to have a good time with your friends.
Uniworld are one of the many lines that have now joined the ‘all inclusive’ club. Shore excursions, drinks, and WI-FI are all included in your price! The luxury feel of the ship continues all the way into your stateroom, boasting generous amounts of closet space, a flat screen, L’Occitane and Hermes bath and body products, and there’s even climate control on the hotter cruises!
Once you’ve cruised with Uniworld you automatically get added to the River Heritage Club, an exclusive club that offers member only savings and perks to those who have cruised with them before. Which is good news because we have a feeling that once you’ve been on the line, you’ll be wanting to go back anyway!
The spa and fitness centre facilities are also all included, fancy taking a class? We recommend participating in yoga on the deck!
Mckay from Richard told us: “The room came with in-house internet access via the TV and a comprehensive entertainment system also operated via the TV, a coffee machine and drinks making facilities, stocked fridge and daily fruit, hors d’oeuvres were appreciated, nothing was left wanting.” Read the rest of the review here...
Staff, Gratuities, Dress, Etc.
The staff really get to know you and go the extra mile to learn your tastes, they are genuinely interested in your style and interests, and make the effort to make your cruise as enjoyable as possible. Where there are less staterooms on board, there are more staff, so every need, no matter how small is catered for in a heartbeat.
If you stay in one of the suites on one of the Europe ships, you’ll get the advantage of your very own Butler, – they’re even trained to the same standards required by Buckingham Palace! If it’s good enough for her majesty, it’s definitely good enough for us. This is a line that’s proud to be labelled as an all-inclusive luxury brand where no request is too large or too small.
Uniworld really are all inclusive, as all gratuities both on board and on shore are included in your package price! So you don’t have to worry yourself trying to figure out rates etc. on your holiday.
The standards may be high but Uniworld but your comfort first so opt for a casual yet elegant dress code on board that’s generally quite relaxed during the day; we’d suggest a smart casual style. Evening is a much more sophisticated affair with an elegant dress code being recommended for dinner (everyone loves an excuse to dress up sometimes, right?)
Now you know why we think Uniworld should be on your cruise list! What do you think to the line? Would you be interested in sailing on a boutique hotel? Have you cruised with Uniworld before? Let us know in the comments!