Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has announced plans to evolve the cruise company’s offering over the next two years, which will include more than half of the ships evolving to “Super Ship” status, along with the addition of three new vessels in Vietnam, Egypt and Portugal. Another Super Ship renovation in Italy has also been confirmed. The new floating boutique hotels will feature the signature touches and distinctive themes the company’s ships are known for – more suites, more dining venues and more luxurious finishes – while maintaining their high crew-to-guest ratio.
Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge said that over the last five years the company has successfully moved on its plan to transform the fleet that began in 2017 with the successful launch of the S.S. Joie de Vivre, the debut of the fully renovated S.S. Beatrice in 2018 and the premier this April of the completely transformed S.S. Bon Voyage. The plan continues in 2020 with four new Super Ships planned for the Mekong, Nile, Venetian Lagoon and Douro rivers.
“We have been in a consistent and relentless pursuit of excellence,” says Bettridge. “But expansion for expansion’s sake has never been our business model.
“Our ships are absolutely unique and like a boutique hotel, reflect the destinations they serve, from décor and artwork to food, beverage and programming. We look forward to making our high calibre of service and personalisation in these remarkable destinations even better.”
Uniworld’s new ships launching in 2020 include:
S.S. Satet – Egypt
Launching on the Nile river on 6 January 2020. Named after the goddess of the Nile, S.S. Satet will offer three gourmet dining venues, including a private dining room and an al fresco dining experience on the upper deck, a swimming pool, massage room and 42 suites. This ship will include 12 adventure-filled days to experience Egypt and the Nile’s top sites starting and ending in Cairo.
S.S. São Gabriel – Portugal
Launching on 26 March 2020, S.S. São Gabriel will be the newest ship on the Douro River. The entire top deck will offer all lavishly appointed suites, enhanced with butler service, giving guests the option to dine at any time they’d like while enjoying the ship. Guests will experience the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley and indulge in the best of Spanish and Portuguese culture and cutting-edge, locally sourced cuisine.
S.S. La Venezia – Venice
River Countess will undergo a complete design renovation and re-emerge as S.S. La Venezia on 27 March 2020, bringing guests complete luxury while exploring Northern Italy. She will offer a 10-day itinerary that starts with an included two-day land stay in Milan where guests will visit Da Vinci’s renowned The Last Supper, and then continue with an eight-day of cruising through and around Venice, the Po River and three outer-lying Venetian islands: Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. Guests will also have the option of purchasing the eight-day cruise-only portion of the itinerary.
Mekong Jewel – Vietnam & Cambodia
Debuting on 3 January 2020, this will be the newest and most luxurious ship on the Mekong River. Uniworld’s all-suite ship will include two dining venues: one main restaurant and an al fresco eatery on the upper deck. Mekong Jewel will be 10 metres longer than Mekong Navigator, but with the same capacity, offering guests more space and amenities. The 13-day itinerary will take guests from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, with visits to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat and more.
Lead image: The external design of S.S La Venezia is under wraps