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Uniworld River River Cruises

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Uniworld River Cruises
  • Overview


Established almost four decades ago, Uniworld is experienced in providing a boutique river cruise collection. Founded in 1976 and operating 500 departures on 15 rivers in over 20 countries every single year, Uniworld definitely knows what it’s doing, and has the awards to prove it. 

Founded by Serbian-born Serba Ilich and based in LA, California, Uniworld takes guests to far-flung corners of the world, from romantic sails along the Danube to exotic adventures on the Mekong. With a cruise programme encompassing many rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia, Uniworld continues to expand its fleet size and scope, so that river cruising can be an ultra-luxurious and unforgettable experience. 


Uniworld’s fleet of 19 river cruising ships includes many that have been remodelled and refurbished over recent years. Each vessel has been appointed with lavish interiors that are bespoke and unique, to create a luxury, boutique hotel feel. Expect to find original art works and furniture created exclusively for Uniworld by master craftsmen.

Recent additions to the fleet include the ‘Super Ship’ S.S. Catherine in 2014 and the S.S. Maria Theresa in 2015, which are both an impressive 443ft long and hold 80 staterooms These two ships, along with 2011’s S.S. Antoinette, represent the future of this river cruise line, with state-of-the-art amenities that help to offer luxurious travel on some of the world’s most beautiful waterways. 


Ilich’s mission was to create a river cruise line that targeted travellers from the USA, which is why all crew onboard are English-speaking and provide impeccable service with a very high staff to passenger ratio. Forty years on, Uniworld still targets affluent English-speaking guests, and its cruises are especially popular with those from the USA, UK and Australia. 

Voyages tend to appeal to mature travellers, but the ambience onboard attracts younger cruisers, too. Every year, there are themed family cruises with child-friendly itineraries. Children between 4 and 18 travel for 50% less than full-price cruise-only fares. 

There’s a maximum capacity of 164 passengers across the fleet, with many ships holding between 128 and 134 guests, ensuring an intimate experience without hindering a guest’s chances of socialising with new friends. 


Most cruise fares, excluding Russia, Cambodia and Vietnam, offer an all-inclusive package with unlimited fine wines, beers and spirits, as well as gratuities for onboard and onshore services, included in the price. 

The choice of restaurants and dining options that are available is ship-specific, but there is usually at least one plush lounge with full service bar and one traditional main restaurant, as well as 24-hour coffee stations, terraces and sun decks for alfresco nibbles. 

The main dining venue is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a variety of menu choices including buffet-style and a la carte options that are contemporary and continental. You can also enjoy afternoon tea in the main lounge and a bistro menu for all day snacking. Plus, as of 2016, all Europe-based ships will offer an in-suite butler service (with butlers trained to the same exacting standards as at Buckingham Palace!) – perfect if you’d prefer to enjoy a private meal from the comfort of your suite.

Uniworld follows an open-seating dining arrangement, so guests are free to dine where and with whomever they like. The dress code is casual elegant.


On every vessel, a range of modest entertainment options is provided, including authentic local talent when moored in some ports of call. There’s a varied entertainment programme on every ship – often designed to suit the itinerary – with plenty of opportunity to dance, listen to lounge music, and enjoy unassuming and sophisticated live entertainment.

Uniworld are the first river cruise line to provide guests with the digital newsstand PressReader. Popular on many ocean liners, Uniworld are the first to bring this to river cruising, offering their guests a strong selection of premium papers and magazines from around the world. 


Most shore excursions are included in the price of the cruise, and other options are available for a fee. A fleet of bicycles can be found on every Europe-based ship, and they are available for guests to use to explore each port, at no extra charge. Nordic walking sticks are also available for use if guests wish to head off on a hike independently. 

The onboard enrichment programme, including Signature Lectures from academics, historians and local experts, helps to provide guests with a stimulating and interesting river cruise that embraces the destination culture. Tailormade excursions, led by English-speaking guides, are available – some of which are exclusively created for Uniworld guests. Family river cruises have a dedicated family friendly activity package which appeals to all ages, to ensure children have a fun and enriching experience, too. 

Activities available onboard including shuffleboard and chess on the Sun Deck (some ships) and a 3D cinema including Dolby surround sound, vintage movie posters and an obligatory popcorn cart (S.S. Antoinette). 


Suites and staterooms are furnished to a very high standard. You will find the highest quality 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets and an excellent pillow menu in suites, and beautiful linens in staterooms. The décor, including lush fabrics, marble-lined bathrooms, handcrafted Savoir beds, antiques and original artwork, is merged with more contemporary additions, such as flat screen TVs with built-in infotainment systems. Larger suites also benefit from separate living areas, and a bath that’s perfect for a leisurely soak. 

Some staterooms have French doors leading to private verandas and balconies. On the S.S. Antoinette, there are alcove conservatories that, at the touch of a button, morph into open-air balconies – ideal for when the weather is just right. 


As well as the varied shore excursions that appeal to active types, there is also a well-equipped fitness centre onboard, where guests can make use of the exercise equipment. A certified wellness instructor is on hand throughout your voyage if needed. Many vessels also boast swimming pools – some heated, with underwater music.

Take part in a yoga session or try something new, like the Five Tibetan Rites or a TRX workout. The Serenity River Spa, which is available on every ship in Europe, will help you to relax and unwind with a range of treatments and pamper sessions. 


Sail along the rivers of Europe and take in some of the customs, cultures and landscapes that the continent has to offer. Alternatively, adventure further, with one of Uniworld’s more exotic river cruises. Explore the rivers of Russia, sail along the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia, immerse yourself in the ancient beauty of the Ganges or embrace the history of Egypt as you sail along the Nile.

There are also themed cruises available, including ones covering the festive Christmas markets, the wine regions of Europe (The Connoisseur Collection), and Europe’s majestic royal heritage (The Monarch Collection).  

Uniworld river cruises typically last between 1 and 2 weeks, but can be longer depending on the itinerary chosen. 

U by Uniworld

Uniworld River Cruises have taken an innovative and bold step towards appealing to a younger audience. Their brand U by Uniworld has been created specifically with 21 to 45 year old cruisers in mind; instead of many features of traditional cruising - like scheduled dining and opulent decor - expect a silent disco, complimentary and expansive wifi, and active excursions like kayaking.

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