Uniworld Embracing Super Ships

“Uniworld is a five-star experience and the most awarded luxury river cruise line on Europe’s and Asia’s rivers, with an average capacity of 130 guests, exclusive excursions, gourmet cuisine, and one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the river cruise industry,” said Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

The five-star experience plays out in their aggressive fleet overhaul – dramatic renovations to what the line calls Super Ships, according to the 2020 European River Cruise Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

The bow-to-stern upgrades transform public spaces and cabins with modern color schemes and designs, as well as a signature grand staircase.

“We’ve already launched six of these transformed vessels, including the Bon Voyage this past April sailing in the Bordeaux region, bringing guests completely renovated spaces and ccommodations, with more dining venues, more suites and more luxurious custom furnishings,” Bettridge said.

Uniworld operates 17 ships – owning 12 of them – on 23 rivers in Europe and Russia, as well as the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze, and Nile.

By the end of 2020, more than half of the fleet will be Super Ships. 

Vessels sailing in Vietnam and Egypt are next to undergo renovation. And a custom-built Super Ship, the 100-passenger São Gabriel, debuts March 26, 2020 on the Douro.

“(We) have made a commitment to convert our entire fleet to Super Ships in the coming years,” she said. “Beyond the distinct difference in our level of service and quality of experience, we are a brand that cares about the environments we sail through, the communities we visit and the people we work with, and that resonates with our guests,” Bettridge added.

In addition, U by Uniworld will offer departures on two boats in 2020 targeted at the Millennial market.

Uniworld attracts passengers from English-speaking countries, with the United States, Canada, Australia, and England foremost. That’s followed by South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia and elsewhere.

“Our passenger demographics vary by cruise depending on if it’s a regular Uniworld sailing, a Generations Collection family sailing or some other specialty sailing, but our average age sits around 55-years-old and guests range from solo travelers to couples to families.”

A new itinerary attracting passengers in 2020 includes the Rhine and Moselle with a stop in the Black Forest village of Baden-Baden, Germany. The town is famed for it’s spas, especially the natural springs, reputed to have healing properties. 

“We are continuously enhancing our wellness offerings as it’s important to our guests, and wellness-specific cruises are increasingly of interest,” Bettridge said.

About the 2020 European Cruise River Market Report 

The new European Cruise Market Report provides a comprehensive look at the river cruise business with capacity metrics by river and brand, company profiles and much more. 100+ pages of insights. Learn more. 


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