The 2021 season is set to be an exciting one for Uniworld, when they launch four of their river vessels transformed into ‘super ships’.
Uniworld is already a well-established luxury river cruise line, but for CEO Ellen Bettridge, it’s vital that they stay at the top of their game. Bettridge announced the addition of four more ships to the super ships fleet in London this week.
“I am so incredibly proud to announce that our fleet of ships will be super ships. It’s about taking what we have and elevating it to the next level.”
“We cannot rest on our laurels,” she continued. “We cannot sit back and let things happen. We have to take control.”
The four vessels include River Empress, River Duchess, River Princess and River Queen, and each will be revamped with additional restaurants, new suites and luxury finishes.
These follow the announcement earlier this year of four entirely new ships, which will operate in Vietnam (Mekong), Egypt (the Nile), Portugal (Douro) and Russia (Volga), respectively.
Ms Bettridge confirmed “That means our entire (European) river fleet will be super ships by 2021. We’re trying to make the destination truly come to life on each of our ships.”
So what exactly does a Uniworld super ship look like?
During the upgrades, Uniworld has generally reduced the number of passengers and created more suites and more connecting rooms for people travelling together. Most have locally-sourced art and cuisine, added dining options and are built with eco-friendly materials.
Uniworld’s SS Bon Voyage – formerly River Royale – was the latest Uniworld ship to undergo a full-ship renovation.
She is designed to immerse guests in French culture, art and wine, from its stunning lobby clad in polished wood, subtle brass details and hand-crafted balustrade, to the stylish emerald tones found in bar Le Salon Champagne, inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s personal abode, Villa Majorelle.
The dining venues also capture the essence of France. The quintessential La Brasserie, with its natural green and pops of yellow décor inspired by the famous Bouillon Pigalle, serves traditional bistro fare. Le Grand Fromage offers menus reflective of the local cuisine, prepared from locally-sourced ingredients. La Cave des Vins is an intimate space where connoisseurs can gather for expert food and wine pairing dinners upon request.
The stunning Soleil Deck, awash in vibrant fabrics, features the only infinity pool on the rivers and spectacular views of the French countryside. Poolside service at Le Café du Soleil offers casual French cuisine as well as open-air cooking demonstrations from our chefs.
In addition to the public spaces, the S.S. Bon Voyage features four new spacious suites, and every stateroom has received an exquisite redesign with cool marble bathrooms and unique features.
The cruise line’s River Countess is also due to undergo a complete renovation and re-emerge as SS La Venezia in March 2020.
Uniworld’s UK Managing Director Chris Townsend says however, that the transformation project is not about expanding, but enhancing the existing fleet.
“Our aim is simple,” Mr Townsend announced. “We are not trying to add capacity. We’re not trying to be the biggest. The aim is to have the best luxury river cruise ship on every river we cruise on.”