The river cruise world can sometimes seem completely separate from the ocean cruise world. If you don’t know much about river cruises, we don’t blame you, but they’re actually super cool! Founded in LA in 1979, Uniworld is one of the biggest names in industry. They were also the recipient of Travel + Leisure’s “#1 River Cruise Line” award in 2019. Definitely an impressive accolade! If you’re curious as to what all the hype is about, you’re in the right place!
Uniworld’s fleet is quite extensive, so to make things simpler let’s break it down by size. In terms of ships that fit fewer than 100 guests, there’s River Tosca, Mekong Navigator and Ganges Voyager II, holding 82, 68 and 56 passengers respectively. The next up is Queen Isabel, which fits 118, and S.S. Joie de Vivre, which holds 128. River Queen, River Princess and River Royale all hold 132, while River Countess, River Duchess and River Empress all hold 134 (though it sorta seems like Empress should hold more, but maybe that’s just us). S.S. Maria Theresa fits 150, S.S. Beatrice a bit more at 162, and S.S. Antoinette and S.S. Catherine both have space for 164. Finally, the biggest is River Victoria, which fits 202. So, lots of choices! All of the ships are pretty small or intimate, something that is to be expected on river ships, as they have to fit in rivers, right? Anyway, moving on…
Ah, the most important section. But really, is it all about the money? Well, we guess it kinda is, so here goes. Here’s a very quick generalization: for a Uniworld trip, you’re looking at somewhere between $3000 and $10000. Most cruises have many different suite options that can vary the price a lot. For instance, a 13 day cruise from New Delhi to Kolkota starts at $5999 for the cheapest suite, then $6559 for a Colonial Suite, then $7919 for a Heritage Suite, then $9199 for a Maharaja Suite, then $10,499 for a Viceroy Suite. In general, the cruises aren’t exactly cheap, but there is a wide variety of options that can help you afford it if you’re looking to save money. Or, if you’re looking to spend money, there’s lots of luxurious options for that too! But, rest assured that Uniworld prides themselves on being all-inclusive, which means unlimited alcohol, free cuisine, gratuities, excursions, and more.
The food on Uniworld is high-class. German meatballs, honeycomb ice cream, Viennese veal escalope…you get the picture. There’s local beers, a wealth of spirits and wines, a healthier menu for those counting calories, and food that is mainly sourced from local farms, depending on where you are. Aside from food, you can expect activities that immerse you in the culture of wherever you are: village visits, bike tours, private visits to museums and more help give you a “local” experience. While there is stuff to do on the boats themselves, the focus is really on what you do when you’re on land.
Uniworld is known for great food and lots of tour options in very cool locales. It’s also known as being incredibly luxurious, almost to a point where it’s nearly too in your face. In general, the cruise line isn’t too subtle with its luxury, which some people like and some people don’t. It’s really a style preference! The crew is known to be helpful and kind, with the chefs being able to prepare any kind of food for travelers with different tastes or diets. Most passengers leave glowing reviews, though not all.
So, there you have it. Uniworld can trend expensive, but there are so many options that almost everyone can find something. Really, if you’re looking for a luxurious river cruise to start off with, Uniworld is a great choice.