|The Royal Suite on Uniworld’s SS Catherine comes with a separate and spacious living room.|
Highly inclusive itineraries, more Rhine and Danube departures and a new ship are on tap for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection in 2015. In spring, the S.S. Maria Theresa debuts on a “Tulips & Windmills” itinerary between Amsterdam and Antwerp, followed by 15-day “European Jewels” cruises between Budapest and Amsterdam and holiday voyages.
Named after Maria Theresa, a 1700s-era archduchess of Austria and queen of Hungary and Bohemia, this 155-passenger ship will have such spaces as Habsburg Salon, Baroque Restaurant, Bohemian Terrace and Lippizan Cinema. We particularly like that S.S. Maria Theresa will have a heated swimming pool, plus free Internet and Wi-Fi access. Other spaces include Bar du Leopard, a fitness center, Serenity River Spa, Viennese Café, guest laundry and 24-hour coffee/tea bar.
Staterooms and suites on the Main and Upper Decks will have open-air and French balconies. All guests can expect hand-crafted Savoir of England beds, Egyptian-cotton linens, individual climate control, a flat-screen TV with info-tainment center, and marble bathrooms with L’Occitane en Provence products. We love that S.S. Maria Theresa’s suites will be individually decorated. Suite guests will receive a bottle of fine wine upon arrival, one well-being treatment per guest and a dinner at Bar du Leopard. Other pampering suite perks are butler service, a full-breakfast menu, iPod docking station, Nespresso coffee machine, stocked minibar, Hermes bath products and free laundry.
New European itineraries include eight-day “Holland & Belgium at Tulip Time,” 10-day “Delightful Danube & Prague,” 10-day “Eastern Europe Explorer,” 13-day “Jewels of Spain, Portugal & the Douro River” and 22-day “Ultimate France.”
Seeking something more exotic? In January 2016, Uniworld will begin sailing India’s Ganges River with the new all-suite Ganges Voyager II. Reflecting Asian and Colonial design, this new 56-passenger ship will operate the weeklong cruise portion of a 13-day “India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges” itinerary. Guests also will stay five nights at The Oberoi, New Delhi; The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; and The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, with tours of Delhi’s Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb, Agra’s Taj Mahal and fort, and Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar.
Cruisers also will visit Mother Teresa’s tomb and home in Kolkata and an enormous Vedic temple in Mayapur. Cruising roundtrip from Kolkata, they’ll see remote villages and perhaps spot freshwater dolphins and parrots. We’d suggest travelers enjoy cocktails in the Governor’s Lounge before dining on Indian-inspired and western cuisine in the East India Restaurant. Uniworld also offers a Varanasi extension.
Ganges Voyager II boasts a 400-square-foot Maharaja Suite and two 360-square-foot Viceroy Suites, along with Heritage and Standard Suites. Maharaja and Viceroy Suite guests will enjoy butler service, laundry service and one complimentary spa treatment per person; additionally, Maharaja Suite guests will receive in-suite dining and scented baths.
In 2017, Uniworld will debut the new S.S. Josephine in France.
On our recent S.S. Catherine sailing, we found the ship’s onboard service was a cut above. We loved the nightly turn-down, particularly the embroidered rug with slippers placed bedside, gifts of recipe cards and bath/beauty products, replenished water and a jar of chocolates and cookies.