Uniworld Unveils Design Elements for "New" S.S. La Venezia

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection unveiled a first look at the S.S. La Venezia, a completely refreshed, updated vessel (formerly sailing as River Countess) that will cruise in northern Italy. 

The new design—led by Uniworld’s artistic directors Toni Tollman and Brian Brennan—was inspired by the work of celebrated Italian artist and textile designer Mariano Fortuny, according to Ellen Bettridge, Uniworld's CEO and president.  

Much of the design and décor aboard S.S. La Venezia was influenced by that local design house known for its hand-made fabrics. 

Calling the S.S. Venezia "a work onto itself," Tollman says that the ship is intended to complement and enhance Uniworld's curated Venetian itineraries. Guests "will experience the unmistakable essence of the city," she adds, noting the lobby strikes a bold resemblance to 1930s Venice. For example, there will be marble and brass-inlaid parquet floors, echoes of the portico of the landmark bridges in the patterns of the fabrics, and swirls and pops of color of Murano blown glass.

An example of a suite aboard S.S. La Venezia (No. 410 is shown here).  

In addition, because the Fortuny story is so intricately woven into the ship's design, S.S. Venezia's guests will have the exclusive opportunity to visit that company's private showroom and gardens. 

Local Cuisine 

S.S. La Venezia’s restaurants and bars will feature local gastronomy and ingredients sourced from local markets. In line with Uniworld’s signature dining experience, options for dining will include: 

  • The warm, cozy Rialto’s (the largest dining venue onboard) will offer traditional Venetian fare and charming booths. Diners will be surrounded by intricately etched panels, inspired by the interior of the Orient Express.  
  • The more relaxed Hari’s Bar and Lounge will offer live music, cocktails and an impressive champagne list. 
  • With its hand-etched glass walls and polished ebonized wood, La Cantinetta will be the most intimate of the ship's dining venues, offering private dining with expert wine pairings. Guests will be invited to start their La Cantinetta experience earlier in the day by accompanying their chef who will source ingredients—everything from fresh Adriatic fish to fine Italian cheeses and salami—at the Rialto food market. The ingredients then will be prepared onboard in this demonstration kitchen to create a repertoire of traditional Italian dishes. 

For Italian comfort food with al fresco dining and the best views of Venice, guests can relax at Cielo’s Pizzeria on the Lido di Venezia Deck. It will serve wood-fired pizzas with fresh accompaniments from the salad bar.

Venetian Itineraries 

In 2021, S.S. La Venezia will sail a signature eight-day “Venice and the Gems of Northern Italy” itinerary, with guests experiencing a private evening opening and lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica, the peaceful canals unique to Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello, plus visits to the cities of Bologna and Padua.

Three additional itineraries will be offered throughout 2021 and 2022, including the 10-day “Milan, Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy” and the recently launched 12-day “Cruise & Rail: Venice & the Swiss Alps” and 14-day “Cruise & Rail: Milan, Venice & the Swiss Alps.”

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