Explore Europe by river on these two new super ships

The S.S. Victoria will make her debut in March 2024. — Photos: Uniworld

River cruising through Europe was a novelty when it was first introduced as a vacation option – rather than just as a means of transporting goods – in the late 1960s.

After gaining traction in the 1990s, it has since evolved into a luxurious affair highly opted for by those looking for a relaxing getaway while journeying through picturesque waterways.

Guests may either lounge relaxingly or partake in the activities prepared onboard, or momentarily disembark when the ship makes one of its scheduled stops for some land exploration. Either way, a river cruise is meant to be enjoyed leisurely and, in most cases, luxuriously.

The experience is akin to checking into a hotel, albeit one that moves on water.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is a name that many may come across while researching for a cruise to book, as it is renowned as one of the world’s top river cruise operators.

Expanding its offerings, Uniworld has recently announced the addition of two new “super ships” to its fleet, namely the S.S. Victoria and the S.S. Elisabeth.

The S.S. Elisabeth is scheduled to set sail in 2025.The S.S. Elisabeth is scheduled to set sail in 2025.

“We’re thrilled to add two stunning new ships to the Uniworld fleet, beginning with the S.S. Victoria on the beloved river Rhine (in Europe), fulfilling our promise to maintain the best and most luxurious ships on the rivers,” Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld, said in a statement.

“The S.S. Victoria and S.S. Elisabeth are unique vessels that we know our guests will love, featuring a modern design, some of the largest suites on the rivers, and an ambiance that exudes contemporary luxury.”

She added that guests can look forward to “tiny noticeable touches” throughout every aspect, from the Uniworld crew’s impeccable service to the myriad of all-inclusive amenities provided.

The dining venues onboard offer farm-to-table cuisine.The dining venues onboard offer farm-to-table cuisine.

The first of the two to set sail will be the S.S. Victoria, kicking off in March 2024 with the eight-day “Holland & Belgium At Tulip Time” cruise.

The cruise, which goes through Belgium and the Netherlands, allows guests the chance to explore historic cities and savour Belgian sweet treats while soaking in the vibrant cultures, aside from enjoying the classic Amsterdam tulip experience.

The S.S. Victoria’s subsequent trips will be the eight-day “Castles Along The Rhine” cruise from Basel in Switzerland to Amsterdam (featuring fairytale-like towns, historic castles, and fine winemaking traditions) and the 10-day “Magnificent Moselle And Rhine” cruise along two rivers (offering an in-depth look at several fascinating cities with deep-rooted history).

Finally, it will embark on the eight-day “Belgium Holiday Markets” cruise, which is a holiday-themed round-trip from Brussels, that lets guests visit a mix of famous and under-the-radar Christmas markets.

Not much has been revealed at the moment regarding the itinerary of the second cruise ship, the S.S. Elisabeth, as it is only scheduled to set sail in 2025.

All bedrooms feature full-length windows in front of the king-sized beds for panoramic views.All bedrooms feature full-length windows in front of the king-sized beds for panoramic views.

These identical sister ships are able to accommodate 110 guests in 55 luxurious suites and staterooms. While different in size and nuances, all the rooms feature a similar design, with full-length windows strategically situated in front of the king-sized beds.

Each of the ship is also equipped with a massage room, gym, bistro, rooftop bar and grill, and fine dining restaurant. As with all Uniworld cruises, the dining venues will feature farm-to-table cuisine, with fresh local ingredients gathered by the chef in destination daily.

Uniworld will be chartering the ships from Seaside Collection for three years each. Prior to joining the latter’s Riverside Luxury Cruises, the ships were a part of Crystal Cruises’ River fleet, operating under the names Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler.

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