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TORONTO — Uniworld has released new details about the four new Super Ships coming to its fleet in 2020 and heading to the Mekong, Nile, Venetian Lagoon and Douro rivers.
By 2020 more than half of the ships in Uniworld’s fleet will be Super Ships with the addition of three new vessels in Vietnam, Egypt and Portugal and another Super Ship renovation in Italy.
Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge says that over the last five years the company has pushed forward with its fleet transformation. The initiative began in 2017 with the launch of the S.S. Joie de Vivre. Then came the debut of the fully renovated S.S. Beatrice in 2018. In April 2019 the completely transformed S.S. Bon Voyage will set sail.
The plan continues in 2020 with the four new Super Ships, first announced in October 2018, planned for the Mekong, Nile, Venetian Lagoon and Douro rivers.
“We have been in a consistent and relentless pursuit of excellence,” says Bettridge. “But expansion for expansion’s sake has never been our business model. We are fortunate to operate under the guidance and vision of the Tollman family – a family synonymous with hospitality and innovation. We do not answer to a board of directors or investors, but instead boldly commit to the projects that will continuously elevate Uniworld to the leading position within the river cruise industry. Our ships are absolutely unique and like a boutique hotel, reflect the destinations they serve from décor and artwork to food, beverage and programming. We look forward to making our high caliber of service and personalization in these remarkable destinations even better.”
Here’s a look Uniworld’s new ships launching in 2020, with newly released names and destination details:
S.S. SPHINX, EGYPT
Egypt is back and continues to be a top trending destination for travellers seeking culture and adventure, says Bettridge. Uniworld is the only luxury river cruise line in Egypt and will be launching the S.S. Sphinx on the Nile river on Jan. 6, 2020. It will offer three gourmet dining venues, including a private dining room and an al fresco dining experience on the upper deck, a swimming pool, massage room and 42 suites. Continuing the company’s commitment to sustainability, locally sourced Egyptian artwork, fabrics and hand-carved furnishings will be used to bring the beauty of the region to life onboard. This ship will include 12 adventure-filled days to experience Egypt and the Nile’s top sites starting and ending in Cairo.
S.S. SÃO GABRIEL, PORTUGAL
Launching on March 26, 2020, Uniworld’s S.S. São Gabriel will be the newest ship on the Douro. The entire top deck will offer all lavishly appointed suites, enhanced with butler service, giving guests the option to dine at any time they’d like while enjoying the ship. Guests on S.S. São Gabriel will experience the UNESCO-designated Douro River Valley and indulge in the best of Spanish and Portuguese culture and cutting-edge, locally sourced cuisine.
S.S. LA VENEZIA, VENICE
The River Countess will undergo a complete design renovation and reemerge as S.S. La Venezia on March 27, 2020. The S.S. La Venezia will offer a 10-day itinerary that starts with an included two-day land stay in Milan where guests will visit Da Vinci’s renowned The Last Supper, and then continue with an eight-day of cruise through and around Venice, the Po river and three outer-lying Venetian islands: Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. Guests will also have the option of purchasing the eight-day cruise-only portion of the itinerary.
MEKONG JEWEL, VIETNAM & CAMBODIA
Debuting on Jan. 3, 2020, Uniworld’s all-suite ship will be the newest and most luxurious ship on the Mekong river, says Bettridge. The ship will include two dining venues: one main restaurant and an al fresco eatery on the upper deck. Mekong Jewel will be 10 metres longer than the Mekong Navigator, but with the same capacity offering guests more space and amenities. The 13-day itinerary will take guests from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, with visits to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat and more.