With 19 ships in its fleet, Uniworld is considered a first-class river cruising company. The company has been recognized by the 2009 ZAGAT Cruise Lines Survey for its staff and amenities, as a Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice pick for “Top Small Cruise Ship,” and by Travel + Leisure as “Top Rivers Cruise Line for Families” for the past three years.
Vessels have an average capacity of just 130 guests. A large selection of itineraries include routes in Europe, Russia, China, India Vitenam and Cambodia and Egypt, along the world’s greatest rivers. The classic Yangtze River Cruise is typical of the types of destinations that can best be seen by a slow moving, live-aboard vessel. Another region known for its exotic Amazon River cruises is South America. For most families, the European river cruises with their many ports of call are the favorite.
Why Families Should Consider a River Cruise
Although none of its ships have facilities geared specifically to families with young children, Uniworld is a popular choice for multi-generational cruise vacations with teens and adult children.
Featured all-inclusive multigenerational cruises scheduled during the summer and during winter school breaks do offer a kid-friendly menu, special onboard activities and amenities for families, and travel experiences geared especially for the younger set. In addition to meals, onboard entertainment and cultural enrichments, these multigenerational cruises include complimentary bicycles, local expert-hosted excursions, and a Family Host to plan an supervise the activities.
Seniors especially appreciate river cruising vs. open water cruising. Charting a course down major European rivers offers passengers the convenience of non-stop sightseeing from their cabins or the deck. Ships can often dock right in the heart of town, within walking distance of public squares, magnificent cathedrals, and bustling market places.
Passengers don’t have to wait in long lines to get on or off the ship and sea sickness is unheard of. River cruising also offers a very comfortable journey. River cruises which remain close to ports can afford to provide some of the extra perks that travelers take for granted at land-based hotels.
Planning a River Cruise in Europe
Families will want to fly into the city nearest their port of embarkation when planning a river cruise. Uniworld offers guests airport transfers on arrival and departure days, although we’d recommend you have at least one day’s padding in case of inclement weather or other travel delays. Once on board, there are few worries as the ships are staffed to allow for one crew member for every three guests.
Pricing is variable, with the best rates during the early spring and late fall shoulder seasons (few river cruise companies operate all year long.) For a high-end boutique cruise company, Uniworld has some surprising deals on its website or offered through travel agents that make river cruising a very appealing option.
For more information on itineraries and schedules, visit the Uniworld site.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.