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Uniworld cruises review

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Luxury all-included sails on eclectically-decorated ships.

With Uniworld, you can sail world-famous waterways in ultimate comfort. But are these upscale river cruises worth it?

21 ships

Number of ships

Price

No

Price matches

Details

Target demographic Seniors, Singles
Number of ships 21 ships
Contact options Phone, Email
Payment options Visa, American Express
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service No free room service

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by


Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Expert review

Uniworld has a firm grip on the market when it comes to river cruises — and for good reason. Its totally inclusive pricing and fashionable ships make for relaxing, aesthetically-pleasing journeys.

The food is unique and interesting, if not always familiar. And its itineraries hit key bucket list destinations and some less touristy ones, as well — we’re looking at you, Peru.

The price is pretty competitive when compared to luxury competitors like Scenic or Tauck. For example, based on rates sourced in March 2020, an eight-day Rhine river cruise with Uniworld starts at $2,999 — compared to a similar all-inclusive eight-day Scenic getaway for $3,695.

Still, not everyone will fall head-over-heels for Uniworld. Folks hoping for a budget cruise with Las Vegas-style entertainment should look elsewhere. And travelers searching for immersive experiences that lend insight into unfiltered local culture will be disappointed. Uniworld cruises are for lovers of luxury — not necessarily authenticity.

That said, you’ll get what you pay for on Uniworld cruises: premium spirits, lush amenities and 5-star service. The cherry on top? Expertly organized shore excursions and the chance to visit some of the world’s most famous and talked-about sites — without worrying about needing to tip the guide. Much like everything else on these cruises, that’s taken care of.

Compare Uniworld cruise ships

Erase all your notions of cramped cabins and stark staterooms. Custom-designed river cruise ships are decorated with panache and style — meant to be boutique hotels at sea, rather than resort-style playgrounds. Uniworld draws inspiration from its sister company, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, which is evident in the sophisticated design, unique works of art and dynamic antique collections.

Aboard, you’ll find all the standard amenities of 5-star river cruise ships — restaurants, spas, fitness centers, bars and lounges and wide sun decks. Some of its ships even have swimming pools.

Every stateroom has a riverside view.

Where do Uniworld cruises depart from?

Uniworld’s itineraries are designed around some of the world’s greatest rivers. But it doesn’t launch from anywhere in the US.

Here’s where you can begin your Uniworld cruise:

Amsterdam, Antwerp, Avignon, Basel, Bordeaux, Budapest, Giurgiu, Lyon, Moscow, Nuremberg, Paris, Passau, Porto, St. Petersburg, Venice, Vienna

Uniworld cruises destinations

Uniworld‘s Nile cruises are of particular note, as well as its itineraries along the imperial waterways of Russia, the rainforests of Peru and beyond.

It also offers holiday and family cruises along with themed cruises for lovers of French food and wine, plus Jewish history tours.

Here’s a list of where Uniworld sails:

Arabian Gulf, Asia, Europe

What’s included in my Uniworld cruise?

Uniworld leads the pack when it comes to totally comprehensive fare. Here’s what you’ll get when you book a Uniworld cruise:

  • Premium alcoholic beverages
  • Locally-inspired, 5-star dining
  • Shore excursions
    • Choose from a curated selection.
    • Bikes and walking sticks to borrow at port
  • Gratuities
  • Workout room with fitness classes led by a certified instructor
  • Airport transfers to and from the port
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Wi-Fi

Also, 24/7 butler service is included with suites.

Uniworld river cruises pricing

The cost of Uniworld river cruises can vary drastically, depending on the itinerary you choose and the dates you sail. But we know getting a ballpark idea can help when you’re shopping for that perfect cruise. Here’s a sampling of Uniworld‘s prices:

ItineraryPorts visitedPricePrice per day
Castles along the Rhine — 8 days (2021)Basel, Breisach, Kehl (Strasbourg), Mannheim (Speyer), Rüdesheim, Boppard, Cologne, AmsterdamFrom $2,999About $375
About $375Venice, Chioggia, Polesella, Porto Viro, BuranoFrom $2,899About $363
Splendors of Egypt and the Nile — 12 days (2021)Cairo, fly to Luxor, depart from Dendera, Kom Ombo, Aswan, Edfu, EsnaFrom $5,999About $500

*Prices obtained February 2020 and are calculated based on the per-person rate for double occupancy of the least expensive staterooms, and do not include port charges.

Keep in mind that you can usually save up to 10% by booking and paying the full amount ahead of time.

Why you should — or shouldn’t — cruise with Uniworld. Weigh the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Luxury amenities
    • Hermès toiletries, marble bathrooms, fresh-baked cookies
  • Beautifully decorated, one-of-a-kind ships
    • Frequently refurbished
  • Guest lectures and enriching activities
  • Food is locally-inspired and award-winning
    • Ranked by Savoir and Food & Travel magazines

Cons

  • Fare can be pricey up front.
  • Onboard entertainment options are fewer than larger cruise lines.
  • No US departure ports.
  • Excursions tend to focus on major tourist attractions and don’t always showcase the authentic culture of each port, according to some online reviews.

    Frequently asked questions

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