One of the pioneers in the river cruise industry, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection was founded in 1976 by Serbian entrepreneur Serba Ilich. The company was purchased by the Travel Corp. in 2004 and has since transformed itself into a luxury line with a fleet of 19 vessels in Europe, Asia and Egypt. Next year it launches three new ships on the Nile, Douro and the Mekong. It will also relaunch an overhauled River Countess as its seventh Super Ship. Uniworld also operates the U River Cruises brand, which launched in 2018 and was designed to entice younger cruisers. The original U ship, the B, will return to service next year after being repositioned from the Seine to the Rhine.
Correction: The company will relaunch the River Countess, not the River Empress, in 2020.