BUDAPEST -- The Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection debuted
its fifth Super Ship, a top-to-bottom renovation that turned the River Beatrice
into a sleek, modern ship that dispels any notions of pretentious luxury that
might still be associated with the brand.
With yacht-style glossy light wood and blue and white
finishes throughout, the design says casual modern. But it retains all the fine
luxury touches, amenities and services guests expect from Uniworld, and any top
The Beatrice, which launched her maiden voyage Thursday on a
Danube cruise from Budapest to Giurgiu (with a land extension in Bucharest),
also has more dining options and fewer and larger cabins.
The ship has two new grand suites at 310 square feet and a
second 390-square-foot owners' suite, both of which have large marble bathrooms
with soaking tubs, separate showers and double sinks, and, of course, Uniworld's
British-trained full-time butlers.
Max's is a new dining venue on the ship, and the locale for intimate cooking classes.
The ship offers four dining options named after famous Austrian
composers, including Mozart's, the ship's main restaurant; Wolfgang's bar and
lounge; and newly added Max's and Schubert's. Max's also hosts intimate cooking classes, where guests can create local
dishes with the chef.
"We're thrilled to continue to offer guests the highest
standard in river cruising with the debut of S.S. Beatrice," said Ellen
Bettridge, Uniworld CEO and president. "We've seen great success with all
of our Super Ships and their level of luxury demonstrates the way forward for
the brand. We're excited to bring all of
our ships up to this impeccable standard, with plans to upgrade the River
Empress and River Royal to Super Ships in 2019."
CEO Ellen Bettridge said the level of luxury on Super Ships "demonstrates the way forward for the brand."
In the coming weeks, Uniworld also debuts another product: U
by Uniworld. The brand originally was planned to be for millennials only, but Uniworld
recently dropped the 25 to 45 age restriction. Asked about the change,
Bettridge said the decision was made not because of lack of interest from
younger travelers but because of high interest from travel agents and Uniworld's
many repeat customers who want to try the new brand.
U by Uniworld is less inclusive (drink packages can be
bought separately for $300) and focused more on things like hip decor, overnight
stays in big cities and nighttime deck parties.
She said The A, a ship sailing its maiden voyage from
Amsterdam on April 14, was recently brought to Amsterdam for a Virtuoso event,
where she said it became the favored party venue.
"They all said, 'This is so cool. I feel like I'm in a
W hotel," Bettridge said.