Tag Archives: Uniworld River Cruises

It’s a big fat ship

Competition between the river cruise companies is hot and each one is looking for something unique so as to set their brand apart.  Viking has its long ships with sleek Scandinavian design and outdoor dining, Avalon has its panorama staterooms with huge floor to ceiling windows and now AMAWaterways has come to the party with the biggest European river cruise vessel ever to be launched in 2019.  As someone pointed out in one of the industry blogs the ships on the Yangtze River in China would still dwarf our European river cruise ships.
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Cruise critic reported as follows –

“To be named AmaMagna, the behemoth will have the same length, height and draft as the line’s other vessels, but at 22 meters it will be twice as wide, allowing for larger cabins — most about 300 square feet — with a capacity for 194 passengers (40 more than Crystal Mozart).

Its width also means it will be the only ship docked in ports that allow two-deep berthing.

Rudi Schreiner, AmaWaterways’ co-owner and president, said the new ship will feature ocean-style cabins, multiple dining venues (including outdoor dining), an elevator that goes all the way to the top of the ship, a heated top-deck pool and hot tub with bar, expanded entertainment and spa offerings and a water sports platform with zodiacs, canoes and other recreational equipment.

The ship will also boast a fitness center large enough for small group classes, hosted as part of the line’s new wellness program, which will roll out next year to one ship per river.”

Now this is going to be quite something being that wide and there are a few innovations on the ship that will be interesting to explore further.

I am not sure what this report means by “ocean style cabins” and I am assuming that the larger space will mean larger staterooms.  (I hate using the word cabin.  Just doesn’t conjure up the right feel).  I do like the idea of having an elevator going all the way up to the top deck.  This will mean that the river cruise will be more accessible for guests with mobility issues.
AmaMagna cabin

So now that AMAWaterways has thrown down the gauntlet what will the other river cruise companies come up with?  It will be interesting to see.  They cannot have longer or taller, so what else could they do?

Uniworld has made some changes to its program with the introduction of U by Uniworld.  They have taken two of their ships and have completely stripped and redesigned them to accommodate the 21-45 age group.  There will be a disco on board with guest dj performers, yoga and biking ashore, sleek modern design and an emphasis on stops that incorporate the European festival scene.   I did hear that the disco is what they call a silent disco with everyone wearing headphones.  A wise choice.  Imagine being docked next to them with that bass going thump, thump, thump all night.
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When you feel like a good whine…

Sorry – I actually meant wine!  I just returned from Bordeaux in France and there is nothing to whine about with this destination.  Just a wonderful week of wine tasting, food tasting, wine and food pairing and much more.  The area is just full of the cutest chateaux surrounded by vineyards.
Over this time of year of course the weather is not the most brilliant – that would be the only whine I could think of.  The benefit was however that nowhere was crowded as you can see from this photo taken in Bergerac.  Pack for the weather, remember good boots and a great raincoat.  My best friend was my Tilley waterproof hat which went everywhere with me.

Seeing this part of the world was easy on a river cruise.  I travelled with Uniworld and it was interesting for me to sail on them as I have in the past sailed on Viking and AMAWaterways and have been on board Avalon.  There is a river cruise company out there to suit every need and every budget.  It’s just a question of speaking to an expert.

The area is very quaint and abounds with lots of cute bed and breakfasts like this one.

Or you can do it in style as I did (and there is no whine here, believe me) with Uniworld River Cruises in this beautiful stateroom.  Oh my goodness the linens on these beds were amazing – so soft.
The staff were so helpful and a major part of my enjoyment on this cruise was the fact that gratuities are included so obviously the staff are well paid and not chasing you all the time just for a tip.  They were gracious and knowledgeable – especially when it  came to the area, the wine, the food and top class hospitality.

The best thing ever about doing a river cruise is that you get into your room and unpack and then cruise the countryside with beautiful views from your window.

And if you don’t feel like wine you can always go cognac tasting.  This area of France is where you find Cognac and only brandies produced in this part are allowed to be called Cognac.  We made the trip out to Remy Martin and did some sampling –

This was just before I knocked over my glass.  Oh my goodness – how embarrassing.   They were very gracious however – especially after I bought a rather expensive bottle of Remy Martin XO.  Every wonder what those initials mean – VS, VSOP and XO.  Quite simple really – Very Superior, Very Superior Production and Extra Old.  Not quite what I expected – I thought that they would stand for some throat gargling French word.

So my only whine ……umm – actually nothing to whine about.  I had a wonderful time and now I am home and as Dorothy said “There’s no place like home”.