Among the many new river cruise ships that recently debuted this spring? One is Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s super ship, the SS Catherine, christened on March 27 by renowned French actress Catherine Deneuve. The SS Catherine provides another option to consider for your next group.

Reception area on SS Catherine

Reception Area on SS Catherine (Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)

More about Uniworld & introduction of truly all-inclusive European river cruising

Founded in 1976, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection was the first river cruise company to really focus on the North American traveler. They introduced all English speaking staff onboard as well as meals catering to the North American market, really leading the way when it comes to what river cruising has now become today. Uniworld’s luxurious boutique river ships have the highest staff to guest ratio in the river cruise industry, with an average capacity of 130 guests onboard. Their elegant riverview staterooms provide extra luxury touches, and many featuring French balconies. And their high quality cuisine is made from the finest ingredients, with daily visits to local farmers’ markets.

New for 2014 is the introduction of their “All Inclusive Boutique River Cruises in Europe.” All gratuities onboard as well as on shore are included. The variety of special culinary experiences and dining options guests can enjoy have no surcharges. Also included are unlimited beverages onboard – from an extensive selection of distinctive wines, craft and regional beers, cocktails, spirits, cappuccinos, espressos and lattes, to teas, and soft drinks.

Complimentary bikes

Complimentary bikes for guests (Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)

Other features? All scheduled airport transfers are included, with Internet and Wi-Fi access onboard. Guests can use a portable audio headset system on all the shore excursions, as well as use of Nordic walking sticks and bicycles for guests. And shore excursions are hosted by English speaking local experts. Guests can also enjoy the entertainment and cultural enrichment programs as well as taking advantage of their well- equipped fitness centers onboard.

More about the new SS Catherine

The SS Catherine, recently christened in late March, sails on the popular “Burgundy & Provence” itinerary. She’s one of the largest in the Uniworld fleet, accommodating 159 guests. She has three decks featuring spacious public areas, along with the lavish 80 staterooms, 5 suites and one Royal President Suite.

She has many unique features like her sister ships, the SS Antoinette and River Beatrice. These have

Bar Du Leopard

Bar Du Leopard (Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)

been expertly designed by Mrs. Beatrice Tollman, President and Founder of Uniworld’s sister company, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, as well as Mrs. Tollman’s daughter, Toni Tollman, and Brian Brennan, Projects Director. The signature Bar du Leopard which also has cinema facilities, is a reference to the Leopard Lounges found in some of the Red Carnation Hotels. Also on the SS Catherine is the elegant Cézanne Restaurant, the Van Gogh Lounge, and Serenity River Spa.

Variety of Group Cruise Options and Extra Considerations

According to Wesley Bosnic, Senior Vice President, Revenue Management and Strategic Development, “Uniworld’s river cruise programs attract a variety of groups, including alumni groups and incentive groups, as well as special interest ones such as wine clubs and other clubs and associations. Leisure groups, many of which enjoy music, art, wine and culinary experiences are also ones we attract.”
Wesley Bosnic also notes, “Uniworld’s dedicated multi-generational cruises and departures add special inclusions and programs that are attractive for family travel. Also, multi-generational family cruises are offered on select departures of Paris and Normandy, Castles along the Rhine, and on our classic Holiday Markets cruises.”


Lounge onboard SS Catherine (Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)

When it comes to the extra perks and incentives that Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection provides for groups? Wesley Bosnic mentions that groups enjoy savings off the published fares, and earn free tour conductor berths. Also, as he further explains, “Groups may choose from amenities such as a complimentary cocktail reception or ship board credit. Amenities will vary by itinerary, so it’s also best for the travel professional to contact their Uniworld Sales Manager or to contact Uniworld’s group department directly at 1 – 800 – 425- 0043 for details.”

Also Uniworld does have a dedicated group department that can take requests for customization of excursion and special tours, along with concerts or performances, according to Wesley Bosnic. And most Uniworld ships provide space for private group meetings and receptions.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection – Diverse Itineraries & Options

SS Antoinette on the Rhine

SS Antoinette on the Rhine (Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection)

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s ships sail on more than 15 rivers in over 20 different countries throughout Europe as well as China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt and Russia, with over 500 departures.

With these diverse itineraries and intimate ships along with the new “All Inclusive Boutique River Cruises in Europe” ? Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection does provide some extraordinary options for groups.