Summer went by with a flash and it’s back to school time for my youngest daughter Abigail. It’s her senior year of high school and I swear she was just starting kindergarten. Makes you feel old, but at the same time incredibly proud.
My two years at the helm of Uniworld have flown by as well, and recently we’ve also had a lot of reasons to be proud. Over the past few weeks the awards and recognition for Uniworld have been pouring in.
Here are just a few:
- Travel & Leisure #1 River Cruise Line: View on Travel & Leisure
- Top European River Cruise Line in Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards: View on Cruise Critic
- The A from the U by Uniworld Fleet named one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places in 2018: View on TIME
I am so thrilled for the entire team to receive this well-deserved praise. It’s amazing to think that we would have such thrilling news so soon after the debut of our newest Super Ship, S.S. Beatrice, and the launch of our new brand, U by Uniworld In fact, we were so overjoyed to see the jaw-dropping transformation of S.S. Beatrice and our guests’ reactions to her new look in April that we couldn’t wait another second to get to work on renovating another vessel.
In the coming months The River Royale will undergo extensive renovations and reemerge as S.S. Bon Voyage in spring 2019. She’ll still be cruising through France’s incomparable Bordeaux region when she is relaunched. S.S. Bon Voyage will be reimagined to capture the wine-making and gastronomic expertise of the region. From the design scheme to the enhanced culinary experiences onboard, it will be a unique, delightfully French experience, through and through. The S.S. Bon Voyage will be a one of a kind experience just like all of the other ships across our fleet.
She’ll boast a redesigned top deck, added swimming pool and lounge area, and two new dining venues: Le Café du Soleil and La Brasserie. The casual Le Café du Soleil, which opens up onto the new pool, will serve lighter French fares with a local spin. In the evening, the venue will transform into a bar and the setting for intimate French cooking classes with the chef. La Brasserie, a bistro inspired by Bouillon Pigalle in Paris, will be serving up delicious sharing plates reflecting local cuisine. The main dining room, Le Grand Fromage, will also have its enhancements, including a chef demonstration area and a private dining and wine tasting venue.
Plus, S.S. Bon Voyage will include four new luxury suites, marble bathrooms throughout and the gorgeous yacht-like finish that you may know from the S.S. Joie de Vivre and the S.S. Beatrice. The one thing that will not be changing is our amazing crew. Our onboard team lives by the motto “no request too large, no detail too small,” and I am so proud of each and everyone one of them. They make the difference every day!
I can’t wait to see her and experience this amazing wine region. To secure my spot onboard, I’ve arranged to host the 2019 River Heritage Club Reunion Cruise, which will take place on the June 30, 2019 sailing of Brilliant Bordeaux. I invite you to reserve your spot on this exclusive cruise and join me and my family along with fellow River Heritage Club members next summer.
My final great news, in a few days Uniworld will make our television debut as the founding corporate underwriter of Amanpour & Co., a new nightly series on PBS. Amanpour & Co. features CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. She’ll be presenting wide-ranging and in-depth conversations with various noteworthy contributors including author, history professor and journalist Walter Isaacson, NPR host Michel Martin, PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor Hari Sreenivasan and journalist and commentator Alicia Menendez.
I had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Christiane Amanpour. She is engaging, funny and incredibly bright. In short: perfect for the Uniworld brand. Her travel experience is a legacy of going everywhere as a renowned and trusted international correspondent for CNN. Tune in on Monday night, September 10th at 10/9c on PBS (but be sure to check your local listings as well).
Trust is very important to the Uniworld customer and that is why we chose to make our television debut with PBS. As a brand and experience we are dedicated to the highest standards of service. PBS delivers the same service for their audience with similar passion and respect. PBS shared that their viewers are 48% more likely than non-viewers to take a cruise, 66% more likely to take a foreign cruise, and 121% more likely to spend $8,000 or more on foreign travel. They are curious, well-educated and affluent—that’s the PBS audience—and it’s ours too.
Thank you for all your love and support of Uniworld.