The Golden Buddha at Phu Salao Temple overlooking the Mekong river and the city of Pakse, Laos. (Shutterstock/Vilasak Southisane)
Some of the world’s most famous river bodies including the Nile in Egypt and the Mekong in Vietnam will become the playground for new luxury river cruises set to launch next year.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is expanding its fleet with the addition of three new luxury ships that will set sail along the Nile, Mekong and Douro rivers beginning in 2020.
Its ship anchored in Italy is also slated to undergo major renovations and re-emerge as the SS La Venezia early next spring.
Unlike behemoth cruise ships that are built to carry thousands of passengers, river cruise ships are designed as smaller, more intimate alternatives. Uniworld’s fleet has an average capacity of 130 guests.
Here’s a look at the new ships and the 2020 itineraries:
Set to lift anchor January 6, 2020 as the only luxury river cruise line in Egypt, the SS Sphinx will feature three gourmet dining destinations, swimming pool, massage room and 42 suites. The 12-day itineraries include some of Egypt’s top sites, ending in Cairo.
SS Sao Gabriel, Portugal
Food and wine will be major themes aboard the newest ship destined for the Portugal Douro river which launches March 26, 2020. Expect an itinerary that highlights the best of Portuguese cuisine and the country’s premiere wine-growing region.
Mekong Jewel, Vietnam and Cambodia
The newest luxury river cruise on the Mekong has been designed with the environment in mind, with features like a special paint which claims to create less drag; more efficient, high-performance propellers; energy-efficient LED light fixtures; and an energy-efficient air conditioning system. The 13-day itinerary is set to launch January 3, 2020, taking guests from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat and more.
SS La Venezia, Venice
The River Countess is slated to undergo major renovations and resurface as the SS La Venezia. Itineraries include a stop in Milan to visit Da Vinci’s renowned “The Last Supper” and sailings around Venetian islands Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello. The launch date is set for March 27, 2020.