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River Cruise (Central Europe) – a new luxury way to travel

I don’t know about you but whenever I used to hear “cruise”, images of casinos and being trapped on a ship with nothing to do would come to mind. So when we were first invited to Uniworld’s Cruise along Danube River in Central Europe, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was sure glad we could get off in different cities so we decided to try.

And indeed, I must say I am now a Uniworld River Cruise convert!!  Already looking forward to the next trip I get to cruise with Uniworld because:

1) Pampering from Uniworld service team!

As I was a cruise noob before, I didn’t realize Uniworld is like the best of best in the cruise industry.  Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is the world’s most luxurious all-inclusive cruise line and is ranked the Top River Cruise Line in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2016 readers’ survey.

Their winning edge shows in so many ways. For me, firstly, it really shows in their rooms because the beds are sooo comfortable. All the appointed riverview staterooms and suites havelavish  handcrafted Savoir® of England beds, complet with high-thread count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and a menu of pillow options.

And what won my heart forever was the crew planning a birthday surprise for me!! Was so touched that the chef specially made the special Austrian Sacher cake for me!

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Rushed from the Budapest baths thinking there was a “meeting” on cruise but turned out to be a birthday surprise! 🙂

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Austrian famous Sacher cake made with love by the chef on board River Beatrice

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Returned to our comfortable room after dinner to this very thoughtful gesture *touched*! Special birthday indeed 🙂

After all, in service, it is really the accumulation of small things that matter – having the team ready with hot drinks(rooibos with honey to boot!) when we return from a *brrrr* cold guided tour of the city, or having a crew always ready to suggest fun things to do on and off the cruise that makes the entire experience so wonderful.

2) Comfortable and convenient way to travel

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Our 8 day cruise route from Budapest to Passau. Photo from: www.uniworld.com

I been on self-guided tours across the world from Iceland, Taiwan, Nepal (so many more I should get down to writing to share!) and I must admit it can be tiring to train/bus/drive from city to city.. because it takes energy to navigate, to ensure we aren’t late for the next transport, and to pack and unpack in every city. The beauty of river cruises is you simply get off the boat at each stop point to do the tour, and come back to boat and sleep to wake up to a new city! So convenient!!

In Uniworld too, there are many tour options in each location. Uniworld provides a broader range of onshore experiences with a higher degree of personalization than any other cruise line in Europe! Uniworld’s Choice Is Yours program offers a range of activities so that guests have an array of options in each city that cater to both well-traveled guests and first-time visitors. For guests who enjoy more adventure like hiking and biking, Uniworld’s Go Active itineraries offer excursions led by local naturalists, sports guides and on-board wellness directors. If you enjoy walking to explore, Uniworld offers Gentle Walking excursions for those looking to explore at a more relaxed pace, and Do as the Locals Do excursions, which allow guests to experience respective cities from a local perspective. And if really don’t want to get off the boat, they have a spa and gym onboard as well! (And of course, free flow drinks….which I am coming to..)

3) Amazing food and free flow drinks!! All-inclusive price

Because the ship stops at every city, it restocks the kitchen with fresh produce from the local town. This ensures that the meals are fresh throughout the 8 days! Working with the freshest and highest-quality ingredients from local regions, Uniworld continues to redefine luxury cuisine through a true farm-to-table approach. I love the range of fresh fruits, salads, but of course there is still good meats for meat-lovers. After all, Central Europe and Germany are inseparable from their meats!

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Fresh fruits every morning!

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Dumpling amuse bouche for an oriental touch 🙂

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Beautifully plated risotto

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Don’t you just love the plating? Felt like a michelin-starred dinner every night

4) Great local tours

Every cruise experience would differ a lot depending on the season of the year and particular locations. The highlights for us was  definitely having knowledgable local guides who can share their history and cultural experience with us, and also the Christmas markets, experience how locals shop for their homes during the Christmas season. Thankful and here are some pics highlight on the fun times we had on land with our professional tour guides (also arrange by Uniworld!)

Matthias Church @ Budapest - looks straight out of FInal Fantasy? :)

Matthias Church @ Budapest – looks straight out of FInal Fantasy? 🙂

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Beautiful Bratislava and Christmas market from atop!

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Levitation in process while enjoying the beautiful scenery while cruising!

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Views we would never get if we weren’t on the board River Beatrice cruise!

If you already feel like pampering yourself in 2017 after reading this post, Uniworld is doing a free talk in Singapore on Tue 24 January 2017, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM. Details are here. 🙂

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