As one of Uniworld’s boutique river vessels, the regal River Queen knows how to do river cruises the right Royal way. Sailing some of Europe’s most fascinating waterways, including the Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Main, the River Queen has even won awards for its service to the cruise industry, including being rated as the #1 ship in the entire industry in the 2012 Conde´ Nast Traveller Readers' Cruise Poll.
Built in 1999, it’s the oldest of the River-class of ships in Uniworld’s fleet, but thanks to its refurbishment in 2010, it boasts elegance and luxury from every façade, with Art Deco-esque interiors and exclusive artwork throughout.
The Queen can accommodate up to 128 passengers onboard, who all enjoy the impeccable hospitality provided by the 41 staff members. The dedicated Uniworld Cruise Manager is available to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
The majority of guests onboard hail from the USA, but holidaymakers from other English-speaking nations, including the UK, Canada and Australia, also find the luxurious ship and its itineraries appealing.
There is a restaurant situated on the Rhine Deck, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. Breakfast and lunch are available via a buffet station, and dinner takes the form of a four-course dinner, served by professional waiters. Cuisine is fundamentally European, taking inspiration from the local regions and their specialities, but traditional dishes are also available, including steak and chicken.
Unlimited drinks are usually included in the fare, from wines, beers and spirits to non-alcoholic beverages like soft drinks, mineral water and teas and coffees. There is a 24-hour speciality tea and coffee station for guests to help themselves from.
Alternative dining venues are also available, including the intimate Captain’s Lounge, where a private dinner is served to 24 guests. The Main Lounge also offers lighter fare and snacks, and suite guests can enjoy breakfast in their rooms.
Socially, guests tend to congregate in the Main Lounge, which features a full-service bar and extensive drinks menu. Evening entertainment includes the music of an in-house pianist and, occasionally, performers are invited onboard to showcase local music, dance and cultural revues.
Guests can also relax in the Captain’s Lounge, and will also no doubt look forward to welcome and farewell dinners as part of every itinerary.
Onboard, guests can make use of the internet corner, and Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the ship. There is also a large Sun Deck, where there are plenty of sunloungers, tables and chairs – perfect for admiring the beautiful scenery during travel between ports. As part of the enrichment programme, guests can enjoy interesting, itinerary-specific Signature Lectures on topics such as ‘Christmas Traditions in Germany’, ‘Life and Art in the Golden Age of the Low Lands’ and ‘The Roman Empire along the Rhine and Moselle’.
On shore, local experts lead guided walking tours of cities and towns, as well as iconic landmarks and sights. The state-of-the-art Quietvox headsets ensure that, even if you’re at the back of the group, you will clearly hear what the guide has to say.
Nordic walking sticks and bicycles are also available for independent exploration, and the more physical excursions that make up the ‘go active’ tours, including bicycle rides along the Moselle River.
The River Queen offers four deluxe 215 sq. ft. suites and 60 151 sq. ft. staterooms split into five categories – all of which offer views of the river, either via French balconies or picture windows. All accommodation options include a variety of high-end facilities as standard, including handcrafted Savoir beds with luxury Egyptian cotton linens, pillow menu and European duvets, en-suite marble bathrooms with plush towels, bathrobes and L’Occitane bath products, climate control, hairdryer, flatscreen TV, safe and complimentary bottled water.
In addition, suite guests can enjoy a range of extra amenities and services including a DVD player, iPod dock, Nespresso machine, wine on arrival, shoe shine, laundry service, in-room breakfast and a daily fruit and cookie platter.
There is a well-equipped fitness centre on the River Queen, and guests can enjoy the services of a masseur in the Serenity River Spa, situated on the Main Deck. If you wish to unwind and relax, the Sun Deck is the perfect place to do just that. Yoga exercises can be enjoyed on the Sun Deck some mornings.
There are a number of different itineraries available onboard the River Queen, which sail along the Main, Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers.
The eight day ‘Classic Christmas Markets’ travels between Nuremberg and Frankfurt, and enables guests to enjoy everything from welcoming villages to fairy-tale landscapes. This festive itinerary is a perfect adventure around the holiday season, and includes city tours and markets in cities such as Nuremberg, Bamberg (including a nativity walk), Rothenberg, Wertheim and Frankfurt. Extra highlights include the chance to sample schneeballs in Rothenberg, visit a family home in Wurzburg, sample mulled wine and enjoy a Christmas stollen demonstration.
The 13 day ‘Legendary Rhine & Moselle’ itinerary sails from Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine & Moselle. Enjoy a tour of Amsterdam by canal or visit the famous Rijksmuseum, take a walking discovery tour of Cologne or enjoy a ‘go active’ hiking tour of Alken village and hike up to Thurant Castle. Other highlights include the Ediger-Eller village day with wine tasting and organ recital, a moving WW2 cemetery visit in Luxembourg, an opportunity to taste Rieslings at a wine estate and a chance to ‘do as the locals do’ in Strasbourg.
The final itinerary currently available is the ten day ‘Tulips & Windmills’ voyage, between Amsterdam and Antwerp. ‘Do as the locals do’ with an Amsterdam tour, bike around the City Ring in Hoorn, go inside a windmill in Kinderdijk, enjoy a guided stroll into the artist’s village of Veere or embark on a tour of Bruges or Ghent – the choice is yours!