Trip Report | River Cruise through France

Trip Report | River Cruise through France

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– I’m Katie. I just got back from a Uniworld cruise. I sailed on the S.S. Bon Voyage
through Bordeaux, in France. Uniworld is one of the, I would say, upper-level
river cruise companies. They are all-inclusive, so all of your beverages are included, all of your gratuities are included, all of your shore excursions are included. They do have some optional
excursions that you can add, but they do a very good job of making sure that your experience has very few additional costs. They also, what I like about Uniworld is that they focus on
immersing you in the location, so every single ship is built
for that specific location. You’ll never see a ship in
France sailing in Germany. You won’t see the ship from
Egypt sailing in Portugal. Bordeaux is a very popular
wine region in France, if not the entire world, so we focused on wine-tasting quite a bit. We went to different areas,
left and right bank of Bordeaux. We stopped in several different wineries. One of the ones I went to was
Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which is actually one of the original four grand crus that were named
in the 1855 classification. That was a very special experience. Uniworld doesn’t get
to stop there all time. We were told maybe five
times during the year they get to stop at that vineyard. All of the spa treatments on board involve the use of grape seed, because it is a, grape seed oil, it’s a product that’s used
in a lot of French beauty, beauty regimens and it’s just another way to incorporate the wine
and part of the culture and to the experience. So I love cheese. (laughs) Anyone who knows me knows I love cheese. France, of course, there’s nothing better to pair with wine than cheese. So I ate a lot of it while I was there. In the restaurants on board, they always had cheese available. Cheese at breakfast, cheese at lunch. At dinner there was
always a cheese course. France, they are known for
serving a cheese course before dessert, I think that’s something really unique to their
culture that I love. So basically every meal
in France, I ate cheese. There were quite a few days where I didn’t eat anything other than
cheese at each meal. And right now I’m actually
feeling cheese withdrawals. Yesterday it just didn’t feel right eating Mediterranean food and Chinese food and not like, a nice piece of Morbier. One of the other things
that sets apart Uniworld is that they have a pretty
fantastic art collection. They do have real work, I
would say original works of art by Picasso, by Van Gogh, by Monet, whomever on board. So they have an extensive art collection. So the ship has art everywhere,
paintings in the hallway, drawings, beautiful Matisse drawings. What I particularly liked about our ship is that there was a big mosaic behind the front desk right in the lobby. With our ship being built for France, it was one of Van Gogh’s scenes of kind of the Provence area. So it was a local artist’s interpretation of the lavender fields, but
it was in this 3D mosaic and it also had some poppy
flowers, sunflowers everywhere. But the mosaic, it was
just absolutely beautiful. It was one of my favorite
things on the ship. Uniworld is a very interesting cruise line because I think they actually cater to a bigger audience than
some people may think. Anyone who is looking for
an all-inclusive experience on a river cruise, I think that’s perfect. They’re a perfect fit. People who are history
buffs, who are art buffs. People who are wanting to
learn a lot while they travel, I think they’re another good fit. We had people on board giving lectures while we were on the ship. Surprisingly enough, because I don’t think it’s always your first thought, but families are another
good fit for Uniworld. They have specific sailings that they call their Generations sailings. They bring extra amenities
on board for kids. So they have a kids menu,
they have kids crafts and different activities
geared toward the children. It’s not on every sailing, they have it on specific itineraries and they focus on the ships where they do
have connecting staterooms. But I think a family who’s looking for a different experience,
and only wanting to unpack once and see a lot,
that’s another good option. And if you are looking to
see several different cities, maybe several different
countries in Europe, but a land tour, where
you’re having to pick up and pack up constantly sounds like it might be a little too much for you, I mean, river cruising is perfect. Uniworld is also looking to
break into a younger market. They have a new line called U. It is focused on the young
and the young at heart. So their sailings work
a little bit differently than the traditional Uniworld cruises. Their port stays, you usually
stay in port overnight so they have later activities at night. Your excursions are in the late afternoon. They want to make sure you have some time to experience the night life. And then you sail during the day. They serve brunch, they
have a late brunch. They know that after a
fun night out on the town, you might wanna sleep in a little bit. They are looking to kind of revitalize the river cruising experience with things like silent discos, they
have camping on board where they’ll set up a tent and you can camp on the
top deck of the ship. They have mixology classes, so they are wanting to, or do offer really fun activities
for those who are looking for something a little bit more active and a little bit more modern as well. River cruising is also a
very active type of tour. They have bicycles on board, so you can take the biking tours. On my particular itinerary,
they actually did a motorcycle with a side
car tour around Bordeaux. It’s not for the faint
of heart, I assure you. There wasn’t any back bar on
the seat behind the driver. But that was a lot of fun. While they have the guided bike tours, you can also take the
bikes out on your own. They’ll have hiking for you,
they’ll do cooking classes. So it’s not just sailing along the river and taking in the views,
they do have a lot of activities to keep you entertained. One night we even did musical trivia and we won, yeah. (laughs) If you’re interested in learning more about a Uniworld cruise
or maybe looking into setting one up for yourself,
please give me a call. I would love to share my experience and I would love to help
you with your reservation. My number’s 972-517-9130. (peaceful music)

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