Uniworld’s new brand

UNIWORLD Boutique River Cruise Collection has set its sights on the active traveller aged 18-40, revealing it will dedicate two of its ships to a new U by Uniworld brand.

The River Baroness and the River Ambassador will undergo extensive renovations to be tailored to U by Uniworld experiences from early 2018.

Uniworld said the brand would “offer immersive, authentic and adventurous experiences for the next generation of river cruisers,” sailing along the rivers of Europe and visiting cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Budapest.

Sales will kick off this year, with The Travel Corporation CEO Brett Tollman saying the company had been able to take full advantage of the expertise within its Contiki and Busabout operations “in order to fully realise this expansion of the Uniworld brand”.

Viking Spirit scheduled for Oz

The brand new Viking Spirit will head Down Under during its inaugural season in 2018/19.

Spirit will arrive on a 17-day Bali-Sydney voyage dubbed the Komodo and the Australian Coast, on 16 Dec 2018, operating in the return direction on 10 Mar 2019.

A 15-day Sydney to Auckland (and reverse) cruise will operate between Dec-Feb, with overnight stays in both cities as well as visiting Melbourne, Hobart, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga.

Viking managing director ANZ, the recently appointed Michelle Black said: “We’re thrilled to have Viking Spirit based here for summer 18/19.

“Our ships are like no other, contemporary yet classic, spacious yet intimate.”

Seabourn ups the ante

FOUR years from concept to hand over, luxury line Seabourn officially christened its newest vessel in six years in early January. Seabourn Encore is the fourth ship in Seabourn’s fleet, and exudes style, sophistication and class.

At 40,350 tonnes and with a capacity of 600 guests, Encore is stencilled on sister-ships Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, albeit accommodating 142 additional customers. It features an additional deck and has a variety of new or expanded restaurants and living spaces, including The Retreat on the rooftop.

Seabourn Encore was due to arrive in Australian waters in late January and is earmarked for a future season here to capitalise of the high-yield Aussie cruise demand.