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Uniworld is accelerating its partnership with luxurious rail operator Golden Eagle: Journey Weekly

Uniworld is accelerating its partnership with luxurious rail operator Golden Eagle: Journey Weekly

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises added a second cruise and rail itinerary in Europe this 12 months, a mixture that’s rising in reputation for vacationers in Europe however is up to now supplied by few river cruise traces.

Uniworld, discovering success with its Cruise & Rail program and its partnership with Golden Eagle Luxurious Trains, launched a brand new itinerary this 12 months, Castles of Transylvania & Enchanting Danube, with two departures — one lasting 12 days, the opposite 13 — that allow friends to discover components of Jap Europe.

The Cruise & Rail program was launched by the road in 2021, prompted by its need to diversify its choices and supply friends extra of Europe. 

Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge stated its partnership with Golden Eagle was a recent, new solution to give friends the chance to discover a wide range of locations throughout a number of international locations in a single journey with numerous modes of transport.

“Yearly, we give attention to innovation within the river cruise area,” Bettridge stated of how its partnership with Golden Eagle developed. “To carry this programming to life, we would have liked a associate that aligned with our five-star requirements, and we’re lucky to seek out that in Golden Eagle Luxurious Trains by present business relationships.”

Uniworld cruise and rail journeys offer a deeper dive into Europe

Photograph Credit score: Nicole Edenedo

What units Uniworld’s itineraries aside is that the rail journey is a part of the journey itself quite than a pre- or post-river cruise extension.

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Regardless that there are a selection of luxurious rail choices, from day trains to in a single day sleepers positioned within the locations Uniworld sails globally — similar to India and Peru — Uniworld stated Europe was the plain, and best option, for the corporate to lean into its rail enterprise.

“The area that we’re most conversant in, Europe, was the right place to start out,” stated Bettridge, including that the primary Cruise & Rail itineraries complemented the road’s newly reworked S.S. La Venezia, venturing to locations that Uniworld had not visited earlier than.

However the advantages of cruise and rail combos do not merely prolong to the scenic benefit of seeing locations past the rivers. Cruise and rail choices will also be a sensible different in an more and more hotter and altering local weather.

Low water ranges plagued almost all river cruise traces crusing Europe’s Rhine and Danube rivers from late July by most of August. Extreme warmth and drought situations depleted waters to unnavigable ranges alongside some stretches of the rivers. Late-summer rain finally helped replenish the rivers to navigable ranges, however not earlier than many cruise departures have been canceled, delayed or modified. 

Cruise & Rail, Bettridge stated, “permits us to enchantment to a variety of vacationers, supply a product in contrast to the rest available on the market and adapt when essential.” 

Luxurious prepare add-on is common

Uniworld is among the many few river cruise firms to embed a rail journey inside an present cruise itinerary that is not a part of a pre- or post-cruise extension package deal. On most traces, vacationers need to independently ebook a luxurious rail part, which suppliers say is more and more common.

“We’re doing tons of pre- and post-river cruise journeys this 12 months,” stated Frank Marini, CEO of Railbookers Group, a rail trip packager that makes a speciality of customizable FIT itineraries. “There are rather a lot in Switzerland — that is a giant piece of the place we’re seeing these pre- and post-river cruise journeys vacationers are taking.”

Most river cruises that journey to Switzerland sometimes start or finish in Basel, positioned on the Rhine, and switch by coach or rail to start a rail journey. Uniworld’s preliminary itinerary, with its 14-day Milan, Venice & the Swiss Alps and 12-day Venice & the Swiss Alps departures, begins or ends its Golden Eagle prepare expertise in Zurich.

The 13-day model of the corporate’s latest Cruise & Rail itinerary begins with an in a single day keep in Budapest, adopted by 4 nights on the Golden Eagle prepare after which a return to Budapest to embark on a seven-day river cruise on the Danube by Austria and earlier than ending in Passau, Germany. The 12-day Enchanting Danube & Castles of Transylvania travels in the other way and doesn’t embody an in a single day keep in Budapest.