Named the number one River Cruise Line in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2018 readers’ survey and voted Top-Rated River Cruise Line Europe in the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers Choice Awards, our sister brand Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is the world's most luxurious all-inclusive river cruise line, with the finest ships, exclusive excursions, gourmet cuisine and one of the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry.
The S.S. Bon Voyage, designed to immerse guests in a gastronomic journey through France’s wine regions, has been unveiled as Uniworld’s sixth supership. After a meticulous eight-month restoration in the shipbuilding village of Druten, The Netherlands, that not only reimagined the ship’s purpose, overall design and aesthetic, but enhanced its structure, the S.S. Bon Voyage has now returned to France, setting sail on her maiden voyage.
Offering three itineraries along the Garonne, Dordogne and Gironde rivers, the ship features four spacious new suites, four dining and drinking venues and a spectacular Soleil Deck. The upper deck enjoys panoramic views of the countryside, an infinity pool and Le Café du Soleil, offering light, local fare and chef-led cooking classes. In addition to its impeccable design and fine craftsmanship, guests of Uniworld’s S.S. Bon Voyage may take advantage of new and immersive offshore excursions and Wellness on the Water options; an integrated programme which honours the importance guests place on maintaining their healthy lifestyles whilst travelling.
According to Uniworld CEO and President Ellen Bettridge, the S.S. Bon Voyage was specifically designed to elegantly and comfortably immerse guests in French culture, art, wine and cuisine. “Like the finest couture, the S.S. Bon Voyage was built with a singular purpose, to share the marvels of this amazing destination with our guests, and there isn’t another like it in the world. It is certainly more expensive to build ships exclusively for a particular destination, but we know our guests value authentic experience above all else,” says Bettridge.
Renowned for its boutique approach to interior design that combines fine antiques, original art and distinctive colour palettes, the S.S. Bon Voyage references its French heritage throughout. The ship’s stunning lobby, clad in polished wood with subtle brass details, complements the magnificent hand-crafted balustrade; the stylish emerald tones found in bar Le Salon Champagne were inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s personal abode, Villa Majorelle.
Additional dining venues also capture the essence of France, including the quintessential Parisian La Brasserie with its natural green and pops of yellow décor inspired by the famous Bouillon Pigalle and serving traditional bistro fare. Le Grand Fromage serves menus reflective of the cuisines of the featured itineraries, all prepared from locally sourced ingredients. The intimate La Cave des Vins invites connoisseurs to gather for expert food and wine pairing dinners (upon request).
Perhaps most striking of the design features is the Soleil Deck, a stunning platform awash with vibrant fabrics that contrast elegantly against a fresh blue and white palate and expertly appointed furniture. Here, the newly installed and only infinity pool on the rivers gives a splash of modernity and offers spectacular views of the French countryside. Poolside service at the Le Café du Soleil completes the experience, offering a casual cuisine reflective of relaxed French culture, as well as open-air cooking demonstrations from specialist chefs.
In addition to common areas, every guest room and suite has received an exquisite redesign with cool marble bathrooms and unique features.
Immersive offshore excursions and an integrated wellness program also distinguish the S.S. Bon Voyage. New guest opportunities include a walking tour and wine tasting at Saint-Emilion, a key wine town in Bordeaux; exploring Libourne’s local farmer’s market to choose the freshest vegetables, fruits and cheeses; an artisanal wine tasting at Château de Cazeneuve; and a bike ride tour through the lush Médoc vineyards. Wellness on the Water integrates the ship and the diversity of the Aquitaine landscape to strive for a healthy lifestyle, which the French refer to as douceur de vivre, a sweetness for life.
Activities include yoga in the heart of an iconic historical site, such as the Blaye fortress with 360° views over the Gironde estuary, guided trekking or Nordic walk with a naturalist from the Garonne river banks, through the Bastide of Cadillac or sunrise meditation on Europe’s highest sand dune, La Teste-de-Buch.
The S.S. Bon Voyage sails on three itineraries through France: the eight-day Brilliant Bordeaux, 15-day A Portrait of France, and 22-day Ultimate France. For more information, please visit www.uniworld.com.