THE BENEFITS OF UNIWORLD
The price tag may seem high, but you get an incredible amount in terms of value. Uniworld is the line I most recommend. It is fully all-inclusive; other lines may look cheaper but then you have to pay for the Mozart concert, the excursion to Salzburg, your evening drinks. All touring is included and its ships are truly luxurious floating boutique hotels.
I especially love that Uniworld tailors each ship to the destination it cruises. For example, the S.S. Maria Theresa reflects the Danube from start to finish. You walk aboard and are greeted by a two-story mural of the amazing Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa. The decor may feel overly regal at first, but it makes sense once you’ve visited the real palaces. It is amazing to tour Vienna and learn about her amazing life and then return to see her mural!
Uniworld also includes a choice of tours every day, with active, local and off the beaten path options at different activity levels. So you can take a walking, bike or bus tour in many places. And I love that groups are limited in size to 15 or 20 so you are never crowds of 40 and 50 people, waiting to get on a bus or into a church.
And there are always special surprises. Like in Vienna, we were hosted in a third floor secret cafe for coffee and attended a private Mozart concert performed in a palace, just for us! And on the Rhine cruise, we experienced a vinegar tasting at a business that had been run by the same family for centuries. The vinegars were surprisingly delicious and we learned that there is a proposed vinegar for almost every ailment!