Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has released a special preview of its new, Mekong-based Super Ship, the S.S. Mekong Jewel. The new ship will debut January 3, 2020, offering a 13-day itinerary from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, with calls at Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat, among others.
The newbuild ship will have all-suite accommodations, an indoor swimming pool and two restaurants, a main dining room and an upper deck, al fresco eatery, Uniworld said. The ship will be 33 feet longer than the Mekong Navigator, but with the same capacity of 68 guests, which the cruise line says will afford it one of the highest staff-to-guest ratios on the river. The ship’s design will also incorporate a number of eco-friendly features, such as paint that allows for less drag, energy-efficient propellers and LED lights, and a water-cooled air conditioning system.
The S.S. Mekong Jewel is part of a major fleet expansion by Uniworld that will add four ships over the next three years. Also setting sail in 2020 are two newbuild ships – the S.S. Satet on the Nile in Egypt and the S.S. São Gabriel on the Douro in Portugal – while 2021 will see the launch of another new ship on the Volga in Russia.
In addition to the newbuilds, the cruise line is also upgrading a number of its vessels to “Super Ship” status. Uniworld launched the S.S. Joie de Vivre on the Seine in 2017, as well as the S.S. Beatrice in 2018. This year, the line will upgrade both the River Empress and the River Royal, while in 2020, the River Countess will become the S.S. La Venezia following a complete design renovation.