For Expanding, Elevating and Sustaining
Elevating the luxury guest experience, expanding Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s fleet and fostering sustainability is Ellen Bettridge, the line’s president and CEO. With support from Brett Tollman, CEO of The Travel Corporation, Uniworld’s parent company, next year Bettridge will launch the Super Ships (SS) Sphinx in Egypt, Sao Gabriel in Portugal, La Venezia in Venice and Mekong Jewel in Vietnam and Cambodia.
In fact, 60 percent of the Uniworld brand’s vessels will be Super Ships by 2020. Each sports distinctive design elegance, pampering suites, multiple dining venues and luxurious finishes. She and the Uniworld team are also re-investing in existing vessels, keeping them in tip-top shape, plus maintaining a high crew-to-guest ratio for pampering service.
Bettridge has also partnered with the TreadRight Foundation to encourage sustainable tourism. For example, One Tree Planted will do just that (plant one tree) every time a guest opts to receive digital documents. Elephant Gin, served onboard Uniworld ships, donates 15 percent of its sale proceeds to two African elephant foundations. Uniworld also has committed to end single-use plastics by 2022.
Since becoming Uniworld’s CEO in 2016, Bettridge and her team have also increased occupancy levels by 30 percent. Previously serving in executive positions at American Express, Azamara and Silversea Cruises, Bettridge also is president and CEO of U River Cruises, a separate brand for younger, more active cruisers. Another achievement? Uniworld will close 2019 charter sales with a year-over-year increase of 225 percent in full ship charters, its most successful charter sale year ever.