Couples Discover a World of Unexpected Treasures while Traveling Onboard Uniworld's Grand River Queen

The handsome ship awaits guest ashore for a day of discovery

A well-appointed club like atmosphere prevails thought out River Queen

The amazing staff is warm and welcoming
The elegant dining room set features full window
The open decks provide unhampered views of the stunning scenery

Story by Theresa Catena
Photography by Paul Aizaga

Searching for a new way to delve into some of the enchanting and historically rich, yet lesser-known cities in Europe? Deluxe river cruising offers an elegant and entertaining means for exploring many of the less-familiar gems throughout a multitude of countries. Like a precious box of gourmet chocolate truffles, Uniworld’s regal River Queen is an intimate, rich and satisfying way to sample the fairytale-like landmarks along the Rhine River Valley. Embarking on a two-week journey from the delightful city of Basel, Switzerland, we excitedly settled into a sizable cabin on the Rhine Deck. Featuring plush downy bedding and floor-to-ceiling windows of the extraordinary landscapes passing by – we were prepared only to be delighted by the unexpected.

The River Queen is a stately and elegant ship fashioned after the magnificent river steamships of the 1930’s. With a navy blue base and yellow and white finishes atop, the vessel is a head-turner to all who pass her by. Though her beauty glistens outside, the real assets are on board where the all English-speaking crew is genuinely warm and incredibly attentive. Truly a unique aspect of Uniworld, the crew is devoted to the ship for a full season, so they know both the ship and each other well – making for extremely smooth sailing all around.

Decorated in characteristic Art Deco style, the ship boasts a beautiful and intimate lounge that features the only working fireplace on any river cruise vessel. Holding a maximum of 132 passengers, the River Queen’s intimate size is a real benefit that enables you to readily make acquaintances and form lasting friendships with people from all over the world. Though the River Queen provides lavish and comforting accommodations – the plethora of treasures along its shores are not to be missed. Each day the knowledgeable cruise manager provides entertaining lectures on the fascinating and dramatic history of the places to be visited next. With more than 11 shore excursions being offered between Switzerland and the Netherlands, along with additional enticements such as a hot air balloon ride, there is endless ground to be discovered.

With the perfect mix of a refreshing breeze and warm sunshine, we enjoyed the breathtaking tour along the curvaceous Moselle River from the top deck. Sipping a chilled, local Riesling wine with our new found friends, we drank in the countless storybook-like medieval castles nestled between a myriad of lush vineyards sweeping over steep, undulating hills. One deck below, the restaurant offers panoramic views with open seating three times a day. Executive Chef Mirko Peters creates and oversees the delicious meals, while the Bavarian barbeque serving typical German fare and hosted atop the sun deck is a real crowd pleaser.

With so many remarkable and memorable cities, from the flower-full cobblestone streets of Colmar, France, to the modern city of Luxembourg, and from the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe located in Cologne, Germany, to the quaint and numerous canals of Amsterdam – it’s merely the beginning of the extraordinary places you’ll discover during an unforgettable two-week tour.