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River Empress Review

River Empress
River Empress - Bar Lounge River Empress - Lounge River Empress - Restaurant River Empress - Suite
81% of cruisers loved it
21 reviews | Write a Review
  • Comfortable way to see Europe's interior
  • Elegant decor
  • Excellent food in a dining room with a view
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River Empress Overview

Editor Rating
3.0

River Empress is one of the older ships in the fleet (2002) and a one-off (not part of a class), but like its fleet mates, it goes through a regular series of refurbishments (the last was in 2014) to keep it looking brand new.

In fact, everything looks so fresh out of the box, that it's hard to tell that this Grand Dame is deep into her teenage years.

However, since the ship's launch, river cruising has come a long way, and some of the more modern river boats have features such as (small) swimming pools, hot tubs, multiple lunges and alternative restaurants.

River Empress has none of these, harking back to an era of more simple river cruising, with one main dining room, an al fresco dining area (in clement weather) two small lounges and a large, open top deck.

But there are three aspects of River Empress which really make it exceptional. The first is the extraordinary attention to detail, giving you the feeling that you really are staying in a luxury, country house boutique hotel (run your hands along the walls of the corridor, they are all padded). The second is the astonishing levels of service. True, river ships are small and the atmosphere is far more personal than large cruise ships, but the staff and crew go out of their way from the moment you step onboard to make you feel at home. And after a day or two they know your seating, drinking and dining preferences.

The third is the dining, which is outstanding. Often locally sourced, and reflecting the region, meals will be complemented by local wines.

The ship will often sail during daylight hours during particularly scenic stretches of the river, so passengers can enjoy the view while lunching, and docks at night so they can stroll around in town after dinner.

River Empress sails two itineraries -- Castles Along the Rhine and European Jewels, along the Danube, Main and Rhine.

River Empress Fellow Passengers

Uniworld customers tend to be older, experienced travelers, although the age demographic may be trending downward as river cruising grows in popularity. The typical passenger is 50 years of age or older with a household income of more than $75,000. Many have cruised on large ocean-going cruise ships although Uniworld trips are also eminently suitable for the first-timer to Europe. Perhaps this is a more comfortable option than the five-country motorcoach tour?

River Empress Dress Code

Casual and comfortable during the day. Evenings are more "dressy" and a jacket is recommended for the captain's dinner. Most passengers are American seniors and the line says it wants them to feel comfortable, so dress regulations are not enforced.

River Empress Gratuity

Fares are inclusive of gratuities for onboard and onshore services, including pre- and post-cruise extensions.
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River Empress Member Reviews

The food was good, never great. The cabin was cramped even for one person due to a huge king sized bed. Mirrors might make it look larger, but they don't make it be larger. Entertainment was Charlie on the piano every night playing Boomer songs. ... Read more
Lifetime Memories Rivermemories
03/16
I waited a few weeks to write my review because I simply didn't know where to begin. I took a 2 week European trip with 8 days being on the River Empress. From start to finish every moment I spent on the ship was memorable and worth every penny ... Read more
10/15
My mother, who passed away earlier this summer, swore she would never go on a cruise. My father, widowed at the ripe young age of 79 and overwhelmed by sadness and being alone, asked me to accompany him on a cruise. We had friends who had traveled ... Read more
1 - 3 of 21 Reviews
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River Empress Ratings

Editor Rating 3.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
3.0
4.5
Public Rooms
4.0
4.7
Cabins
4.0
4.3
Entertainment
2.0
4.0
Spa & Fitness
1.0
3.9
Family & Children
1.0
Shore Excursions
4.0
4.4
Enrichment
4.0
4.4
Service
4.0
4.7
Value-for-Money
4.0
4.5

Sailing From

Amsterdam

Cruises To

Europe

Explore This Ship

River Empress Deck Plans River Empress Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
41
Launched:
2002
Decks:
4
Tonnage:
Passengers:
130
Registry:
Switzerland
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected
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