By Dan Askin, News Editor
The 134-passenger River Countess debuted in 2002 as part of Uniworld's River-queen class, which includes River Duchess, River Queen, River Empress and River Princess.
Like its siblings, River Countess offers resort casual European river cruises -- along the Danube and Rhine -- to a predominantly English-speaking, retired, clientele. The ship serves as a floating hotel base for exploration than as a cruise destination.
Along with hotel amenities such as around-the-clock reception, there's a lounge with a full-service bar, an Internet nook, a 24-hour spot for coffee and a sun deck with chairs for open-air socializing (or smoking; it's the only place where you're allowed to light up). There's also a section of the sun deck covered by glass roof and walls that can be kept open or closed, depending on the weather.
Dining is an open-seating affair offering classic Continental cuisine. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style (with an omelet stations during breakfast; soup service during lunch), and full-service dinner each night features an appetizer, soup, main entree (meat, fish or vegetarian) and dessert. If nothing on the menu is to your liking, you can ask for a more standard option (read steak). House wine is complementary, with other choices available at extra cost. It will become fully all-inclusive in 2014, when all cruise fares will include unlimited fine wine, beer and spirits.
Cabins, all of which have outside views, come in two varieties. The more value-priced accommodations have picture windows, while top-deck cabins feature floor-to-ceiling windows. All measure 151 square feet and are equipped with satellite TV's, safe, hair dryer, robes, and twin beds which can be converted into a large double.
River Countess also has four slightly roomier suites -- measuring 214 square feet. Beyond the aforementioned standard cabin features, suite passengers get some added perks, such as slippers, sparkling wine and fresh fruit.
Shore excursions of somewhat limited scope (pretty much focusing on transportation into town and, tours of a city's most famous monuments, free time to shop or eat) are included in the cruise fare. Additional for-fee excursions are also available. Starting in 2014, gratuities for onboard and onshore services, including pre- and post-cruise extensions, will be included in cruise fare.
My wife and I are seasoned travellers and spend more than 100 days per year on vacation. We have undertaken many cruises both at seas and on rivers and we have never failed to be impressed by the overall standard of the service we receive on all ...continue
We sailed on the River Countess on a Rhine and Main Rivers ("Rhine Discovery") cruise in July 2010, from Basel, Switzerland to Nurenberg, Germany.
We arrived on our own in Basel a few days early and toured on our own. The day of departure, we ...continue
1 - 3 of 5 Reviews
I boarded the River Countess in Nuremberg for the 2009 European Holiday Market Cruise.
There were 76 passengers on board,the trip was exceptional. The room spacious and clean. Serviced regularly. the quilt and pillows made sleeping easy. ...continue