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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will return to Russia in 2011 with the launch of the completely refurbished River Victoria. The line temporarily ended its long history of operation in Russia during 2010 because the quality of the ship and the onboard services did not meet the company’s standards.
“Pulling out of Russia in 2010 was a very difficult decision for the company,” said president Guy Young. “Uniworld was the first North American river cruise company to offer Russia river cruises catering to North American clientele and Russia has always been a very profitable venture for us. Our goal is to have the highest standard of service and product delivery in every region we operate and we were only prepared to reenter Russia when we could meet these criteria.”
To achieve the level of service and standards desired by Uniworld, River Victoria will be totally refurbished, incorporating the planning and design themes from sister company Red Carnation Hotel Collection. The ship’s river-view staterooms and suites offer individual climate-control; telephones; flat-screen televisions with satellite; and bathrooms stocked with high-quality bath and body products. Staterooms and suites on the Neva and Volga decks also have full private balconies.
The Chagall Lounge will have a full-service bar and dance floor; the Katarina Bar features an outdoor patio; and the Pushkin Restaurant will feature stunning panoramic views. The ship also will have a sun deck patio with lounge chairs, a fitness room, a massage room, a boutique, a library, a complimentary 24-hour specialty coffee and tea bar and wireless Internet access in public areas.
“I am delighted for us to be back in Russia. This is a very exciting destination, and we certainly expect to have a product that is at the top end for the Russian market,” Young added.
River Victoria will sail the 13-day Imperial Waterways of Russia itinerary from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The mixture of urban centers and traditional villages takes guests from Red Square, the Kremlin and the Hermitage Museum to the white stone churches of Uglich and Yaroslavl.
Prices start from $3,299 per person, cruise only; by booking and paying in full at the time of reservation by Oct. 31, passengers can enjoy savings of $500 per person.