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S.S. Bon Voyage Review

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S.S. Bon Voyage
5.0 / 5.0
3 reviews

Plenty of luxurious touches after "super ship" redo.
Smaller standard cabins; French balconies with limited privacy.
Bottom Line
A strong reputation for fantastic dining and service; high-end experience from start to finish.




Passenger to Crew

2006 (refurbished 2019)

Shore Excursions
Sails To
Sails From
Uniworld Cruise Deals
Ramsey Qubein
Cruise Critic Contributor

S.S. Bon Voyage Overview

S.S. Bon Voyage, formerly known as the River Royale, is the newest of Uniworld's line of "super ships," which feature enhanced amenities, like more dining options, more suites and a higher passenger-to-staff ratio than other ships in its fleet. This is the sixth super ship with four more to follow in 2020, and this is the second Uniworld ship to undergo the conversion upgrade to super ship status.

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With 62 cabins, S.S. Bon Voyage will exclusively sail the Bordeaux-Medoc region of southwestern France on wine- and art-infused cruises. As a result, its French decor is meant to immediately immerse passengers in the region from the moment they arrive.

What sets Uniworld apart from the competition is its intense focus on more imperial-style interior design, as opposed to contemporary. Expect marble, polished brass, Murano glass chandeliers and fabric-covered walls at every turn. Bea Tollman, the company's founder and owner, and her daughter are responsible for the eclectic and clever design found throughout the ship, which often sparks lively conversation among passengers.

This formality has a loyal following, especially among American travelers searching for an elevated standard of service. All of those Murano accents come from the Tollman's own glass factory on Murano Island in Italy. Massive bouquets of fresh sunflowers and rosemary plants remind passengers of this beautiful part of southwestern France. With ample public spaces, including a top deck with awnings for shade and thickly cushioned lounge chairs, there are plenty of options for relaxation.

If you're a first-time cruiser with little to compare things to, the smaller cabins may not be as much of a surprise. Experienced cruisers may find them to be on the smaller side compared to other river ships, including Uniworld vessels. Luckily, the beautiful design with new marble bathrooms and the lavish public areas provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy your time on the ship.

Excursions run the gamut from fitness-focused activities, like trekking and biking, to cultural pursuits, such as chateau visits and wine tasting. Uniworld is all-inclusive, meaning that daily activities, food and drinks, gratuities and airport transfers are part of the package.

If you're the kind of traveler that likes to dress for dinner while being more informal during the day, this one is for you. The entire experience is designed around posh design, impressive cuisine and a growing focus on wellness and active lifestyle.

Top S.S. Bon Voyage Itineraries

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Fellow Passengers

Most passengers hail from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, although according to Uniworld, there is growing demand from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Hong Kong. The official language onboard is English.

The average customer is in their 60s and looking for a more active experience. Uniworld also runs several family cruises especially during the holidays. The minimum age to sail is 4 years old, making it a great option for multigenerational travel.

S.S. Bon Voyage Dress Code

During the day, there is no dress code, and the numerous excursions allow passengers to wear what they want for each experience. Breakfast and lunch also have no formal dress code, but dinner hours suggest no shorts or jeans in the dining room. While jackets are not required most nights, many travelers feel more comfortable dressing a bit for dinner, especially with the formal design and service of Le Grand Fromage, the main dining room.

S.S. Bon Voyage Inclusions

Part of the joy of a Uniworld cruise is not having to sign receipts at every turn. Included in the rate are airport transfers, excursions, all meals and drinks, and gratuities. Only few premium liquor brands and wines carry a fee. There's also an additional cost for specialty dining in La Cave du Vin for special wine pairing dinners and spa services. The primary currency used aboard is the euro.

This was the only Uniworld ship that did not have complimentary, self-service laundry, but with the remodel, now it does. The option for standard laundry services are still available.

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S.S. Bon Voyage Ratings

Public Rooms5.03.3
Fitness Recreation4.03
Value For Money5.02.7

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Cruises on S.S. Bon Voyage start from null per person.

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S.S. Bon Voyage won 2 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

S.S. Bon Voyage Member Reviews

S.S. Bon Voyage
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Good points - Savoir Bed great, cabin small but good standard overall, boat clean and outside areas very comfortable and plenty of shade, small hot top, trips ok, guides very good, drinks included, extra trips were... Read More
S.S. Bon Voyage
Sail Date: Jun 2019
We have been on multiple ocean cruises and wanted try to a river cruise. I have to say this was the best in terms of total relaxation. To glide along the river on the amply seated top deck with you beverage of... Read More

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Fleet

River Empress
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

56 reviews

River Empress is one of the older ships in Uniworld's fleet, dating back to 2002. It's also a one-off (not part of a "class").

Uniworld River Empress Cruises to Europe View All Uniworld River Empress Cruises
River Princess
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

River Princess' ambiance is different from that of sister ship River Empress, with starker and bolder decor, honey-colored woods, aluminum accents and a jewel-toned palette.

River Duchess

Uniworld's River Duchess features three passenger decks plus a sun deck. Unlike other ships in the fleet, staterooms have no windows that open.

River Queen

Uniworld's River Queen, launched in 1999, set the standard for the company's new-builds; it's the first to boast an elevator and launderette.

River Tosca
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Holding 82 passengers, River Tosca brings Uniworld's brand of luxury cruising to the Nile River, with experienced tour guides that show you the best of Egypt.

River Countess
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The most luxurious river cruise on Italy's Po, the 134-passenger River Countess surpasses any other river vessel based in Venice.

S.S. Antoinette

S.S. Antoinette launched in March 2011. The 164-passenger vessel offers a serious wow factor with its unique-to-river-cruising features, including suites with clever open-air balconies.

River Victoria

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises re-launched River Victoria in 2011 after an extensive refurb (it was built in 1982). The 206-passenger boat sails Russia's Volga River between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

S.S. Catherine

The 159-passenger S.S. Catherine is elegant, comfortable, colorful and whimsical, with some some staterooms having both private balconies and French verandahs.

Queen Isabel
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Built in Portugal, furnished with locally crafted furniture and staffed by Portuguese crew (with the exception of the Dutch chef), the ship is reassuringly authentic.

Century Legend (Uniworld)

Uniworld's chartered vessel carries 398 passengers and sails on China's Yangtze River.

S.S. Maria Theresa
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

One of Europe's most elegant river ships; onboard attractions include a cinema, fitness centre, spa, salon and swimming pool.

Joie de Vivre
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Uniworld's Joie de Vivre lives up to its name, bringing together the joys of life: fabulous food, wine, music, art, design and travel with family and friends.

Ganges Voyager II
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Since 2016, Uniworld has put the Ganges Voyager II under exclusive charter, offering two-week trips that combine a land tour of India's Golden Triangle cities -- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur -- with seven nights on the Ganges.

S.S. Bon Voyage
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The re-imagined River Royale joins the ranks of Uniworld's Super Ships, offering supreme comfort and luxury on Europe's waterways.

S.S. Sphinx

Nile river luxury cruiser S.S. Sphinx debuts January 2020, as one of the destination's more lavish luxury ships with 42 suites, an onboard swimming pool and interior decor reflecting the beauty and history of Egypt.

Mekong Jewel

Entering service in January 2020, Mekong Jewel will run Uniworld's river voyages through Vietnam and Cambodia, with the latest luxury touches and some of the region's most striking decor.

S.S. La Venezia

Debuting March 27, 2020, as a revamped ship, S.S. La Venezia returns to sail Italy's Po River, complete with new touches designed to better represent its Italian itineraries.

S.S. Sao Gabriel

Uniworld's new 100-passenger S.S. Sao Gabriel, which debuts in spring 2020, will offer larger and more lavish suites and introduce butler service for suite passengers for the first time on Uniworld's Douro river cruises.

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