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River Countess Review

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River Countess
5.0 / 5.0
58 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line

About

Passengers
130

Crew
41

Passenger to Crew
3.17:1

Launched
2002

Shore Excursions
0
Sails To
Sails From
Uniworld Cruise Deals
Louise Goldsbury
Cruise Critic Contributor

River Countess Overview

Editors' Note: In spring 2020, River Countess will be rebuilt into a "super ship" and renamed S.S. La Venezia. The ship will have completely new decor, inspired by Venice; a wide variety of completely transformed staterooms and suites; two onboard dining venues; and an onboard spa, library, lounge and bar.

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In April 2013, Uniworld launched cruises in Italy with a goal to be the most luxurious line on the Po. The company succeeded with flying colors, and the freshly remodeled 134-passenger River Countess surpasses any other river vessel based in Venice.

From the moment you step onboard, the company's signature style of fabulous elegance is presented in full force. A large chandelier and leopard-skin circular sofa dominate the lobby, and natural light, fresh flowers and two parallel staircases combine to give passengers a warm welcome. River Countess might be elegant in style, but the dress code is resort casual. It caters to a predominantly English-speaking, retired clientele.

After 10 years of service, River Countess underwent a total transformation in 2012, with more than $5 million worth of refurbishments. Immediately prior to its Italian debut, the ship received a few extra touches, including a pizza oven and a new tapestry behind the reception area.

One of the most impressive spaces is the Sienna Salon Sky Lounge, a glass-walled conservatory-like cafe decked out with plants and outdoor furniture. On a blue-sky day, the cozy room lights up with sunshine. The main restaurant is also a sight to behold, with white leather booths, white tablecloths and white-tuxedoed waiters.

Seven-night sailings are offered between April and November, with four nights spent in Venice, using the ship as a base. Other shore excursions -- to the historic and cultural delights of Verona, Bologna, Padua and Ravenna -- require coach trips of one to two hours. For these reasons, the itinerary may suit couples who can't decide whether to see Italy by road or river, as there is less sailing time than on the average cruise.

In 2014 and beyond, fares will include all gratuities; unlimited fine wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages; shore excursions with local guides; Internet and Wi-Fi in all rooms; and transfers on arrival and departure days. For the remainder of the 2013 season, house wine is complimentary, with other choices available at additional cost.


Top River Countess Itineraries

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Fellow Passengers

The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, but Uniworld passengers tend to be slightly younger and well-traveled. Many on our Italy cruise were past passengers from other European river cruises on the Rhine or Danube.

Most travel as couples or groups of friends, but solo travelers are also attracted to River Countess, due to the elimination of the single supplement on several Venice departures. The mix of nationalities is largely American, Canadian, Australian and British.


Uniworld River Countess Dress Code

Resort casual, comfortable attire is encouraged for both ship and shore. A good pair of walking shoes is essential. As the ship sails in Italy, where some cities have cobblestone streets, be sure to stick with flats (no heels).

Passengers dress up slightly more in the evenings, especially for the farewell dinner, but never as fancy as during formal nights on ocean cruises. Some people don't even change out of the clothes worn on shore excursions.

For events like the Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinner, women might like to pack a few dresses. Men can get away with collared shirts and blazers, but there's no need for ties.


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River Countess Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins5.04.5
Dining4.04.6
Entertainment3.03.8
Public Rooms5.04.6
Fitness Recreation3.04
Family1.0N/A
Enrichment4.04.4
Service5.04.8
Value For Money5.04.5

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Awards and Recognition

Uniworld River Countess Member Reviews

River Countess
djett
Sail Date: Apr 2019
We arrived in Venice about 4:30 pm and boarded the River Countess.... Read More
River Countess
G+W
Sail Date: Jul 2018
The River Countess is a good looking ship for its type, and it has all the advertised features.... Read More
River Countess
Optimus Prime
Sail Date: Jul 2018
The River Countess was docked right in the heart of Venice which meant all the main sights were only a short stroll away.... Read More
River Countess
bottomfeeder
Sail Date: Oct 2018
The entertainment was much briefer and less flashy and less varied than on an ocean cruise, but I thought it fit well with the tour-focused and very small River Countess cruise.... 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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