Scenic vs Uniworld

Compare the travel styles, pricing, destinations and popularity of Scenic and Uniworld.

The Low Down

 
Scenic's 5 star luxury river cruises are well known and popular in Australia (not so much in NZ). Scenic were the first to introduce balconies on their Scenic Space-Ships, which many clients love, but this comes at a cost to interior cabin space. Like many of the other premium river cruise Operators, look out for their great Fly Free offers, and Earlybird Savings. All inclusive, with Freechoice activities that allow you to choose what you want to do in each port, Scenic also offer a range of luxury additions (like your own Butler) depending on the cabin type select.

Launching in 2018 and with another ship in 2020, the Scenic Eclipse is Scenic's first foray into luxury all inclusive ocean cruising. From the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, these Discovery Yachts, are all inclusive with shore excursions involving Zodiacs, kayaks and e-bikes as well as the option (for an additional charge) to adventure out by helicopter and submarine!
 
If you are looking for 5-star luxury with 6-star service then Uniworld river cruises should be at the top of your wish list. Uniworld's ships (while not the newest) are one-of-a-kind, exquisitely appointed, boutique floating hotels. Part of the Travel Corporation (which includes the sister brands of Trafalgar and Insight Vacations), Uniworld ships are slightly smaller with an average of about 130 guests, and are constantly being refurbished in their distinctive style. Half of the team at Global Journeys have embarked on a voyage with Uniworld and some us a few times!

Uniworld pricing is now dynamic so can vary day by day, and the cruises aren't cheap, however you wont need to dip into your wallet once your trip begins and further savings are available if you were a past passenger on any of the aforementioned sister brands.

Reviews

Reviews rated out of 5

 
4.5 out of 5
33 Reviews
 
4.6 out of 5
78 Reviews

Operator Details

 
No. of Trips
460
 
Departures
1,612
 
Avg. Length
16
 
Avg.
$856
 
326
This Month
Scenic Land Journeys
Trip Type
Scenic River Cruises
Trip Type
Scenic Cruises
Trip Type
Trip Budget
Budget
Premium / Luxury
Accommodation
Accommodation
4.5 - 5 Star
 
No. of Trips
72
 
Departures
1,418
 
Avg. Length
11
 
Avg.
$652
 
65
This Month
River Cruises
Trip Type
River Cruises
Trip Budget
Budget
Luxury / Boutique
Beverages
Beverages
Included
Max. Group Size
Balconies
French (Sliding)

Regions Explored:

Amazon, Asia, Europe, Nile

In Their Own Words

We asked the travel companies themselves why you should travel with them.

 

Anthony Laver, Group GM, Australasia - Scenic

Scenic is proudly an Australian founded company setting the global standard for all inclusive luxury travel. We have delighted guests for more than 30 years with memorable journeys to fascinating locations across the world, delivering unsurpassed excellence in service, product quality and exclusive experiences. The guest is at the heart of everything we do, as we strive to provide continual innovation to enhance the guest experience in Luxury River Cruising, Land Tours and our state of the art expedition Ocean Cruising with Scenic Eclipse.

The Scenic difference is the details, the unwavering commitment to anticipate our guests every need, from butler services, quality dining, wellness, Scenic Enrich and Scenic FreeChoice experiences. That is why so many of our past guests choose to travel with Scenic many times, to destinations around the globe with family and friends, trusting Scenic to create memories that will last a lifetime. We welcome you to enjoy the portfolio of Scenic luxury products and feel the difference of Scenic’s dedicated staff, who will look after you to the nth degree.

This is why first time and past guests choose Scenic.
 

Fiona Dalton, Uniworld & U River Cruises Managing Director - Uniworld

Once you step onboard the world’s finest and most awarded river cruise line for the first time, we are quite sure the refined luxury onboard our fleet will sweep you off your feet.

We draw our inspiration for the design philosophy of every one of the 17 ships in our fleet directly from the destination in which they sail. The craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the art onboard, the handcrafted furniture and intricacy of the fabrics are lovingly assembled to be a masterpiece in and of itself. Stepping onboard is to step into a world of beautiful colours and one-of-a-kind details that truly bring your destination to life.

Crafting experiences you can’t find anywhere else, means continuing to elevate Uniworld to new heights year after year. From the addition of four new Super Ships in Egypt, Vietnam, Portugal and Italy, to the award winning service that comes from the heart, we’re putting even more emphasis on what’s onboard to enhancing several itineraries to accommodate guest’s diverse tastes for the future. We truly look forward to welcoming our Australian guests onboard.

Recent Reviews

 
Rhine Highlights
4 Star Review from Cate.

We totally enjoyed our River Cruise. Booking through Global Journeys was sooo easy. Communication was great and nothing was to much trouble. We found communication with Global Journeys much easier than communicating directly with river cruise company. The cruise was great - we were a bit concerned that the age demographics would be older than us but that was not the case. There was a great mix of ages on the ship and we have formed some strong friendships. There was a late change of ship which we were disappointed in but Scenic went out of their way to ensure they made up for any disappointment. We would definitely do another river cruise and we certainly will be booking that through Global Journeys. Very happy customers.
Jewels of Europe
4 Star Review from Gill and Eva.

The scenery was brilliant. The service in the restaurant was just below perfect. The reason for this qualification was due to all the smorgasbords. There was an additional specials menu - twice we ordered from this but the meals didn't turn up. Free beverages were excellent. Another thing mentioned and rectified was all the 'double beds' on the ship were in reality single beds put together. Put my leg through the centre and could have broken a leg or ankle. Fell out of bed with the mattress. Hello, passenger in danger. They did bind this one up and then I was okay. The Palais Liechtenstein Mozart and Strauss concert was perfect. All transfers were very good and prompt.
Icons of Western Canada & Alaskan Cruise
5 Star Review from May & Con.

Rocky Mountains are an exciting experience. The beauty of the mountains and lakes are everywhere around you. A sight to behold.
Jewels of Europe
5 Star Review from Ari & Eileen.

The river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was an excellent way to travel. It was fully catered and the food selection was varied to provide dishes from the country you travel through. It gave us an opportunity to taste food that we may not have ordered from a restaurant elsewhere. We enjoyed the ability to integrate cycling with our sight seeing. The Scenic river cruise was indeed scenic and the onboard app provided great insights to the various castles, churches and towns as we passed by. The staff on this Scenic river cruise were friendly and very pleasant to deal with. Our cruise director was the best we have ever had compared to our travels. He was always around to help people with their queries and had a great dry sense of humour. We really enjoyed this cruise and would recommend it to others. Our booking through Global Journeys was simple, easy and without any problems. Anything that was promised was delivered on time and without any need for us to chase. This gave us the opportunity to start our trip in relaxed frame of mind and to enjoy the experience.
Jewels of Russia with Berlin & the Baltic States
5 Star Review from Lorraine & Roger.

We booked this trip because it offered something a bit different from our usual European holidays, and we were not disappointed. The tour operator, Scenic, were excellent. Our trip started in Moscow, where we were met at the airport and driven to our cruise ship, the Scenic Tsar. This is a smaller ship than some others, only taking a maximum of 96 guests, which meant people mixed well and we met some lovely friends. Three tour directors looked after all our excursions, as well as offering some fun entertainment on board. They were a talented group, and we learnt Russian history, language, cooking and Matryoshka decoration. The ship's crew, all Russian, spoke good English, and catered for our every need. After the cruise we were accompanied on a train journey to Helsinki, where we continued our tour through the Baltic States, again learning much history and culture, as well as seeing some lovely cities and countryside. Our tour director was wonderful, and we couldn't have been better looked after. On both parts of the tour we experienced some wonderful cultural events, excellent accommodation, comfortable travel and some great meals. We would definitely take another trip with Scenic, and happily use Global Journeys to book, as they were very organised and helpful. We really appreciated being able to log on to our record and check how the planning was progressing.
 
Splendours of Egypt & the Nile
4 Star Review from Kate & John.

What an amazing country Egypt is! We travelled in November, temperature averaged around 25C and no humidity, perfect for touring the temples, low crowds. The River Tosca is a beautiful older ship with lots of timber and a relaxed atmosphere. Staff were absolutely amazing, as with all Uniworld cruise staff, remembering drink preferences and names after the first day. The food fresh and lots of choice, including local flavours. Plenty of fresh bottled water each day. With only 60 guests on board (mainly American, 2 Brits and 4 Aussies; ages 17-70s) we were split into groups of 20 each with our own Egyptologist, Sabaa, and own full sized coach. Wonderful stories and explanation of everything we visited was given, we never felt rushed. Luxor and Aswan were beautiful and clean after crazy polluted Cairo. Hotel in Cairo was excellent. Very busy tour schedule with some early starts and long days. Highlights were balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings/Queens at sunrise, high tea at sunset at Old Cataract Hotel, bird watching on the Nile in a small boat, flying to Abu Simbel temples and of course the Pyramids. The locals were very friendly and welcoming, we didn’t feel uncomfortable in any situation, except for very zealous stall holders in the markets! Excellent security on board and everywhere we visited. If Egypt is on your bucket list, don’t hesitate! Amazing to be able to touch history thousands of years old.
Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley
5 Star Review from Sandra & Hugh.

Had an amazing time. Beautiful scenery along the Douro River. Global Journeys our travel agent Hannah Campbell did an amazing job organising our tour. Thank you Hannah. Uniworld who we travelled with were fabulous, staff were so obliging and friendly. Accommodation at hotel and on board were 1st class. Met some very friendly people. Overall a wonderful experience.
Remarkable Rhine & Historic Holland
4 Star Review from Kaye & Russell.

Fantastic crew with outstanding service. Great food and already looking at a follow up cruise. Very informative tours. Extensive variety of drinks and the embarkation was very relaxed. Definitely recommended.
Brilliant Bordeaux
5 Star Review from Roger & Mary.

This was a bit of an unusual trip compared to other river cruises we have undertaken. Most go from A to B (and maybe back again) along a river but this one seemed to go around in circles due to the nature of the river estuary being explored. This meant that even though we seemed to move a long way, in essence it was only ever a short distance from Bordeaux, and time and time again we passed the same landmarks. Despite that, it was still an excellent experience with several shore trips to visit small and very picturesque villages and wineries. We have been on several UniWorld cruises previously and all have been exceptional. My sense is that Uniworld is slowly reducing their level of service and included options that made them a standout amongst river cruise operators. This may be a trend across all operators, which reflects the tough times they are going through. However, if you want to taste the wine growing region of France in a leisurely relaxed fashion then this is a great way to do it.
Highlights of Eastern Europe
4 Star Review from Geoff & Norma.

Should you be interested in visiting a less frequented part of Europe this is the one. The Uniworld experience was excellent. The crew was great, the food first class and the ship top rate. But watch cabin sizes as the SS Beatrice cabins come in two sizes. The French Balcony doors do not open very wide. This part of the Danube is now starting to be busy, so you are likely to find another ship docked alongside at most ports eliminating any views - a problem as this area becomes more popular. We had two full days off ship touring into Croatia and Bulgaria and interesting excursions at other stops such as Belgrade with lectures on the history of the region including the genesis of the Balkan conflict in the 1990's. Bucharest was a pleasant surprise, an attractive city with its own interesting history. If you have an interest in learning more about this region and its history, this is a most pleasant way to do it.

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