Frequently Asked Questions | Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
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Frequently Asked Questions | Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Europe Boutique River Cruises FAQs


The information provided below should help answer some questions you might have about Uniworld’s Boutique River Cruises in Europe. Additional information can be found in our Cruise Companions in the BEFORE YOU GO section of this website.

Q: Do I need a visa?
US and Canadian citizens do not require a visa to visit Europe, with the exception of Istanbul, Turkey. Please see the VISAS section of our website for more details.

Q: Why do you need a Passenger Information Form?
Due to immigration and security measures worldwide, passenger information must be fully completed and received by Uniworld by the time of final payment. Final documentation will not be processed without receipt of the Passenger Information Form. One completed form is required per guest. Please click here to access our Passenger Information Form page, which provides a printable form, instructions, and additional information.

Q: Which cruise itinerary is best for me?
A good choice for first-time river cruisers is a Danube River cruise, which offers an enjoyable “tasting menu” of many top cultural sites. A Rhine River cruise, with stunning scenery and dozens of castles, is another great option. Second- or third-timers may enjoy visiting Eastern Europe via a cruise along the Lower Danube. More experienced travelers seeking something new might consider the Douro River in Portugal or the Volga River in Russia.

Q: Are three people per room allowed?
Triple bookings are allowed only in some suites onboard the S.S. Catherine and the S.S. Maria Theresa (excluding the Royal Suite).

Q: What should I wear on my cruise?
It’s best to pack for a range of weather conditions, depending on the season and regions visited. Wearing layers will allow you to easily adjust to temperature changes. Limiting your wardrobe to a simple mix-and-match color scheme will keep your bags to a minimum.

We recommend wearing comfortable, smart-casual clothing both onshore and onboard. We also suggest sturdy walking shoes, as you will do a significant amount of walking on shore excursions, often over cobblestones or uneven terrain. A sun hat, rain gear, and a coat or wrap for chilly evenings are useful items to have. For dining ashore, concerts, special events onboard, etc., men may want to bring a sports jacket and women a cocktail dress or pantsuit. Neckties are optional. Please note that shorts are not allowed at dinner aboard the ship.

Q: Is laundry service available?
Most ships have either a self-serve laundrette (with ironing board) or laundry service for an additional fee. Please contact info@uniworld.com to find out what services your ship offers. No dry cleaning services are available on any ship.

Q: What’s the food like?
Our classically trained chefs use fresh, locally-sourced ingredients for all onboard meals, which feature both regionally-inspired and western dishes.

Q: Can I drink the water?
The tap water onboard is filtered and safe to drink, and bottled mineral water is replenished daily in your stateroom. Additional bottled water can be purchased just about anywhere onshore throughout Europe.

Q: Can you accommodate special diets?
Kindly inform us in advance if you have specific dietary requests (e.g., low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian, etc.). We have a “Traveling Lite” menu for guests seeking more health-conscious options, as well as light lunches, vegetarian options, and generous buffets that offer something for everyone. We will do our very best to accommodate your needs given the resources available to us.

Q: Can I use my credit and debit cards in Europe?
Most major credit cards are widely accepted throughout Europe. Credit cards and most debit cards can be used for ATM cash withdrawals onshore (there are no ATM machines aboard our ships). We recommend bringing at least one credit card plus an ATM card. Try to avoid carrying euro notes larger than €100, as merchants may be hesitant to accept them due to counterfeiting. Limited currency exchange is available onboard (cash only) and all major hotels have exchange facilities. Travelers Checks are not recommended.

It is a good idea to let your credit card issuer and bank know of your plans to travel aboard so they can expect foreign transactions on your account.

Q: What is the voltage?
Voltage in Europe and aboard our ships is 220v/50Hz with 2-pin “Schuko” outlets. All staterooms also have 110v outlets. Your electrical appliances from home may require an adapter and/or converter.

Q: Is there onboard Internet access?
Select ships offer complimentary Wi-Fi access. Please view your ship’s specific information page (see the SHIPS section of this website) [add link] or email us at info@uniworld.com to find out if Wi-Fi is available onboard. Service may be briefly interrupted in remote areas, while sailing, or when moving through locks, and the speed will likely be slower than what you are used to back home.

Q: Where will the ship dock?
In many ports, your river ship is small enough to dock within easy walking distance of the historic city center. Elsewhere, the ship may need to dock farther away and a motorcoach transfer will be provided. There may be times when your ship moors next to another ship or between ships, especially in busy ports. Docking locations are determined by the local harbor authorities, not Uniworld or the ship’s Captain.

Q: How much walking should I expect?
Our itineraries focus on places of cultural and historical interest, which are often best experienced on a guided walking tour. You’ll enjoy your cruise most if you are in good health and able to walk significant distances, often on cobblestones, uneven terrain, and up and down stairs.

River cruise ships are not designed to accommodate wheelchairs or motorized scooters, nor are many older European buildings or historic sites. Guests with mobility issues may be unable to participate in all shore excursions, but are always welcome to relax onboard and enjoy a spa treatment or quiet time with a good book.

Q: How do I book optional excursions once onboard?
Optional excursions can be booked with your Cruise Manager and charged to your onboard account. Some optional excursions need a minimum number of participants to operate. There are no refunds for cancellations made within 24 hours of the tour start time or for pre-paid tours. On pre/post-cruise extensions, you may book optional excursions with your Local Host and pay by credit card (cash not accepted). Optional excursions cannot be reserved prior to the cruise.

Q: Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is not allowed aboard any sightseeing motorcoach. Onboard your ship, smoking is allowed only in a designated area of the Sun Deck. We also ask guests to refrain from smoking on shore excursions/tours, especially since many historical sites and other tourist attractions in Europe are now smoke-free as well.

Q: What if a major tourist site on my itinerary is closed?
We typically arrange a city tour in these rare situations, or allow extra free time to explore the city’s top sites on your own.

Q: Can I extend or customize my river cruise or land extension?
You may book an optional pre- or post-cruise land extension on many Uniworld itineraries. If you are traveling with a group of 10 or more guests, the cruise or tour itinerary may be customized to suit the group’s needs.

Q: How accurate are the excursion descriptions?
We do our best to deliver all excursions as promoted, yet there may be times when circumstances beyond our control require us to make certain changes to scheduled activities.

Q: Could my itinerary change for any reason?
We make every effort to follow our itineraries exactly as promoted, but reserve the right to make any necessary changes to ensure the safety of our guests and ships. Time permitting, we will let you know of any known changes before you board the ship.

Q: Does each sightseeing group on excursions have its own guide?
Yes, each group has its own English-speaking guide. Our local experts are considered the best in the industry, and our complimentary QuietVox audio headsets make it easy to hear every word of their insightful commentary.

Q: Can I take children on my cruise?
In our experience, most young children—especially those under 4—are simply not yet old enough to enjoy river cruising. We make no special arrangements for little ones and offer few kid-friendly activities onboard or onshore. (One exception: Our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, available on select itineraries during the summer and the winter holiday season. [Add link?) Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 or older at all times.

Q: Is there onboard entertainment?
Depending on the itinerary, talented local performers (music, dance, traditional arts, etc.) may come onboard from time to time to provide after-dinner entertainment.

Q: What about gratuities, either onboard or onshore?
All gratuities for the ship’s staff and crew, as well as your onshore tour guides are included in your cruise fare. When going ashore on your own, keep in mind that tipping is less expected and more modest in Europe than it is in North America (although equally appreciated).

Q: Where can I get weather updates during my cruise?
We provide a daily printed program that includes updated weather information, and weather reports may also be accessed via the infotainment system aboard each ship. Up-to-the-minute international weather conditions are also easily available online at sites such as weather.com.

Other questions?
Please email info@uniworld.com,
call us at 800-733-7820, or ask your preferred Travel Professional.