Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has unveiled its much-anticipated first look of the S.S. La Venezia, one of its newest Super Ships. Sailing Northern Italy, the completely reimagined ship embodies the country’s timeless beauty, its artisan’s commitment to enduring quality and the passion Italians bring to food, art and living well.
According to Uniworld CEO and President Ellen Bettridge, the new design led by Uniworld’s artistic directors Toni Tollman and Brian Brennan, was inspired by the work of celebrated Italian artist and textile designer Mariano Fortuny. “We are absolutely thrilled to share details of the S.S. La Venezia, inspired by the incredible artistry and vision of Mariano Fortuny,” said Bettridge. “Over a century after its founding, Fortuny continues to prize originality, made only possible by artisans deeply committed to their craft. This speaks to the Uniworld philosophy. For our guests, this means a setting and style of service that is wholly immersive in the enduring fascination and magic that is Venice; and is born from more than 100 years of experience.”
Much of the design and décor aboard S.S. La Venezia was influenced by local Venetian design house, Fortuny, renowned for their handmade fabrics whose creation is still a closely held company secret.
“There is a mystery to the quality and beauty of Fortuny fabrics that are still made in Giudecca,” said Tollman. “We appreciate the reverence they bring to their craft that is so much a part of the Venetian way and sought to carry that care and attention to every guest touch point.” Tollman notes that like all Uniworld ships, the S.S. Venezia is unique, ‘a work onto itself’ that was designed to complement and enhance its carefully curated Venetian itineraries. “Mirroring our ships to reflect the destinations they sail is an exclusive Uniworld feature that our discriminating guests have come to know and love. We’re certain they will delight in the S.S. Venezia where every space has been crafted to expressly celebrate Venice.”
“Whether guests stay in a classic stateroom, one of the four junior suites or two grand suites, they will experience the unmistakable essence of the city, beginning in the lobby which strikes a bold resemblance to 1930’s Venice,” said Tollman. “Guests will enjoy the artistic touches of the ship as they stroll the marble, or brass-inlaid parquet floors. They will see echoes of the portico of the landmark bridges in the patterns of the fabrics or a reference to the local fish dishes, the basis of classic Venetian cuisine, and enjoy the unmistakable swirls and pops of color of Murano blown glass, another signature craft of Venice.”
The Fortuny story is so intricately woven into the design of the ship that Uniworld guests will have the exclusive opportunity to visit its private showroom and gardens to learn about the company and its Venetian legacy.
S.S. La Venezia’s restaurants and bars are culinary celebrations, bringing the local gastronomy to life with ingredients sourced straight from the local markets. In line with Uniworld’s signature dining experience, there are several options to choose from including:
- Rialto’s, the largest dining venue onboard, is a warm and cozy restaurant, offering traditional Venetian fare. Surrounded by intricately etched panels, inspired by the interior of the Orient Express, the charming booth seating immerses guests in a bygone era of luxury travel while they enjoy the finest cuisine.
- Hari’s Bar and Lounge is a more relaxed affair, with live music, cocktails, and an impressive champagne list. Guests can settle into the sumptuously upholstered love seats to enjoy the entertainment, choosing from a selection of traditional Paninis as they sail through some of the most iconic sights in Venice.
- With its hand-etched glass walls and polished ebonized wood, La Cantinetta is the most intimate of the ship’s venues. Offering private dining with expert wine pairing, guests are invited to start their La Cantinetta experience earlier in the day accompanying their chef to source ingredients at the famous Rialto food market, a vibrant hub where local producers sell their wares from fresh Adriatic fish and fine Italian cheeses and salami to locally grown artichokes and asparagus. These delicious ingredients are masterfully prepared in the demonstration kitchen to create a mouth-watering repertoire of traditional Italian dishes.
- For pure Italian comfort food with the best view of Venice, guests can relax at Cielo’s Pizzeria on the Lido di Venezia Deck. Serving wood-fired pizzas, hot from the oven along with fresh accompaniments from the salad bar, Cielo’s is the place for vibrant al fresco dining.
Once she makes her debut, the S.S. La Venezia will uncover the magic of the Venetian Lagoon during its signature eight-day ‘Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy’ itinerary, with guests experiencing a private evening opening and lighting ceremony at St. Mark’s Basilica, the peaceful canals unique to Burano, Mazzorbo and Torcello and the famed cities of Bologna and Padua. Three additional itineraries will be offered throughout 2021 and 2022, including the 10-day “Milan, Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy;” and recently launched 12-day “Cruise & Rail: Venice & the Swiss Alps” and the 14-day “Cruise & Rail: Milan, Venice & the Swiss Alps.”
Rates start at $2,899 per person, based on double occupancy. For more details or booking, please visit uniworld.com.