New River Ship! Uniworld’s Emilie to Debut in 2026

Uniworld's Venezia sails Italian river cruises and now the luxury line has added new Greece post-cruise extensions. Photo by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

It’s exciting to hear that a river cruise line is building a new ship. Besides keeping the cruise industry fresh and vibrant, it gives guests yet another choice when planning a future vacation. So, we’re happy to learn that Uniworld Boutique River Cruises plans a new river ship, Emilie, for Europe in 2026.

(The photo above is Uniworld’s La Venezia, a Super Ship that sails Italian river cruises. The newly ordered Emilie will also be a Super Ship. Photo by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.)

While we don’t know much about the new vessel (as it hasn’t been revealed yet), we’ve learned that the river ship will be a new build with interior design inspired by renowned Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. The vessel will be named after his life partner and muse, Emilie Floge.

Uniworld is known for creating very elaborate interior design, with vessels that reflect some elements of the region of sailing. “They’re definitely not cookie cutter vessels,” says Shelby Steudle, president, Pavlus Travel. “Each ship is distinctive.”

So, guests feel that they’re experiencing something special. “In addition, Uniworld provides top-notch service, farm-to-table cuisine and curated excursions,” says Steudle.

Bottom line: Guests who sail on the new Emilie as well as the line’s other ships can expect a luxurious, all-inclusive river cruising experience. On average, Uniworld’s vessels carry an average of just 120 guests. 

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises' S.S. Catherine sails river cruises in France. Photo by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
(Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ Catherine sails river cruises in France. Photo by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.)

New River Ship, 50th Anniversary

“We’re thrilled to introduce a brand-new ship to our fleet in 2026, just in time to celebrate Uniworld’s 50th anniversary,” says Ellen Bettridge, Uniworld’s president and CEO. “Our commitment to excellence is unwavering, and this outstanding new vessel reaffirms our dedication to providing the best and most luxurious ships on the rivers.”

Emilie will be a Super Ship, joining others the line operates on European rivers. Prior to the launch of Emilie, Victoria will debut on the Rhine and Moselle this year, and Elisabeth on the Rhine in 2025.

By way of background, those were previously nearly new Crystal Cruises vessels. Uniworld is now chartering them from another river company for at least three years. 

Uniworld has also added five other Super Ships to its fleet since 2020. They include the Mekong Jewel on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia; Aria Amazon on the Maranon and Ucayali rivers in Peru; Sao Gabriel on the Douro in Portugal; La Venezia on the Venetian Lagoon; and Sphinx on the Nile in Egypt.

The line recently announced new Greece post-cruise extensions for its Italian river cruises. The Meandering Traveler covered that development in a recent blog.

Uniworld's Mekong Jewel is one of four ships that will operate the 2024 "Rivers of the World" itinerary. Photo by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
(Uniworld’s Mekong Jewel sails Mekong River cruises in Cambodia and Vietnam. Photo by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.)

Five-Star Boutique Hotels

Yes, Uniworld ships are river cruise vessels, of course. But the luxury river line also describes them as five-star floating boutique hotels designed to reflect the destinations in which they sail.

We believe in delivering the highest level of quality to our guests, and our portfolio truly embodies the best of the best in the market,” says Bettridge. As for more details about the new Emilie, Uniworld tells us that more information about the new Emilie and itineraries “will be forthcoming.”

Based in Los Angeles, California, Uniworld, a member of The Travel Corporation (TTC) family of companies, sails on 17 rivers in 26 countries worldwide. The luxury river line offers all-inclusive itineraries in Europe. In addition, Uniworld sails in Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as India, Peru and Egypt.

To learn more about a Uniworld river cruise, visit the line’s website. And for any river cruise questions as well as assistance in choosing the right cruise line and ship for your vacation personality, contact your personal travel planner. Plus, ask about any special promotions, amenities or incentives that add value to your purchase.

Again, Uniworld hasn’t revealed much about the new vessel as yet including the passenger count. But we’ll keep you posted here on The Meandering Traveler when more is known.

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