Uniworld cruises and train trips offer deeper dive into Europe: Travel Weekly

Cruise and train combinations are growing in popularity with river cruise companies as some begin to expand their itineraries to include the classic way of travelling.

Uniworld is one of the latest river cruise lines to introduce a new cruise and train program to its suite of cruise offerings, but with an additional caveat: instead of offering train travel as a simple extension before or after the river cruise, the company includes a train journey as part of the whole trip.

The 12-day Venice and Swiss Alps itineraries are among Uniworld’s first cruise and train programs to launch as part of its partnership with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. The itinerary includes four nights crossing Western Europe aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express before ending in Venice, where guests board the SS La Venezia to cruise the Venice Lagoon for seven nights.

The route

This cruise and train itinerary begins with an overnight stay in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city known for being a global financial and banking center. I was not surprised to remember it while I was in town. Downtown Zurich outside the Old Town had an austere nature in its cityscape – a veritable concrete jungle. This as opposed to the cozier, more medieval Old Town, which has taken on a more familiar European look with its weathered Gothic church spiers, stone bridges spanning canals and cobbled streets filled with pockets of alleyways, of open plazas and a thriving tourist scene. .

A gateway to the old town of Zurich. Uniworld’s trip to Venice and the Swiss Alps begins with an overnight stay in the city. Photo credit: Nicole Edenedo

Guests on the Venice and the Swiss Alps itinerary will see the castles and fairytale landscapes of Liechtenstein, the alpine resorts of Austria, and tourist and emerging destinations in Slovenia. This is the shorter version of Uniworld’s original 14-day Milan, Venice and Swiss Alps itinerary, which includes two additional nights in Milan plus a day trip to Verona.

But you don’t have to visit the city of Romeo and Juliet to feel the romance of this train journey, because its beauty lies in the stretches of the journey.

All aboard for nostalgia

Anyone who likes an old-fashioned train ride, appreciates the nostalgia of a night in a sleeper, or has a penchant for good thrillers starring Alfred Hitchcock or Margaret Rutherford on Turner Classic Movies would love the cruise and Uniworld train. I’ve been a fan of the three aforementioned hobbies for quite some time, but I’ve only had the chance to do two of them; I had never done an overnight sleeper train trip before my Uniworld trip, let alone five star luxury.

And the Golden Eagle is truly five star, with impeccable service from highly skilled and talented staff, superb cuisine crafted with such precision it’s hard to believe such a detail-oriented chef had the stamina (and the patience) to create such beautifully delicious dishes aboard a moving train three times a day.

Uniworld’s cruise and train program is growing. The cruise line launched two additional itineraries earlier this year with expanded trips to Eastern Europe on the 13-day Transylvanian Castles and Enchanting Danube itinerary as well as a 12-day departure.

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