The ship’s lobby staircase.
On the Seine With Uniworld
New ship puts Paris center stage
BY KIMBERLEY LOVATO — Summer 2017
rom your cabin on Uniworld’s newest vessel, the S.S. Joie de Vivre, which launched in April, you’ll get splendid views of Paris’ Eiffel Tower. It’s the company’s first super ship that docks in the heart of the French capital because it’s 32 feet shorter (410 feet) than Uniworld’s other three super ships and can make a complete turn in the Seine. Smaller doesn’t mean lesser than; Uniworld describes the vessel as the company’s “newest masterpiece,” noting it delivers more in the way of design features and onboard offerings. If you book one of its eight-day Paris to Normandy and back odysseys, here are four things you’re sure to like about this sparkling new river cruiser.
1. ART & DECOR
French designer accents dress up the Joie de Vivre, from a filigreed staircase modeled after the balconies of Paris’ Plaza Athénee to the opulent Louis XV-style fabrics by interior designer Pierre Frey. Original artwork in public spaces and rooms include linen posters dating from 1860 to 1940 and caricatures by George Goursat, better known as Sem, whose early 1900s cartoons you’ll instantly recognize.
Variety is the spice of life when dining aboard the ship, with menus in four restaurants designed around seasonal ingredients found in local markets. But don’t miss the Progressive Dinner. “We created this epicurean journey to give guests a glimpse of the inner workings of the ship, with courses served everywhere from the wheelhouse to the engine room to the kitchen,” says Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.
Must-do outings include visits to Versailles Palace, Monet’s garden at Giverny, and Normandy’s D-Day beaches, but you can opt for bespoke excursions, too, such as a night out at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Have something else in mind? An onboard concierge can individualize an experience, such as a day trip to Mont St. Michel or an evening meal in a French home.
4. THE EXTRAS
Two royal suites, eight junior suites, and 54 state rooms have lots of closet and drawer space, as well as under-bed storage. Floor-to-ceiling windows deliver wonderful views. In Club L’Esprit, book a massage, do morning yoga, or take a dip in a small pool that sinks into the floor each evening when the club transforms into Claude’s supper club. 866-883-7230; uniworld.com