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River Royale

January 17, 2006

New flag ship for river cruise fleet

Los Angeles based river cruise specialist Uniworld is to launch a new ship, the River Royale, and new 2006 itineraries for its popular river sailings in France.

Uniworld says River Royale will be the first river cruise ship anywhere to provide Wi-Fi and internet access with email and satellite ship-to-shore calling.

"River Royale will be the flagship of our expanding fleet, embodying innovation and technological advances that will set a new standard in the river cruise industry, said Scott Franey, vice president, marketing, for Uniworld. "The ability to offer these kinds of advancements on the river will allow us to attract an even broader clientele, including those who require an efficient way to stay connected even while on vacation," he added.

Other features of the ship include a hydraulic system that allows the bridge and the top deck railings to be efficiently lowered for passage under the historic and low-span bridges of the Rhone and Saone rivers.

Built at the Vahali Shipyard in Holland, the 132 passenger ship is 460 feet (110 m) in length and 37.5 feet (11.40 m) wide.

It will have one suite of approx. 247 square feet, and 64 staterooms between 155-162 square feet--most with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows.

The 132-passenger vessel will join the fleet of 18 ships that Uniworld owns and/or markets in Europe, Russia, China, and Egypt.

River Royale amenities include flat-screen TV's, spacious and luxuriously decorated public areas, an onboard spa and exercise area, and deck marquees providing ample shade against the sun.

Uniworld's River Royale will sail along the Rhone and Saone rivers from Lyon, making port calls in Chalon, Macon, Tournon/Tain l'Hermitage, Viviers, Avignon, and Arles.

Inaugural season pricing for the seven-night sailings begins at $2,748 per person, double occupancy, including air from New York.

Departures begin April 12 and run through Nov. 1, 2006.

Uniworld offers 500 departures on more than 30 itineraries sailing on 12 rivers in 17 countries across four continents.