Uniworld's Queen Isabel Christened with a Royal Welcome by Hollywood's Andie MacDowell

Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:06pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.


Delray Beach, FL, March 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Uniworld Boutique
River Cruises 
 newest ship on Portugal's Douro River, Queen Isabel
, was christened byHollywood actress, L'Oreal spokes model, and philanthropist, Andie MacDowell,
in Porto, Portugal on March 22, 2013. On hand for the inauguration ceremony were a number of
celebrities, including singer Michael Bolton, performing at the event, and European and local
dignitaries. Uniworld's Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Wesley Bosnic, and
Uniworld's Managing Director of Operations, Christine Sustreanu, attended the ceremony and a
star-packed black-tie event. 

The event was organized by Douro Azul, Uniworld's long-term partner in Portugal. This long
standing relationship with Douro Azul and Uniworld's excellent reputation in the region has
allowed Uniworld to always have the best and newest ships sailing on the Douro, and the new  Queen
 continues this tradition of excellence and leadership.

Against the backdrop of lights from Porto's skyline,Mario Ferreira, CEO of Douro Azul, opened the
ceremony in front of over 300 invited guests welcoming them to Portugal for the christening of two
of their new ships. Mr. Ferreira proudly spoke about the UNESCO World Heritage Douro River Valley,
a beautiful but largely undiscovered region of Portugal, and the twentieth anniversary of Douro
Azul. He continued speaking about the region and how tourism has developed over the two decades,
and how river cruising has contributed to its growth. 

The inaugural celebration continued with a blessing of the ships, before Andie MacDowell was
introduced as the Godmother to the new  Queen Isabel
.  Carrying on the tradition of the customary smashing of a Champagne bottle, Ms. MacDowell
christened the Queen Isabel. Speaking to the guests, Ms. MacDowell shared how she loved Portugal
and was deeply honored to christen the Queen Isabel, and then she cut the ribbon. 

Legendary musician and recording star, Michael Bolton, entertained the audience with a number of
his award-winning hits. As the inaugural ceremony concluded, guests were treated to a barrage of
fireworks filling Porto's sky. The evening celebrations continued into the late night with a
formal dinner of traditional Portuguese cuisine and its world-renowned Port wine--the oldest
demarcated wine region in the world. After dinner, guests were treated to orchestral music before
they danced the night away at an after dinner party. Uniworld's Wesley Bosnic stated, "The event
was truly magical. Douro Azul made this a memorable celebration in every way and everyone who
attended had a wonderful time."  

Uniworld's  Queen Isabel
, begins her maiden voyage on March 28, 2013 with a sold-out ship. She will have a 118 passenger
capacity, which allows Uniworld to offer 18 junior suites at 215 sq. ft. and two bigger suites at
323 sq. ft. on the top deck that feature full balconies, and staterooms on the mid-deck that
feature French balconies. Staterooms and suites are luxuriously appointed with modern comforts and
conveniences, such as a flat-screen television with infotainment center and Internet, and marble
bathrooms stocked with robes, slippers, and L'Occitane bath and body products. Public areas
include a lounge with full-service bar, along with an outside bar; restaurant with an outside al
fresco dining area; sun deck with heated swimming pool; and fitness and spa area. In both the
lounge and restaurant, panoramic windows provide guests with views of the ever-changing scenery of
the Douro's vineyard-clad hills and pristine landscapes.

Throughout the ship, and in the suites and staterooms, different hues of blue, cream, and gold are
used along with a variety of shades of Toile fabric adorning the walls. The rich and regal
furnishings create a classic, timeless, and elegant ambiance, which is befitting since the ship
was named after one of Portugal's most beloved queens from the late 13th - 14th century.
Additionally, the Queen Isabel
 has a helicopter pad and has been designed with photovoltaic solar panels on the sun deck to
sustainably generate energy for the ship's operating systems, which complements Uniworld's
business philosophy on sustainable tourism and travel practices. "I am confident that the Queen
Isabel is the most beautiful and luxurious ship on the Douro River, and it will provide the
perfect retreat for our guests as they travel through this magnificent country along the
breathtaking UNESCO Douro River," states Bosnic.

Guests traveling on Uniworld's popular  10-night Portugal, Spain, and the Douro River
 will be treated to a host of inclusions and exclusives only available to Uniworld guests
including: beautiful riverview staterooms; all meals onboard with complimentary fine wine, beer,
and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner; 24-hour complimentary coffee and tea; 11 excursions,
with 2 "Choice Is Yours" options, fully hosted by English-speaking local experts; 5 UNESCO World
Heritage Sites; and all transfers on arrival and departure days.

About Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Los Angeles-based Uniworld
Boutique River Cruise Collection
, the world's only authentic boutique cruise line, is recognized among the "World's Best River
Cruises" by Travel + Leisure. Uniworld has been named toCondé Nast Traveler's prestigious Gold
List for six consecutive years and to their Platinum Circle for two years. Uniworld was also
ranked in their top three among the world's "Top Ten" cruise lines, both ocean and river.
Uniworld's staterooms and dining are also ranked among the top three in the world by Zagat Survey,
with Uniworld being the only river cruise line named in the Zagat Survey amongst the best of the
best in the cruise industry, and the editors of Cruise Critic named Uniworld "Best River Cruise
Line." Uniworld features luxurious boutique ships with an average capacity of 130 guests, as well
as included shore excursions, world-class gourmet cuisine, and award-winning hospitality. Uniworld
offers over 500 departures sailing on over 13 rivers in more than 20 countries throughout Europe,
Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

For more details, please visit uniworld.com
 or connect with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises at facebook.com/uniworldrivercruises
or twitter.com/UniworldCruises

Uniworld is a member of CLIA, Cruise Lines International Association

About TreadRight

TreadRight is a not-for-profit foundation established byThe Travel
 to encourage sustainable tourism within our own family of brands, and in the places we visit. To
date, TreadRight has donated more than USD $1.5 million to sustainable tourism projects worldwide,
and encourages industry best practices by annually supporting the World Travel & Tourism Council's
Tourism for Tomorrow awards. To learn more about the many projects TreadRight is funding please
visit us at treadright.org

CONTACT: Arnelle Kendall
         Vice President of Public Relations
         Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
         110 East Atlantic Avenue Suite 325
         Delray Beach, FL 33444
         Telephone: (561) 330-0850
         Email: akendall@uniworld.com