If a river cruise for your honeymoon or vacation is something you’re considering, you may not know which company to travel with. It’s likely you’ve heard of both Uniworld River Cruises and Tauck. Both of these companies are great, but which one is right for you?
In this article, we compare Uniworld vs. Tauck, including their activities and entertainment, itineraries, price range, ships, and more, to help you decide which is the best cruise line for you.
But first, a quick overview of each.
Uniworld River Cruises Overview
There’s a general stereotype that river cruises aren’t as luxurious as other cruise types, but Uniworld more than dispels this myth! With a huge choice of global itineraries, they have a fantastic selection of river cruises.
Uniworld is a global company with ships departing from multiple locations, and they offer a large variety of tours. They have a fleet of 17 ships, which hold between 116 and 162 guests. (This may seem like a small capacity, but river cruise ships are far smaller than regular-sized cruise ships.)
Uniworld also offers a variety of onboard activities, including swimming pools, libraries, leisure centers, gyms, and beautiful sun decks where you can relax. On river cruises, most of your time is spent on land at various destinations, so there is more than enough to keep you entertained while onboard.
On Uniworld ships, you can enjoy a 5-star all-inclusive experience, which is guaranteed to make your vacation one of a kind. They have a great selection of gourmet restaurants and bars, and your rate includes fine wines, premium spirits, and every meal on board.
Tauck River Cruises Overview
Tauck is another well-known river cruise line. It has a fleet of just 9 ships, but a larger variety of ship sizes. They hold between 84 and 130 passengers.
Tauck offers river cruises around Europe as well as small ship cruises around a variety of other destinations including Alaska, Antarctica, the Mediterranean, and more. They even offer land-only tours for those who cruises don’t appeal to, across a variety of destinations across the globe.
The entertainment onboard Tauck River Cruises immerses you in local culture during your trip, with local presentations, tastings, demonstrations, folkloric shows, musicians, and dancers. Some ship lounges include a small dance floor, live piano music, and a small bar.
Similarly to Uniworld, Tauck has an all-inclusive dining experience, with regionally inspired meals. They serve a la carte, set menu, and buffet options. Their all-inclusive experience also includes wines, beers, premium spirits, and gratuities. This is not the same for every cruise, though, so be sure to double-check when booking if you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience.
Now that you have an idea of what Uniworld and Tauck offer, let’s take a look at their differences.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Cost
The cost of a river cruise can vary depending on the cruise line, itinerary, dates, and which ship you’re on. Cruises with Uniworld cost around $2000 to $4000 on average. Tauck is a little more expensive, with their French River cruises alone costing between $4000 and $8000.
With both cruise lines delivering luxury and all-inclusive services, they’re worth the price. If you’re looking for a better deal, however, you can book via a cruise travel agent. Travel agents specializing in river cruises are usually able to offer great discounts and deals that are unavailable to the general public.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Ships
Uniworld has a fleet of 17 ships of a similar size, all holding more than 100 but fewer than 200 guests.
Tauck has a smaller fleet than Uniworld, with smaller-sized ships. This allows for a slightly more intimate experience on your river cruise.
For honeymoons or romantic getaways, Uniworld has some adult-only cruises, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a relaxing and romantic trip.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Food and Drink
Both cruise lines have a great selection of dining options, and both offer all-inclusive cruise packages.
Uniworld features 5-star farm-to-table cuisine that is inspired by the itinerary, as well as wines, beers, and a selection of premium spirits.
Tauck also offers all-inclusive meals and drinks with their package trips, and their chefs tailor the menu to the local cuisine of the destination countries. They have a selection of a la carte, set menus, and buffets to choose from, so you’re guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Cabins
Uniworld’s cabins vary from ship to ship and are very unique. With a high-end, luxurious design and one-of-a-kind interiors, both the grand cabins and classic cabins are equally beautiful.
Tauck ships feature classy cabins, with a timelessly elegant design fleet-wide.
No matter which company you travel with, or which room you stay in, you’re sure to step into a world of luxury as soon as you board.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Itineraries
Whilst the onboard experience is important, it’s really the itineraries that are at the heart of a cruise. Uniworld and Tauck are quite easy to compare in this respect.
All cruises on offer look great, but if you’re looking for river cruises anywhere other than Europe, you’ll need to check out Uniworld. Uniworld also does river cruises in Asia, Egypt, India, and Peru.
Tauck only offers river cruises in Europe, but if you’re looking for a land-only tour or a small ship cruise that is not on a river, Tauck has a great selection.
With these companies offering such different itineraries, it can be quite easy to pick one over the other.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Activities
Unlike regular cruises, river cruises generally do not have a huge choice of activities onboard. As these ships don’t spend a long time at sea, they don’t need to keep their guests entertained for long periods of time.
With that in mind, both Uniworld and Tauck have swimming pools, sun decks, and lounges in which you can sit comfortably or enjoy a drink at the bar. They also offer onboard talks and activities that are related to the destinations being visited.
Off the ship, there are a variety of excursions and activities that allow you to delve deep into the local culture and history.
Tauck vs. Uniworld for Kids
If you’re looking for a family vacation, you’ll be happy to know that no matter which cruise line you choose, you can bring all your family members. Both companies welcome children onboard (with some limitations).
However, neither is tailored specifically to families,and young children might get bored. If you want to bring younger children on your river cruise, though, both Uniworld and Tauck offer family cruise itineraries.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a child-free experience for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, Uniworld may be the better choice for you.
Uniworld vs. Tauck Entertainment
When it comes to entertainment, Tauck seems to perform a little better.
Uniworld focuses heavily on its guided tours and entertainment during the day at its various destinations. Tauck, however, hosts a variety of singers, storytellers, musicians, and dancers as entertainment throughout your stay. These acts are included to bring culture from the destinations onboard the ship.
Tauck vs. Uniworld Typical Guests
The clientele of cruises varies widely depending on the cruise line, price, and itinerary, but with both Uniworld and Tauck focusing on luxury, they typically attract a similar type of guest.
Both river cruise companies have a mix of guests onboard most trips, ranging in age and including singles, couples, and groups. Both typically attract more families onboard their specialized family-friendly itineraries, while Uniworld’s adult-only cruises are popular with couples.
When comparing Uniworld vs. Tauck, it can be difficult to decide which is better. Both offer fantastic dining, a good selection of entertainment and activities, and a luxurious experience. That said, it comes down to what you’re looking for in terms of the perfect cruise experience, and where you want to travel to.
We recommend Tauck for families, those looking for a little extra onboard entertainment, and those traveling to Europe. For other couples either cruise line would be great depending on what you are looking for.
Have you cruised with Uniworld or Tauck? Let us know your experience in the comment section below!
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central America, South America, and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.