River Tosca cruises the Nile once more

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The River Tosca luxury cruise ship, originally launched by Uniworld in October 2009, has come out of dry dock after extensive refurbishment and set sail once again on the Nile River in Egypt on 22 March 2010. The 82-room ship has 41 cabins, 39 suites and two presidential suites.

President of Uniworld Guy Young says: "Over the last several years, we have seen a growing interest in Egypt, a glorious destination. As a company, we saw the need and opportunity to provide travelers to Egypt with a Nile River cruise ship that would incorporate the same high standards as our ships in Europe. Uniworld commissioned the River Tosca with the goal that it would be one of the most luxurious ships to sail the Nile."

However, when it became apparent that the River Tosca did not meet Uniworld standards, the company decided to dry dock the ship for seven weeks for major refurbishment.

The main areas of concern included the quality of workmanship with the floors in the staterooms, main stairwell, and corridors, which were damaged and scratched during installation; the mosaic tiles in the restaurant; the paint and woodwork in the staterooms; and the choice of fabrics in the staterooms.

"Dry docking the ship in the height of the season was a very difficult and humbling decision for the company. It was the right decision to make, however, both for the long term success of Uniworld in Egypt and, most importantly, for our customers," explains Young.

River Tosca resumed sailing the Nile on 22 March 2010 and Young says after inspecting the revamped ship: "I can now proudly say after visiting the Tosca that all the noted deficiencies have been resolved. In particular, all the floors in the staterooms, corridors, stairwells, and restaurant have been replaced. There are new wall coverings in the staterooms and the furniture has been reupholstered with tones more appropriate to the destination. The staterooms are spectacular, both in size (a minimum of 300 sq ft) and decor."

"Ultimately, our guests will decide how well we are delivering our product in Egypt. I am very confident that they will be extremely pleased with all elements of our program in Egypt, including the ship," adds Young.

Suites feature a French balcony, luxury beds and linen, vanity and make-up mirror, built-in cupboards, hair dryer, safe, individual thermostat for air conditioning, direct-dial telephone, iPod docking station, flat-screen television with satellite channels, bathrooms with bathtub and shower and range of amenities.

The ship has a lounge with bar, library, restaurant, sun deck with cabanas and swimming pool, gym, massage room, boutique store and WiFi access in public areas.

Uniworld has another ship in Egpyt, the 140-passenger Prince Abbas, which cruises Lake Nasser.

Los Angeles-based Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection consists of 15 hotel-style river cruise ships with an average capacity of 134 guests, a ratio of one staff member for every three guests, top cuisine, and a range of itineraries with customised shore excursions.

The company offers over 500 departures on more than 30 itineraries sailing on 11 rivers in over 20 countries throughout Europe, Egypt and China. The ships have won a number of awards.

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