Uniworld sets up Asian base

US-based The Travel Corporation, parent company of Insight Vacations, Contiki and Thompsons Gateway – Africa, is bringing its boutique river cruise brand Uniworld into the region by establishing its first Asian office in Singapore.

Working under the same roof as its three sister companies, Uniworld will start selling packages by year-end, group president and chief executive Brett Tollman told TTG Asia e-Daily at the opening of the trio’s new office in Parkview Square.

“We think very highly of the market here and see good prospects as we know Singaporeans are keen on new experiences,” he said. The city-state contributes one of the highest volumes in Asia for Insight and Contiki, and Tollman expects to receive 500 to 1,000 bookings a year for Uniworld.

He explained that the cruise product had good congruence with Insight’s tours, which also target luxury travellers.

“We’re already seeing a lot of people opting for both a river cruise and tour on their holiday,” Tollman said, adding that there would be “no one better” than Insight’s regional director of Asia, Robin Yap, to oversee Uniworld’s growth.

Uniworld has a fleet of some 15 ships that can take between 130 and 180 guests on average, with sailings through major rivers in Europe, as well as Russia, Egypt and China. Vietnam will also soon be included in the line-up.

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