Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection proudly announces a royal godmother for their third Super Ship, S.S. Maria Theresa , debuting spring 2015. A direct descendent of the great Maria Theresa of the powerful Habsburg-Lothringen dynasty, Princess Anita von Hohenberg— great-granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg — will christen her ancestor’s namesake ship on March 26, 2015 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Princess Anita comes from a long line of Habsburgs, one of Europe’s oldest sovereign families, dating back to the 15th century. The much beloved Maria Theresa, the Archduchess of Austria and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, reigned from 1740 to 1780 as the only female ruler of the Habsburg Empire, as well as one of its most successful.
For the past three decades, Princess Anita has served as the Managing Director and owner of the centuries-old Artstetten Castle and Estate in Lower Austria. The former summer residence of the Imperial family, the castle today is open to the public and serves as the final resting place of the Heir to the Throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este and his wife, Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, whose assassination in 1914 set off a chain of events that led to World War I. Visitors from around the world come to see the castle each year, including many Uniworld guests, who are invited to tour the castle and crypt and share a glass of Champagne with Princess Anita at an exclusive private reception.
“It’s a great honor for me to represent the Habsburg family in Amsterdam and to christen Uniworld’s new Super Ship, S.S. Maria Theresa, in honor of the great Maria Theresa,” states Princess Anita von Hohenberg. “My family and I are also very thankful to welcome so many people from all over the world to the Artstetten Castle. We have had so many amicable encounters with Uniworld guests during our hosted receptions. It’s a great pleasure to get to know them and share more about Austria and European history and life in the European Union today. We find many of the guests’ ancestry rooted in Central Europe, so they are fascinated by the history of the Habsburgs.”
Princess Anita oversees a number of important exhibitions at the castle, including “To Rule All & To Lose All: Kaiser Karl – the Challenge of Peace,” which marked the 100-year anniversary of her great-grandparents’ tragic and historic deaths. Fluent in four languages, the princess shares her passion for nature, art, history, literature, and education with her husband and four grown children.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to have Princess Anita von Hohenberg as the godmother of our newest Super Ship, S.S. Maria Theresa,” said Guy Young, President of Uniworld. “There is no one more deserving of this honor than the direct descendent of Maria Theresa herself, who ruled for 40 years over an extraordinary and far-reaching empire.”
The S.S. Maria Theresa will cruise the Danube River through the heart of Maria Theresa’s vast former empire on Uniworld’s “European Jewels” voyage from Budapest to Amsterdam. She will also serve the line’s popular “Tulips & Windmills,” “Danube Holiday Markets,” and ” Enchanting Christmas & New Year’s Cruise ” itineraries.