In Spring 2014, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises announces the launching of a new Super Ship, the S.S. Catherine, on the Rhône and Saône rivers in Burgundy and Provence. Uniworld’s River Royale, currently sailing these rivers, will move to her new home in France’s Bordeaux region. The River Royale, as well the River Empress , sailing Uniworld’s popular European Jewels program between Amsterdam and Budapest will undergo major remodels with the same signature touches for which Uniworld ships are known.
Committed to building and remodeling ships that define the absolute best in luxury cruising, Uniworld combines quality craftsmanship and the latest technical innovations with the most luxurious custom designed interiors. The new Super Ship, S.S. Catherine, will continue this tradition of excellence. Sharing the same exquisite standards and scrupulous attention to detail reflective throughout the company’s award-winning fleet, the S.S. Catherine will be meticulously crafted and uniquely designed by the renowned design team of Uniworld’s sister company, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection—a collection of five-star award-winning boutique hotels.
The S.S. Catherine will be similar to the S.S. Antoinette, and will be one of the company’s largest ships at 443 ft. long. According to Guy Young, President of Uniworld, “As we did with the S.S. Antoinette, we have used the additional space on the S.S. Catherine to create innovative public areas and extra spacious staterooms and suites for our guests. Uniworld carries fewer guests than our competitors and the S.S. Catherine will have a 159 total passenger capacity, with five suites at 305 sq. ft. and one Royal suite at 410 sq. ft.” All suites and staterooms on the top deck will feature full open-air private balconies, which convert to enclosed conservatories with the touch of a switch—an innovation developed by Uniworld on the S.S. Antoinette. Staterooms on the middle deck will feature French balconies. All suites and staterooms will have Uniworld’s one-of-a-kind touches such as handcrafted Savoir® of England beds and beautiful marble bathrooms.
The S.S. Catherine offers three full decks with elegantly appointed public areas designed with one goal in mind: delighting guests. Similar to the S.S. Antoinette, the S.S. Catherine will have the whimsical Leopard Lounge with its unique leopard print furnishings, elephant-head bar rails and many other jungle-like touches. There will be a mosaic-tiled pool and spa area. The main restaurant will feature an al fresco outdoor dining terrace further enriching the dining experience as guests sail through the inspiring countryside. There will also be a bistro restaurant where guests can experience dining in a cozy atmosphere. The signature touches for which Uniworld has become known—inspiring original hand-selected art, classic furnishings, old world antiques, marble, and clever use of mirrors can be found in the various public areas along with different hues of green, brown, beige, and gold adorning the walls and floors throughout.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the S.S. Catherine will continue setting the standard in luxury river cruising in the South of France along the Rhône and Saône, and will allow us to offer more passenger capacity to support our Burgundy and Provence itinerary, which is one of our most popular programs,” states Young. “We therefore made the decision to move the River Royale to Bordeaux’s Aquitaine region as the size of this ship is perfect for navigating Garonne, Gironde, and Dordogne rivers,” adds Young.
Uniworld’s River Royale , recently remodeled for the 2012 season, will be remodeled again for the 2014 season to reflect her new home. The new eight-day itinerary will begin and end in Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage city and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Travelers will visit some of the regions’ most prestigious Aquitaine Châteaux as well as Pauillac, gateway to the magical Medoc wine route and St. Emilion, the oldest wine area of the Bordeaux region, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While Uniworld guests will experience a rich journey to indulge their senses from noble wine estates to splendid artisans’ markets featuring gourmet delicacies, they will be treated to the regions’ rich history and cultural legacy, such as the Citadel of Blaye and one of the famous Vauban Fortresses, also UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“I am delighted that we can continue to expand and enrich our portfolio of amazing destinations with this UNESCO-rich area replete with breathtaking rivers, châteaux, bustling markets, forests, gardens, unspoiled countryside, and even caves dating back to pre-historic times,” furthers Young.