(LOS ANGELES) - What began as an inspiration, a dream without limitations, is about to become the ship you’ll never forget. When you step aboard the S.S. Antoinette, you’ll immediately understand why the “S.S.” precedes “Antoinette,” as this appropriately means “Super Ship,” Uniworld’s newest addition to their collection of one-of-a-kind boutique river cruise ships.
Walking onto the S.S. Antoinette, you will immediately feel as if you stepped into France’s Château de Versailles during the late 18th century with the character of the past thoughtfully blended with unusual elements creating luxurious elegance with welcoming warmth. A blue Strauss 10-foot Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires, originally hung in New York’s historic Tavern on the Green, graces the two-story lobby. The finest Brazilian marble adorns the walls and floors and a sparkling 19th-century Venetian glass mirror rests high above the reception desk reflecting an air of grandeur.
It is clear as one continues to gaze around the remarkable surroundings, the S.S. Antoinette shares the same exquisite standards and meticulous attention to detail reflective throughout all of Uniworld’s fleet. Haute design, yet comfortable décor symbolize the style used by Mrs. Beatrice Tollman, godmother and namesake of Uniworld's River Beatrice, and President of Uniworld's sister company the award-winning Red Carnation Hotel Collection; her daughter, Mrs. Antoinette Tollman, godmother and namesake to the new S.S. Antoinette; and Mr. Brian Brennan, lead designer.
The S.S. Antoinette will also be Uniworld's largest ship length wise at 443 ft. and at a width of 37.5 ft. According to Guy Young, President of Uniworld, “We decided to use the additional space to create extra spacious staterooms and suites for our guests, so there is minimal capacity increase.” Most of the 73 staterooms measure at 196 sq. ft. with 20 staterooms being 163 sq. ft. There are eight suites measuring 294 sq. ft. and the Royal Suite at 391 sq. ft.
“Launching in March 2011 on Uniworld’s popular Castles along the Rhine itinerary, this 'Super Ship,' S.S. Antoinette, will clearly set the standard in luxury and innovation,” states Young. “Many first-of-a-kind features not found on any other river cruise ship have been added to the S.S. Antoinette,” furthers Young. Among the many innovative features included will be top deck suites and staterooms with full open-air private balconies, which convert to enclosed conservatories; and a 20-seat movie theater with state-of-the-art flat-screen Dolby surround sound and plush seats for comfortable movie viewing where guests can enjoy a varied selection of great movies including classics, comedy, adventure, and drama.
Equally warm and welcoming are the S.S. Antoinette’s public areas. In the spirit of the French “Salon,” Uniworld’s main lounge and bar, Bar Malmaison, is an inviting haven for gatherings. A mix of fine antiques along with inspirational paintings in carved gilt frames from different periods are certain to evoke conversation or deep contemplation. Windows are dressed in Figueroa striped silk taffeta by GP and Baker and floors are covered in rich custom-made carpets.
The sun deck will feature the Red Carnation Hotels’ famous Leopard Lounge with its unique, leopard print carpeting, elephant-head bar rails and many other jungle-like touches that will make this an elegant and enchanting, yet playful venue to meet with friends and family. Additional venues for added pleasure include a heated swimming pool in mosaic ocean blue tile with a sand-white “A” in the middle, which is created by the famous South African mosaic tile artists, Jane du Rand. Du Rand’s intricate mosaic mural work can also be seen in the restaurant, Restaurant de Versailles, where she has captured the essence of the great gardens of Versailles.
Arranged throughout the ship, is a collection of carefully selected original art from personal collections. Sketches in black and white, color lithographs, and oil on canvas paintings from a range of great artists, including Humphrey Jennings, John Bellany, and an extensive selection of work by Russian painters Yuri Matushevski and Viktor Templi are perfectly placed for guests’ enjoyment.
"There is no doubt in my mind that S.S. Antoinette will be the most spectacular river cruise ship in Europe. We are very fortunate to have owners who are so invested, personally and financially, in making Uniworld the very best river cruise company," adds Young.
Los Angeles-based Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, the world’s only authentic boutique cruise line, is recognized in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Top Small Ship Cruise Lines; Condé Nast Traveler's prestigious Gold List and their Readers’ Poll for Top 25 Small Ships, and their Readers’ Choice Awards for World's Top Small-Ship Cruise Lines and Best River Cruise Ships, including River Beatrice and River Duchess ranked #1 and #2 in the world; Cruise Critic’s Editors’ Pick for Best River Cruise Line and Best New River Ship for the River Beatrice; and Top 3 cruise line ranking in Zagat Survey® in the categories of Top Cabins and Top Dining, and is the only river cruise line represented in their cruise survey with the best of the best in the cruise industry. Uniworld features luxuriously appointed boutique cruise ships with an average capacity of 130 guests; expertly planned itineraries with custom-blended, included shore excursions; world-class, gourmet cuisine; and award-winning hospitality from an all-English speaking staff. The company offers over 500 departures on 40 itineraries sailing on over 13 rivers in over 20 countries throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
For more information, please contact your preferred Travel Professional, Call Uniworld at 1-800-733-7820 or visit www.uniworld.com.