While most of us are gearing up to celebrate the start of 2013, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is looking forward to 2014.
In the spring of 2014, Uniworld will take delivery of a new Super Ship, to be named S.S. Catherine. Deployed along the Rhone and Saone rivers in Burgundy and Provence, she will replace the River Royale, which currently operates on that run. River Royale will move to her new home in France’s Bordeaux region and will undergo a major refurbishment along with River Empress to bring them more of the signature touches that Uniworld has become known for.
The S.S. Catherine will be a near-sister ship to the trendsetting S.S. Antoinette, and will offer more of the technological innovations that made her predecessor such a success. Part of this success can be directly related to the line’s partnership with the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, a consortium of five-star boutique hotels known for their vibrant design and décor.
“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,” says Guy Young, President of Uniworld. “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.”
The S.S. Catherine will measure 443 feet in length, and will transport just 159 guests along the waterways of Europe. Five suites will measure 305 square feet, and one Royal Suite will be slightly larger at 410 square feet. All staterooms and suites situated on the ship’s upper deck will feature what the line calls “full open-air balconies,” which Uniworld pioneered aboard the S.S. Antoinette. But regardless of stateroom category, all accomodations aboard the new ship will feature hand-crafted beds developed by Savoir® of England.
“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,” Young says.
The River Royale just underwent an extensive remodeling this year and will once again be heavily refitted again in 2014 to reflect her new Bordeaux deployment. Her new eight-day itinerary will begin and end in the French city of Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. River cruisers will also be invited to experience the Aquitaine Chateaux as well as Pauilac, gateway to the famed Medoc wine route.
The year 2013 might be just around the bend, but 2014 is already shaping up to be one exciting year for river cruisers.