The S.S. Antoinette is Uniworld's newest addition to its collection of boutique river cruise ships. This 'Super Ship' properly reflects its name as it was influenced and designed with the spirit of Versailles in mind, according to Uniworld.
The interior design blends a mixture of elements: A blue Strauss 10-foot Baccarat chandelier with huge sapphires, originally hung in New York's famed Tavern on the Green, graces the two-story lobby, along with the installation of Brazilian marble to adorn the walls and floors and a sparkling 19th-century Venetian glass mirror in the reception area.
The S.S. Antoinette is tailored to fit the style of Beatrice Tollman, godmother and namesake of Uniworld's River Beatrice, and president and founder of Uniworld's sister company, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection; along with her daughter, Antoinette Tollman, godmother and namesake to the new S.S. Antoinette; and Brian Brennan, lead designer.
The S.S. Antoinette is Uniworld's largest ship, measuring length-wise at 443 ft. and width-wise at 37.5 ft.
"We decided to use the additional space to create extra spacious staterooms and suites for our guests, so there is minimal capacity increase," said Guy Young, president of Uniworld. "
Most of the 73 staterooms measure 196 sq. ft.; 20 staterooms are 163 sq. ft. There are eight junior suites measuring 294 sq. ft. and the "Royal Suite" is 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," said Young. "Many first-of-a-kind features not found on any other river cruise ship have been added to the S.S. Antoinette."
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 cinema with flat-screen Dolby surround sound and plush seats for movie viewing.
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, 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 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 le Versailles, where she has captured the essence of the great gardens of Versailles.
"There is no doubt in my mind that S.S. Antoinette will be the most spectacular river cruise ship in Europe," Young said. "We are very fortunate to have owners who are so invested, personally and financially, in making Uniworld the very best river cruise company."