Five Things to Know About Uniworld's S.S. Catherine Cruise Ship
Best for: High-end cruisers looking for luxury and gilded Old World grandeur (Minimalists need not apply.)
Sails: The Garonne River, the Rhone River, the Saone River, and the Seine River.
At a Glance: Like its sister ships, the S.S. Antoinette and S.S. Maria Theresa—the “S.S.” stands for “super ship”—the S.S. Catherine is pure opulence. Guests of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection can expect colorful artwork, decadent fabrics, and gorgeous gold and glass details.
The Design Is Lavish
Eschewing the one-décor-fits-all approach, Uniworld has assigned a different aesthetic to each ship, ensuring repeat cruisers will be tempted to sail on every vessel in the fleet. Designed with the aid of Uniworld’s sister company, Red Carnation Hotels, the S.S. Catherine feels like a floating boutique hotel. The style? Exuberant, European, and filled with color—perfect for a ship that spends its time meandering through southern France, home to post-Impressionist masters like Van Gogh and Gauguin. Vibrant blues and greens fill Cezanne Restaurant, while elegant pink-floral love seats, red-and-white armchairs, cheery fresh blooms, and paintings splashed in primary colors brighten up the Van Gogh Lounge. The two-story lobby is resplendent in marble, mirrors, ferns, and green-glass details, including a Murano chandelier and a whimsical blown-glass horse.
The Cabins Are Luxe
Staterooms are just as lavish as the rest of the ship, with ornate handcrafted headboards and rich fabrics, all designed around the cabin’s color-theme, be it mint-green, emerald-green, teal, or gray. Even the marble bathrooms serve up little luxuries, from heated towel racks and mirrors to L’Occitane en Provence and Hermès bath products. Sizes range from 120 square feet for a single cabin to 401 square feet for a Royal Suite with a balcony. Like the other suites on the ship, the latter comes with in-suite butler service.
No need to keep an eye on your bar bill. Your cruise fare covers almost everything, from exercise classes and gratuities to drinks and WiFi. Most excursions are complimentary, too: Think a hike through the vineyards of Hermitage, a kayak ride along the Gardon River, and a classical concert in a 12th century French cathedral.
There’s a Pool By the Bar
When it’s too cool for the sun deck, you’ll find plenty of places to lounge indoors. Guests gather for drinks and live music in cozy corners of the Van Gogh Lounge. Cocktails can also be had at the Leopard Bar, so named for its animal prints and leopard art. But the sexiest place on the ship might be the bar’s indoor emerald-hued heated pool, which sits beneath a colorful jungle-themed mosaic and is surrounded by greenery and glass walls.
The Food Impresses
Dinner in the ship’s Cézanne Restaurant is an experience. White tablecloths cover the tables, and menus are filled with local dishes like Le Chateaubriand and fillet of turbot with mousseline sauce along with classic cruise fare like steak with pepper sauce. Attention has also been paid to the wine list, and a complimentary red and white, usually selected from the region, is served at lunch and dinner.