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S.S. Antoinette Review

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S.S. Antoinette
S.S. Antoinette - Indoor Pool S.S. Antoinette - Leopard Bar S.S. Antoinette - Salon du Gran Trianon S.S. Antoinette - Cabin 403
97% of cruisers loved it
32 reviews | Write a Review
  • Uniworld first-ever new-build launched in March 2011
  • Whimsical interior design evokes Antoinette's France
  • Cabin wow: Cover your balcony with flip of a switch
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S.S. Antoinette Overview

By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief

S.S. Antoinette, river cruise line Uniworld's first-ever new-build, launched in March 2011. The 164-passenger vessel, built at Holland's Shipyard De Hoop, is one of the most innovative ships sailing on Europe's rivers today.

Uniworld's penchant for whimsical and daring interior design (Antoinette, for instance, is based on an interpretation of Marie Antoinette's France), lush cabin appointments, and superb service and cuisine is apparent on all the company's vessels. But creating its first ship from scratch offered the line a chance to innovate, and did it ever.

The Rhine River-based S.S. Antoinette offers a serious wow factor with its new unique-to-river-cruising features, including suites with alcoves that can be converted from glassed-in conservatories to open-air balconies by pushing a switch.

There's also a beautiful 22-seat cinema with Dolby Surround Sound that's atmospherically housed in a room adorned with vintage movie posters. (The requisite popcorn cart is also included in the mix.)

In addition, the vessel's top deck showcases several novel twists. Traditionally, riverboats use their upper decks as observation areas in good weather only; height-wise, they contain no furnishings taller than a chaise lounge so that the vessels can fit under low-slung bridges. For Antoinette, Uniworld has constructed a pair of all-weather rooms: the South Beach-like Leopard Bar (which is a classic lounge tradition in many Red Carnation hotels, a sister company) and the elegant L'Orangerie, an indoor/outdoor dining venue. Both have air conditioning and heating. The reason that Uniworld can build such structures: Their ceilings and windows can collapse on demand if the ship needs to pass under a low bridge.

Another twist: Few riverboats have swimming pools; on Antoinette, there's a glassed-in facility with gorgeous mosaic tiling, a wall of windows and an adjacent spa. Interestingly, the pool serves in another capacity. The few riverboats that have one typically locate them in their midsections, said Patrick Janssens, owner of Shipyard De Hoop, which has been building vessels for more than a century. In Antoinette's case, placing the pool in the rear gives it an operational advantage. With its heavy weight, it creates mass where vibration tends to be a problem, helping to ensure an extra-quiet ride.

Uniworld will become fully all-inclusive in 2014, when all cruise fares will include unlimited fine wine, beer and spirits, as well as gratuities for onboard and onshore services, including pre- and post-cruise extensions.

S.S. Antoinette Member Reviews

This was our first river cruise (actually, our first cruise of any kind, as the whole idea of cruising on anything larger than a sailboat never really appealed to us). We enjoyed it so much, we've already scheduled our next trip with Uniworld. ... Read more
My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary on Uniworld's Castles of the Rhine cruise in June 2015. Our previous cruise experience mostly centered around large Princess ships, but we wanted to spend time in Europe and river cruising has always ... Read more
It was our first river cruise and we selected the Uniworld SS Antoinette as the ship based upon the sailing dates. We are extremely fond of white asparagus (known as Spargel in Germany) and selected this date as it is in the height of the very ... Read more
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