Guests boarding the S.S. Antoinette will immediately feel as if they have 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 that had originally hung in New York’s famed 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.
The S.S. Antoinette is Uniworld's largest ship length-wise at 443 ft. and width-wise at 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 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.
The spirit of the French ‘Salon’ continues in the main lounge and bar ‘Bar Malmaison’ where guest will find fine antiques along with inspirational paintings in carved gilt frames from different periods and windows dressed in Figueroa striped silk taffeta by GP and Baker and floors that are covered in rich custom-made carpets.
The sun deck will feature the Leopard Lounge, a famous feature of many Red Carnation Hotels, with its jungle-like touches such as leopard print carpeting and elephant-head bar rails. In addition there is a heated swimming pool with mosaic ocean blue tiles by the famous South African mosaic tile artist, 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.
Throughout the ship there is an assortment of carefully selected original art from personal collections. Sketches in black and white, colour 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.
"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.
The 8 day ‘Castles along the Rhine’ cruise operates between April and November 2011 and costs from £1,899 per person. It meanders along the scenic Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel taking in walking tours of Cologne, Koblenz and Speyer; a canal cruise in Strasbourg and an opportunity to sample the wines along the way at the picturesque Castle Vollrads near Koblenz and along the Alsatian Wine Road at Colmar. Cost includes return flights, 7 nights full board cruise, transfers, excursions and the VIP Home Departure Service.
For details or to book call Titan HiTours on 0800 988 5873 or visit the dedicated website www.titanhitours.co.uk/rivercruises
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Prices quoted are based on two sharing.
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