On a cruise ship
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Uniworld's S.S. Catherine: Luxury sailings in the South of France
The sophisticated S.S. Catherine is a perfect fit for high-end Uniworld's award-winning collection of boutique river cruise ships. The vessel is named in honor of the legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve (the French starlet christened the ship on her inaugural voyage in 2014). Designed with Uniworld's signature touches, this ultra-luxurious ship marks the debut of an entirely new category of river cruising. Uniworld seeks to create a unique experience with decor and design, ensuring that all ships have distinctive personalities. For S.S. Catherine the image is elegant, comfortable, colorful and whimsical. Leopard print banquettes mesh well with Empire furniture and colorful modern styles.
The 443-foot, 159-passenger S.S. Catherine was many years in the making, meticulously engineered and lavishly decorated with fine crafted furnishings, hand-selected antiques, original paintings, and an indoor swimming pool with an intricate mosaic tile backsplash. The S.S. Catherine also showcases an extensive art collection and many other opulent touches, including a hand blown Murano glass chandelier and life-size glass horse that were specially commissioned for the ship.
Where S.S. Catherine sails
Home port: Avignon, France
Destinations: The Uniworld S.S. Catherine sails the history-rich Rhone River in France. Embark from Avignon and cruise to Viviers, Lyon and Macon in Burgundy and Provence. See more details about itineraries and shore excursions below.
In the lobby/atrium, a magnificent Murano chandelier captures the attention as a glass elevator moves up and down alongside a glittering waterfall. A long expanse of mirrors and white marble is complemented by original and antique artworks.
Public areas, named for renowned French artists, include the Van Gogh Lounge, with velvet love seats for gatherings and enjoying entertainment; the top deck’s Matisse Terrace, for soaking up a drifting gallery of soft-edged scenes that have inspired countless paintings; and the Cezanne Restaurant.
Dining, lounges & bars
Cézanne Restaurant on the Avignon Deck, is the main dining venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are two options: A lavish buffet with stations for hot food and cold salads (breakfast is Continental or English) and also a menu for a la carte fare. At dinner, the restaurant is menu service only. The cuisine on board is continental, with a contemporary flair. The restaurant is home to culinary specialties featuring fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets and signature recipes that come straight from Beatrice Tollman’s own perfected collection, such as tasty chicken pot pie and honeycomb ice cream.
Bar du Leopard has a full-service bar. The lounge serves as the ship's secondary eatery, dance venue and main gathering spot. It is clubby and yet also funky, thanks to the leopard-print fabrics, elephant-head bar rails and other safari-themed fixtures. The room’s most striking feature is an indoor pool, accented by a wall-art recreation of a whimsical and wildly colorful jungle.
Van Gogh Lounge has a full-service bar.
Uniworld's Go Active program emphasizes use of the ship's bicycles and Nordic walking sticks (which are also available to all passengers, free of charge, when not in use for tours) as well as hiking and kayaking. For passengers who prefer to move more slowly, there are also complimentary Gentle Walking Tours. All tours are led by knowledgeable local guides.
Catherine's itinerary lines up this way for 2016 (contact us for 2017 itineraries):
Burgundy & Provence
Avignon to Lyon (8 days). Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Gauguin on an exquisite journey through the sun-drenched south of France. The ship drops anchor at Tarascon, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage, Chalon-sur-Saone (Beaune) and Lyon.
Shore excursions feature wine, truffles and chocolate, so how can you go wrong? Among these: at the “twin cities” of Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage, a demonstration, with sampling, at Cite du Chocolat, Valrhona, where clients will discover the close link between Valrhona chocolate and the art of blending wine; and Tournon’s impressively preserved castle-museum built between the 14th and 16th centuries. At Viviers, guests travel to a truffle farm in the region of La Rabassiere to walk with the owner’s dog, well-trained in sniffing out the celebrated “black diamond”; afterward comes a tasting of homemade terrines, pates, and local wines. In the culinary capital of Lyon, it’s a tea ceremony and crepe-making demonstration with tasting at L’Institut Paul Bocuse.
Shore adventures and regional specialties are happily reflected aboard on menus, and in afternoon tastings of Rhone Valley wine, Arcachon oysters and Aquitaine caviar.
Paris to Avignon (15 days). A meticulously planned itinerary tailor-made for culturally curious travelers, highlighting the best of France from Paris to Provence on the Seine River, Saone River and Rhone River.
Paris to Avignon (22 days). Discover the best of France from a luxurious, all-inclusive voyage showcasing Paris, Normandy, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Provence. Rivers include the Seine River, Garonne River, Saone River and Dordogne River.
Staterooms & suites
The ship features 61 staterooms designated Categories 1-3 (194 square feet) and 13 staterooms designated Categories 4-5 (162 sq. ft.). Category 1 staterooms and suites have full open-air balconies; Categories 2 and 3 have French balconies. (Category 5 rates begin at $3,349 per person.) Five suites are available at 305 square feet, and the Royal Suite measures 410 sq. ft.; they all come with your own butler.
All staterooms and suites have handcrafted Savoir of England beds, 100% Egyptian cotton linens and a choice of pillows. Other amenities include built-in closets, hair dryer, individual thermostat, flat-screen TV with infotainment center and satellite, bottled water and a safe. Marble bathrooms feature L’Occitane en Provence bath and body products, plush towels, towel warmers, heated mirrors, and bathrobes and slippers.
All suites are uniquely decorated and have additional amenities and services, including full breakfast menu, daily fruit and cookie plate, elegant evening snack, robes and slippers, iPod docking station, Nespresso coffee machine and fine teas, fully stocked mini bar, free laundry and shoe shine service, bottle of wine upon arrival, Hermés bath products, one-per-person in-suite well-being treatment, and a special dinner in Bar du Leopard.
The Royal Suite offers additional benefits, including a separate and spacious living room, and a bathroom with a separate rain shower and tub, as well as a secluded toilet and bidet area.
Spa & fitness
- Heated swimming pool
- Fitness center
- Serenity River Spa
- Guest laundry
- 24-hour specialty coffee and tea bar
- Free Internet and Wi-Fi access
How about you? Have you sailed on S.S. Catherine? Did you find it magnifique or meh? We'd like to hear about your experience.
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Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Top highlights on this ship
- Feel like a starlet as you ply the Burgundy rivers of France like a Cannes celeb
- Make laps a daily routine in the splendor of the indoor swimming pool with an intricate mosaic tile backsplash
- Luxuriate in the Hermés bath products
- Fall in love with the water closet bidets.
Top dining options on board
“Choose this stylish river ship for a high-quality river cruise experience in line with other Uniworld’ river ships hallmarked by classic, elegant style. The ship features very space cabins, large bathrooms, heated indoor pool, whimsical artworks, and an ample choice of well-crafted meals.”