S.S. Antoinette Review

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By Carolyn Spencer Brown
Cruise Critic Chief Content Strategist

S.S. Antoinette Overview

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.

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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.

All cruise fares include unlimited fine wine, beer and spirits, as well as gratuities for onboard and onshore services, including pre- and post-cruise extensions.

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Deck:
La Countesse Deck
La Duchesse Deck
La Princesse Deck

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Uniworld S.S. Antoinette Ship Stats

  • Decks: 4
  • Passengers: 164
S.S. Antoinette Ratings
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Uniworld S.S. Antoinette Member Reviews

S.S. Antoinette
Emmaline61
Sail Date: Sep 2018
unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The S.S. Antoinette is only 7 years old. I thought it was a lot older than that when I saw it. The chandelier was...Read More
S.S. Antoinette
skinnylegs
Sail Date: Sep 2018
with a nice blouse. My personal taste for decorating is more modern. However, I found the S.S. Antoinette to be elegant, charming and "old school" in a good way. The 7:00 dinner seating encouraged but...Read More
S.S. Antoinette
chappaqua
Sail Date: Jul 2018
We just finished a Rhine River Cruise on Uniworld. We were expecting a beautiful upscale river cruise but unfortunately and contrary to most of the reviews we read that is not what we experienced. The Antoinette...Read More
S.S. Antoinette
RayM216
Sail Date: Apr 2017
cost was well worth the money. We would highly recommend Uniworld to anyone...especially the S.S. Antoinette. Both the pre- and post- city packages were cancelled due to lack of sign-ups. Both packages...Read More

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