Uniworld Unveils Majestic Design Of Their Newest Floating Masterpiece, Super Ship, S.S. Maria Theresa
February 6, 2015 – Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection reveals the highly anticipated design of their newest Super Ship, S.S. Maria Theresa, launching March 26, 2015. Representing Uniworld’s most ambitious ship to date, this floating palace on water exemplifies true artistry. Fashioned in the spirit of her great namesake, the much beloved Maria Theresa, the Archduchess of Austria and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire who reigned as the only female ruler of the Habsburg dynasty from 1740 to 1780, Uniworld’s S.S. Maria Theresa is a majestic masterpiece of epic proportion.
The design team led by design visionaries from Uniworld’s award-winning sister company The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, President and Founder, Beatrice Tollman, her daughter, Toni Tollman, and Projects Director Brian Brennan took inspiration from the Baroque period over which Maria Theresa presided. “Our aim is to transport each guest into experiencing the fantasy of living in an 18th-century Baroque castle. We designed the S.S. Maria Theresa to take our guests on a journey back in time with an onboard atmosphere and style seamlessly integrated with the history and architecture of the very places they will visit onshore, as well as provide them with the latest in luxurious comfort and technology, of course,” states Toni Tollman.
Certainly this is evident when guests step onboard the S.S. Maria Theresa. Classical Baroque interiors adorn the striking three-tiered lobby dominated by a sweeping marble staircase with wrought-iron, hand-gilded balustrade, and royal crown detailing. Shimmering walls are paneled top to bottom with stunning antique mirrors. A hand-painted Tromp L’Oeil-inspired mural and glittering Venetian Murano glass chandelier grace the ceiling evoking feelings of walking through the great hall of Maria Theresa’s 18th-century Schönbrunn palace. And perhaps the ultimate focal point of this grand entranceway and the centerpiece of Uniworld’s majestic ship is a regal ten-foot high original oil on canvas painting of the beloved ruler of the Habsburg Empire, Maria Theresa.
Throughout the S.S. Maria Theresa, royal blue, antique golds, shades of white, and soft gray colors that were popular during the 18th century abound. Design features include mirrored or silk-clad walls, antique white wood paneling, carved twisted columns, Habsburg coronets hand-painted with 22-carat gold leaf, and custom furniture pieces, made by master craftsmen. This intricate handiwork has been painstakingly accomplished by a team of skilled artisans from around the world, including ceramicists and specialist painters who were commissioned to ensure the period was recreated with authenticity, luxury, passion, and detail. In the Habsburg Salon, where guests can relax with a book or enjoy afternoon tea, are five murals depicting the 18th-century Austrian countryside hand-painted by specialist painter Croxford and Saunders. A selection of hand-picked antiques and inspirational paintings from different artists of the period are certain to evoke conversation or deep contemplation.
Other public areas include the authentic Viennese Café, where guests can linger for hours enjoying local specialties, such as classic Austrian sachertorte, Würstl, (Viennese sausage), and famous Viennese coffee. Uniworld’s stylish signature Leopard Bar designed with elegantly muted colors and intricate mosaic tile murals created by the famous South African mosaic tile artist, Jane du Rand, is an enchanting and playful venue to have a drink or dance the night away. The stunning 10-seat Lipizzan Cinema configured with deep blue velvet loveseats offers the perfect place for movie viewing. And a well-equipped fitness center, swimming pool, and Serenity River Spa™, provide a place to exercise and unwind.
Offering 64 elegant staterooms, ten sumptuous suites, and one spectacular Royal Suite, the S.S. Maria Theresa’s suites and staterooms ensure an intimate and comfortable atmosphere by preserving a maximum capacity of 150 guests and 57 staff members. Most of the 64 staterooms measure at 194 sq. ft. with 10 staterooms being 162 sq. ft. The 10 one-bedroom suites measure at 305 sq. ft. and the “Royal Suite” measures at 410 sq. ft., with both separate sleeping and living quarters. Every spacious suite and stateroom has been designed with exacting standards, and in true Uniworld style, each one is unique, but all feature sumptuous fabric-wall coverings combined with rich-handmade carpets, antique furnishings, original art, canopy or four poster custom made-to-order English Savoir beds draped in the finest monogrammed bed linens, and open-air or French balconies. Marble-clad bathrooms stocked with the finest bath and body products, thick towels, and soft robes provide all the comforts for a relaxing retreat. Technology, such as keypad-controlled lighting and new amazing drop-down televisions in the suites and hidden-mirrored televisions in the staterooms have been put in place to meet the needs of the modern, discerning guest.
“When you are family-run companies, such as Uniworld and Red Carnation, you have greater passion, greater commitment, and a greater connection to ensuring your hotels—whether on land or on the water—provide guests with the ultimate and comforting experience. We have taken great care to ensure every detail has been taken care of, providing the ultimate, unsurpassed getaway,” states Tollman.
The majestic S.S. Maria Theresa will be christened in Amsterdam on March 26, 2015 by its godmother, Princess Anita von Hohenberg, a direct descendent of Maria Theresa and great-granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg. Uniworld’s S.S. Maria Theresa will set sail on her inaugural voyage on March 28 through the heart of Maria Theresa’s vast former empire on Uniworld’s “European Jewels” voyage from Budapest to Amsterdam . She will also serve the line’s popular “Tulips & Windmills,” “European Holiday Markets,” and “Grand Christmas & New Year’s Cruise” itineraries.
Boutique River Cruise Collection Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection—the world’s only authentic boutique cruise line™—features luxurious ships with an average capacity of 130 guests, exclusive excursions, gourmet cuisine, and the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry. Based in Los Angeles, California, Uniworld offers truly all-inclusive itineraries in Europe, as well as voyages in Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, India, and Egypt—a total of 22 rivers in 29 countries worldwide. Uniworld is a member of CLIA and is highly regarded by discerning travelers, media, and cruise industry experts:
- Listed among the “World’s Best River Cruises” by Travel + Leisure, and recognized for “World’s Best Service” in the River Cruise category
- Seven ships listed among Travel + Leisure’s “Top 20 River Ships,” with River Countess rated highest of all cruise ships (river & ocean) • Included on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List for seven years (2008 – 2014)
- Top 3 ranking on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top Ten Cruise Lines” (river & ocean)
- Top 4 ranking on Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for ‘Top Cruise Lines” (2014)
- Named “Best Luxury River Cruise Line” by Cruise International (2012 – 2014)
- Named “Best Culinary Cruise Line” by readers of SAVEUR (2014)
About The TreadRight Foundation
At Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and parent company The Travel Corporation, we understand that travel matters; it allows us to explore the world and gain a deeper understanding of each destination, its history and culture, through enriching experiences. We also recognize that it is our responsibility to help protect the places we visit and take care of the world around us.
Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant and preserved for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has donated more than USD 2.5 million to sustainable tourism projects worldwide. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is proud to be active founder and supporter of TreadRight’s projects and work. Go to uniworld.com/giving-back to learn more.
TreadRight’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities. We encourage each of our partners to use this principle to guide all of their actions, whether at our regional offices or when taking guests around the world. By providing grants to organizations that encourage sustainability in different destinations, we hope to maintain the natural attractions across the world that defines each unique region. Foundation priorities are set by the Steering Committee, which includes sustainability leaders like Céline Cousteau and Costas Christ.
To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at TreadRight.org.