Uniworld SS Catherine Ship Review

Uniworld SS Catherine is a beautiful, luxury river cruise ship that sails along the Rhône and Saône rivers in France. She takes a maximum of 159 guests and has approximately 56 staff.

As soon as I boarded the ship, I entered the impressive, two-story lobby with a specially commissioned Murano glass, spectacular chandelier. The ship is beautifully designed throughout, with elegant furnishings and artwork that reflected the local, French culture. My stateroom was spacious and comfortable with a French balcony to admire the view. The mirrors add to a feeling of space and the marble bathroom is beautiful. The handmade, Savoir beds are incredibly comfortable with sumptuous linen. I was able to rest and slept very well.

Sun Deck

You’ll find plenty of chairs, tables, and loungers as well as sunshades and a giant draughts board. An ideal place to relax and watch the world go by. The staff will happily serve drinks on the sun deck, and I also had a delightful lunch here, when most guests were on an excursion. On some evenings, I went up to the deck after dinner for some fresh air and to admire the night sky.

Camargue Deck

On this deck is the stylish Van Gough Lounge with a well stocked bar and panoramic views of the surrounding scenery from the large picture windows. The nightly talks from our cruise manager and the evening entertainment both took place here.

Accessed through the lounge, the Matisse Terrace provides a small outdoor haven at the front of the ship. I sat here when the sun deck was closed (due to low bridges).

Located at the stern of the ship is the more intimate and cosier Bar du Leopard where some guests choose to relax after dinner. You’ll also find the small but inviting swimming pool here. A convenient 24-hour coffee station is also provided. Some guests request the staterooms that adjoin this area so that they can use the bar and coffee station easily.

Avignon Deck

A warm welcome awaits at Reception and there is always a member of staff available to assist in any way required. I cannot praise the staff highly enough, they are exceptional.

The beautiful Cezanne Restaurant with huge windows and tables of various sizes is the perfect location for meals onboard. In the centre, there is a buffet station which displays a delicious selection of food for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is served at tables.

Serenity River Spa is located at the rear of this deck and the Wellness Host explains the many luxurious treatments available (at extra cost)

SS Catherine Restaurant

Saint Remy Deck

The lowest deck is home to a Guest Laundry, Coffee Station and small gym.


The dining experience on board the SS Catherine is exceptional. The food is delicious, with a focus on local ingredients and regional specialties. Dietary requirements are catered for and one guest commented that her vegetarian option was the best she had ever tasted. There is also a wide selection of wines and spirits available to complement the meals. The resident sommelier introduced the pairings for each meal and was always on hand to discuss the wines on offer.


My room onboard Uniworld SS Catherine was the French Balcony category located on the Avignon deck and I can highly recommend it. It’s the same size as the Deluxe Balcony option, which has a balcony area divided form the main sleeping area.

There is also one stunning Grand Suite (38 m2 ) and five Suites (28.3 m2).

The classic rooms have a fixed window but still share all the luxurious fittings, beds and linens and can prove a cost-effective way of experiencing the luxury of this fabulous ship.


The onboard activities and entertainment are also first class. There are daily excursions and tours to explore the local towns and attractions, as well as onboard activities such as cooking demonstrations and wine tastings. The ship also has a small fitness centre, a swimming pool and a spa, where passengers can relax and unwind.

A highlight, for me, was the shore excursions on the Burgundy and Provence itinerary (see my blog). Uniworld’s experienced guides led us through charming towns and villages, sharing their knowledge of the region’s history and culture. We visited castles, museums, and art galleries, and enjoyed local markets. We also had the opportunity to participate in wine tastings and cooking classes, which were both informative and fun. My appreciation of fine French wine has certainly increased.

The fantastic staff…

The service on board the SS Catherine is outstanding. The staff are friendly, attentive, and always willing to go above and beyond to ensure guests have a memorable experience. From the captain to the housekeeping staff, everyone on board is dedicated to providing exceptional service.

Whether you’re a food lover, a wine enthusiast, or simply looking for a relaxing and luxurious vacation, a Rhone River Cruise with Uniworld is an excellent choice.

20 small things that make a big difference

  • A Mosquito mesh that can be lowered to cover the balcony window opening
  • Individual reading lights
  • Plug sockets for guests from various regions including the UK
  • A great makeup mirror
  • Floor and towel heating
  • A large shower
  • Great storage
  • Lots of hangers
  • Beautiful linen
  • A gorgeous dressing gown
  • Reusable bottles
  • Electric balcony window controls
  • Air conditioning options
  • An easy way to ask not to be disturbed or to have your room made up
  • A swipe room key
  • Suitcase storage under the bed
  • A phone to call reception or room-service
  • A cabin lights master switch
  • Fresh water, replaced twice a day
  • Chocolates, replenished daily

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