Uniworld's S.S Beatrice River Ship Review
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises are in the process of upgrading their fleet of luxury river boats and turning them into Super Ships, with the latest being the S.S Beatrice. I was lucky to be invited for a rare overnight visit in Vienna to see her for myself.
S.S Beatrice, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises in Vienna
The reception and concierge area is decorated with light tones of white and grey, and the checkered marble floor make this area very spacious, coupled with the open double height ceiling. What really made a ‘wow factor’ is the gorgeous hand-blown white Murano glass chandelier suspended two decks that anchored the sweeping nickel and black iron grand staircase leading to the deck above. It was all very classy and dramatic, and the focal point of the ship.
The Murano glass chandelier on S.S Beatrice
Making my way forward I discovered Wolfgang’s Lounge. This area has been beautifully refurbished with shades of light blues and sandy coloured tones, along with comfy sofas, oversized cushions and brocaded chairs, giving a yacht like finish. What I really noticed was the amount of space in this main lounge. The area has been broken up with low-rise dividers topped with Asian delftware vases decorated in blues. Shelves and ledges are adorned with gorgeous orchids and lush green plants. Parquet flooring completes the look, and lends a warm ambience to the space.
There’s is a wide, well-placed bar towards the rear of the lounge and then this leads to Shubert’s lounge, a small enclosed area overlooking the bow that is open for light breakfasts and lunches. Again the same colour palette has been used lending a continuous harmony to the two areas.
Christmas treats on S.S Beatrice
Jars of cookies and sweets are well placed around the room and indeed all public areas for treats, and as it was December, there was a delightful gingerbread house, nuts, stolen and lebkuchen. Beautiful artworks by Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Pino Signoretto adorn the walls of the public rooms and guest corridors, lending a sophisticated air to the spaces.
Max's Restaurant, S.S Beatrice
Towards the back of deck 4 is Max’s restaurant. Again the same colour pallet has been used and this alternative dining area was spacious and classy. One side of the room is a cozy bar with blue bar stools and on the opposing side a live, open galley where you can watch the chefs cooking and preparing dishes.
We dined in here for our evening meal and it was truly spectacular. Delicious flavours paired with local wines made for an amazing gastronomic experience. Uniworld source all their raw ingredients locally and get fresh food delivered regularly, and I was interested to learn that there are no freezers on board, ensuring that each plate of food is prepared from the finest ingredients.
Sprout Salad, S.S Beatrice
We started with a sprout salad, prepared with tender sprout leaves marinated in orange, served with bacon bits and tossed in cinnamon flavoured vinaigrette. I’ve never tasted sprouts like this!
Hand-dived scallops, S.S Beatrice
A pumpkin cream soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil was next, followed by hand-dived scallops served with saffron sauce, potatoes mousseline and shiso cress.
The main course was 48 day dry-aged premium beef cuts including tenderloin, striploin and rib eye, served with fresh market vegetables, potatoes quince gratin and topped with fresh winter truffle shavings. The chef presented us with both black and white truffles, and unsure of which to have, he suggested both! The flavour combination was incredible, with the truffles delicate taste not overpowering the aged-meats. Truly delicious! As if that wasn’t enough, our desert was Feuillantine chocolate gateau that I somehow managed to eat all of!
Feuillantine chocolate gateau, S.S Beatrice
The food and service were both outstanding I can say with confidence that Uniworld has some of the best cuisine on the rivers for sure.
Mozart Dining Room, S.S Beatrice
The main Mozart dining room is located on deck 3 and decorated in light beech woods, tones of blue along with Asian inspired vases and lush verdant green ferns, mirroring the decor of Wolfgang’s lounge. I was impressed with the space and design of this restaurant and the clever seating and dividers broke up the room into smaller areas, creating a cozy look and feel.
On the lower deck are the lead in cabins, a spa, gym and self-service laundry and ironing room.
Suite, S.S Beatrice
All suites feature handcrafted Savoir® Beds of England, each costing some £15,000, draped in high-thread-count 100% Egyptian cotton sheets and European duvets, and I can report that they are super comfy, along with the softer-than-a-cloud pillows, ensuring a great sleep. The bathrooms were a good size for a river ship with embroidered super fluffy towels.
I was pleased to see they have eliminated the small, plastic, single-use amenity bottles and replaced them with wall mounted dispensers for the shower gel and shampoos. There is also a glass bottle of water in the room and two aluminium water bottles, thus removing the single use plastic bottles of water. Uniworld also have stopped printing daily programs to cut down on paper waste.
Most suites on S.S Beatrice have French balcony windows, lots of storage space in drawers and wardrobes, and a flat screen tv that shows the sailing programme and satellite TV, and of course movies on demand. The suite was very comfortable and I was disappointed I was only in it for one night!
S.S Beatrice Cruise Summary
I was only on board S.S Beatrice for a day and overnight, however in that short time I was very impressed by the service of her crew and staff - courteous, polite and attentive without being intrusive. Little touches like knowing my name even after only being on for a few hours showed great attention to detail, and the accommodations and food were some of the best I’ve experienced. If you’re looking the very best river cruise experience then it will be hard to beat Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
Word and images (c) Scott Anderson