The majestic SS Catherine resembles a floating palace on the River Rhône. Suites are all lavishly decorated, with colourful floral patterns, but each is unique. Around the boat, expect to spot priceless antiques, original works of art and bespoke Murano glassworks, including a particularly fabulous and specially commissioned chandelier: no expense has been spared and the attention to detail is notable.
The ship is named after legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve (who christened it at a suitably glittering launch), and aims to bring a similar sense glamour and elegance to river travel. One of the standout features is the heated indoor swimming pool, which is backed by a gorgeous jungle mosaic. With refined cuisine in a restaurant as opulently appointed as the suites, decadent cocktails in the delightfully named Bar du Leopard, and a Serenity River spa towards the stern, all hedonistic needs are catered for.
Food & Drink
2 restaurants, 1 bar
Sundeck, indoor pool
Unlike many river cruise ships, the SS Catherine offers an à la carte menu for all meals, available in the stunning Cezanne Restaurant, which is lined with lacquered blue-green walls and velvet banquettes. At breakfast and lunch the restaurant also offers a luxury buffet for those who don’t want to be restricted in their choices. Cuisine is generally Continental and consistently of a high standard.
The Bar du Leopard, an extravagance of design, with its jungle mural, indoor pool and a funky mix of leopard-themed upholstery and safari motifs also serves as a dance and music venue. The Matisse Terrace on the top deck offers the tamer options of chess and shuffleboard.
The Serenity River Spa approaches the quality of those found in luxury hotels, with a range of wellness treatments and massage techniques available.
Most enrichment happens on shore, though talks are held in the Van Gogh Lounge too.
These take the form of impeccably curated onshore excursions, which depend on the location, with visits to unusual places of interest, as well as guided walks, hikes and cycle rides which use the ship’s own supply of bikes.