Uniworld launches first of three new ships for 2011 with S.S Antoinette.

Things have been busy in the Uniworld Boutique River Cruises family this year – on March 19, it christened its first Super Ship, S.S Antoinette (yes the S.S stands for Super Ship – can river ship names get any more inventive?), and there is more to come.

“2011 is Uniworld’s most ambitious year to date. We are introducing three new ships: the River Victoria in Russia, the Douro Spirit in Portugal and Spain and, of course, the S.S. Antoinette. Additionally, we have rebuilt and remodeled our entire European fleet. All of these ships reflect the authentic boutique style that has become the hallmark of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises,” said Guy Young, president of Uniworld, at the christening.

S.S Antoinette’s christening ceremony was held at the Port of Amsterdam, attended by guests and industry officials including the owner of the Netherlands’ De Hoop shipyard where Antoinette was built, and godmother Antoinette Tollman, the daughter of Uniworld’s owner whom the new vessel is named after.

Antoinette’s lavish design evokes the decadent French style of Marie Antoinette. A 10-foot Strauss Baccarat chandelier hangs in the two-story lobby, fine antiques and artwork hang throughout and there’s an opulent mosaic-tiled indoor swimming pool.

After the customary bottle of Champagne smashed against the ship’s hull, guests were welcomed on board the vessel for more celebrations before the ship made her first voyage across the Ÿssellake Lake.

Antoinette is currently on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Basel and will continue the eight-day ‘Castles Along the Rhine’ itinerary between the two cities until November 13.