LYON, FRANCE – Cruise Weekly editor Louise Goldsbury is aboard Uniworld’s new ship, SS Catherine, for its christening and pre-inaugural river cruise to Tain-l’Hermitage and Viviers in the Burgundy/Provence region.
Nothing like a French superstar to glam up godmother proceedings! Actress Catherine Deneuve (pictured below) was all class in a fur coat and magenta dress as she walked the riverside red carpet to launch Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ ship of the same first name, S.S Catherine.
The Tollman family (who own Uniworld and Travel Corporation), Uniworld executives, global media and travel agency owners attended the ceremony, held dockside in Lyon.
In her speech, Ms Deneuve said: “I am very proud that this beautiful ship will bear my name and be sailing in French waters.
“The décor and artwork are really stunning. From the beautiful Murano chandelier to the glass elevator, beauty and elegance reign on this ship.
“I now have the honour to name the ship SS Catherine. May God bless her and always ensure safe passage for all the guests and crew who sail with her.”
Pictured: the Tollman family, originally from South Africa, who are very hands-on with the design and operation of each vessel.
After the ceremony, Ms Deneuve relaxes with a cigarette.
90% of 2014 cruises are already sold out on the new ship, a sister to SS Antoinette.
Sailaway party decorations
Tomorrow: Photos of SS Catherine’s eye-catching interiors and luxurious accommodation.