Furnished in exquisite Baroque and Rococo style with handcrafted furniture, magnificent artwork, antiques and silk-clad walls, the S.S. Maria Theresa exudes splendour. Her namesake, the beloved Archduchess of Austria and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, makes her presence felt throughout – from the elegant and spacious luxury of the accommodation to the scrupulously authentic detail of the décor, the S.S. Maria resembles a waterborne 18th century palace so it seems only right that she was royally christened by Princess Anuta von Hohenberg, a direct descendant of Maria Theresa herself.
S.S. Maria Theresa’s elegant staterooms comprise 64 standard cabins, 10 suites and one Royal Suite. All staterooms encapsulate the lavish majesty sweeping the rest of the ship; from the plush period-style furnishings, English Savoir beds swathed in Egyptian cotton bed linen, original artworks and antiques to the luxurious marble-clad bathrooms and L’Occitane en Provence toiletries, every possible indulgence has been thought of in its palatial intricacy. State-of-the-art amenities include an “infotainment” centre ingeniously concealed behind a wall mirror so as not to detract from the historical charm of the vessel; at the push of a button, the centre of the mirror is transformed into a TV screen to enjoy films on demand, music, headlines and national and international TV channels as you cruise along in ultimate comfort. Touch-controlled lighting and climate controls ensure that you will find exactly the right atmosphere in which to completely relax as you journey along the river.
The ship’s suites take this luxury experience to incomparable lengths; each suite is individually decorated in high-end signature style and furnished with an open air balcony so you can take in the views of the water and landscapes from the stunning comfort of the room. Outstanding butlers – the very best in the business, trained to the same exacting standard as those serving Buckingham Palace - are available to cater to your every need, from unpacking luggage to shining shoes and providing cocktails. Other enhanced services offered by indulging in a suite include a special dinner in Bar du Leopard, a bottle of wine upon arrival, a Nespresso coffee maker and a fully-stocked minibar, among many, many more personal touches for a truly unforgettable experience.
Cuisine and Dining
Furnished with a plethora of different dining venues, S.S Maria Theresa offers a truly versatile variety of cuisines to suit any taste, meal or time of day. The magnificent Baroque Restaurant, sumptuously decorated in rich blues and gilded accents, offers champagne and mimosas at breakfast to start the day in true opulent style, as well as an expansive selection of hot and cold dishes including regional specialties such as roasted Prague ham or Bavarian sausages. Extravagant four-course dinners adorn the tables in the evening, always accompanied by superb wines – usually matched to the region, and hand-picked to perfectly complement the dinner.
If you would prefer to curl up with a book and a hot drink, or to chat with your friends old and new in a cosier setting, head down to the Viennese Café for an intimate, friendly venue serving excellent coffee and a splendid array of cakes. The Leopard Bar is also open for lighter snacks such as sandwiches, hot dogs, cheeses and fresh fruit during the day, and has been known to host up to 20 diners for special dinner events throughout the voyage, featuring an indulgent tasting-style menu to truly pique your taste buds. Finally, for those after a more elegant daytime dining experience, the Habsburg Salon offers a delightful afternoon tea from 4pm to 5pm.
Entertainment aboard the S.S. Maria Theresa is relaxed and unobtrusive, so as not to disturb the indulgent atmosphere. Experts on the culture, arts and traditions of local regions have been known to deliver engaging lectures for passengers, and entertainers come on board throughout the voyage to wow audiences by showcasing the crème de la crème of local music, song and dance. The resident on board pianist and singer give elegant performances each day, and film fans can enjoy a visit to the plush, velvet-lined cinema on the Bavarian Deck, tastefully decorated with old film posters and showing classic films.
Spa and Fitness
As if the palatial splendour on board the ship was not enough, head down to the Serenity River spa to soothe yourself into a state of complete blissful relaxation with a variety of treatments offered, from Thai massage to facials, hand and foot treatments. Should you be after something more active, a well-equipped fitness centre is available or why not take a dip in the stunning indoor heated pool, lavishly decorated with an entrancing wall mural and surrounded by glamorous floor-to-ceiling glass walls for a truly high-end fitness experience. An ingeniously-designed “modesty glass” will even ensure that the glass frosts over the second someone enters the door, guaranteeing that anyone can swim in complete comfort.
Expert local guides lead a vast range of included shore excursions and have taken every measure possible to ensure the wellbeing of the passengers, making use of Quietvox headsets to eliminate the need to crowd around the guide in order to hear, and gladly accommodating for a “gentle walkers” group that would prefer to explore at a more comfortable pace. The S.S. Maria Theresa’s modest amount of cabins compared to other vessels of a similar size mean that groups are small, with an enviable personnel-to-passenger ratio, creating a more intimate and personal experience.