A direct descendant of Maria Theresa of the powerful Habsburg-Lothringen dynasty, Princess Anita von Hohenberg – great-granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg – will christen her ancestor’s namesake ship.
Princess Anita comes from a long line of Habsburgs, one of Europe’s oldest sovereign families, dating back to the 15th century. The much-beloved Maria Theresa, the archduchess of Austria and empress of the Holy Roman Empire, reigned from 1740 to 1780 as the only female ruler of the Habsburg Empire, as well as one of its most successful.
For the past three decades, Princess Anitahas served as the managing director and owner of the centuries-old Artstetten Castle and Estate in Lower Austria.
The former summer residence of the imperial family, the castle today is open to the public and serves as the final resting place of the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este and his wife, Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, whose assassination in 1914 set off a chain of events that led to World War I.
Visitors from around the world come to see the castle each year, including many Uniworld guests, who are invited to tour the castle and crypt and share a glass of Champagne with Princess Anita at an exclusive private reception.
‘It’s a great honour for me to represent the Habsburg family in Amsterdam and to christen Uniworld’s S.S. Maria Theresa, in honour of the great Maria Theresa,’ states Princess Anita von Hohenberg.
‘We are absolutely ecstatic to have Princess Anita von Hohenberg as the godmother of our newest ship,’ said Guy Young, president of Uniworld.
Facilities on board Maria Theresa will include a main lounge with full-service bar, the Bar du Leopard, restaurant, terrace, sun deck, heated swimming pool, fitness centre, Serenity River Spa, boutique, 24-hour specialty coffee and tea bar, free Internet and Wi-Fi access and a cinema.
The staterooms and suites (with French balconies on the Main and Upper decks) will feature handcrafted Savoir of England beds, while marble bathrooms include L’Occitane en Provence products, plush towels, bathrobes and slippers.
Maria Theresa will cruise the Danube River Budapest to Amsterdam, a 15-day all-inclusive itinerary with prices from £3,599 per person. She will also serve the line’s ‘Tulips & Windmills’ itinerary as well as offering a Christmas markets cruise later in the year.