7 Reasons Why A French River Cruise Is the Ultimate Holiday

MS Cyrano de Bergerac cruising in Bordeaux

Posted by on 01 Nov 2019 , in Europe

They say it's not the destination that counts, it's the journey. This couldn't be any truer especially if you're talking about life itself. But that's far from the real story when you’re on a French river cruise. In this style of travel, both the journey and destination are simply unforgettable.

Classic but epic

The old cliché about river cruising being a monotonous trip for the oldies is dead. The average age of cruisers is falling in and much of this trend can be credited to the amazing metamorphosis river cruising has undergone over the years. French river cruising has transformed from being a passive experience to a thrilling kind of adventure well loved by nit-picky travellers including the millennials. No matter the season and time of day, France is simply stunning and only river cruising can give you the best land and water experiences in one exciting journey.

Inclusive Pricing

French river cruise packages include more than what is expected for the price so it’s actually more affordable than you might think. Consider the inclusions in this Ultimate France cruise. Aside from daily shore excursions, meals, amenities, a first-class TGV train trip between Lyon and Paris, and Paris and Bordeaux are also covered so you won’t have to worry anymore about spending on indulgences. Plus, the benefit of having everything organised for you is pretty hard to beat.

Smooth Sailing (and no sinking!)

Unlike in the ocean where your horizon is mostly filled with rocking waves, rivers are inherently calm and shallow so you won’t need to contend with any thoughts of catastrophe or getting sea sick. Cruising in France’s amazingly calm rivers like the popular Seine and Loire River surrounded by the lush greenery of Loire Valley offers periods of scenic sailing where the majestic views of castles, vineyards and charming villages become the highlight of your day.

Port Proximity

In a French river cruise, ships will dock in the centre of town which means everything is right up there the moment you step off the boat! The majestic Rhone and Saone rivers meet up in central Lyon where you'll see some Roman ruins in Fourviere. Your cruise in Alsace's capital Strasbourg can take you to its magnificent medieval structures. Your Rhone River cruise in Avignon may get you around the Chateauneuf-du-Pape village or the Pont du Gard Roman-era aqueduct. There’s no need to travel miles away from the port just to see France’s amazing places!

Bored onboard? Nah.

In the past, your typical cabin consisted of a bed and porthole making you feel like you’re resting in a cupboard. They still exist though. But most modern-day boats have been transformed into floating Instagrammable resorts that feature varied luxuries including programmes of entertainment to keep you comfortable and busy afloat. Think French balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, luxuriously stylish cabins, lounges, bars, sun decks, and spa and fitness centres. Sounds like a dream, right? Check out this selection of ships to get to grips with the common features of today’s boats.

River cruisers are spoilt for choice!

Today’s itineraries includes exciting shore excursions to provide exciting variety to your trip afloat. Land activities range from sightseeing trips to insider tours that focus on themes or special experiences such as wine, food, music, or the arts. The tours also vary in level of intensities as exemplified by the "Go Active," "Do as the Locals Do" and "Gentle Walking" excursion programs being offered by River Royal and S.S. Joie de Vivre.

The smaller, the better

What river boats lack in size, they make up for in style. Staterooms or cabins are generally small, but they’re big on exclusivity. Rooms that transform into open air terraces is a way for boats to maintain size limit and increase luxury. The intimate settings allow you to socialize comfortably and enjoy your personal time surrounded by picture-perfect riverscapes that France is known for.

When experience matters