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Suggestions for a French River Cruise ( our 1st cruise ever)

Suggestions for a French River Cruise ( our 1st cruise ever)

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Old Jul 16, 18, 8:52 am
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Suggestions for a French River Cruise ( our 1st cruise ever)

This would be our first cruise ever. To celebrate a 65th birthday. 2020. Probably late spring or mid Fall.

Would spend a few days in Paris then take the train down to Provence to meet our cruise.

I have done some preliminary research but have begun to get over focused and confused and would love some suggestions for which cruise line to take and even ship recommendations to refocus our search. We like casual not to fussy but comfortable. Food is critical and all-inclusive is good.

We are not wine drinkers but I would think that a southern France cruise would have beauty and history as well.

At the moment budget is not a concern.

Thanks for any insight.

Last edited by david55; Jul 16, 18 at 8:58 am
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Old Jul 16, 18, 8:59 am
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I have taken the Uniworld Bordeaux cruise; wine focused. Have also cruised Uniworld for "Castles Along the Rhine," very nice scenery along the way.
I would recommend this:

https://www.uniworld.com/en/river-cr...non/day-to-day

Since you mention this is for a special occasion, most of your luxury end products will be all-inclusive down to the many shore excursion choices, well worth the money in my estimation.

Some other choices, but I have not cruised these lines...

https://www.avalonwaterways.com/Rive...s/Seine-River/

https://www.emeraldwaterways.com/riv...cruises-france

https://www.scenicusa.com/river-crui.../cruises-tours

Originally Posted by david55 View Post
This would be our first cruise ever. To celebrate a 65th birthday. 2020. Probably late spring or mid Fall.

Would spend a few days in Paris then take the train down to Provence to meet our cruise.

I have done some preliminary research but have begun to get over focused and confused and would love some suggestions for which cruise line to take and even ship recommendations to refocus our search.

We are not wine drinkers but I would think that a southern France cruise would have beauty and history as well.

At the moment budget is not a concern.

Thanks for any insight.

Last edited by fozziedoggie; Jul 16, 18 at 9:04 am
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Old Jul 16, 18, 11:48 am
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Tauck is another high end all-inclusive river cruise line. (only RC I've been on was Avalon, and it was NUE-BSL for the Christmas markets so not the itinerary you're looking for). The river cruise forum on Cruise Critics has some articles on river cruising in general as stickies at the top of the forum - might be useful for you to peruse as you start your research.....

Uniworld ships' decor will be fussy, but as far as I know (and I've read a lot of reviews ;-) no river cruising line in Europe is going to be dressy/formal - all will be casual on board. Perhaps not all will be "jeans and a tee for dinner" casual, but - no formal nights, coats & ties not required etc.
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Old Jul 16, 18, 4:56 pm
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I forgot to mention Crystal too - they're new to river cruising but appear to be jumping in wholeheartedly. That said - not sure they have France itineraries yet, as they just don't have many ships yet.....The Rhine and Danube are the most popular itineraries and that's where they've started.
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Old Jul 16, 18, 5:05 pm
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Just got back from my 2nd river cruise with AmaWaterways and can highly recommend them.
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Old Jul 16, 18, 6:35 pm
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belmond.com/river-cruises/europe/france/belmond-afloat-in-france/
something different
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Old Jul 17, 18, 7:42 am
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Here are 2 good river cruise web sites to search.
www.rivercruise.com
www.affordabletours.com

Personally, I like a bargain and my favorite river cruise line for that is Gate 1
www.gate1travel.com
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Old Jul 17, 18, 9:54 am
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My mom has done three river cruises with Uniworld and really recommends them.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 8:59 pm
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In the upscale / 4*+ category AmaWaterways and Avalon Waterways are arguably the best options in Europe (outside Europe, I'd also include Viking River Cruises in that category)

In terms of luxury river cruises, I would suggest looking into the following:

Uniworld
Crystal
Tauck
Scenic

The best choice will somewhat depend on your exact preferences (e.g. regular stateroom vs. one-bedroom suite; outside balcony vs. "sliding windows", ship amenities etc.), and each of the cruise lines has multiple ships with different cabins, amenities etc., so it's worth carefully comparing the offering.
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Old Jul 20, 18, 10:12 am
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I've only done one river cruise, so its hard for me to compare. But I loved the one I took from Paris to Marseilles on Vantage Cruises!

https://www.vantagetravel.com/
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Old Jul 22, 18, 9:08 pm
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anyone noticed what river cruise ships have biggest/best top/owners cabins?

do any 'packages' include some lunches/dinners at top restaurants?

do any cruise companies offer better than average bespoke tour options?
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Old Jul 22, 18, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
anyone noticed what river cruise ships have biggest/best top/owners cabins?

do any cruise companies offer better than average bespoke tour options?
The largest suites onboard European river cruise ships tend to be 320-360sq.ft.

The largest suite I'm aware of is the 480 sq.ft. "Royal One Bedroom Suite" onboard select Scenic ships.

I'm not aware of any river cruise line offering complimentary tailor-made, private tours/excursions, though the small group tours offered by Tauck and Scenic probably are a notch better than those offered by other cruise lines.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 9:25 am
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Crystal in its first year doing river cruises offered meals at Michelin starred restaurants on land but I believe they have discontinued this offering.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 10:26 am
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sorry i meant cruiselines that can do great private tours regardless of cost, vs booking separately from cruise

unfortunate crystal stopped that, they have certainly been exploring some interesting things

interesting they do not offer larger suites like ocean cruises
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Old Jul 23, 18, 10:42 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
interesting they do not offer larger suites like ocean cruises
They don't have the space.

You should never compare ocean and river cruising. You'll end up unhappy ;-) They're simply different animals and need to be evaluated on their own.
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