France: the hot destination for 2015 river cruising

Next year seems to be the year for river cruising in France, as cruise lines add new itineraries to the popular European destination.

Avalon Waterways will have two new ships in the region, Uniworld has combined two of its itineraries to create one detailed cruise around the country and Scenic has unveiled a new itinerary because of growing demand.

So, if you’re dreaming of seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower or a Château while on a cruise then next year might be the time to do it.

We compiled a list of new itineraries for you to choose from in 2015:

Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways is not only adding new itineraries in France, it has also doubled its presence with two new ships.

Avalon Poetry II and Avalon Tapestry II will join Avalon Scenery and Avalon Creativity on the Rhône and Seine next year.

With the expanded French offering comes a new dual-river itinerary, the 16-day Rhine & Rhône Revealed, combining a cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel with a cruise through France on the Rhône from Beaune to the Côte d’Azur.

Port calls along the cruise include Arles, Avignon, Tournon, Lyon, Macon, Strasbourg, Speyer, Mainz-Rudesheim and Cologne.

Click here for more information.


Uniworld’s expansion into France started this year, with the launch of two new itineraries.

The eight day Bordeaux, Vineyard and Chateaux cruise, which takes guests on a return sailing from Bordeaux, and the 15-day Portrait of Majestic France which sails from Paris to Bordeaux with stops in 17 cities, including Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux and Libourne.

In 2015, the line will combine the two cruises to offer guests a 22-day Ultimate France itinerary from Paris to Lyon.

The cruise is available between March and October aboard River Baroness, River Royale and the line’s newest ship, S.S. Catherine.

The itinerary will take guests along the Dordogne River, Garone River and Girone Estaury.

Calls will be made in Vernon, Rouen, Caudebed-en-Caux, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine before heading to Paris where guests will disembark and transfer to Bordeaux via a high speed train for the second leg of the journey, which stops in Bergerac, Saint-Emilion, Cadillac, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Lyon and Macon.

Click here for more information.

Scenic Tours

Scenic Tours will launch a new 2015 itinerary in Bordeaux to meet growing demand from cruisers wanting to experience the country’s history.

The ten-night World Heritage Listed cruise aboard Scenic Diamond takes guests to Cadillac, Libourne, Blaye and Pauillac before arriving in Bordeaux.

The tour will include visits to local wineries and showcase the city’s historic Gothic architecture.

Click here for more information.

Viking Cruises

In 2015, Viking will add 12 new ships to its fleet, and a new French cruise to its itineraries.

The 10-day Rhine Rhapsody sails along the Rhine, Main and Moselle Rivers.

The cruise takes guests to the heart of smaller European towns like Trier, Rüdesheim and Cochem, right through to the Rhine Valley, famous for its many riverside castles.

There will also be a stop in Strasbourg and Basel.

Click here for more information.


APT is offering extended land tours through France next year on select itineraries.

Guests who book the 27-day France with Rhine & Rhone will be able to experience Normandy’s beaches, the Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions feature in a new 12-night luxury land journey, prior to a 14-night river cruise from Arles to Amsterdam.

There’s also the 27-day Italy, French Riviera and Provence with Magnificent Europewhere guests spend five nights exploring Italy’s Rome, Sienna, Florence and Pisa before spending seven nights in the South of France enjoying Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Paris. Followed by a 14-night Magnificent Europe River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest.

Click here for more information.