French River Cruising Grows

Uniworld and Scenic add ships to sail the destination in 2014 By: Marilyn Green
Uniworld’s new ship, the S.S. Catherine, will debut in France next year. // ©  2013 Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld’s new ship, the S.S. Catherine, will debut in France next year. // ©  2013 Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

The Details

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
www.uniworld.com

Scenic Cruises
www.scenictours.com

France is a hot destination in the river cruising world, with a flow of dedicated ships sailing rivers from the Seine and Rhone to the Saone. Scenic Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection have announced new vessels debuting there next year, showcasing new designs and enhanced all-inclusive vacations.

Uniworld will introduce the new 159-passenger “Super Ship,” the S.S. Catherine, next year with two itineraries: the eight-day roundtrip Bordeaux Vineyards and Chateaux sailing and the 15-day Portrait of Majestic France. The shorter itinerary includes calls in Pauillac, gateway to the Medoc wine route; Bergerac (of Cyrano fame); Libourne; and Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO-designated historic town. The longer trip takes in the beaches of Normandy as well, plus van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Monet’s Honfleur and Giverny. Uniworld will expand its services and amenities next year to include unlimited fine wine, beer, spirits, soft drinks and bottled water, as well as all gratuities for all onboard and onshore services.

Scenic will launch the new Scenic Gem, dedicated to the Seine. With the same space ratio as the line’s other Space-Ships, the occupancy on board has been dropped to 126 guests. Two new French itineraries are the 11-day Gems of the Seine River and the 23-day Gems of the Seine & South of France River Cruise. The Seine portion is the same on both itineraries — with stops in Les Andelys, Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux, Vernon and Conflans — while the South of France addition allows guests to extend their stay on Scenic Emerald, which debuted in France this year. The South of France extension calls on ports including Tournon, Avignon and Nice, with an exclusive shore experience at the Palais-des-Papes.

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