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Strasbourg, France-based CroisiEurope inaugurated three ships this spring, bringing its fleet to a total of 55 vessels. Two of this year’s inaugurations celebrated vessels that underwent dramatic redesigns, while the third is a newbuild continuing the innovative paddlewheel design of Croisi’s previous ships on the Loire and Elbe rivers in France.
CroisiEurope is the most recent line to completely redesign two of its ships — the Van Gogh and the Renoir — to compete in a river cruise market that increasingly demands more space for accommodations. Each ship now carries up to 105 guests in a total of 54 staterooms; previously, each had a capacity of 158 passengers. Lounges and restaurants were transformed, as well. In France, the Van Gogh will cruise from Lyon on the Rhone and Saone rivers, and the Renoir will sail on the Seine between Paris and Honfleur.
The new Elbe Princesse II underlines the success of the company’s revolutionary design that launched in 2015 with the 96-passenger Loire Princesse. Loire Princesse’s stern paddlewheel configuration and exceptionally shallow draft allowed it to operate freely on the Loire, also in France, where the magical chateaux and wineries lure travelers, but water depth problems have obstructed the growth of river cruising.
Elbe Princesse II will sail the Elbe, another attractive river with erratic depth. The 45 staterooms hold 86 passengers, with three single staterooms and one providing wheelchair access. This ship will cruise on the Elbe and Vltava rivers between Berlin and Prague.
In 2019, CroisiEurope has plans to launch another new ship, the Amalia Rodrigues, as its sixth vessel on the Douro; and a second ship in Africa, African Dream II, to sail the Chobe and Zambesi rivers. Sister ship African Dream is packaged with land components to create an experience combining Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, sailing Lake Kariba at the border of Chobe National Park.
Croisi has been growing its presence in the North American market, with a tremendous variety of rivers on its more than 170 itineraries worldwide.
The line also has some very interesting combination cruises, including an 11-day Amsterdam to Avignon itinerary that combines the Rhine and Rhone, which is very rich in overnight stays with the first segment from Amsterdam (two overnights), and additional overnights in Dusseldorf and Koblenz, Germany, and Basel, Switzerland. After a coach transfer to Chalon-Sur-Saone guests overnight in Tournon, Arles and Avignon, France.
The DetailsCroisiEurope www.croisieuroperivercruises.com