More and more mature travellers are falling in love with river cruising and it’s easy to understand why.
After unpacking just once, it’s sublime to sit back and watch stunning scenery pass by your window as you slowly meander toward the next vista before going ashore to cycle or walk through picture postcard towns and villages. Positively dreamy …
The grand waterways of Europe – the Rhône and Danube in particular – attract the lion’s share of river cruisers but the USA is about to elevate its profile in a big way.
Newcomer French America Line’s gorgeous Louisiane, a boutique 150-guest riverboat emulating a bygone era, is about to launch with “highly experiential itineraries offering insights into life along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers visiting places where larger riverboats cannot navigate”.
The newest operator in the rapidly growing cruise market, French America Line is deadly serious about its tri-colour connection and has partnered with the French Heritage Society to restore and promote the culture in the US.
“Our elegant flagship Louisiane will celebrate the diverse cultural, historical and epicurean influences ingrained in these regions during the early French colonisation once known as Lousiane,” said Tom Markwell, President of French America Line.
From October, 2016, Louisiane will sail five to 10-day river tours.
Louisiane has 75 staterooms and a range of entertainment options, bars and dining establishments under the watchful eye of renowned Chef de Cuisine Regina Charboneau who is also a well-known author having studied her craft in Paris before opening several restaurants to worldwide acclaim.
Each cruise will also offer “enriching talks and informal chats to share regional insights into the diverse food, music, culture, history and more along America’s waterways”.
In celebrating the southern river life of the past, expect a range of fun barbecues, classic American cocktails, an exploration of the origins of Zydeco, Blues and bluegrass as well as a living history lesson of the Mississippi Delta including its Native American traditions.
Staterooms and suites
Accommodation is offered in seven categories, many with private verandas or French balconies for optimal river viewing and all cabins are situated on the top three of the intimate ship’s four decks.
The most lavish accommodations on board are the two spacious Richelieu suites on the uppermost Champlain Deck, with panoramic windows and wraparound outdoor promenade seating area, queen bed, double armoire with built-in drawer storage, chest of drawers, desk and exclusive extras, including Hermès® bath amenities, evening canapés, complimentary laundry, fresh fruit and flowers upon arrival, complimentary Curator Collection experiences and private car transfers to/from the airport; 239 – 267 square feet.
The four Panorama staterooms on the Marquette Deck are approximately 30% larger than the next category (Veranda), with a French balcony, queen bed, double armoire with built-in drawer storage, desk and chair, evening canapés and complimentary laundry, with fresh fruit and flowers upon arrival; 207 square feet.
Select from 22 inviting staterooms on the Marquette and Joliet decks with expansive windows, private veranda seating area, double armoire with built-in drawer storage, desk and chair, and two twin beds that convert to a queen bed; one stateroom is outfitted as handicap accessible; 165 square feet plus 42 square foot private veranda.
There are 14 stylish Promenade staterooms on the Joliet and Champlain decks with a windowed door on the open air promenade with their own seating area, double armoire with built-in drawer storage, desk and chair, and two twin beds that convert to a queen bed; 165 square feet with direct Promenade Deck access.
French Balcony Stateroom
Thirteen staterooms on the Marquette Deck feature French balconies ideal for scenic river gazing, double armoire with built-in drawer storage, desk and chair, and two twin beds that convert to a queen bed; 220 square feet.
Deluxe Inside Stateroom
Seventeen staterooms on the Marquette, Joliet and Champlain decks feature a large mirror, double armoire, desk and chair, and two twin beds that convert to a queen bed; 143 square feet.
Superior Inside Stateroom
Three staterooms on the Marquette deck feature a large mirror, double armoire, desk and chair, and two twin beds that convert to a queen bed; 140 square feet.
All images courtesy French America Line