Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to sail along France’s most beautiful rivers – the Loire, Garonne and Seine – on a relaxing 11-night M1507 ‘French River Cruising’ voyage on board 929-guest ship Braemar, departing from Dover on 24th March 2015. Fred. Olsen is one of the few ocean cruise lines that can offer this type of river cruising experience because of the smaller size of Braemar, with its shallower draft.
Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“We are delighted to be able to offer our guests the option of river cruising, which for many is an attractive alternative to a traditional ocean cruise; we know from our hugely successful French river cruise in 2014 that our guests want us to do more and more of this special type of scenic cruising.
“With Braemar being one of our smaller ships, we can get right into the heart of these French gems, and our overnight stays in each city along the way means that we can give guests the very best experience, with time to explore and take in the wonderful historical sights.”
Yves le Clerc, Director of Rouen Valley Seine Tourism, said:
“Whilst we are proud of our city and its heritage, we also believe that our river is a destination in itself.
“Guests can be assured of some really special views along the way, in what is a spectacular journey for a ship the size of Braemar. That is why we are delighted that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering this very unique cruise next year.”
On this tranquil French river cruise, the first port of call is La Pallice. From here, guests can enjoy tours of La Rochelle’s arcaded streets, ancient wooden houses and stately mansions, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the historic centre. For guests who would like to venture slightly further afield, then trips to Cognac are highly recommended, with the chance to taste the famous Brandy and enjoy views of the Charente River, which was said to be ‘the loveliest river in the kingdom’ by King Francois I.
Braemar will then glide onward to Bordeaux, the UNESCO ‘Pearl of Aquitaine’, for two overnight stays. Guests can indulge in delicious wine tasting and a shopping spree along the longest pedestrian street in France, Rue Sainte-Catherine, or they can choose to take in the grand architecture and visit a host of interesting museums – the lovely Grand Theatre de Bordeaux is also not to be missed.
Braemar then calls at Nantes, where there is another overnight stay. This historical capital has long been rated as one of France's best places to live, transformed from a provincial town to a bustling city over the centuries. Here, guests can discover the history of the town at the medieval Chàteau des Ducs de Bretagne, which houses the Nantes History Museum, or explore the many restaurants and bars.
The final destination on this scenic river cruise is magical Rouen, where Braemar will once again stay overnight, so that guests can take advantage of all that this lovely city has to offer. Sitting on the Seine, Braemar will glide gracefully past elaborate buildings, interlaced with traditional half-timbered houses and quaint shops. Once on dry land, guests will have to make the difficult decision to stay within the enticing medieval surrounds of Rouen – where French heroine Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake – or take a trip to nearby Honfleur, or to the ‘City of Love’, Paris.
Prices for this cruise start from £999 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin-bedded cabin, including accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, plus port taxes.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.