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I’m not quite sure if there’s anywhere else you’d see waltzing Frenchmen together with a waiter sporting a furry shark’s head hat and a group of cynical journalists practicing tai chi on the dance floor of a luxurious cruise ship floating down the Rhone River. But life on a CroisiEurope boat is anything but ordinary. When my friend Anne asked me if I’d join her and a group of women travel writers on a 3-night cruise from historic Avignon in Provence to the foodie city of Lyon, I wasn’t sure it was for me. Aren’t river cruises for old people I thought. But, I love Avignon and I’ve never seen the gorges of Ardeche through which we would pass – so I said yes. What a surprise I got and how wrong I was These cruises are fabulous for friends, couples and groups. Though it was a short trip, just three days, I felt as refreshed as though I’d had a much longer break. With drinks and nibbles on offer from 10am to 1am, tea, coffee and water are available 24 hours, seriously good food, brilliant excursions and lovely rooms – we were spoiled rotten. If I had to describe my CroisiEurope trip from Avignon to Lyon via the Rhone River in just three words: fun, fabulous and (very) French. In fact, us uptight Brits made a pact to do another trip before we even
Who are CroisiEurope cruises for? Though predominantly French and older people on my cruise, there was a real mix of guests - groups of friends, couples and honeymooners. Kim and Jenny from Australia threw themselves with gusto into the whole thing. They danced every night (there’s always dancing and music at night) and took part in a dance competition plus the crew show. There were also guests from Malaysia, Canada, America and the UK. There are specific CroisiEurope cruises which cater for families with stuff to do for children, including kids clubs, and other tours targeted at non-families (they’re clearly marked on cruise listing details). Cabin chic I had a smart upper deck cabin with floor to ceiling windows, a super comfy bed and lovely bathroom with an invigorating shower. Drifting down river, lying in bed with an early morning cup of tea, watching the stunning scenery pass by is one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a long time. There are optional daily excursions. I did three in three days and I could have done more but I wanted time to chill out on board too. Relaxing in the bright airy salon or on the sun deck with a book was a great way to unwind. We visited the wheel room, enjoyed aperitifs and made new friends. It’s a real blend of relaxing and exploring, eating great French food and having a lot of fun.
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