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Whether cruising down one of France's romantic rivers or cruising the French Riviera on the Mediterranean, we'll savor the flavors of French cuisine, wine and culture in style and comfort as we explore the countryside on foot and bike - with wine tasting glass in hand. From Paris, embark on a cruise of the Seine River all the way to the Beaches of Normandy. From Bordeaux board a river cruise through the world's most famous wine region. Sail the mighty Rhine River from Franco-German city of Strasbourg. From Lyon, sail on the Rhone and Saone Rivers all the way to the Mediterranean. Small ship cruises of the Mediterranean visit the Provençal hot spots of Cannes and Nice, and the French Island of Corsica. Contact one of our French cruise experts to start planning your dream cruise today.
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10 Best River Cruises in France for 2023-2024

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10 Best French Riviera Mediterranean Cruises

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Corsican Cruise$44348May 5, 2023This eight-day Corsican voyage aboard the MV La Belle des Océans reveals Corsica's hidden riches, a real paradise on earth that appears to have …
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Tuscan Shores and Dolce Vita$50308Sep 4, 2023Join Le Bougainville on this 8-day cruise exploration from Nice to Livorno. Explore the Mediterranean's natural beauty, rich culture, local history, …
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Mediterranean: Naples to Monte Carlo$51658Oct 2, 2023Join the Sea Cloud on a wonderful Mediterranean adventure, exploring and enjoying some of the most charming landscapes while you make your way from …
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Voiles de Saint Tropez$20408Sep 23, 2023Sail aboard a tall ship around the Mediterranean and its vibrant ports of call with their own colorful personalities, cultured ambience, and …
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Corsica & French Riviera$20408Sep 30, 2023Experience the luxurious French Riviera on this 8-day sailing adventure starting and ending in the enchanting city of Cannes. Discover the …
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Corsica & French Riviera$18908Jul 15, 2023Starting and ending in the beautiful city of Cannes, this 8-day sailing experience aboard the Star Clipper takes you through the opulent French …
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Ligurian Sea$18908Jun 3, 2023On this 8-day trip, the Star Clipper takes you to idyllic destinations including Cannes, Bonifacio, Alghero, Monaco and more! Sail aboard a tall ship …
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Rome to Cannes$8904Sep 13, 2023Begin this 4-day cruise in Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, and sail to Bonifacio, Corsica, a port town in a protected harbor with seafood …
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Southern France and the Italian Riviera by Sea – with Smithsonian Journeys$63409Oct 8, 2023This 9-day Southern France and Italian Riviera cruise with Smithsonian Journeys sails from Barcelona to Civitavecchia on the Le Champlain. Explore …
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Spring Outing of Two Windjammers$69359Apr 29, 2023Board Sea Cloud II for this relaxing 9-day Spain-to-Italy trip, visiting the western Mediterranean and French Riviera. Explore Barcelona's art and …
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Top 2 Barge Cruises in France for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Champagne Cruise$95547Jun 4, 2023Spoil yourself on a 7-day cruise through the region of Champagne while aboard La Nouvelle Etoile. Visit Chateaux of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a large private …
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Southern Burgundy Cruise$59507Apr 2, 2023Board L’Impressionniste for this 7-day cruise which will take you on a tour that starts and ends in Paris. View the beautiful French countryside …
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10 Best Luxury Cruises to France for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Burgundy & Provence$33998Mar 19, 2023Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin on this exquisite journey through southern France aboard S.S. Catherine for 8 days from …
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Champagne Cruise$95547Jun 4, 2023Spoil yourself on a 7-day cruise through the region of Champagne while aboard La Nouvelle Etoile. Visit Chateaux of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a large private …
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Colors of Provence - Cruise Only$34998Mar 30, 2023Embark the MS Amakristina in Arles, France for your week-long cruise through France's legendary wine regions, including Cotes du Rhone, Burgundy and …
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Taste of Bordeaux - Cruise Only$33998Mar 23, 2023Board an enchanting 8-day round-trip cruise from Bordeaux to Libourne on the MS Amadolce. Visit the towns of Cadillac, Pauillac, Bourg, Libourne, and …
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Southern Burgundy Cruise$59507Apr 2, 2023Board L’Impressionniste for this 7-day cruise which will take you on a tour that starts and ends in Paris. View the beautiful French countryside …
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Spectacular South of France$652611Apr 11, 2023Enjoy this 11-day luxury round-trip cruise from Lyon aboard Scenic Sapphire. Visit Lyon, Avignon, Viviers and Beaune to explore the centuries-old …
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Paris & Normandy$36998Mar 26, 2023The best way to see historic buildings and the beaches of Normandy is on a river cruise from Paris through the countryside. Visit Claude Monet's …
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Highlights of Normandy & The Seine$42458Apr 18, 2023A journey on the Seine River is an experience you’ll never forget, from the glittering lights of Paris to riverside villages dating back centuries.
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Paris & Normandy - Cruise Only$33998Mar 23, 2023Embark the MS Amalyra for an 8-day luxury river cruise along France's beautiful Seine River, exploring the haunting but beautiful beaches of …
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Paris & Normandy - Cruise Only$41998May 20, 2023Embark the MS Amadante for an 8-day luxury river cruise along France's beautiful Seine River, exploring the haunting but beautiful beaches of …
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France Cruising Tips & Travel Guide

Cruising The Rivers and Waterways of France

From cosmopolitan Paris to the glamorous coastal French Riviera to the ancient and beautiful borderlands with Germany, the rivers and waterways of France wind through all corners of this country and offer excellent opportunities for classic European river cruises.
  • Seine River- Embark in Paris en route to the cliffs and beaches of Normandy. Along this historic cruise, you will pass through the quaint towns of Giverny, Les Andelys, Honfleur, Duclair and Jumièges, where you'll see the birthplace of impressionism along with royal châteaux. 
  • Rhine River - Cruise into the scenic heart of Europe from the French city of Strasbourg on the border with Germany. From here, your cruise will take you through a land of sweeping green valleys, castles, and traditional cuisine, passing through Germany, Switzerland, and Amsterdam.
  • Rhone & Saone Rivers - There's no better river for wine lovers to cruise than the Rhone, originating high in the Swiss Alps and eventually joining the Saone at Lyon to flow into the Mediterranean. On these relaxed-pace river cruises, the smells of lavender and savory flavors of wine highlight the itinerary.
  • Bordeaux - Get a taste of the old-fashioned way of life and sample some of France's best vintages cruising the Gironde, Dordogne, and Garonne Rivers from Bordeaux visiting PauillacMacon, Cadillac, Saint-Émilion and Libourne and Bourg. These are great cruises for active travelers hoping to hike and bike along the way!
  • Moselle River - The romantic Moselle river winds through forested landscapes that reveal castles, quaint villages and terraced hillsides as it makes its way from the Vosges mountains, through French wine country, along the border of Luxembourg and thorough Germany where it flows into the Rhine River at Koblenz.
  • French Mediterranean - Take a luxurious Mediterranean cruise along the sun-kissed and celebrity filled beaches of the coast and explore NiceCannes, or St Tropez where you can embark on an unforgettable cruise of the French Riviera, just like the rich and famous have done for centuries, since British monarchs came to these shores to escape the cold northern winters!
  • Corsica - Join us on a cruise to Corsica, a breathtaking island in the center of the Mediterranean between France and Italy that has a unique culture combing both French and Italian characteristics.
Best Times to Visit France

The late spring and early fall months of May and September are considered ideal as they tend to have the best mix of good weather and lighter crowds than the peak summer travel season.

France stretches from the mild Mediterranean all the way into central Europe, bordering Germany and just across the canal from the United Kingdom, so depending on where you plan to visit the temperature could be very different. 

In the northern part of the country, from Paris all the way to Strasbourg, the summer months tend to be warm with sunny days and occasional showers. Evenings can be a bit chilly even in summer. Winters here are cold and snowy. 

Along the Mediterranean coast, temperatures are chillier in the winter and hot in the summer, but do tend towards mild year round. 

Most river cruises in France are planned during the late spring, summer, and fall months. Mediterranean cruises might have more flexible itineraries later into the year.
 
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France Cruise FAQs

Why should I choose a France cruise?
Cruises are quickly becoming the most popular way to explore Europe, and France is no exception. With options to cruise the Mediterranean, the Rhone River, and the Seine River, you'll be able to see all that France has to offer from the comfort of a cruise ship or riverboat. The advantage to the cruise is that for the all-inclusive price, you will get lodging, meals, and all daily excursions and tours at a tremendous value. Plus, since your hotel is your transportation, you won't have to pack and unpack every time you visit a new city and you will awake each day with wonderful new views of the French countryside right from your cabin window. 

What should I look for on a cruise ship in France?
It all depends on whether you're looking for a ship that explores the coastal regions and Mediterranean or a river ship. The sea-going boats are larger mega-yachts that are often between first class and luxurious. River ships feature fewer amenities due to the size restrictions, but you can count on comfortable cabins, a spacious bar & lounge, and a panoramic sun deck.

Are there 5-star river vessels in France?
Some of our yachts could be considered five-stars, but the river vessels have more confined space constrictions, limiting the amount of social areas and amenities, which means that they generally don't qualify as 5-star vessels. At least not yet – remember that river cruising is a new trend in European tourism, so it's probable that in the next few years, they will debut several world class five star vessels.

Should I get a room with a balcony?
Not necessarily. Some travelers feel that a balcony is a "must" for their cruise experience – if you're in this group, then go for it. Otherwise, consider a room with floor-to-ceiling windows or a sliding glass door that opens up to the fresh air. This will save you considerable money and might even afford you more floor space in your cabin. Plus, you can always go to the sundeck to take in the panoramic views and crisp French air.

What is dining like?
It's no secret that one of the highlights of a French vacation is the cuisine, and our Adventure Life tours are no exception. No matter which part of France you are visiting, you will find gourmet cuisine prepared by local chefs.

Do river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?
Usually. The truth is, the waterways of France already provide access to some of the best sites, like the Seine River which winds from Paris through Normandy and the Rhone River in the southern part of the country. And French Mediterranean cruises stick to the sea. If there is a destination that is not on the river or sea route, you will dock in the closest port so that you can transfer to the site by luxury coach. 

Will my vessel have WiFi?
You will probably have internet access throughout most of your cruise, but it's possible that your vessel will not be equipped or that you will be out of range at some point in your cruise too. 

What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
European plugs are either British style (three flat prongs) or European style (two round prongs), different from the two flat prongs in North America. Power is 220v, not 110v like in North America, but this usually isn't a problem since most devices can handle the difference.

How can I save money on a France cruise?
A great way to save money on your France cruise is to browse our deals and promotions or by letting us know which places you'd like to see so we can keep you in the loop for all new travel deals. Don’t go cheap on the cabin selection to save money since this will also result in less space or maybe even less comfort.

Are cruises in France a good family vacation?
Yes! If you are traveling with younger children then avoid the wine tasting cruises, but otherwise we feature some very active options that are great for families. Check out our family travel article for more information.

Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to France?
All citizens of North America traveling to Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. In recent years, it has not been necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe if you plan to stay less than three months, however, this situation may change in the future. See current European visa requirements.

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