If you spend any time near France’s Loire River, you’ll notice a variety of animal life and vessels including small motorboats, wooden boats, kayaks, sailboats and all kinds of birds. But what is one thing I’d never seen on the river until now? A river cruise ship. She’s called the MS Loire Princesse and is the newest addition to CroisiEurope’s lineup and also the first cruise vessel with cabins to debut on the Loire. Naturally curious about what the ship had to offer, I emailed CroisiEurope — the biggest Europe river cruise player out there — to find out more about the exciting cruise in my neck of the woods. They kindly invited me on board to take a look firsthand…
Curious about the Loire France river cruise and the MS Loire Princesse?
France river cruise with CroisiEurope
On Sunday morning before we headed to Tom’s parents’ house in Angers for lunch, we stopped in Bouchemaine to get a closer look at the MS Loire Princesse. The new ship did not disappoint. A member of the team named Pedro welcomed us aboard and it took all of 30 seconds for us to see that the ship’s interior was just as attractive as its exterior. Modern with an abundance of natural light pouring in, Tom and I made our way around the docked ship and started up top on the sun deck… the passengers were out on an excursion so we had the ship to ourselves.
But first, here are the MS Loire Princesse basics:
The sleek ship can accommodate 96 passengers and 24 crew and was built in nearby St. Nazaire at STX, where the biggest boat in the world just set sail. The MS Loire Princesse was put into service in April of 2015 and is 90 meters long and about 15 meters wide. One feature you’ll notice right away is the giant paddle wheel on either side that helps power the hi-tech vessel. Paddle steamers of days past inspired the ship’s design.
There are 30 upper deck double-occupancy cabins with their own private balcony and 18 main deck double-occupancy cabins all with gorgeous tiled bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and a ton of natural light. The balconies have two chairs and a small table so you can take a load off with a cool beverage in hand while taking in the sights on the river.
And if you’re in a cabin without a balcony, head up to the sun deck and relax on a lounge chair with some of the other passengers.
Take note that if you’re someone who hates being hot, there’s air conditioning throughout the ship. And let’s not forget the free Wi-Fi so you can stay connected at all times.
When it’s time to socialize or grab a drink, head up to the lounge. The ship has a lounge/bar area with windows lining both sides. You can pull up a seat at the bar or relax on one of the comfy couches.
A closer look at some of the beautiful details you’ll find around the ship:
When it’s time to eat, the guests make their way downstairs to the restaurant on the lower level. It can accommodate all passengers in one sitting and all meals are included with the cruise.
Where does the MS Loire Princesse cruise?
The MS Loire Princesse leisurely takes cruisers from St. Nazaire to Angers with several stops in between — including Nantes — along the Loire River, which is France’s longest river. There are a few different France river cruise options ranging from 6 to 8 days where you’ll discover castles of the Loire, the Muscadet wine region, and more. The cruise is also an easy add-on if you’re spending time in Paris. With the Nantes TGV station an easy ride away as well as the Nantes airport, the cruise is a nice way to see more than just Paris the next time you’re in France.
What about the cruisers? About 50% of the passengers are French and the rest hail from all over including Germany, Australia, the US and more. Both French and English are spoken on board, and judging from the fact that the cruise is sold out for the remainder of the year, I’d say CroisiEurope has created something good. You can head over to the CroisiEurope website to find out more about the actual cruise and stops along the way.
Here are a few more photos of the ship:
What do you think? Thanks to CroisiEurope for letting us come on board!
Ever cruised with CroisiEurope or another France river cruise company? Would you?