No matter how you discover France, you’ll be enchanted by the country’s beauty and culture. There’s no question about that. But cruise down one of France’s rivers to take in the country from a different vantage point and you’ll have a vacation experience like no other. River cruising in France is hugely popular now and we’re currently aboard the Uniworld River Royale on a Bordeaux river cruise.
Uniworld River Royale photos
I first heard about river cruising from my friend Tracy who did a Paris/Normandy tour a couple of years ago. River cruises focus on exploring a place’s culture and history through a variety of activities in an intimate atmosphere, as most ships have a max of 200 passengers. You’ll be treated to fine dining and luxury accommodations while feeling right at home — and let’s not forget to mention the outstanding crew. The Uniworld River Royale’s current route is the 8-day Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateau cruise and we’re having a blast!
So here’s a look at the ship:
The 361-foot River Royale accommodates 140 guests and was put into service in 2006 but remodeled earlier this year revealing an updated interior complete with a sun room on the upper deck for light meals. A marble and chandelier lit reception area welcomes guests and orchids are displayed throughout the ship. There are various lounges from which you can soak in the view, grab a drink or just relax with friends.
The public areas of the Uniworld River Royale include a full-service bar and dance floor, gourmet coffee/tea bar, library, Le Bordelais Restaurant, patio lounge, sun deck with life-size chess and shuffleboard, fitness center, sauna, Jacuzzi® and Serenity River Spa and more. I absolutely plan on getting a massage later this week with masseur Lucian.
Here’s the ship’s modern fitness room with a few cardio machines, dumbbells, resistance bands and mats to help work off all of those delicious calories. In addition, there’s also a personal trainer who does private training sessions and yoga and Zumba classes for those looking to stay fit.
The Jacuzzi up on the sun deck of the River Royale:
And a life-size chess game:
The staterooms aboard the Uniworld River Royale
For me, part of having an excellent vacation means being comfortable when it comes to accommodations and the the River Royale does not disappoint. From comfy beds and plush bath robes to flat screen TVs, the staterooms on board have all the modern amenities of home. The cozy 151 square-foot rooms (cat 2 and 3) are superbly utilized with under the bed storage and built-in closets that keep clutter to a minimum and the bathrooms are modern and outfitted with L’Occitane bath products.
A few shots of the room:
During the day when we’re not out on an excursion exploring the local town (more posts to come about the food and things we’re doing off the boat), there are all kinds of activities on board to keep guests busy including music, an oyster tasting (just had one this morning), live music at night and port talks with the cruise director.
Here are a few other snaps of the River Royale
Le Bordelais Restaurant:
The specialty coffee/tea lounge:
The spa products:
Just in case your sweet tooth strikes: