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France River Cruises 2024/2025

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France Travel Guide

France's river cruises offer an unbeatable blend of scenic views, cultural experiences, and historical depth. Imagine gliding along serene rivers, with landscapes dotted with vineyards and medieval towns unfolding before your eyes. These cruises take you through the heart of France, allowing you to disembark and explore cobblestone streets, lively markets, and landmarks steeped in history. You get a front-row seat to the country's beauty, from the iconic Eiffel Tower as seen from the Seine in Paris to the sun-drenched lavender fields by the Rhône. There's also the unique charm of sipping a glass of local wine on deck as the sun sets behind ancient castles. More than a journey, it's a deep dive into French culture that promises relaxation and discovery. This is your chance to see France from a different perspective. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your France river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

France Travel Guide
Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

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Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Mar 10, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$6,179
Mar 11, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaKristinaParisBarcelona14$6,149
Mar 12, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaAmsterdamZurich14$5,229
Mar 12, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaLyraParisParis10$4,499
Mar 12, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaAmsterdamZurich14$5,229
Mar 13, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaLuciaZurichAmsterdam12$4,579
Mar 13, 2024VikingViking IdiParisPrague12$6,999
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaAmsterdamBasel8$2,799
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaKristinaLyonArles8$3,599
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDanteParisParis10$4,499
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaLyraParisParis8$3,599
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBordeauxBordeaux8$3,599
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaCelloArlesLyon8$3,599
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaAmsterdamBasel8$2,799
Mar 16, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDanteParisParis8$3,599
Mar 16, 2024VikingViking HildParisZurich12$5,499
Mar 17, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaZurichAmsterdam12$4,779
Mar 17, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaLuciaBaselAmsterdam8$2,899
Mar 17, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$6,279
Mar 17, 2024UniworldSS CatherineArlesLyon8$2,199
Mar 17, 2024UniworldSS CatherineArlesParis15$9,299
Mar 17, 2024UniworldSS Joie de VivreParisArles15$9,299
Mar 17, 2024UniworldSS Joie de VivreArlesParis15$9,299
Mar 17, 2024UniworldSS CatherineParisArles15$9,299
Mar 17, 2024UniworldSS Joie de VivreParisParis8$3,399
Mar 18, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaPrimaAmsterdamZurich14$5,529
Mar 18, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaKristinaBarcelonaParis14$6,249
Mar 18, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaPrimaAmsterdamZurich14$5,529
Mar 19, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaLyraParisParis10$4,599
Mar 20, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaPrimaAmsterdamBasel8$3,099
Mar 20, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaPrimaAmsterdamBasel8$3,099
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking AlsvinParisPrague12$4,099
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking DellingLyonAvignon8$2,999
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking KariParisParis8$3,899
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking IdiPragueParis12$9,999
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking HeimdalAvignonParis15$6,799
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking HeimdalAvignonLyon8$2,999
Mar 20, 2024VikingViking KariParisAvignon15$6,999
Mar 21, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaBaselAmsterdam8$3,099
Mar 21, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDanteParisParis10$4,599

France Travel Guide

France River Cruises Highlights

  • Paris, Île-de-France: The city of lights and love, Paris is often the starting or ending point for Seine river cruises. The port is conveniently located, with easy access to iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Notre Dame. The city is also a hub for culinary excellence and high-end shopping.
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris: No trip to Paris is complete without visiting this iron marvel. Offering panoramic views of the city, it's a symbol of France's industrial history and architectural innovation.
  • Louvre Museum, Paris: The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is home to thousands of works, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Its vast collection spans centuries and continents.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris: Though it suffered a devastating fire in 2019, Notre Dame remains a beacon of Gothic architecture and is currently undergoing restoration.
  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine: A key stop for wine enthusiasts, Bordeaux's port is a gateway to the famed vineyards and wine chateaux of the region. The city itself, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers beautiful public gardens, grand mansions, and museums.
  • Palais des Papes, Avignon: This imposing Gothic palace was once the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. Its grandeur and historical significance are awe-inspiring.
  • Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: Lyon's port leads you into the gastronomic heart of France. Known for its vibrant culinary scene, it's a short stroll from the docking area to bouchons—small, traditional Lyonnaise restaurants. The city is also famous for its Roman history and Renaissance architecture.
  • Lyon's Old Town, Lyon: A UNESCO World Heritage site, Vieux Lyon is renowned for its Renaissance architecture, hidden traboules (passageways), and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
  • Châteaux of the Loire Valley: These Renaissance castles are set in picturesque countryside. Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau are highlights for their distinctive French Renaissance architecture.
  • Avignon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur: Docking in Avignon, you're a stone's throw away from the Palais des Papes, one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Avignon is a walled city full of history and the annual Festival d'Avignon, a celebration of arts that transforms the city.
  • Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux: This stunning square features classical French architecture and the Miroir d'eau, the world's largest reflecting pool, offering spectacular photo opportunities.

France River Cruises Travel Tips

  • Make sure you wear cushioned and comfortable shoes for walking over cobblestones and navigating over difficult or hilly terrains. The shoes should also have good slip-resistant treads.
  • Make sure you have all your travel documents in order. While you won't need a Visa for your France river cruise, you will need to be carrying a passport that will still be good 6 months after you take your trip. Check to make sure your name and other details are correct.
  • The Euro is the currency, and while cards are widely accepted, it's good to have some cash for smaller towns or markets.
  • Always pack light on a France river cruise and carry up to two travel bags – preferably a carryon and a small and soft duffle bag that comes with a telescopic handle and wheels.
  • Pack so you can easily access travel documents or items that you need.
  • Carry a universal travel adapter so you can always stay connected while traveling.
  • Don't leave home without a waterproof jacket, windbreaker, or umbrella.
  • If you cannot read a French menu, refer to Google Translate for help.

France River Cruises Things To Do

  • Paris
    Paris

    You can see plenty of amazing sites in the City of Light. However, because you only have about three days to see the French capital, you will need to plan your time wisely. One must-do activity is a visit to the Eiffel tower, where you can view Paris from upon high. You also want to set some time aside to shop along the Champs-Elysees, or to people-watch from a sidewalk café.

    Best Time To Visit

    According to U.S. World Travel, you should visit Paris from June to August or September to October. The weather from June to August is idyllic if not parfait, as the average temperature hovers around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.   

     

    You Should Know

    When the Eiffel Tower was built, it was designed to stand temporarily for 20 years, as it was erected for the 1889 World's Fair. Travelers who visit the Eiffel Tower can either climb 1,665 steps to get to the top or take the elevator. By comparison, visitors only need to climb 270 steps to get to the entrance of the Basilica del Sacre Coeur. Three replicas of the Statue of Liberty can be found in Paris, with the most famous replica positioned on an isle in the middle of the Seine River. It is pointed toward the Statue of Liberty in New York.
  • Vernon
    Vernon

    Sitting between Paris and Rouen, the Seine River town of Vernon endears its visitors with its chateaux and half-timbered homes. Some of the town's sights were painted by the French painter, Claude Monet, who resided across the river. The intimist painter, Pierre Bonnard, immortalized many of Vernon's landmarks as well. 

    Best Time To Visit

    Travel from June to August to enjoy the shade and greenery along the Seine River.

     

    You Should Know

    Try the chocolate mousse at La Halle Aux Grains in Vernon. The town's timbered frame houses date back to the 12th century. The newer residential areas of the town provide a nice shaded walk in the summer. A quiet place to view the Seine River is the Quai Garnuchot, a peaceful lane that runs along a grassy bank of the stream.
  • Giverny
    Giverny

    Located in the Normandy region, the village of Giverny is located in northern France and offers anyone interested in Monet paintings a chance to learn more about the painter. The Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, made Giverny his home from 1882 until his passing in 1926. Anyone who takes France river cruises along the Seine to the Normandy beaches will want to make sure Giverny is included on their itinerary.

    Best Time To Visit

    Giverny is best visited during the shoulder season in April or October if you wish to avoid the crowds. During the summer, the destination attracts a throng of tourists.

     

    You Should Know

    Monet created his famous water lilies at his home and gardens in Giverny. They are now a part of the Foundation Claude Monet Museum. The Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny showcases Impressionist art.
  • Rouen
    Rouen

    Another stopover along the Seine is Rouen, France. Known as the "city of 100 bells chiming in the air," Rouen is famous for its cathedrals. Some of the churches include the Cathedrale Notre-Dame and the Gothic churches of Saint-Ouen and Saint-Maclou.

    Best Time To Visit

    Mark your calendar for a France river cruise to the port city of Rouen in April or October. You will spend less money and enjoy a slower pace.

     

    You Should Know

    The spires of Cathedrale Notre-Dame can be seen when entering the city of Rouen. The church was the subject of several Monet paintings. The cobblestone pedestrian center in the city features half-timbered homes built during the medieval period. A cross marks the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred.
  • Caudebec-en-Caux
    Caudebec-en-Caux

    Situated on the right bank of the Seine estuary, Caudebec-en-Caux often serves as a hub for different day trip excursions. Many river cruise-goers land at this port to venture to nearby Honfleur or to play golf at Etretat.

    Best Time To Visit

    For reduced river cruise rates and to experience fewer crowds, it is always better to visit Caudebec-en-Caux during April or October.

     

    You Should Know

    An excursion to Honfleur from Caudebec will give you a chance to see more of the French countryside and see why the coastal town served as an inspiration for artist Claude Monet's paintings. The colorful and bright houses in the port area welcome guests, even on blustery and cloudy days. Listen to an organ recital at the Caudebec-en-Caux Cathedral while admiring the church's stained-glass windows. Caudebec lies near the stunning seaside resort of Deauville.
  • Le Havre
    Le Havre

    No France river cruise that includes Paris is complete without a visit to Le Havre. This Seine River port city sits at the mouth of the River Seine. The city was extensively rebuilt after the Second World War. Because of the architectural expertise of Auguste Perret, who showed new ways of working with concrete, Le Havre was cited as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.

    Best Time To Visit

    Book a France river cruise to Le Havre during the spring (April or May) or in the fall (October).

     

    You Should Know

    Le Havre is a great place to enjoy a repast in one of the restaurants that line the city's promenade. In 1872, Claude Monet painted the morning sun rising through the smokestacks of Le Havre. The artist called his painting, "Impression Sunrise." A negative art critic derided the artist's style as "Impressionism," a term that caught hold and led to a new art movement.
  • Les Andelys
    Les Andelys

    The small town of Les Andelys basks in the shadow of Chateau-Gaillard, one of the most imposing sites in the Seine River Valley. The fortress, which was built in 1196 by Richard the Lionhearted, was constructed to ward off attacks by Philip Augustus, King of France, and protect the city of Rouen.

    Best Time To Visit

    Plan to visit Les Andelys in May or October to get a better river cruise rate and to avoid the heavy peak season crowds of summer.

     

    You Should Know

    Ascending to the Chateau-Gaillard allows visitors to see picturesque views of the Seine River, as it flows along the lovely bank of Petit-Andely. Limestone cliffs create a memorable and scenic view as they flank the Chateau-Gaillard fortress. The Notre Dame Collegiate Church, in Les Andelys, dates back to the 1200s.
  • The Normandy Beaches
    The Normandy Beaches

    One of the great attractions to see at the end of a classic France river tour along the Seine are the beaches of Normandy – the sites for the D-Day landings and invasions. This is where the Seine River empties into the English Channel.

    Best Time To Visit

    Schedule a trip to Normandy beaches when the weather is more temperate, or during May or October.

     

    You Should Know

    On June 6, 1944, the beaches of the departements of Calvados and Manche became the designated sites of the famous Normandy Landings. This military maneuver took place to liberate and restore peace to Europe. You can see memorials, dedicated to D-Day activities at sites, such as Utah Beach in Manche, and the Omaha, Sword, Juno, and Gold shorelines in Calvados. Military cemeteries in the area as well as the remains of the Arromanches-Les-Bainsport bear witness to the scale of operations conducted by the military.

France River Cruise Packages

  • Getting There

    France's river cruise ports are well-connected and easy to reach. If you're looking to start your river journey, you'll find that major cities like Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux serve as common launch points. These cities boast well-equipped ports that are accessible by France's extensive train network or by flying into the country's international airports. From there, you can take a short taxi or shuttle ride to the cruise terminal. Cruise ships navigate through famous waterways like the Seine, Rhône, and Dordogne, offering travelers a seamless transition from bustling city life to the tranquil pace of river cruising. Getting on your river cruise is hassle-free, setting the stage for a relaxing holiday on France's beautiful waterways.

  • The Perfect Time for a French River Cruise

    When planning a French river cruise, the timing is a key consideration for a memorable journey. The ideal time for a river cruise in France is from late spring to early fall, specifically from May to September. During these months, the weather is generally mild, and the days are longer, providing ample opportunities for sightseeing and relaxation on the deck. The average temperatures range between 15-25°C (59-77°F), creating a comfortable environment for enjoying the scenic beauty of France's rivers.

    However, July and August, the peak of summer, can see temperatures climbing above 30°C (86°F), and these months also tend to attract more tourists. For those seeking a quieter river cruising experience in France with fewer tourists, the late spring period from May to early June or early fall in September are excellent choices. The weather remains pleasant during these times, and the summer crowds are either not yet present or have dwindled. Additionally, river cruising during these shoulder seasons often comes with the advantage of better deals.

    Winter river cruises in France offer a unique and magical experience, especially with the enchanting Christmas markets. While the weather is cooler and the days shorter during winter, if you're comfortable with the colder temperatures, a winter river cruise in France can be incredibly charming. The festive lights and smaller tourist crowds contribute to a tranquil and cozy cruising atmosphere, providing a different but equally delightful river cruising experience in France.

  • Experience the Flavors of France

    France is a treasure trove of culinary delights, with each region boasting its own signature dishes and flavors. French cuisine is all about quality ingredients, time-honored techniques, and a passion for creating sumptuous dishes. From the freshly baked croissants of Paris to the hearty bouillabaisse stew of Marseille, there's a taste for every palate.

    In the countryside, don't miss the chance to try local cheeses paired with crusty baguettes. Lyon, often considered the food capital, is the place to savor traditional dishes like coq au vin. For those with a sweet tooth, the patisseries of France are second to none, offering an array of pastries and desserts like delicate macarons and rich éclairs.

    When it comes to drinks, French wines are celebrated worldwide. A river cruise is the perfect opportunity to sample these, perhaps with a guided wine tasting at a vineyard. And, of course, no culinary exploration in France would be complete without sitting at a café and sipping on a robust café au lait.

    To truly experience the flavors of France, look for bistros and cafes where locals dine, as these often offer the most authentic and delicious selections. Food markets are also essential to visit. They're not just spots to grab a bite but cultural hubs where the French zest for cuisine comes to life right before your eyes.

  • Immerse Yourself in French Culture

    French culture is rich and varied, defined by its elegant language, historical traditions, and vibrant festivals. Respect for culture and a love for discussion are cornerstones of French society. When greeting, a quick, light handshake is common, or a cheek kiss among friends. Remember to say "bonjour" in the morning or "bonsoir" in the evening to acknowledge others, as politeness is highly valued.

    Festivals are the heartbeat of French culture, from the world-famous Cannes Film Festival to local celebrations like the Fête de la Musique, which fills the streets with music every June 21st. The country's history is celebrated through reenactments and medieval festivals, particularly in regions like Normandy and Brittany. Wine festivals also abound, celebrating the harvest and the fine art of winemaking. These cultural experiences offer a deep dive into the local customs and are a highlight for any visitor.

  • Why Book a French River Cruise?

    Booking a French river cruise is an excellent choice for travelers looking for value, unique views, and convenience. On a cruise, you unpack once, and your floating hotel takes you from city to scenic countryside, connecting you seamlessly to diverse destinations. You get to wake up to new vistas each day without the hassle of checking in and out of hotels or navigating local transport. The cost often covers meals and onshore excursions, making it a sensible option for budget-conscious explorers. River cruises also offer perspectives of France that you simply can't get from land. The rivers weave through the heart of the country, providing access to exclusive docks near quaint villages and secluded spots that are typically hard to reach by traditional means. Additionally, some cruises include special activities like visits to vineyards, private galleries, and even after-hours access to attractions, making them exclusive experiences that add value to your journey. There's a certain charm to traversing France's waterways, where each bend in the river reveals another layer of the country's rich tapestry, ready for you to discover.

  • Ready to Book Your French River Cruise?

    A French river cruise is your ticket to an unforgettable journey through the heart of one of the world's most beloved countries. It's a vacation where history, cuisine, and scenic beauty come together to create a travel experience like no other. Glide past rolling vineyards, step into stories etched in ancient stone, and dine on world-class cuisine prepared fresh onboard or in local bistros. Whether you're soaking up the sun on the top deck or exploring cobblestone streets for hidden treasures, a river cruise in France offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure.

    So why wait? Book your French river cruise today and set sail on a voyage that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

France River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are France River Cruises?

    Classic France river cruises begin in Paris and run along the Seine River to the English Channel and Normandy. However, you can also take France river cruises in the wine region of Burgundy, or in the Loire Valley. The river cruise ships featured for France river cruises offer deluxe all-inclusive accommodations and amenities, so you know what you will be getting on your river cruise trip. Some of the amenities include daily off-shore excursions, free meals, and onboard activities that relate to the theme of the river cruise.

  • What’s Included on France River Cruises?

    France river cruises mainly provide all-inclusive river cruise packages that allow river cruise-goers to immerse themselves in the French culture and history. During your river cruise journey, you can enjoy free meals during the length of the trip, off-shore excursions, and premium accommodations.

  • What’s the Best River Cruise for a France River Cruise?

    The best France river cruise for you to take will depend on where you wish to travel, the length of the France river cruise, and how much you want to spend. When you consider these options, you can more easily narrow your choices and find the right river cruise package that aligns with your travel plans. To start your river cruise journey, check out some of the offerings of premium France river cruise providers, such as Viking River Cruises, Scenic Tours, or Amaway River Cruises.

  • How Much Do France River Cruises Cost?

    What you will pay for a France river cruise will depend on the date you want to go and the length of your river cruise journey. Prices can start as low as $3,999 per person for guided luxury river cruises of at least a week.

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