OnboardStrasbourg-based CroisiEurope has, as you might expect from a French cruise line, a decidedly French ambience onboard its ships. The company, which operates 43 vessels in total, has traditionally done most of the marketing for its value-for-money cruises inside France. Of late, however, the company has begun to market itself to an English-speaking audience.
French is the primary language spoken (although most of the staff do also speak English and a smattering of other European languages), and announcements are made in French and in English. The food onboard is, by-and-large, French.
What distinguish CroisiEurope from other river lines are its moderately-priced fares. Like most other Europe river lines, CroisiEurope does include wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner during the high season from April to October. The biggest difference, though, is that the line asks passengers to pay extra for shore excursions -- which many other Europe river cruise lines include within their fares.
As part of the line's focus on the value-for-money cruise experience, food and wine onboard is consistently good, and the itinerary options are varied. Cabins, however, tend to be on the small side, and the ships' decor is more functional than luxurious.
In addition to a main dining room, public spaces onboard most ships include a couple of indoor lounge spaces for recreation and entertainment. Typically, the lounge bar is the spot for evening entertainment, which ranges from traditional regional entertainment to crew shows to music from the resident musician. The mezzanine or reception area has a small shop. On the outdoor-carpeted top deck, you'll find a canopy and a number of deck chairs for use on sunny days.
About CroisiEuropeThe French family-run company CroisiEurope claims to be Europe's largest river cruise line. Thirty-five of the line's vessels ply the majority of Europe's rivers and canals and four ships that sail in Vietnam and Cambodia. Two of the line's ships are ocean-going vessels, and Croisi also charters four ships that sail the Volga in Russia, the Irrawaddy in Burma and the Zambezi in Africa.
Gerard Schmitter founded the company in 1976, and chartered his first river boat, Alsace, in 1982.
Initially called Alsace Croisières, in 1986, the line built and launched its first Prestige-class boat, Kellerman, and in 1991 opened offices in Paris. Throughout the 1990's and the first decade of the 21st century, the line underwent rapid expansion, growing its fleet and ultimately changing its name to CroisiEurope as it expanded operations outside the borders of France.
In 1999 Gerard Schmitter handed management of the company over to his children, who continue to direct operations.
The company celebrated its 30th birthday in 2006, and in 2007 opened a subsidiary company, CroisiMer, to manage its one ocean-going cruise ship, La Belle de l'Adriatique. In 2010, the company created the CroisiYacht brand to manage chartered cruises on Russia's Volga River. And in 2014, CroisiEurope bought the Mekong River Cruise Company, adding four ships that cruise along the Mekong River.
CroisiEurope and CroisiMer have 43 ships in their fleet, comprised mostly of small hotel barges and larger river cruise ships in Europe. The line augmented its fleet with the purchase of Compagnie Fluviale du Mekong (Mekong River Cruise Company) and its four ships in 2014, and operates cruises in Vietnam and Cambodia on those ships.
CroisiMer, the ocean-cruise arm of the company, has two ocean-going cruise ships, the 2,870-ton, 200-passenger ocean-going cruise ship La Belle de l'Adriatique (acquired in 2007) and the tiny, 8-passenger Galateia (acquired in 2009).
Additionally, CroisiEurope has four chartered river cruise ships -- two in Russia on the Volga, one in Burma and one in Africa.
CroisiEurope's European river cruise ships all have a capacity of 100-200 passengers, navigating on most of the region's rivers. The line is also building a number of smaller, 24-passenger boats to cruise within France's network of canals.
Fellow PassengersAs noted, the majority of Croisi's clientele is European, with a large percentage of passengers being French. But the line's reasonable prices attract customers from the around the world, as well.
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