River Chanson Review

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Jeannine Williamson

Launched in 2001 as River Cloud II, this 86-passenger ship was acquired by in 2014 by Grand Circle Cruise Line and renamed River Chanson. Providing North American passengers with a taste of France, the small and intimate ship sails on the Rhone and vacations include a hotel stay in Paris.

River Chanson Deck Plans Include Suites

The ship has 43 outside cabins which are situated across the two passenger decks. These include 12 suites on the upper deck which are 150 square feet and have a queen-sized double bed, sofa and three floor-to-ceiling windows. The other cabin on this deck, which is the same size, is wheelchair accessible and has a single bed, upper bunk bed, two armchairs and a larger bathroom with a grab rail, hand-held shower and lower sink unit.

The remaining cabins on the lower deck measure 120 square feet and comprise accommodations with single and double beds and porthole windows. All cabins have a bathroom with shower, TV and radio, safe and hair dryer.

River Chanson's restaurant -- seating all passengers in a single open seating -- and lounge bar are located on the upper deck and there is also an attractive teak sun deck. The ship has a classic style, with marble and brass fixtures.

Fares include complimentary beverages -- house beer, house wine and soft drinks -- throughout the day, and Wi-Fi. River Chanson does not have an elevator.

The ship carries onboard bicycles, both e-bikes and standard bikes, which are available for passengers that want to explore independently.

River Chanson Itineraries Feature a French Cruise and Land Stay

River Chanson sails on the Rhone and itineraries include a 12-night escorted vacation that beings with a two-night stay in Paris. The next day passengers travel by train to Lyon to board the vessel and sail to Nice, with stops at Viviers, Avignon and Arles.

The cruise is geared to North American travelers and the shore excursion program includes wartime memorials such as the Rhone American Cemetery. There is also the option to spend extra time in the French capital on a pre-cruise extension, or stay in Nice or the Italian Riviera following the cruise.

River Chanson Stats

The ship measures 338 feet and carries 86 passengers at full occupancy with 24 crew members.

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River Chanson Cruiser Reviews

Galapagos is Amazing

The Xploration is good bc you get more time snorkeling bc the ship is smaller and is closer to the sites than the other 2 Celebrity ships.We chose the Xploration bc it was a small ship and we wanted to have as much time with nature as possible and not waiting around in line behind a ship full of people to go on excursions.Read More
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couple2-5 Cruises

Age 55s

Amazing and intimate experience in the Galapagos

I think that was also the right choice as it saved us money and gave us freedom to spend a day in Quito as we wished, but it made for a very seamless trip for those who did it.We opted not to do the cruise pretour, which meant a bit more logistical things we had to handle on our own (including flying out to Baltra a day early, but that was a nice opportunity to see more of the islands).Read More
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few6-10 Cruises

Age 40s

Five stars for the itinerary, the landtours and the naturalist only, not for the ship

We understand when the toilet paper needs to be placed in a bin instead of the toilet for technical reasons, it’s a small ship, that’s ok.We picked the Xploration as we believed (and still believe) for Galapagos a small ship and a small group of people gives the better experience.Read More
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many10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Excellent service, fascinating destinations & activities, great naturalist guide

The Celebrity Xploration was ideal for this-- extremely comfortable accommodations, excellent food and service, and lots of fun activities-- including hiking and diving each day to see specific scenes and wildlife specimens or behaviors (which of course, is outstanding and unique in the Galapagos Islands).There may be other Galapagos cruise experiences where the "cruising" is more just to get to the next island for diving and hiking, rather than "Cruising" to enjoy the sun deck where you can sip on endless piña coladas.Read More
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oneFirst Time Cruiser

Age 60s

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