(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- The season of new river cruise ships continues in Europe, as CroisiEurope adds three vessels to its ever-growing fleet.
Two of the ships -- Van Gogh and Renoir -- are completely rebuilt versions of older boats. For each of them, CroisiEurope took the vessels down to the studs, redesigning and redecorating them to the "five anchor" standards of the line's premium vessels. Both ships carry 105 passengers.
Van Gogh offers cruises from Lyon on the Rhone and Saone Rivers, while Renoir will sail on the Seine River between Paris and Honfleur. Cruise Critic will have reviews on both revamped ships coming soon.
The third ship, Elbe Princesse II, is a paddlewheel vessel built specifically to sail the Elbe and Vltava rivers between Berlin and Prague, which are known for low water issues. It's the second ship with this paddlewheel technology that CroisiEurope has put an Elbe itinerary; the first being Elbe Princesse. The ship carries 86 passengers.
What's next for CroisiEurope, a popular river cruise line in Europe that is just beginning to make inroads with North American passengers? The French-owned line has developed an African cruise tour on the Chobe River with its own ship, African Dream, and several of its own safari resorts. In 2019, the line will build another ship for Portugal's Douro River, Amalia Rodrigues.
Curious about CroisiEurope? Read to see if the line appeals to you.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Managing Editor