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Lafayette
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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By Maria Harding
Cruise Critic Contributor

Lafayette Overview

Lafayette, launched in April 2014, is a sleek and stylish vessel and a departure from CroisiEurope's usual style in that its 84-passenger capacity is lower than the usual 100 to 180 range. At 295 feet, the ship is only slightly shorter than the line's other riverboats so Lafayette offers its fewer passengers a spacious and gracious environment.

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The white-and-silver decor in Lafayette's public rooms, complete with charming glass bubble chandeliers, is pretty indeed, and it's more understated and sophisticated than that on the more brightly colored vessels owned by the France-based company.

Lafayette is also the first CroisiEurope vessel to have full floor-to-ceiling windows in every cabin, with beds placed opposite for maximum enjoyment of rolling views as you snooze.

Add to that a young, energetic and friendly crew, varied European cuisine with a distinctly Gallic twist and free onboard drinks, and you have a recipe for a quite enjoyable eight-night cruise along the Rhine, as Lafayette plies its way from Amsterdam to Basel and back.

Fellow Passengers

As one of Europe's biggest riverboat operators, CroisEurope is well known throughout France, Germany, Spain and increasingly the U.K. On our late July sailing, our fellow passengers were predominantly French, with Spanish and English (or English-speaking) travelers making up roughly one-third of the total passenger complement.

Multilingual onboard announcements were tailored to the nationalities of the passengers, with front desk staff all fluent in French, English, Spanish and German.

Although the nationality mix varies from sailing to sailing with French predominating, CroisiEurope has gone beyond its original mainland European passenger base to attract growing numbers of English-speakers.

It has achieved this by promoting itself more in the U.S. and Australia and by linking with U.K. tour operators and charter companies. (In 2015, for example, several of Lafayette's sailings will be chartered by U.K. tour operator Noble Caledonia.)

I shared a dining table with a British and an Australian couple (who had come all the way from Adelaide for the Rhine trip). Both couples were, like many of the other passengers, in their late sixties or early seventies, but the conversations at dinner -- and the dancing after it -- were lively.


CroisiEurope Lafayette Dress Code

There was one gala evening to give passengers a chance to put on their glad rags, but no dress code is specified, and black ties were certainly not required. Generally speaking, passengers wear casual clothing ashore and change into slightly smarter clothes in the evening.


CroisiEurope Lafayette Gratuity

While no particular daily gratuity is specified, envelopes and a box are put out on the reception desk on the last day of the cruise for passengers who wish to leave tips, and these are shared between all the crew. Tips for bar service are not automatically added. Most passengers tip in euros, but pounds or dollars would be acceptable in a pinch. However, tips cannot be charged to credit cards.


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CroisiEurope Lafayette Ship Stats

  • Crew: 24
  • Launched: 2014
  • Decks: 3
  • Passengers: 84
  • Registry: France
Lafayette Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

CroisiEurope Lafayette Member Reviews

Lafayette
smart_travel
Sail Date: May 2017
River Cruise. So we took her advice, booked the Lafayette, and now share her enthusiasm! We were thrilled with our intimate cruise aboard the Lafayette. While no cabins have balconies, both levels have...Read More
Lafayette
anng411
Sail Date: Jun 2017
I have so many great things to say about this cruise I don't even know where to begin! I usually go on two cruises a year, and have been doing so since 1968. This has been one of my favorite cruises in all my years...Read More
Lafayette
Madebui
Sail Date: Jun 2017
The ship was nice, cosy and well kept. Good organization of the space in the cabin with more closets. The equipment and air conditioning in the cabin were well functioning. The acoustic isolation and hygiene in...Read More
Lafayette
barbyw
Sail Date: Aug 2016
Loved this small boat and everyone who worked on it.The staff was very friendly and did their best to meet our needs. I thought that the french meals and wines were lovely and there was plenty of food. The...Read More

CroisiEurope Fleet