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.