Focus on: Seine
A watery artery flowing through the heart of Paris, the Seine winds its way towards the English Channel passing medieval market towns and postcard rural scenes on every bend,
With every twist of the Seine there’s a story waiting to be told. It hugs some of the countries famous landmarks, brings to life Monet’s most renowned paintings and transports you back in time to cobbled streets once stomped by Richard the Lion Heart.
The river begins its journey in a village named Source-Seine, before coiling northwest for 483 miles through Normandy and filtering out into the Channel.
Cruisers are spoilt for choice with Shearings, Riviera, Crystal, Scenic and Newmarket Holidays all offering anything from threenight weekenders to luxury 11-day trips.
When to go
Spring is the time to fully experience France’s impressive flora in full bloom. Monet’s garden in Giverny is a true representation of the muchloved painting and the gardens of Versailles really come to life. Customers cruising in the summer months will find the river is the perfect way to enjoy the generous sunshine while providing some relief from the heat. August is peak time for visitors but Parisians tend to skip town when it gets too hot, giving the city time to breath. And although the Seine may struggle to compete with the Rhine in Germany when it comes to Christmas markets, the low season still provides plenty of festive cheer. Agents should be aware that heavy rain flow at this time of year can prevent access into Paris from the Seine.
What to expect
Although river cruises are typically popular with the 60-plus bracket, operators such as A-ROSA are attempting to make river cruising more appealing to families with offerings including ‘all children under 15 cruise for free’.
The orchards, lavender fields and vineyards that dot the riverscapes will spoil nature lovers, along with the sandy beaches and rugged cliffs of Normandy. Shoppers need no introduction to the fashion capital of the world with cafes and culture aplenty in Paris while historians can trace the steps taken by Joan of Arc before she met her fiery end in Rouen.
How to sell
A-ROSA reports an 80% growth in UK passengers during the last 12 months with passengers especially eager to see D-Day Normandy Beaches and the Bayeux Tapestry.