Published on : Wednesday, May 4, 2016
French America Line, America’s first premium river cruise line, is introducing a new era of boutique U.S. river experiences with the August launch of the intimate 75-stateroom flagship Louisiane. Formerly the Columbia Queen, she is undergoing a multimillion dollar refurbishment to reflect a subtle but elegant French-inspired ambience to embrace the rich history of the areas she sails that were once known as French America. Brimming with exquisite French style and the romantic joie de vivre of her home port of New Orleans, inaugural sailings for a maximum of 150 guests with an attentive U.S. crew of 64 will begin August 22, 2016.
The elegant French-inspired ship accommodates guests in 75 inviting suites and state rooms for sailings that celebrate regional cultural influences in food, music and history. The Louisiane’s small size allows her to access historic river ports on five American rivers that larger ships cannot reach. This creates a unique opportunity to see and experience ports that haven’t been accessed by a U.S. rivership in more than a decade, visiting places where larger riverboats cannot navigate.
Led by river cruising veterans Christopher Kyte, Chairman and Tom Markwell, President, French America Line’s executive team is comprised of many of the industry’s known innovators in river cruising.
“We designed Louisiane to embody superb river experiences, including exploring many diverse traditions on our country’s waterways that were influenced by la belle France during the colonization of America. It’s a wonderful narrative and quite unique to what’s currently available, offering the highest level of service and amenities comparable to that found on the rivers of Europe,” said Christopher Kyte, Chairman, French America Line.
“We also believe that the integrity of the company to whom you trust your vacation should be reflected in our fare structure. Therefore, we guarantee that we will not artificially inflate our prices and then lower prices as the sailing date approaches. You can book early with utmost confidence that you are receiving the best price available, as our fares remain the same from the moment they are created until the moment the vessel sails. That is the French America Line promise,” said Kyte.
“To set a new standard for sophisticated travelers, we offer a variety of cruise lengths to suit any schedule with inspired itineraries that visit a waterfront tapestry of charming towns, villages and grand cities. We hope to capture your heart with the finest regional French, Southern and continental cuisine afloat by Regina Charboneau, our award-winning Chef de Cuisine, and set your spirits soaring with the best-of-America onboard entertainment each night. We have also added some delicious and luxurious surprises, from Hermès bath amenities in the Richelieu Suites to fresh macarons from the House of Ladurée upon embarkation and nightly gourmet Vosges chocolates at turndown,” said Tom Markwell, President, French America Line.
Inspired itineraries on America’s most iconic rivers and waterways range from five to 10 days. Guests will gain unique insights into life along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers, and the waterways of the Gulf Coast. Pricing is virtually all-inclusive, with one-night pre-embarkation deluxe hotel stayin some of America’s most legendary hotels, all meals, free-flowing hand-selected beverages, wines, beer and spirits, nightly live entertainment, informative cultural and historical talks by onboard Illuminators, and memorable Traveler Collection shore excursions in every port of call included in the tariff.
Bicycles, helmets and maps are also available for independent explorations in every port of call. For more in-depth experiences during the cruise tour, optional private Curator Collection guided experiences may be added. Optional Prelude and Encore packages are also available for extended pre- and post-cruise experiences.
To enhance experiences onboard and in port, hand-selected expert Illuminatorswill bring to life surprising facets of regional culture, history, politics, music and more. Lively sessions might delve into the nuances of barbecue styles, the history of classic American cocktails, the origins of Zydeco, the blues or bluegrass music traditions, the religious underpinnings of Mardi Gras, the socio-economic impact of changing agricultural practices on the Mississippi or Native American history in the Upper Midwest.
Signature features on Louisiane include:
75 Suites + Staterooms for Just 150 Guests
Dining + Entertainment
French America Line Partnership with French Heritage Society
French America Line is very proud to announce its newly formed partnership with the French Heritage Society. Established in 1982, the French Heritage Society includes 12 chapters in the U.S. and France. Through various activities and educational programs, they facilitate the preservation, restoration and promotion ofFrench heritage throughout France and the U.S. Their central mission of is to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive to inspire future generations. This is done through restoration, preservation and cultural grants, educational programs, lectures and conferences. A portion of the sale of French America Line’s Curator Collection experiences will benefit the Society’s efforts along the Louisiane’s river routes.