Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope celebrates its 40th year in business this year, and the long-standing family-run company is giving itself quite the gift. The line announced this week it intends to debut seven ships by the end of 2017: three vessels this year, and four ships to follow in 2017.
This year will see the debut of the much-awaited MS Elbe Princesse on the Elbe River in April, followed by two brand-new river barges that are destined to enter service in France. In 2017, the line will take delivery of new vessels on the Douro, Rhine and Danube Rivers in Europe, and on the Mekong River in Southeast Asia.
Meet Elbe Princesse
We’re headed to Berlin in April for the christening of the MS Elbe Princesse, which will hold just 80 guests in 40 staterooms. Sailing the Elbe and the River Moldau between Berlin and Prague, the Elbe Princesse is noteworthy thanks to its unique dual paddlewheel propulsion that dramatically reduces the vessel’s overall draft. This will allow Elbe Princesse to better negotiate her famously shallow namesake river. We’ll be onboard on April 14, 2016 for her christening ceremonies.
Also new this year are the barges Deborah and Daniele, both of which will hold just 22 guests in 11 staterooms. Both will sail the picturesque canals of France through the Loire Valley and Burgundy, respectively. CroisiEurope has made a point of expanding their purpose-built barge fleet in recent years, pairing newbuilds with traditional exterior styling and modern, sophisticated interiors.
Coming In 2017
In Portugal, an as-yet-unnamed vessel will be added to the CroisiEurope fleet in 2017. Sailing the historic Douro River and its associated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the new vessel will carry 132 guests in 66 staterooms. Details are few at the moment, other than the fact that the ship will be built at the Sambre and Meuse Shipyard in Namur, Belgium. With vessels in the region historically relying on Portugal-based Douro Azul for Douro river vessels, expect CroisiEurope’s new ship to be tailor-made to suit the company’s needs.
On the Mekong, the colonially-styled RV Indochine II will join CroisiEurope’s other vessels on the Mekong. Accommodating 60 passengers in 30 cabins, guests will sail between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Staterooms will measure 193 square feet, and will feature outside views, private balconies, bathroom with shower, and air conditioning. The 213-foot long vessel will also feature an attractive lounge, a spacious sun deck, and a main restaurant.
Finally, CroisiEurope will enhance the company’s presence on the Danube and the Rhine in 2017 by introducing the MS Symphonie II and the MS Douce France II. With a capacity of 106 passengers in 54 comfortable cabins spread out over two decks and 135 passengers in 68 comfortable cabins, respectively, these two vessels will be some of the most lavish and elaborate ever designed by the line, which has established itself as the price leader in European river cruising.
These two vessels will launch in April and June of 2017, respectively.