Refined 5- to 10-Day U.S. River Holidays Begin August 2016

Rendering of the Louisiane, cruising the Mississippi River beginning August 2016

Louisiane Sets Sail August 2016

NEW ORLEANS — (April 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 staterooms 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. river ship 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.

Innovative Experiences
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 stay in 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 Illuminators will 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:
• Complimentary one-night pre-cruise stay in deluxe luxury hotel and next day breakfast and transfer to the riverboat on sailing day
• Complimentary daily Traveler Collection shore excursions in every port of call, inclusive of any admission fees
• All meals designed by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Regina Charboneau are included in the tariff, featuring open seating in two dining venues offering inventive regional, French and Continental favorites as well as healthy Currents Cuisine selections under 400 calories for breakfast, lunch, dinner and 24-hour room service
• Complimentary free-flowing hand-selected wines, spirits, beers, soft drinks, artisanal coffees, tea and choice of still or sparkling Natura brand water in suites and staterooms, replenished daily
• Full-service Currents Spa with relaxing body treatments and salon nail and hair services with L’Occitaine en Provence products
• Complimentary WiFi in all public areas
• Complimentary onboard enrichment talks with noted regional historian Illuminators and live evening musical entertainment celebrating the best of the river and coastal regional America
• Famed House of Ladurée Parisian-style macarons fresh from its New York City boutique upon embarkation, followed by nightly turndown service of gourmet Vosges chocolates
• French America Line is also the only American river cruise line to offer in-room iPads pre-loaded with e-books, daily shore excursion programs and menus for onboard dining and entertainment

75 Suites + Staterooms for Just 150 Guests
• Guests have a choice of 75 suites and staterooms in seven categories, many with private verandas or French balconies for optimal river viewing , all situated on the top three of the intimate ship’s four decks
• All staterooms feature individual climate control, makeup mirror, deluxe mattresses clad in luxurious linens and duvets, private bathroom with plush towels and L’Occitane en Provence bath amenities, spa-quality bathrobes and slippers, in-room safe, ample storage space, 24-hour room service, flat screen LED television with satellite programming, direct-dial telephones and complimentary 24-hour room service
• Richelieu Suite: The most lavish accommodations onboard are these two spacious suites on the uppermost Champlain Deck, with panoramic windows and wraparound outdoor promenade seating area, a queen bed, double armoire with built-in drawer storage, chest of drawers, desk and exclusive extras, including Hermès bath amenities, evening canapés, complimentary laundry, fresh fruit and flowers upon arrival, complimentary Curator Collection experiences and private car transfers to/from the airport

Dining + Entertainment
• Culinary delights are available around the clock and reflect the regional French, Southern and continental favorites of celebrated Chef de Cuisine Regina Charboneau
• Convivial Welcome Reception and Farewell Dinner on every voyage
• The Orleans Room, on the first level La Salle Deck, is a plush jewel box designed for casually sophisticated fine dining with open seating, featuring skilled tableside service for breakfast, lunch and a multi-course dinner, and then transformed to host a nightly cabaret show
• Veranda, a casual French Quarter-style bistro with indoor and outdoor open seating, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, and savory and sweet crepes, beignets and specialty coffees and tea throughout the day, complete with an ever-changing backdrop of charming river town views from its aft perch atop the Champlain Deck
• The French Quarter Lounge is just the first of three lounges, overlooking the bow on the Joliet Deck , featuring soft jazz nightly
• The Great River Room is forward on the Marquette Deck and the location for quiet card games as well as private receptions and events
• Bar Royale adjoining The Orleans Room is ideal for stylish pre-dinner aperitifs
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 of French 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.

The 2016 Louisiane catalog, with detailed descriptions of itineraries that visit the Deep South, the Heart of America, River Crossroads, Wilderness Rivers and Gulf Waterways, as well as highlights in all ports of call, is now available.

About French America Line’s Louisiane
French America Line was created to introduce a new era of premium U.S. river voyages with the launch of the elegant flagship Louisiane. The intimate ship accommodates a maximum of 150 guests in 75 stylish suites and staterooms with unobtrusive service from a U.S. crew of 64. Inaugural sailings begin August 2016 aboard the charming ship brimming with French flair and signature experiences celebrating regional food, music and history. Engaging itineraries on America’s most iconic rivers and waterways ranging from five to 10 days will present guests with unique insights into life along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers, and the waterways of the Gulf Coast, visiting places where larger riverboats simply cannot navigate. Departures aboard Louisiane for 2017 will be available in early August 2016. Pricing is virtually all-inclusive, with pre-cruise one-night deluxe hotel stay; all meals and free-flowing hand-selected beverages, beers, wine and spirits; nightly live entertainment, informative cultural and historical talks, and memorable Traveler Collection shore excursions in every port of call included in the tariff.

Press Release source: https://www.frenchamericaline.com/press-releases

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