Built in 2000 as the Columbia Queen for Majestic America Line, the newly refurbished 150-passenger MV Louisiane is the first ship for fledgling French America Line.
French America Line was conceived by several long-time cruise and travel industry executives, on a mission to create “America’s premium river cruise experience.”
After the multi-million dollar makeover, the Louisiane will launch in August featuring French-inspired cultural and culinary influences alongside gracious Southern hospitality and tradition.
The Louisiane will set out on its Inaugural Cruise on August 22, for a 9-day journey from Memphis to Louisville along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The 2016 sailing season includes five different itineraries ranging in length from five to nine days or longer and travel the Cumberland, Gulf Coast waterway, Mississippi, Ohio, Red and Tennessee and rivers.
Chosen as Chef de Cuisine is Regina Charboneau, a Natchez, Mississippi native and resident, trained in Paris and returned to her roots. The Orleans Room main dining room has open seating and will feature fine French and Continental cuisine infused with traditional southern fare.
For a more casual dining experience, there’s the Veranda with French bistro and New Orleans specialties. Cooked to order, the Veranda serves a lighter breakfast, lunch and dinner. Another differentiation from other river cruise lines is 24-hour room service from a select menu.
Need a little extra pampering? Currents Spa features L’Occitane en Provence products and offers an array of services including massages, hair styling, manicures and pedicures.
At the top of the 75 distinct accommodation categories are two elegant and spacious Richelieu suites that include Hérmes products for the bath.
The remaining staterooms with outdoor access are Panorama, Verandah, Promenade, and French Balcony categories and offer L’Occitane bath products. These staterooms feature French balconies or glass doors that open directly onto the wraparound Promenade deck. Twenty Deluxe and Superior inside staterooms are also available.
Each suite and stateroom has an iPad® to use, pre-loaded with e-books, shore excursions, daily programs and menus
Guests aboard the Louisiane can savor a selection of deluxe amenities that include Vosges Haut-Chocolat® at turndown and“welcome aboard” Parisian macarons from the House of Ladurée®.
Complimentary spirits, wines, and beers, plus illy® coffees, Dammann Frères® loose-leaf teas, soft drinks, and Natura® sparkling and still water throughout the cruise.
For those that like to tour on their own, complimentary bicycle, helmets and local maps are available. Wifi is also complimentary.
In the evenings, The Orleans dining room becomes the nightly entertainment venue with cabaret-style entertainment. Jazz and acoustic guitar sounds fill the air in the French Quarter Lounge or head to the Great River Lounge for a game of cards or to meet other passengers. Onboard enrichment speakers share historical facts and mysterious folklore of the region.
Reservations are being taken so call your travel agent, as this inaugural season is a short one. For more information, visit FrenchAmericaLine.com
Photos: French America Line
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath… stop for a meal and a glass of wine along the way.