French America Line is a new river cruise line, founded in 2015 and launched their ship, Louisiane, in 2016. Christopher Kyte, the first president of American Queen Steamboat Company, Tom Markwell, former managing partner at Haimark, and D. Kendall Grigsby came together to form French America Line. Their goal was to bring the elegant European style of river cruising to America. The Louisiane, was originally launched in 2000 with a different company, and was sold to French America Line to then undergo a multi-million dollar makeover in preparation for the cruise line’s launch.
How Many Passengers: 150
Personality: Hailing from Louisiana, the line’s ship Louisiane was designed for boutique cruises. The onboard ambiance and architecture is French and southern-inspired with elegant, inviting details. Spaces are intimate and furnishings provide a luxurious, regal feel.
Fellow Passengers: Guests tend to be older, in the 50+ age range with a love and interest in culture and history. Since the line is so new, it’s hard to tell how passengers will average out, but the line has expected about half to be from Europe and Australia, and half from the United States and other countries.
Cabins: From 140 to 267 square feet. Cabins feature neutral, cool colors and classic architecture in continuation of the French influence. They also include lush upholstery and most include regular or French balconies. Each room also includes bathrobes, an iPad with pre-loaded books, daily activities, and menus, as well as satellite television.
Dining Experience: The head chef studied in Paris before opening several award-winning restaurants, and now brings her expertise to French America Line blending southern comfort food with classic French dishes. The main dining room is the pinnacle of elegance, and there’s a casual venue as well that reflects a French Bistro or sidewalk eatery in French Quarter.
Amenities: The cruise line’s focus is informative talks for guests about the culture and history of the ports they’re visiting, and presentations are given in an onboard lounge that features LED screens to illustrate the experts’ talks. Live bands are also brought onboard, and guests can enjoy a movie, play games, visit the spa, and use the complimentary bicycles during their time in port. The Louisiane also offers free wifi and room service.
Best For: Older couples, history buffs, well-traveled guests.
Included Alcohol: Unlimited beer, wine, and spirits.
Where They Go: Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers
Contributor: Sarah Bretz