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Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..

For your next City Break, consider a luxury River Cruise

Some people may consider river cruising to be for those of an older age, however being a younger person myself, I thoroughly enjoyed my recent Riverside Luxury Cruise in France. It’s a perfect way to visit several memorable cities whilst enjoying luxury facilities and stunning scenery as you travel between them.

I took a Ryanair flight to Marseille to start, and my top tip to ensure a smooth airport process is to ensure you do the online check-in prior to arriving at the airport. That, and the Meet and Greet airport parking meant that the whole airport experience was a seamless as possible.

It’s a 45-minute transfer time from the airport to the riverboat and having been met by a very friendly and professional representative from Riverside Travel, we settled back in style and comfort for the short journey.

Riverside Ravel was our home for the next three nights and it’s a beautiful modern ship. This was my second experience of a River Cruise, but I hadn’t experienced luxury quite like this - at times I felt like a celebrity. From the butler service to the waiting staff, they all got to know you and remembered your name or what drink you like.

The Suite was really spacious with a huge, comfortable bed and a luxurious rain shower. The panoramic windows meant I could take in the sights from the comfort of my own room as well as from the public areas. My favourite place to relax on board was the Palm Court Bar. There was plenty of space, the drinks were amazing, and the staff gave good recommendations of something new to try, whilst background music gave an air of calm sophistication.

The food was incredible - I tried so many new things and loved them all. Riverside Luxury Cruises pride themselves on delicious dishes themed to the region the boat is travelling through and my absolute favourite on this occasion was the lobster bisque.

At Arles I took a 4x4 Camargue Discovery excursion, which was a great day out. Our driver/guide was so informative and very patient for those who wanted to stop and take plenty of pictures of the flamingos, horses, bulls and amazing scenery we discovered.

In Avignon I joined a walking tour and having earpieces for the commentary was great as we didn’t have to huddle round our guide to hear. We started off with a walk along the river to the iconic bridge, then headed to the square to visit the church, gardens and finally the local shops for some souvenirs and local delicacies.  

Excursions can be added to your cruise fare if you choose the Excursions Package and there was a great selection to choose from. At both stops you could also easily explore by foot or on a bike if you preferred.

A Riverside Luxury Cruise would be great for adult couples, friends or groups. The staff really made the trip special - nothing was ever too much for them and they were always so friendly and professional. For those looking for something a bit different to the typical city break, I would really recommend considering a river cruise - experience multiple ports of call whilst also enjoying luxurious onboard facilities and service – a perfect combination.

Find Sarah in our Ipswich branch.