For a unique perspective of France, one of the best things to do is take in the scenery from the water. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of fabulous cruises in every region including including Brittany, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and the Côte d’Azur.
France from the Water: Cruises in Every Region
Discover the Îles de Lerins from Cannes on a Luxury Motorboat with a Skipper
Board your luxury motorboat in Cannes for a relaxing day on the French Riviera with family or friends. Take advantage of the various onboard amenities including air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, and a spacious cabin that can accommodate up to ten people, all while listening to your favorite music on a high-end sound system.
A large rear platform just above the water’s surface invites you to take a dip in the Mediterranean’s crystal waters and discover the many wonders the region has to offer, especially the Lerins Islands. This archipelago includes the Sainte-Marguerite island, the monastery island of Saint-Honorat as well as the small, uninhabited islands Île Saint de la Tradeliere and Saint-Ferréol. Even in summer, these islands are never overcrowded, so you can relax in the small hidden bays.
Private Sightseeing Cruise in Strasbourg
On this sightseeing cruise, you will discover France from the water and experience the historic and heritage treasures in the European capital. Relax and enjoy the view over the beautiful buildings. Take in the unique architecture of the region in chronological order. Each style is more impressive than the previous one. This private cruise will give you a full view of the city – Petite France, and the European quarter as you enjoy a picnic with regional specialties and Champagne.
Traditional Pinasse Boat Tour from Arcachon
Enjoy the highlights of the breathtaking Arcachon Bay on a traditional pinasse boat. Sail through the small channels, past oyster beds, picture-perfect beaches, l’Île aux Oiseaux (Bird Island), and Lège-Cap Ferret’s charming villages. If you would like, there’s the possibility to have an oyster tasting with a local producer at a farmer’s cabin by the water’s edge or stop for a picnic, swim, or walk. While on board you’ll be able to sip champagne and enjoy a fabulous picnic of local dishes. It is sure to be a memorable day!
Where to Stay in Bordeaux
Les Sources de Caudalie
Located between vineyards and forests, just 20 minutes from Bordeaux’s city center, this 5-star hotel was designed using recycled local materials to create a collection of state-of-the-art buildings that are perfectly in tune with the idyllic surroundings.
Each of the rooms boasts a unique decor, featuring antiques, collectible furniture, and fine draperies. Most of them have a terrace or a balcony with a beautiful view on the vineyards or on the lake.
Set in a former orangery, modeled on an ornamental, 18th-century glasshouse, the two Michelin-star restaurant invites you to savor the chef’s brilliant cuisine. On nice days, enjoy lunch or dinner in the sunshine, on the terrace overlooking the lake and the vine-covered slopes.
The spa offers unique treatments combining the virtues of natural hot spring water with the most recent scientific discoveries of the benefits of grapes and grapevines.
Private Champagne Cruise along the Marne River
Experience the Champagne region differently: while sipping Champagne and cruising in a lovely wooden boat from the 1920s. The front deck is raised with a small living room, a kitchen and a restroom. Your local, knowledgeable skipper will take you along one of the great French rivers to meet France’s most celebrated wine. Travel from one village to the next as you discover a serene and peaceful way to see the vineyards from a different angle. There will of course be plenty of Champagne included with the cruise, but you will also get to enjoy a picnic with regional specialties.
Discover Cassis and the Calanques on a Luxury Boat with a Skipper
Enjoy full-day aboard a luxury boat as your skipper takes you to see the fabulous Calanques National Park and Cassis. The Calanques are white limestone cliffs interspersed with secluded coves and beaches. The National Park stretches between Marseille and Cassis’s coastline and offers a playground for hiking, snorkeling, sunbathing, and, of course, sailing. Afterwards, discover the gorgeous Cassis port. Stop for lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant with a breathtaking view over Cap Canaille. During the afternoon your skipper will show you the best places to snorkel and swim in the area!
Experience the Loire Valley with a Picnic and Boat Cruise
This unique experience will truly immerse you in the best of the Loire Valley with fabulous scenery, an up-close look at a vineyard, a picnic with local products, and a cruise on a traditional boat. The traditional “toue” boat has changed little for centuries. A large row boat with a flat base, it is fitted with a mast and a square sail making it ideal for navigating the Loire’s sandbanks.
Cruise on an a Traditional Sailboat from Cancale
Your expert local guide is a dyed-in-the-wool Breton passionate about sailing. He will take you aboard on his traditional Breton sail boat. The boat is one of the first copies of the legendary regional fishing boats that date back to the 18th century. Your captain is not only a skilled and certified sailing instructor, but is also passionate about Breton history. On this authentic and quite atypical cruise, discover an unusual look at France from the water. Take in the the regional heritage, listen to historical anecdotes, relive the 18th-century lives of fishermen, and observe the flora and fauna from the unique perspective off this magnificent bay. Cancale is the self-proclaimed oyster capital of France. You should not miss the occasion to treat yourself to a tasting paired with a fine glass of white at one of the many stalls on the harbor!
Private Cruise on the Saône River in Lyon with a Skipper
Discover France from the water aboard a private cruise on the Saône River in Lyon. On this two hour excursion, you will see the city from the river, all while sipping a glass of Champagne. Your skipper and private hostess will be on board to accompany you and make your experience as pleasant as possible, all while sharing interesting anecdotes. There is also the possibility to include a picnic basket filled with regional specialities from Lyon.
Where to Stay in Lyon
Ideally located on the hill of Fourvière, this 5-star hotel offers unique views over Lyon and is just steps from the city center and its famous landmarks. Inspired by Fourvière’s antiquarian heritage but still resolutely contemporary, the hotel’s interiors are the work of three iconic French designers.
The 37 guest rooms and suites, done in shades of grey, beige and cream, are livened up with colorful notes. A scent created in Grasse exclusively for the hotel leaves an elegant signature.
The restaurant stands out as a major place of the gastronomy in Lyon. The resolutely contemporary architecture of the building comes along with a smart and purified design. You will discover a cooking full of emotion, inspired by the rhythm of the seasons, the nature and the beauty of products.
The Ultimate Dinner Cruise in Paris
Enjoy a unique six-course meal experience aboard the most prestigious boat on the Seine River, beloved chef Alain Ducasse’s Ducasse Sur Seine. Your table is reserved with the most beautiful view on the entire boat. Arrive early and enjoy a glass of Champagne on the deck of the boat overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Soon you’ll be off, quietly cruising along the Seine River in a 100% electric boat. Throughout the entire cruise you’ll delight in spectacular views over the most beautiful landmarks of the capital along the journey.
In-between courses take a moment to step outside on the deck of the boat and enjoy the amazing scenery as you pass by. You’ll see it all from the Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, and Notre Dame to the famous bridges of Paris, and of course the Eiffel Tower. True Parisian romance at its best, this exceptional cruise and experience is sure to be one you’ll never forget.
We hope we’ve inspired you see France from the water. Fabulous cruises await you in each region! French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!