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Three bottles of Cremant d Alsace

by Mike

30 March 2014 • Of course no Champagne for CroisiEurope’s new river ships, Non Monsieur!

The family owned company is proud to have its roots in the Alsace region and therefore other bubbles were chosen: the Crémant d’Alsace (delicious, I can assure you).

After a good night’s sleep on ms Beethoven it was a pleasure to see the perfect weather conditions. It felt like the start of a hot summer day.

In a very French way –-authentic and without too much fuzz -- some 300 guests gathered around the family Schmitter, the priest, the Godmothers and Godfather, and of course, the three ships.

Water wrinkles and warm weather, perfect start of a festive daySome final cleaning before the ceremonyEverybody is readyChristian Schmitter, CEO CroisiEurope and Michel Grimm, International Sales Director welcome the guestsMrs Rose Mary Reade, wife of the Consul General of USA in Strasbourg, and Godmother of ms LafayetteChristian and Patrick SchmitterPatrick Schmitter introduces the newbuilding teamAlways nice to see how many people are involved in the building of a shipThe interior design team. Bravo!The ship is waiting for "le moment suprême"Oh when the saints go marchin' in...Sacred water flows with abundanceThe big moment has arrivedSuccess!And now it's time for the two other ships. Anne-Marie Schmitter was the Godmother for the barge bearing her own name. Triple successSister happy, brother happy

When I boarded the freshly baptized ms Lafayette I liked the interior decoration, which is different to the usual CroisiEurope style. This one is a jump to more modern.

The most attractive innovation is the size of the windows in the cabins on the upper deck. With glass from floor to ceiling the accommodation looks very appealing. I can imagine an early morning awakening, seeing the landscape slowly pass by, whilst still enjoying these relaxing minutes in bed before starting the day. Romantic.

One of Lafayette's upper cabins with floor to ceiling windowsBathroom with a clean design
The dining roomForward lounge

The ms Lafayette will sail on the majestic Rhine, all the way between Basel and Amsterdam.

Time to visit the barges

The two other ships are exclusive barges, the Anne-Marie and the Madeleine. The word barge has perhaps a wrong connotation. Same in French where “Péniche” sounds a bit pejorative. You rather think freight than hospitality. Not so easy to find a word that describes the delightful little boats that cater for 24 passengers.

They have been done so nicely that I was already thinking of a full-charter for the family or friends.

Barge Anne-Marie will operate on the sunny Canal de ProvenceA lovely little JacuzziOne of the rooms on the upper deck of the Anne-MarieNote the windows close to the waterlineIt is superb to be that close to the water surface. A visual feast.Small bathroom, but everything you need is thereNo celebration without a sumptuous lunch. This is France at its best. "Coeur de cabillaud, choux vert braisé, beurre blanc à l'émulsion de chlorophylle""Mignon de veau aux truffes"Life of a journalist can be hard...Goodbye, till soon on the rivers and canals

More information on CroisiEurope's website.