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How to Explore the World’s Rivers—and Protect and Preserve Them, Too

CroisiEurope’s river cruises focus on reducing their environmental impact—and reaching peak cultural immersion in destinations including Paris and the Mekong River.

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One of CroisiEurope’s ships moored in the calm French countryside

Courtesy of CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope has been setting new standards in river cruising for 47 years, sailing with the belief that travel should benefit visitors and hosts alike. Sustainability is a core feature of their entire fleet, from the engine room to the kitchen, and of every itinerary, whether it’s navigating Venice’s Grand Canal or traveling among the islands and inlets of Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba.

Going green on river cruises

Ships minimize wake

Ships minimize wake

Courtesy of CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope boasts more than 50 ships in their fleet, each designated by the GREENAWARD, reflecting the most stringent sustainability standards in the river transportation industry. Bearing the coveted “Green Ship” label, engines use technological advances to limit the emission of greenhouse gasses and noise pollution. A collaboration with AS Energy also led to the use of Gas-to-Liquid fuels, which burn cleaner and more efficiently than conventional fuels.

Plus, each ship uses water-saving devices, cutting the consumption of freshwater by 35 percent, with vegetable-based inks and unbleached paper for all printed items in accordance with the eco-friendly model of France’s Imprim’Vert. Having signed a “no plastic” pledge for 2024, CroisiEurope is already active in minimizing waste from their ships, collaborating with energy companies to convert food and bio waste, collecting and recycling used engine oil, and using biodegradable paper cups and straws in their bars.

All told, according to a 2019 study, those who travel with CroisiEurope end up using under 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled, while those who travel by plane consume nearly five times that much (and do so without CroisiEurope’s stunning panoramic views of places such as Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe and the Nile in Egypt).

Traveling slow and dining well in France and beyond


One of many French vineyards waiting to welcome you

Courtesy of CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope is all about slowing down, traveling intentionally, and enjoying yourself along the way—the operator even offers exclusive paddlewheel river boats on some trips. Others visit rivers where CroisiEurope is the only cruise line, making for unrivaled serenity. Smaller ships and travel groups ensure that you’ll be making friends throughout your journey. With a limit of one port call per day and moorings located within easy reach of each city center, you’ll have more time to explore upon your arrival.

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The MS Loire Princesse’s side paddle wheels and shallow draft help navigate the Loire River.

Courtesy of CroisiEurope

You might zoom around in electric buses in Paris or float in romantic canal barges through the French countryside with no more than 22 total passengers in tow. Each of CroisiEurope’s river vessels features French-inspired, locally sourced menus, and wine pairings, which are all included. And now with their themed cruises, food fanatics can take things to the next level. CroisiEurope’s gourmet cruises include a culinary tour down the Rhine with Michelin-starred chef Marc Haeberlin at the helm and a wine-focused ride through Burgundy’s most picturesque vineyards in celebration of the annual bottling of the Beaujolais Nouveau.

Getting up close in the Canary Islands, along the Mekong River, and more

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Along the Mekong River in Cambodia

Courtesy of CroisiEurope

Beyond cuisine, there are many other activities to please the discerning, mindful traveler. For those who opt for the “eternal springtime” cruise to the Canary Island Archipelago, your tour can also include hikes through several protected reserves, including the otherworldly Fire Mountains of Tenerife or through the lush bay trees of Garajonay National Park.

While gliding down the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia, you might seek out a bit of tranquility with a visit to Ho Chi Minh City’s Thien Hau Temple, visit a fishing port on Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, or take Tai Chi lessons on the deck of your ship on the legendary Halong Bay. Even in a bustling metropolis like Belgrade, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know the city’s fascinating, complex history and its people through a guided bicycle tour. Themed trips of food and wine, hiking, and biking are available for groups of eight or more.

Whether you’re passionate about the environment, you’re looking to travel through your taste buds, or wish to immerse yourself in the cultural landscapes of the world, CroisiEurope offers a series of cruises and day trips for you. As you explore the sights, flavors, and feelings of each destination, you can rest assured that your journey of discovery also contributes to a better, more sustainable world.

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