Originally built in 1973, the 128-foot-long Princess has been lovingly maintained and refitted over the years by French Country Waterways. Capable of carrying eight passengers served by a crew of six, Princess offers a classic and intimate barging experience on the canals of France.
Cozy interior spaces lined with sumptuous woods, brass fittings and accents, and rich soft furnishings add to the inviting feeling of a country home gone to sea -- or, at least, canal. The intimate nature of Princess adds to the convivial atmosphere onboard, attracting passengers who would normally not consider ocean cruises or even larger river cruises as a vacation of choice.
French Country Waterways' Princess excels in all the little details: Cuisine is locally sourced and regionally inspired. Wines onboard reflect the best of the French love affair with the grape, and a selection of complimentary onboard bicycles and a dedicated motor coach that travels with the ship allow for enhanced explorations in the Alsace-Lorraine countryside, famed for its half-timbered wine villages and natural beauty.
Meals are a real event aboard French Country Waterways. Breakfasts tend to be continental, with freshly baked goods (and, of course, croissants) coming to the vessel right out of the oven of the local bakery.
Lunches are served buffet-style within the cozy wood-paneled dining room, while dinners tend to be multicourse affairs served by candlelight and paired with exquisite French wines that are selected yearly for the fleet. More than two dozen varieties are offered during a typical cruise, and passengers can try them all.
During Princess' call on Wingen-sur-Moder in Northeastern France near the German border, passengers have the opportunity to dine off the ship at Villa Rene Lalique, a two-starred Michelin restaurant.
Passengers aboard Princess will find four suites, separated into two Suites and two Grand Suites. Both are handsomely furnished and feature plenty of wood and brass accents, private bathrooms and double closets, while Grand Suites are slightly larger and offer increased living space. All suites feature windowed river views and luxury bath amenities.
North American passengers should bring adapters with them, as electrical systems onboard are of the European 220V variety.
A small canopied sun deck area is situated at the forward end of Main Deck and offers passengers to enjoy front-row seats (literally) for the transit of the canals.
Because of the intimate nature of Princess, no formally scheduled entertainment is offered onboard -- and that's just how French Country Waterways passengers like it. Lavish meals lead naturally into post-dinner conversations over a glass of Sauternes (a sweet French dessert wine), or perhaps a friendly game of cards.
Princess sails French Country Waterways itineraries through the canals of Alsace-Lorraine.