Review of my Vantage River cruise through France

Since Vantage Deluxe World Cruises are not in the database, I have decided to post in the Forum a very short (for me) review of the first of my two Back-to-Back River Cruises through France . This 10-day cruise was the start of a 20-day The Treasures of France: A grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence Cruise. The excellent cruise began in Paris and traveled north up the seine River to Honsfleur (Normandy.) Food onboard was delicious; the presentation was artistic. Breakfast was always a buffet with a few different items each day. Lunch was also a buffet but most days you could also order off the menu. I always ordered the delicious chilled soups and pasta dish when available and also went to the buffet. For dinner there were several choices but if none were to your liking there were entrees always available such as Salmon, Chicken, a vegetarian dish and Steak. Our party of four was completely satisfied with the food offerings. The service was always friendly, professional and efficient. Wine, soda and beer are freely available at dinnertime, also. Passengers sit whoever they want and with whomever they want. Dinner is served at 7 pm. Dress for dinner was casual except for the Captain’s Gala Dinner when most men wore jackets. We all enjoyed a local lunch off the boat during our visit to the Normandy Beaches and American Cemetery.

On such a small ship, we became quite friendly with the entire staff including the senor officers. My husband thought that this was the best thing about the cruise. It certainly added to our enjoyment. Marie did a suburb job as Cruise director; everyone loved her . Service throughout the ship was excellent from the front desk, to the dining room to the lounges and housekeeping. The passengers were all older Americans and we knew everyone by the end of the cruise.

The ship, Vantage Venture was lovely and the public areas were quite attractive and comfortable. Our stateroom 307 had a French Balcony and was well appointed. It contained plenty of storage with two wardrobes, deep drawer and shelf space. Two end tables flanked the comfortable bed covered with two fluffy comforters. In addition, there were two chairs, a desk, small glass table and plenty of lamps with good lighting. There was a safe, an ice bucket and hair dryer in the room. The bathroom containing a fairly large shower had a generous supple of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, shower gels and body lotion. The towels were fluffy and replaced as needed twice daily. The only thing missing was a mini fridge. Our cabin steward was efficient, very accommodating and kept our stateroom spotless. As President Club members having traveled with Vantage on at least three cruises, we received a free bag of laundry which was an excellent perk that we all appreciated and used.

I loved that Vantage uses headsets and receivers on shore excursions both optional and included. We saw beautiful cathedrals, chateaus, museums, castles, monuments, quaint medieval cities, towers, abbeys and bucolic country sides along the winding waterways. All excursions were worthwhile and most were included. For me the highpoint was our two nights stay in Honsfleur. As we sailed under the Normandy bridge we received glasses of Champagne to commemorate the event. The medial city is quaint and we docked right in town. From there, we traveled one day up to Normandy for an unforgettable tour of this historic area. In fact every port of call - Vernon, Chalon Sur Saone, Les Andelys, Caudebec-en-Caux. Bayeux/Caen and Roen were equally enjoyable. Unfortunately we could not dock in Paris due to a lock malfunction but we boarded a coach from Vernon into Paris and didn’t miss any sightseeing in this exciting city.

Although very port intensive, the staff found time for some onboard activities - a Galley Tour, French Apple Tart Demonstration, Impressionism Lecture and World War II/ Normandy Talk. There were several nights of great entertainment including wonderful Can Can Dancers, a Traditional Folkloric Dance Company, local Jazz Ensemble and the talented Italian singer ,Roberto.

I highly recommend this Vantage river cruise. Vantage was the only company that offered this combination of two Back-to-Back river cruises through France for a total of 20 days in France. The cruise exceeded my expectations and I looked forward to the second cruise which I will post later. The only issue that I had was that the guide was late in arriving to meet us in Paris.

Tags: Vantage Deluxe World Cruises Vantage Venture River Cruise through France Paris - Normandy

25 Answers

Les Andelys, France

Les Andelys, France

Les Andelys, France

Caudebec-En-Caux, France


Rouen, France

These are some photos taken from the boat.

Hi JustMe,

Posted these because you requested them. We had more daytime cruising on our second cruise through Southern France.

Gloria: thanks for the photo's, that was what I was hoping for, the photo's of the villages and castles. I love the European countryside, reminds me of my time in Europe and makes me want to go back.

Please stop in a French Cafe for me and have a pastry or wine and cheese on fresh baked bread .........ah the memories Happy

This was the first time that I did this, Simon. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll certainly do it next time. Gloria


Great review and photos. Thanks!

Next time when you add photos in the forum, add them one at a time and you can type a caption underneath each one prior to adding the next photo.


Hi JustMe,

We did stop in a French Cafe. We also had lots of wine and cheese experiences more on the second cruise but even on this one, too. And we tasted local wines and local liquors. The pastries are to drool over and the breads are my biggest weakness. I hope that someday you get to take a River Cruise through France if you haven't already. All the River cruise companies do a great job. We dock along side each other and I talked with many passengers from the various boats. It is not only so romantic but educational and just plain fun. Everyone had a terrific time. I heard no major complaints and I talked to everyone thoughtful both cruises.

In the interest of brevity, I left out that there is free Wi-Fi on the boat Including inside the staterooms. This was a big help to me as I was often able to check into discussions on the Forum as well as answer personal emails. i can hardly imagine what this would have cost me on the ocean cruise liners.

I plan to post my already written second review as soon as I pick enough photos to add. I have to resize them all. I wish all of you a relaxing weekend.

Glomarrone, thanks for the review and photos, they were both fantastic. A river cruise is on my bucket list.

I hope that you get to take that river cruise. There are so many out there that I am sure you will find one that fits what you want to see.

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