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CLIA River Cruise Conference 2018
CLIA River Cruise Conference 2018
Posted at: 11:19am , 30 Nov 2018 By James Eacott

CLIA River Cruise Conference 2018

Written by Rachel

Julie, Zoe, Laura and I travelled to Paris last month to attend the River Cruise Convention. A conference of 270+ delegates, sponsors and speakers, talking about a range of topics such as overcoming problems like low and high water levels, Brexit and the future of River Cruising.

Travelling by Eurostar from London was a pleasure as always, though the passport and security checks were a bit more of a hassle than I remember. It’s worth noting you only need to go through passport control one side so once you arrive in Paris you’re set to walk out and about.

Our appointments began with Shearings, where we learned useful information about the products they can offer, partnering with Croisi Europe and A Rosa.

Then it was on to our riverboats– Julie and I on the Croisi Europe, Zoe and Laura on the A Rosa.

The Croisi is very newly refurbished and our room was very modern and well decorated, with lots of neutrals and pinks. After a quick change it was off to the bar, decorated all pink velvet and fluff! No Prosecco here, only champagne! It would have been rude to decline, so we enjoyed a sample (or three) of the Lanson.

We did have a very comfortable night on board and packed up the following morning to visit the UniWorld Joie de Vivre. Now this was something else! Beautifully decorated, original paintings on the walls, including a Picasso in the Royal Suite.

The staff were super, clearly well looked after and this came across in their attitude. We checked out the room categories, and then the gym, spa and cave du vin where they hold wine tasting and Masterchef experiences.

The suites were very special and even the room category below this were very spacious. Despite the opulence, there’s an emphasis on eco-friendly products in rooms, with glass re-fillable bottles and metal water bottles for clients to take on excursions etc

We then moved on to the Avalon Tapestry II. It was lovely, there is a good range of rooms to suit all budgets and the suites were a very good size. The deck has a lovely hot tub and plenty of sun loungers.

On to the ScenicGem, which is the self-titled ‘Five Star Floating Hotel’. It certainly is smart and contemporary with memorable Royal Panorama Suites at the aft of the ship with hugely impressive floor to ceiling windows and views from the bathroom, bedroom and living areas.

There was also a large adapted access deluxe balcony suite available. All suites (Royal balcony and deluxe balcony suites) feature the scenic ‘sun lounge’ system transforming your balcony in to an all-weather conservatory/balcony style space by a click of a button – very clever.

We missed seeing the barge, sadly, as Rachel was stuck in the centre of Paris due to Armistice Day commemorations! 70 world leaders attended, including MessersTrump and Putin, so security was somewhat tight, meaning road closures caused chaos.

Our group had to abandon visit to the A Rosa and instead took a 4-hour coach trip back to the Gare du Nord – about 5 miles away, only just catching our train! The others managed to see all the boats, including the barge, and had a special lunch on the A Rosa, still getting to the station before us!

Of the barge, Laura and Zoe said “The barge MS Raymonde was a lovely surprise with a hot tub at the front of the deck and terrace. Decorated with deep purples and oranges with a lounge and dining space to the rear. In the centre, steps take you to the main deck with 10 cabins. The river is at eye level which is fantastic! The barge would be great for a group of friend’s family or colleagues and can accommodate 22 people

As Julie and I didn’t get to see the A Rosa Viva, this is what Laura and Zoe had to say: “this larger ship couldn’t reach Paris due to its size and instead remained further down the River Seine.

Most notable was the red, orange and yellow decor on board with a very red tiled bathroom. It was comfortable and clean with good sized rooms.

It’s a lovely touch that you are given a rose on entering the ship and staff appeared very friendly. The food was plentiful with lots of options - buffet style meals for dinner and breakfast with salad bars, cheese stations, hot mains, breads and soups and an all-important dessert area!

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