09 February, 2014

A Princess on the royal river

La Loire pourrait retrouver son lustre de fleuve royal et même rapporter des royalties à la faveur du projet d'un croisièriste d'y faire naviguer des bateaux à aubes, d'ici 2015.

The interest of the Loire has recently resurfaced with the project of CroisiEurope, a company specialized in river tourism, to offer cruises on a waterwheels boat from spring 2015. The ship, whose name will be MS Loire Princesse, will travel from Saint-Nazaire and Nantes to Angers surroundings (Bouchemaine). The vessel, whose construction will start at Saint-Nazaire, will be 90 meters long and 15 meters wide. It will include 48 double cabins (15 m2 each) on three decks. The cruises will last from six to eight days. 

Credit Pictures : CroisiEurope
The choice for the waterwheels, which reminds the Mississipi, is not due to aesthetic reasons but to the river constraints. That kind of propulsion is not used for 30 years. One of the main characteristics of the Loire river is its low depth and the fact there are no facilities for boats (The Loire is one of latest wild river in Europe). As the cruises sector, the river cruises experiments an important growth. And, for years, there are already cruises on the Seine and, above all, on the Rhône. 

It is not said if the Loire Princess will moor at Angers harbour but such a project nevertheless should lead the future decision makers of the town to think about the development of the banks as a possible source of tourists, revenues and jobs. That scheme would surely ressucitate the Loire, a river "born to be alive" as it was said, a long time ago, by a world hit, composed by a music author brought up near... Angers.

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