It’s all about boutique. So no surprise that the cruise industry’s first boutique-luxury river cruise line is ready to set sail. Jewel River Cruises is launching the first all-suite, boutique luxury river cruise ship designed for discerning travelers. With the debut of the ms Jewel Imperial Blue, the line plans to add two more ships in 2009 and 2010.
The ship accommodates 80 guests in 40 suites with a 2:1 guest-crew ratio. Three types of suites, ranging from 215 to 473 square feet, are among the largest of any river cruise ship. Other features include multiple dining venues, wine bar, cigar lounge, a dedicated wellness spa, exclusive shore excursions and co-branding with other luxury partners.
The shore excursions, which are called Lifestyle Experiences, include private tours of the Louvre and Opera Bastille, culinary classes with a Michelin 3 star chef, vintage wine tastings with master winemakers and a day behind the wheel of a vintage Cabriolet in the French countryside.
The ms Jewel is currently undergoing a complete refit at Hoogedoorn Shipyard near Rotterdam at a cost of $3.5 million. The yacht-like vessel will emerge from its conversion with a style that blends its classic lines and design heritage with flourishes of boutique luxury.
On May 15, the ms Jewel Imperial Blue will make its 10-day maiden voyage along the River Seine to Rouen. The ship offers 22 trips of seven to ten days between Paris and Rouen, with the last sailing November 20, 2008. Seven-day cruises start at $5,129 per person.
Jewel River Cruises is part of Jewel River Cruise Line, an innovative new river cruise venture made up of independent brands. In 2008, its five ships will be based in central Europe.
Summer in Paris Photo by Sue Frause