French Riviera Cruise Vacations
A memorable European vacation would be a French Riviera
cruise, or Mediterranean cruise that includes ports of call on the French
Riviera. With ports like Nice, Cannes, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Monaco being
offered by various cruise lines, sightseers are able to go directly to the
heart of shopping and areas of interest. Along the French Riviera coastline
there are more than thirty harbors for small pleasure boats and luxury
yachts, which add to the Riviera flavor.
The scenes from the magnificent cruise ships can be spell binding as you
cruise into port. Each port has a little something that the others won't
have. What they all do have is access to one of the world's most famous
playgrounds for the 'rich and famous'.
A favorite resort town in the French Riviera is Nice. Sitting on a natural
amphitheatre on the Baie de Anges, Nice offers visitors the opportunity to
browse through the shops or enjoy the café's in the old town. Climbing up to
the Castle Hill Park, one can enjoy the panoramic views of the city and of
For years, artistic masters, Picasso and Monet included, have been attracted
to the French Riviera with its fresh air, quality of light and its
incredible scenery. Cannes is no exception to these characteristics. The
palm lined main boulevard, stretching for two miles along the sandy beaches
and public gardens is perfect for leisurely strolls. Movie stars are
attracted to this area by the Palais des Festival which plays host to the
international Cannes Film Festival.
The tiny sovereign state offers visitors some of the most compelling
'drawing cards' in the French Riviera. Of course, one of theses 'draws' is
the world-renowned Casino. This magnificent structure was designed in 1878
by the same designer as the Paris Opera House, Charles Garnier. Visitors can
witness the changing of the guard at 11:55 a.m. at the Royal Palace. In
Monaco, Prince Ranier and his 'Cinderella' bride Princess Grace (Kelly) are
interred in the thirteenth century St. Nicholas Cathedral.
St. Paul de Vence
There are French Riviera charms that are not on the coast. One of France's
best preserved medieval towns is found on a craggy hilltop. This walled town
has changed little over the centuries. Cruise visitors can browse through
the shops and galleries or enjoy the picturesque building while wandering
the narrow, cobbled streets.
Another medieval town is Antibes. Huddled behind ramparts and fortified
towers, visitors can tour the narrow streets passing by the Picasso Museum
and a Romanesque cathedral.
Surrounded by orange groves and mimosa trees, cruise guests can find
Vallauris. This small village is a haven for artists. From 1947 until his
death, this small town was home to Pablo Picasso. Riviera cruise guests can
visit the thirteenth century Vallauris Castle which now houses the National
Traveling the famed coastal road, Golden Corniche, and along the Cote d'Azur,
cruise guests can arrive at the enormously popular resort of St. Tropez by
ferry from Ste. Maxime. The sheltered harbor is laden with luxury yachts on
one of the French Riviera's most beautiful bays.
A drive along the Golden Corniche brings cruisers to the charming seaside
town of St. Raphael. Another fashionable resort, Raphael offers visitors the
old harbor with café's, shops and boutiques. One can experience
breath-taking views of the rocky Esteral Hills and of the sea. This area as
well is home of a D-Day Memorial tablet commemorating the landing of the
U.S. Army's 36th Division in August of 1944.
There are of course many other quaint and fashionable towns, villages and
resorts that cruise excursionists can experience. Many of the cruise lines
offer pre-organized excursions to the areas mentioned above as well as
various other venues.
Experienced cruise travel passengers can of course experience the charms of
the Riviera by themselves. Caution should be taken as with any travel
location, domestic or foreign. It is advisable to have Euros as your
currency when traveling the Riviera.
For information on the 'other' Rivieras, see our article
Riviera Cruise Vacations - Which one is for you?
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