French river cruise line CroisiEurope continues on its growth path, having christened the 86-passenger Elbe Princesse II.

The company also relaunched two river cruise ships in France after extensive redesigns, which came on the heels of the launch of the 16-passenger African Dream, which set sail in southern Africa at the start of the year.

The Elbe Princesse II is the sister ship to the Elbe Princesse and has the same paddlewheel technology that allows it to have a lower draft and to better navigate the lower water levels of the Elbe River. Both vessels have two smaller paddlewheels at the aft of the ships.

The Elbe Princesse II measures 313 feet long and 34 feet wide and has two decks with 42 outside-facing cabins. Of the new vessel's 45 cabins there are three single cabins and one handicap-accessible cabin. The staterooms are outfitted with air conditioning and heating, flat-screen TVs, a radio, hair dryer and safe. There is also a panoramic restaurant that serves single seating meals, a lounge area with a bar and dance floor, and a sun deck outfitted with lounge chairs.

CroisiEurope introduced the paddlewheel concept in 2015 with the launch of the Loire Princesse, which features two small paddlewheels on the sides of the vessel.

The Elbe Princesse II cruises the Elbe and Vltava rivers between Berlin and Prague.

Additionally, CroisiEurope has reconstructed and redecorated its Van Gogh and Renoir vessels, which are now part of CroisiEurope's Premium Class of vessels. Both 105-passenger ships feature WiFi connectivity throughout and have been outfitted with more modern interiors. The Van Gogh cruises France's Rhone and Saone rivers and the Renoir cruises the Seine between Paris and Honfleur.

Earlier this year, CroisiEurope introduced a southern Africa water-and-land program that includes a sailing on Lake Kariba aboard the new 16-passenger African Dream. The ship features eight suites measuring 194 square feet, of which six have French balconies. Two deluxe suites have 38-square-foot walk-out balconies. Public areas include a panoramic restaurant, a lounge bar and rooftop terrace.

The launch of the Elbe Princess II and African Dream bring the CroisiEurope fleet to a total of 55 vessels. For 2019, CroisiEurope plans to build another new ship, the Amalia Rodrigues, which will sail on Portugal's Douro River. It will be the company's sixth ship on the Douro.

Correction: Both the Elbe Princess II and the Elbe Princesse have two smaller paddlewheels at the aft of the vessels; an earlier version of this article stated that the Elbe Princesse II had just one.


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