About Alex

Who is Alex Leete? A passion for travel and over 15 years' experience in the industry encouraged me to set up Global River Cruising, our own family run company. Over the last few years we have been on as many river cruises, ships and seen as many destinations as we possibly can so we can rightfully call ourselves "experts". As independent specialists we work hard to find the perfect river cruise for our clients - at the very best prices too! A little more about us ...

Wine River Cruises in France on the Rhône

Wine for elevenses? It’s almost obligatory when sailing on a Rhône wine cruise in France.  How do you fancy a relaxing morning being taken to the local vineyards to see the vines tumbling over the hillsides, before sampling the various wines the local vineyards and wineries have to offer along the Northern and Southern Rhône?

As well as the stunning views of medieval towns and colourful landscapes, the Rhône River winds its way between the many vineyards that line its banks from Lyon to Avignon.

Rhone River Cruise, Beautiful Rhône Valley Vinyards

A Provence itinerary on a Rhône river cruise takes you through this prized wine-producing region in southeastern France, known throughout the world as the Rhône Valley. You’ll also get to savour some delightful wines from the Beaujolais region just to the north, where the Rhône meets the river Saône. The valley traces the path of the river for almost 150 miles, with views of grape-covered vines gripping its steep sides. Since it’s so large, the climate varies greatly from north to south as does the soil and wine quality.

The Northern Rhône

The Northern Rhône is a smaller wine growing area than the South, but still offers prestige wines.  Offering a continental climate with granite soils and grows Syrah grapes used in the famous Hermitage wines, so impressive that it’s the only red grape grown in this region to create the full bodied, rich and tannic wines, the white wines are made from Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne.

The Southern Rhône

A warmer climate is enjoyed in the Southern Rhône with hot summers and mild winters. This larger sub-region is responsible for nearly 95% of the entire region’s wine, including a wide range of everyday whites, rosés and Grenache-based red blends from the more commonly known Côtes du Rhône appellation. The south also creates a variety of powerful, high-quality reds and whites in areas like world renowned  Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Rhone River Cruise, Fine Wines from the Rhône Valley

What to expect on a Rhône wine cruise

Whilst on a Rhône river cruise  you can look forward to sampling some of the hand selected local wines recommended by the on board wine host with your evening meal.  Wine tasting of course goes hand in hand with talks on winemaking and other activities including an evening excursion in Vienne pairing red wine and delicious chocolate at Chateau De Tournan , A hike in the vineyard of Tain- L’Hermitage  followed by a visit to a local vineyard to sample the wine, whilst in Avignon you can either visit Pont Du Gard an impressive roman aqueduct or take a Provencal cookery lesson before wine tasting at Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, that give an insight into the local gastronomic traditions and history of the local area you are sailing through.

Rhone River Cruise, Avignon, France

Away from the vineyards, there’s nothing quite like a visit to the Carrières de Lumières—an impressive underground art show held at a limestone quarry near the town of Les Baux. You’ll be surrounded by colour and light from every angle at this stunning visual exhibit, which brings famous paintings to life as they are projected against the rock faces of the quarry.

A visit to Avignon, where truffles are a highly prized delicacy sometimes referred to as “the diamonds of the kitchen.” No man or machine can locate them, only specially trained dogs can detect their scent beneath the roots of certain types of trees such as oak, beech or hazel. You can take part in this authentic and  unique experience on a visit to a Truffle farm.

And finally no visit to this area would be complete without a wander around the streets of Arles, one of France’s most beautiful cities,  where  Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted such well known pictures including “Starry Night” and “The Irises”

Update – Rhone Wine Cruise Offer for Summer 2017

We have negotiated an exclusive price with our partners at Amawaterways.  Their 7 night Rhone wine cruise from Arles to Lyon onboard the AMACello luxury river ship on 3rd August 2017 features an exclusive wine tasting in the chateauneuf-du Pape region and tour of a local vineyard.  On day 4, you will enjoy an onboard wine lecture from your wine host.  In the evening you will enjoy a “red wine & chocolate pairing” at a Tournon Chateau.  Day 5 enjoys a scenice drive to Tain-I’Hermitage for a wine tasting.  Finish the day with a Chaine de Rotisseurs paired wines with dinner.  Day 6 features another wine lecture and tasting whilst cruising to Lyon.  Day 7 is either free time in Lyon, or a Beaujolais vineyard tour and wine tasting in the Oingt hilltop village in the home of a local vintner.  Prices start from £1699 for the cruise based on 2 sharing.  Flights and transfers are available.  Please ask  for a quote: enquiries@globalrivercruising.co.uk





Is a river cruise holiday right for me?

If you are not sure whether a river cruise is right for you, rest assured you are not alone.
It is a lot of money to spend on a holiday and if you are not sure, it is much easier to do nothing.

is river cruising the right holiday for me?

As a river cruising travel agent, we get a lot of people like yourself who ask us for a brochure and then we don’t hear from again.  They still are not sure whether a river cruise holiday is something they will enjoy.

Where does the enthusiasm go and when do the nerves set in? Or there are other reasons which mean what seemed like a good idea is now not so urgent.  Did life get in the way?

So, thinking of the main objections that people have and nerves about trying it for the first time, let’s see if we can put them to rest.  We’d like to make it happen for you.

1.Why can’t I fly from my local airport?

The main reason is probably that there just aren’t any direct flights or they simply don’t go on the right days.  River cruise destinations in Europe tend to be starting from great capitals like Budapest or Vienna and from a smallish local airport these flights won’t exist or won’t be on the right days.  But if your local airport has flights with low cost carriers like Easyjet or Jet2, then we look at flights first and then which rivers work well, second.

2. I don’t want to fly, I’d rather go by train.

is a river cruising holiday right for me?

Trains are a great way to avoid the airport security restrictions or if you have a fear of flying.  London is a great hub to get to and travel by Eurostar.  It is then easy to get to Brussels or take a longer train south through France.  Journeys can however take a lot longer than a flight and it is worth considering this when making your decision.

3. I am a single traveller and the supplements do seem high

River cruise ships are small and hold between roughly 100-190 people. We can be very politically correct about this and say that you get the space for two people. Most operators will look at 50% supplements over and above the twin passenger price.

Our Advice: If the price of the supplement has put you off, then we do know other operators who charge far, far less than 50% and would be happy to talk you through those options.

4. I’m not sure whether I am fit and able enough for a river cruise holiday at the moment?

If this seems like a stumbling block, then I always suggest breaking the holiday down into portions and working out whether they are manageable. If you are happy with getting on and off buses but don’t want to walk far, then river cruising is still for you.

If you don’t want to feel that you have paid for tours that you are not going to use, then we can look at operators who don’t include tours. No one wants to pay for something they are not going to use.

Our Advice: You need to be able to get up and down stairs, however slowly, but you can watch the world go sailing by, or indeed go off on your own.

5. The dates don’t work for me this year

River cruising seasons go on sale usually in March the previous year, so to get the best choice of dates – June and September are by far the busiest months, then plan ahead. A deposit will secure the holiday of your choice with the balance paid usually 3 months before travel.

Finally – Am I going to enjoy it?

is a river cruise holiday right for me?
River cruising is about culture, sightseeing and the of luxury of having a floating hotel in the centre of some of the world’s most beautiful places. The atmosphere is very relaxed, but it is a touring holiday where the destination is king. Entertainment is low key in the evenings and dining is good to excellent but there is only usually one main dining room. With around 150 people on board, you will make friends easily. And remember, it doesn’t have to be something that you do every year for the rest of your life, a river cruise for you may just be a way of seeing a part of the world you have always wanted to go to.

So, I hope that this blog post has moved you closer to knowing whether a river cruise is for you.  Each river offers something different as does each cruise operator.  As a specialist in our field.  We look forward to making river cruising work for you.



Why are Douro Valley River Cruises so Popular this Year?

Douro valley river cruises seem to be on everyone’s bucket list for 2017 and 2018.  This Northern Portugal river cruise is being asked for more and more.  (The odd enquirer doesn’t even really care where it is, the Douro valley just sounds good!)  The weather promises to be good in the summer in the Douro and the landscapes picturesque.  And you don’t have to be a seasoned river cruiser or a history buff to enjoy it.  We Brits like our bit of European summer sunshine to look forward to and Portugal’s Douro river is benefiting from increased demand.

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Forget Christmas Day Cooking!

This week’s problem solved by a little travel savy: how to avoid cooking on Christmas Day.

No Washing Up This Christmas

Chatting to a customer the other day, we both realised that as summer was “over”, then it was straight onto talking about Christmas. “It’s my turn this year” she bemoaned, “but something always goes wrong with the oven and you don’t get any time to enjoy the children opening the presents. And before you realise what has happened, everyone has fallen asleep in front of the telly and left you to do the washing up! I need to do something different this year or I’ll go mad!”

Christmas River Cruise

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Springtime River Cruising In The Netherlands

The waterways of The Netherlands are ideal for a mini river cruise.  A 4 night springtime Netherlands river cruising.  Our favourite one is with Amadeus onboard the beautiful Silver III – their brand new flag ship.

The itinerary features Ghent, Antwerp, Kinderdijk, Keukenhof and Amsterdam.

I also learnt that “Holland” is the name of only two provinces – north Holland and South Holland, so strictly speaking isn’t correct.  The country is called The Netherlands.

Watch our little video to appreciate what a springtime river cruise in The Netherlands is like and then ring us as we still have some availability on 0800 471 4754.

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