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What Is French Balcony On River Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Windy Whitehurst



When it comes to exploring the world’s most picturesque waterways, river cruises offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Unlike traditional ocean cruises, river cruises take you through enchanting rivers, allowing you to get up close and personal with stunning landscapes, charming towns, and vibrant cultural landmarks. And what better way to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of these destinations than by having a French Balcony on your river cruise ship?


A French Balcony, also known as a Juliet balcony, is a clever design feature found on certain river cruise ships. It consists of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that give you a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery, along with a small railing that allows you to step outside and take in the fresh air. This innovative addition brings a touch of romance and elegance to your cruising experience, creating the feeling of having a private balcony while sailing through some of the world’s most iconic rivers.


Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first river cruise, having a French Balcony on your ship offers a myriad of benefits and allows you to make the most of your journey. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of having a French Balcony on a river cruise, the different types of ships that offer this feature, popular destinations where you can enjoy a French Balcony experience, and important considerations when choosing a river cruise with this delightful addition.


Definition of a French Balcony

A French Balcony, sometimes referred to as a Juliet balcony, is a unique feature found on select river cruise ships. It is a design element that adds a touch of elegance and romance to your cruising experience. Essentially, a French Balcony consists of floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that provide a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery.


Unlike a traditional balcony, a French Balcony does not have an actual outdoor space. Instead, it is a decorative railing placed outside the sliding glass doors, allowing you to stand and lean against it while enjoying the view. Although you cannot physically step out onto a French Balcony, the unobstructed view and the ability to open the doors for fresh air create a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors.


A French Balcony is typically found in cabins and suites located on the upper decks of river cruise ships. The doors can be easily opened and closed, allowing you to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your own cabin. It also provides an abundance of natural light, creating a bright and inviting atmosphere inside the room.


The term “French Balcony” is derived from the architecture of traditional French buildings, which often feature ornate iron railings or Juliet balconies. These balconies are commonly seen in homes and apartments, providing a charming and romantic spot overlooking the streets below. River cruise ships have adopted this concept and incorporated it into their cabin designs to offer passengers a similar experience while sailing.


Having a French Balcony on your river cruise allows you to take in the breathtaking views as you glide along the waterways. Whether it’s admiring the rolling vineyards of the Rhine River, the picturesque castles along the Danube River, or the historic landmarks in cities like Paris or Budapest, a French Balcony provides an unparalleled vantage point to soak in the beauty of your surroundings.


Now that we understand the definition of a French Balcony, let’s explore the benefits it offers on a river cruise and why it’s a sought-after feature for travelers.


Benefits of a French Balcony on River Cruises

Choosing a river cruise with a French Balcony can greatly enhance your overall experience and offer a range of enticing benefits. Here are some of the advantages of having a French Balcony on your river cruise:

  1. Spectacular Views: One of the most obvious benefits of a French Balcony is the chance to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Whether it’s gliding along the romantic Seine River in Paris or sailing past the charming villages of the Rhine Valley, a French Balcony allows you to witness the beauty of the destination firsthand.
  2. Uninterrupted Connection with Nature: With a French Balcony, you can seamlessly blend the comforts of your cabin with the natural world outside. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors provide an unobstructed view of the ever-changing scenery, allowing you to feel connected to nature even when you’re indoors.
  3. Privacy and Personalized Experience: Unlike traditional balconies that are shared among multiple cabins, a French Balcony offers a more intimate and private space for you to enjoy. You can savor your morning coffee or evening glass of wine in peace while immersing yourself in the tranquility of the river.
  4. Indoor-Outdoor Flow: Opening the sliding glass doors of your French Balcony creates a seamless transition between your cabin and the outside world. This allows fresh air to circulate throughout your room, creating a pleasant and refreshing environment.
  5. Amplified Relaxation: There’s something inherently soothing about being surrounded by water. With a French Balcony, you can unwind in the privacy of your room, taking in the gentle breeze and the peaceful sounds of the river as you sail to your next destination.
  6. Photography Opportunities: If you’re a photography enthusiast, a French Balcony provides a prime spot to capture stunning photos of the landscape as you cruise along the river. The unobstructed view and natural lighting make it easy to capture the perfect shot.

These benefits contribute to a truly immersive and unforgettable river cruise experience. The combination of breathtaking views, a sense of connection to nature, and the comfort and privacy of your cabin make a French Balcony a highly sought-after feature for travelers.


Next, let’s explore the types of river cruise ships that offer French Balconies, ensuring you have the perfect vessel for your dream river cruise adventure.


Types of River Cruise Ships with French Balconies

River cruise ships that offer French Balconies come in various sizes and styles, catering to different preferences and budgets. Here are the main types of river cruise ships that feature this delightful addition:

  1. Luxury River Cruise Ships: Luxury river cruise lines often showcase sophisticated and spacious vessels that prioritize comfort and elegance. These ships typically offer French Balconies in a majority of their cabins and suites, allowing guests to enjoy the ultimate luxury experience along with stunning river views.
  2. Mid-range River Cruise Ships: Mid-range river cruise ships also frequently incorporate French Balconies into their cabin designs. These ships provide a comfortable and affordable option for travelers who seek a balance between luxury and value.
  3. Boutique River Cruises: Boutique river cruise companies, known for their intimate and personalized experiences, often feature smaller ships with a limited number of cabins. Despite their smaller size, these vessels still offer French Balconies in select cabins, ensuring guests can enjoy a touch of luxury and the scenic views.
  4. Private Charters: If you’re traveling with a group or seeking an exclusive experience, some river cruise companies offer private charters. These customized cruises allow you to rent an entire ship and often feature cabins with French Balconies, providing you and your group with privacy and a front-row seat to the stunning landscapes.

It’s worth noting that while the availability of French Balconies may vary among different river cruise ships, most companies will have a selection of cabins with this feature. The size and number of French Balcony cabins may differ, so it’s important to check with the cruise line or your travel agent to ensure the availability of French Balcony cabins on your desired ship.


Now that we have explored the types of river cruisers that offer French Balconies, let’s discover some of the popular destinations where you can experience this unique feature.


Popular River Cruise Destinations with French Balcony Options

When it comes to river cruising, there are a plethora of destinations around the world that offer French Balcony options. These stunning waterways meander through some of the most picturesque regions, allowing travelers to explore enchanting cities and landscapes. Here are a few popular river cruise destinations where you can enjoy the luxury of a French Balcony:

  1. Europe: Europe is a treasure trove of river cruise destinations. From the romantic Danube River, which flows through countries such as Germany, Austria, and Hungary, to the Rhine River with its magnificent castles and vineyards, there is no shortage of breathtaking views. You can also cruise along the Seine River in France, taking in the iconic landmarks of Paris and the charming countryside of Normandy. The Douro River in Portugal offers a scenic journey through the country’s renowned wine region, while the Volga River in Russia immerses you in the history of czars and beautiful landscapes.
  2. Asia: The mighty Mekong River in Southeast Asia presents a unique river cruising experience. From exploring the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh to discovering the tranquil beauty of the Vietnamese and Cambodian countryside, a Mekong River cruise offers a blend of cultural immersion and natural wonders. Many ships sailing on the Mekong River feature cabins with French Balconies, allowing you to fully appreciate the vibrant scenery.
  3. Egypt: A cruise along the legendary Nile River in Egypt takes you back in time to the era of pharaohs and ancient wonders. From the bustling city of Cairo to the magnificent temples of Luxor and the iconic Valley of the Kings, a Nile River cruise offers a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of this mesmerizing destination. Several river cruise ships sailing the Nile provide cabins with French Balconies, allowing you to soak up the fascinating landscapes and ancient sites.
  4. United States: While Europe and Asia may be popular choices for river cruising, the United States also offers incredible river cruise experiences. From the iconic Mississippi River, known for its charming southern towns and lively music scene, to the picturesque Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of options to explore. Some American river cruise ships include cabins with French Balconies, ensuring you can enjoy the beauty and charm of these American waterways.

These are just a few examples of the many destinations around the world that offer river cruises with French Balcony options. Each destination presents a unique experience, with stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultures. Whether you choose to cruise in Europe, Asia, Egypt, or the United States, having a French Balcony provides an extra level of luxury and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings.


Now that we’ve explored the destinations, let’s delve into the important considerations when choosing a river cruise with a French Balcony.


Considerations for Choosing a River Cruise with French Balcony

When selecting a river cruise with a French Balcony, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. These factors will help ensure that you choose the right ship, cabin, and itinerary for your dream river cruise experience. Here are some key things to consider:

  1. Destination: The first consideration is the destination you wish to explore. Different rivers and regions offer distinct experiences, so think about the scenery, landmarks, and cultural attractions that interest you the most. Whether you’re drawn to the castles along the Rhine, the historic sites of the Nile, or the vibrant cities of Asia, choose a river cruise that aligns with your interests and desires.
  2. Cruise Line: Research various river cruise lines that offer French Balcony options. Each cruise line has its own style, amenities, and level of luxury. Consider factors such as onboard facilities, dining options, and the overall ambiance of the ship to ensure it matches your preferences and expectations.
  3. Ship Size: The size of the ship can greatly impact your river cruise experience. Larger ships typically offer more amenities and facilities, while smaller ships provide a more intimate and personalized atmosphere. Consider your preference for a bustling or more laid-back experience and choose a ship size accordingly.
  4. Cabin Location: Take into account the location of the cabins with French Balconies on the ship. Some ships have French Balcony cabins located on both the main and upper decks, while others may only have them on specific decks. Consider whether you prefer a higher or lower deck, as well as the proximity to public spaces and amenities on the ship.
  5. Itinerary: Review the itinerary of the river cruise to ensure it covers the destinations and attractions that you are most interested in. Pay attention to the amount of time spent in each port, as well as any excursions or special experiences included. This will ensure that you make the most of your time exploring the destinations along the river.
  6. Budget: Consider your budget and the overall value offered by the river cruise. Different cruise lines and ships may have varying price points, so compare the inclusions, amenities, and services to determine the best value for your money. Remember to factor in additional expenses such as gratuities, onboard activities, and optional excursions.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a river cruise with a French Balcony. This will help ensure that you have a memorable and enjoyable experience as you sail along the picturesque waterways.


Now that we’ve explored the considerations to keep in mind, let’s summarize the benefits and joys of having a French Balcony on a river cruise.



A river cruise with a French Balcony offers a unique and unforgettable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the destination while enjoying the comforts of your cabin. The benefits are undeniable, from the spectacular views and uninterrupted connection with nature to the privacy and personalized experience it provides.


Whether you choose a luxury river cruise ship, a mid-range option, or a boutique river cruise, there are plenty of vessels that offer French Balcony options. You can explore a wide range of destinations, including the enchanting rivers of Europe, the exotic Mekong River in Asia, the historic Nile in Egypt, and even the scenic rivers of the United States.


When selecting a river cruise with a French Balcony, consider factors such as the destination, cruise line, ship size, cabin location, itinerary, and budget. These considerations will help you make the right choice and ensure that your river cruise experience is everything you dreamed of.


Whether you’re sipping a glass of wine while gazing at the iconic castles along the Rhine or capturing memorable photos of the stunning temples on the Nile, a French Balcony adds a touch of luxury and romance to your river cruise adventure.


So, embark on your next river cruise and discover the joy of having a French Balcony – a window to the world’s most breathtaking waterways.