The Work of a Pioneer who Launched River Tourism in France

The history of CroisiEurope, which was originally called Alsace Croisières, began in 1976 near Strasbourg, France, on the edge of the Plobsheim Lake. Gerard Schmitter, a potter's son from Betschdorf, was an inventive technician who decided to indulge his passion: the leisure of others. One day a restaurant opened nearby and he had the idea to rent a boat for the day to attract the many tourists who came from Strasbourg to this popular resort. The idea of a lunch boat worked as it was new and exciting.

The success was immediate.

He bought his first boat, Alsace 1, which he renovated enabling to travel further up the Rhine to Rudesheim. Next, he added cabins offering overnight accommodation. In the 1980’s he went upmarket by adding 4 other second- hand boats to his fleet: Hansi, Petite France, Kléber and finally the prestigious Kellermann. This was the start of the company when he launched river cruises in France.