Besancon is a historic city in eastern France, and is a wonderful place to start or visit during your next river cruise. After having played a significant role in Roman history, Besancon is now a lively university town that’s just waiting to be explored. If you’re looking for a city with all the sights, but without modern-day skyscrapers, Besancon is just the ticket. You will discover numerous landmarks and attractions (including UNESCO World Heritage sites) that will transport you back in time and simply blow your mind. Plus, there are many more attractions in the surrounding area that you can visit if you are spending a few days in town before or after your cruise.
CroisiEurope is currently the only cruise line that offers cruises from Besancon. This French-based river cruise line features a terrific value with an emphasis on gourmet cuisine and fantastic itineraries. Their barges MS Deborah and MS Jeanine provide an extremely intimate cruising experience, as each vessel only holds a maximum of 22 to 24 guests. The true highlight of these voyages are the destinations you visit, as CroisiEurope features excellent itineraries. A great time to visit Besancon is during the summer (June to September), as that is when the weather is at its peak.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Besancon. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Besancon. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Besancon:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Besancon, along with a brief description:
♦ Citadel of Besancon
One of Besancon’s most popular attractions is a 17th century Citadel that occupies over 25 acres on a hill overlooking the city. Originally constructed to protect the city, the Citadel serves as a historical site and several museums, including the popular Museum of the Resistance and Deportation. There is also a natural history museum on site complete with a zoo, aquarium, insect house, botanic gardens, and several other galleries. The Citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its courtyard contains several significant structures, such as a former cadet school, arsenal, and a well that once supplied water to the fort. Plus, you can discover some of the most spectacular city views from this vantage point!
Besancon is home to a few other notable museums. For example, the Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology is one of the city’s most highly-rated galleries. Not only is it the oldest museum in France, it also boasts an excellent collection of artwork and archaeological exhibits. Another incredible place to check out is the Museum of Times, where you can learn about watchmaking. It is also housed in a former palace, which makes it even more appealing to visitors! Also, while not an official museum, you might consider checking out the Besancon Cathedral, which houses a stunning astronomical clock that was built between 1858 and 1863.
♦ Historical Landmarks
Since Besancon is a historic city, it only makes sense that is filled with many historical landmarks. Aside from the Citadel and Besancon Cathedral, there are a few other landmarks around town that are worth visiting. For example, porte Noire is an ancient Roman arch that was built during the 2nd century (located in close proximity to the Citadel and Cathedral). Another site is the Fort of Bregille (the fort itself is closed to the public, but the hill its on provides a wonderful hike with great views). There’s also the Granvelle Palace (feature Renaissance archietecture) , grange Huguenet, Hotel de Champagney, and Rivotte Street (Fbg Rivotte).
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