Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has added a self-drive option to its 2021 cruises in France.

The cruise operator said: “The self-drive package means that guests can take the scenic route and make the journey part of their experience, whilst travelling in their own ‘bubble’.”

The package includes pre-booked car parking in a Uniworld-approved car park for the duration of the cruise and offers savings of up to £500 per couple which can contribute towards the Channel crossing and stopover options.

Uniworld has also produced an information sheet for agents who can build an itinerary for their clients using ferry or Eurotunnel options, driving routes and suitable overnight stopping points.

For example, clients can drive to Bordeaux for Uniworld’s Brilliant Bordeaux cruise on SS Bon Voyage (pictured).

They can travel by ferry from Portsmouth to Caen and stay overnight in Caen before the 375-mile drive to Bordeaux. Optional stops en route could be at Le Mans, Tours or Poitiers.

The option to drive through France is the latest addition to Uniworld’s no-fly portfolio which also includes rail travel packages, travelling on Eurostar and onwards on local train networks, including the high-speed TGV.

Uniworld can connect guests by train to several European port destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Basel, Frankfurt, Avignon, Lyon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg.

Free Eurostar upgrades to Standard Premier are available for all trips to Paris, on all bookings made before September 30.

Chris Townson, Uniworld’s UK and Ireland managing director, said: “Even before Covid-19, we were starting to see increased demand for no-fly options, with guests choosing the train as a more relaxing and sustainable travel choice.

“Since the pandemic, we realised that a number of guests would enjoy the added reassurances of travelling to the ship in their own bubble in their own car, and wanted to make it as easy as possible for them.

“So we have included approved local car parking in the price of the cruise and put together route and stopover suggestions to help agents put together the perfect journey for their clients.

“Guests can then travel at their own pace.”