Louis and Marie Ducruet announce happy news

The Grimaldi family tree is growing! Louis Ducruet, the son of Princess Stéphanie, and his young wife Marie have shared the news that they are expecting a baby sometime in 2023.

After photographs were released of 29-year-old Marie looking noticeably pregnant during Monaco’s National Day on 19th November, the happy couple have announced via Instagram that they are expecting their first child together.

“An adventure is about to begin,” they captioned a joint post that featured a smiling photograph of the pair alongside their beloved dog, Pancake, who wore a doggy ensemble emblazoned with the words “Soon To Be Big Brother”.

The young couple wed in 2019 after a courtship of several years that began with a chance meeting in a Cannes nightclub. Both work in the Principality; Louis is the president of the Monaco Sports Federation while Marie heads up Société des Bains de Mer’s Marketing Events and Protocol department.

They are already devoted “parents” to their dog, going so far as to call themselves “Mum and Dad” in their frequent postings of the handsome hound on Instagram.

Louis, who will turn 30 on 26th November, is the firstborn child of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco Prince Albert II’s younger sister and the third child born to Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace and Daniel Ducruet, Princess Stéphanie’s first husband. Louis is currently 15th in the Monegasque line of succession. His and Marie’s baby will be the third great-grandchild born of the historic marriage between Prince Rainier and former Hollywood actress Grace Kelly.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Louis Ducruet (@louisducruet)


Photo source: Louis and Marie Ducruet on Instagram

Southern France a hotspot for tourism this winter

The south of France inspires images of sun, sea and bare shoulders, but new figures from Airbnb suggest that the region is more than just a summer destination. Like the high society of yesteryear, today’s tourists are choosing the region as a winter escape.

In a newly published report, France-based users of global accommodation website Airbnb have demonstrated a desire for a domestic winter holiday that combines nature, sport and relaxation. The most highly searched keywords of “ski”, “pool” and “beach” fit perfectly with our beautiful region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, so where are the most popular destinations?

Family-friendly skiing

Coming second place in Airbnb’s Top 10 of French destinations for the winter of 2022 is the little-known alpine village of Enchastrayes in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département. At just over three and a half hours from Nice, the village boasts several local ski resorts with prices much lower than those found elsewhere in the Alps. The closest in Super-Sauze, which is currently offering day passes from 24€ and a week pass for 168€ (a Black Friday deal). Another nearby station is Pra Loup, a 20-minute drive away, that connects up with the Val d’Allos ski area.

Enchastrayes joins a number of other family and budget-friendly resorts in the Top 10, after La Plagne-Tarentaise in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise (fifth position) and Les Villards-sur-Thônes (ninth) in the same region.

Winter sunshine

Seduced by the promise of warmer climes in colder months, the coastal French Riviera city of Menton also made the list, coming in eighth position.

On an international level, other Mediterranean cities such as Rome (first position), Valencia (third) and Malaga (eighth) have attracted the attention of travellers from France. Further afield, Bangkok (second) and Rio de Janeiro (sixth) scored highly while London (fourth) and Dublin (fifth) proved ever popular.



Photo source: Red Charlie for Unsplash



Silversea Cruises starts building second eco-friendly cruise ship

Ultra-luxury travel brand Silversea Cruises has officially begun construction of Silver Ray, the second ship in the Nova class, holding a traditional steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Silver Ray is set to join her sister ship Silver Nova as one of the most environmentally conscious ships ever built when she launches in summer 2024. The cruise line has taken the opportunity to set a new launch date for Silver Nova, which, due to the global situation, is now expected to join Silversea’s fleet on 14th August 2023, sailing a round-trip from Fusina (Venice) on her maiden voyage.

“We are proud to have started constructing Silver Ray in collaboration with Meyer Werft, as we continue to push boundaries in sustainable cruise travel,” says Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO, Silversea Cruises. “As part of Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea has long stood at the forefront of innovation when it comes to environmentally conscious cruising. The launch of the Nova class represents a giant leap forward in this regard and we are introducing pioneering technologies.”

Silversea’s Nova-class ships are set to become the world’s first low-emissions cruise ships with advanced hybrid technology that utilise fuel cells, batteries, and dual-fuel engines that use liquefied natural gas, emitting zero local emissions while in port. A first for Silversea, each will incorporate a horizontal layout and an innovative asymmetrical design, with public spaces and suites spanning the entire length of each ship, and each will enrich guests’ travels with an unprecedented openness to the destination.


Photo credit: Ingrid Fiebak-Kremer, Silversea Cruises