Barge on in

Still too young for a river cruise? Love the idea of getting up close to local culture and cuisine? Enjoy daily active ways to explore nearby villages and vineyards? 

Then, a barge cruise may be your perfect fit.

Much smaller and more intimate than the larger and more organized river cruise ships, barge cruises lend themselves to a deeper immersion into a local region. Though found in many areas of Europe, barge cruises are most common in France. 

While you may think of a river ship as a floating hotel, a barge is more reminiscent of a country manor house.  They tend to accommodate a maximum of 24 passengers and are therefore ideal for small groups of family or friends.

Accommodations are lovely though by no means as luxurious as their river cruise counterpoints. Spacious bar and lounge areas, a restaurant, sun deck with loungers, barbecue deck, some boats also have hot tubs for late evening chats about the day’s events. Bicycles for daily excursions to nearby villages or explorations of the local countryside. WIFI allows for daily connectivity to family and business.

Most barges are all-inclusive, including drinks, local wines and champagnes, gourmet cuisine featuring local ingredients and recipes. Many include shore excursions to various famous landmarks, chateaux and vineyards.

One of the biggest differences between barge and river cruises is the amount of territory you’re able to cover.  Barge cruises usually span six days and travel fewer than 80 kilometres of river whereas river cruisers can travel hundreds of kilometres spanning travel over several days and country borders.

Your days are spent in local markets sampling regional favourites and people watching in outdoor cafes.  Exploring historical monuments and truly immersing yourself in one region of the country. 

Perfect for wine aficionados and culinary enthusiasts eager to learn more about a specific vine lineage or cooking method.  A lovely way for a group of friends or family to coordinate some shared adventure before heading out on individual itineraries.

Although you can hire fully self-guided barges most of the vessels are chartered by various tour operators who staff the ship with a tour guide and organized included shore excursions. 

One such opportunity is the Burgundy River Cruise Adventure  with GAdventures. Originating out of Dijon, the vessel Daniele is your home base during a culinary, historical and oenophile discovery of the gorgeous countryside of Burgundy. 

You’ll be immersed in this world-renowned wine producing province. Visit local chateaus and palaces, cycle thru pastoral countryside and canopied forest trails. Shop with your chef at the local markets and learn the secrets of centuries-old recipes. 

Relax with friends, old and new atop the sundeck, glass in hand and watch the soothing passage of village life unchanged by modern conveniences. 

We have access to a one-half boat charter on the June 8, 2018 sailing. Regular pricing is $3,559 a person; however, we have six cabins available for $3,299pp, savings of $260pp.  

To qualify for this special group pricing, you must reserve and deposit before Nov. 30.  Gather friends or organize a family retreat aboard the Daniele and share in an unforgettable travel memory.  

For further information on this or any other river cruising options contact The Joy of Travel.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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