Looking for a cruise with an almost ironclad guarantee for avoiding seasickness? Then what could possibly be calmer, more serene, than a canal cruise?!
Many seasoned travelers are beginning to look for alternatives to the traditional cruise. And there are those who’d never even consider going on what they disparagingly refer to as a big box cruise. Thankfully, alternatives are plentiful and barge cruising may just be the option that captures your imagination.
Barges have come a long way from their working past. Today, luxury abounds on many of these vessels that have been transformed into mini floating hotels. You can still find barge cruising in North America and even in China, but by far the quintessential barge cruise experience is found in Western Europe or Britain.
Mainstream cruising can be fun but big cruise ships have to stick to deep water. A canal cruise can take you to places that the larger cruise ships could never get to. ‘Hotel’ barges cruise the inland waterways of the European and British countryside along canals, rivers, lakes and over locks. This is your great opportunity to visit these countries and experience the true essence of life, far from the madding crowd.
Barges now offer passengers the same great food, wine and service of the luxury cruise ships, but with a far more intimate experience. If cruising equates to a floating hotel, then the barge is the quaint, boutique hotel of the fleet.
Immerse yourself in an ambiance you will share with only a handful of others. When you have between six and sixteen passengers, it gives a whole new meaning and pleasure to an intimate cruise experience. Savor a side to Europe you will never otherwise encounter. And do it all with style and panache. It really is like touring on someone’s private boat, stopping here and there as your fancy strikes. Not even an adventurous self drive into the backwoods and country lanes will net you the opportunity to get really deep into the pockets of Western Europe and the British Isles. Only barging truly can.
One of the best places to begin your research is online. But don’t make the Internet your final stop. Find a travel agent specialist who has booked many clients on these cruises. Every barge cruise line isn’t the same and it is prudent to deal with someone who knows the pluses and pitfalls. It can make the difference between a memorable and a forgettable barge cruise vacation.
A canal cruise is an exciting option to explore a destination in ways you’ve never done before. Plus the pace at which you journey is one of enforced relaxation. Barges move at a slow pace, allowing passengers to go ashore to walk or to cycle along the original towpath. You can even rejoin your vessel further down the line. Back on board, fine wines and exquisite cuisine abound as you enjoy the company of other like minded travelers. You can see castles on the escarpment above, local markets bursting with freshness and vignettes of rural life from days gone by. Battlefields, mind boggling cultural delights, and other remnants of history await you on a unique canal cruise