Chances are, if you haven’t heard of barging, the word brings with it connotations of cramped narrowboats, coal, and maybe even Rosie & Jim. And while this mode of transport does have a long, and intriguing history, our fleet of Luxury Hotel Barges is a world away from the workhorse vessels of yesteryear. Having been painstakingly restored and converted, they are now elegantly furnished and well equipped floating hotels, though they still retain their original aesthetic charms and wonderful sense of authenticity. Read on for the many reasons that a Luxury Barge Cruise should be top of your bucket list…
Luxury Hotel Barging – Why it should be on your Bucket List!
A True Taste of the Region
Each cruise menu is specific to the region in which you are cruising, focusing upon traditional dishes, made with fresh, locally sourced produce and prepared by top tier chefs, many of whom have trained in Michelin starred establishments. So, in Burgundy, expect some world beating Beef Bourguignon, in Venice, some beautiful Baccala Mantecato, in Scotland, the best smoked salmon you’ve ever sampled. And this true taste of course, extends to the alcoholic beverages of the region, we pride ourselves on an extensive selection of exquisite wines that have been obtained through long lasting relationships with boutique vineyards throughout France and Italy. Not to mention the numerous Scotch and Irish Whiskies you are more than welcome to sample on a Classic Cruise down the Caledonian Canal or on the River Shannon.
The Undiscovered Heart of a Country
Due to the boutique nature of our barges we are able to navigate the smaller waterways across Europe which allows for greater accessibility and flexibility, we cruise through the medieval towns and serene countryside canals that large cruise ships simply cannot get to. It also means the ability to hop on and off and explore at will, meeting the friendly locals, lockkeepers and other river folk and assimilating into this slow and easy pace of life. In addition to this our numerous escorted excursions incorporate private tours and tastings at famous chateaux and wineries, often accompanied by the owners or winemakers themselves. The history alone is breath-taking, but the behind the scenes tours and meet and greets make it a truly memorable experience. Expect games of boules with friendly lockkeepers, exclusive tastings at boutique champagne houses and even displays of falconry on private manor grounds!
The Social Experience
When you travel as part of a luxury barge cruise, there are usually only 6 to 12 other guests on board, for the most part these guests are fascinating, distinguished people with similar interests to your own and more often than not we have people leave having made life-long friends. The crew too, are very much part of your onboard family and have been carefully selected for their diligence, work ethic and genial personality, not to mention their often encyclopaedic knowledge of food, wine and the local area! As well as the captain, crew and your fellow guests you’ll meet people from all walks of life along the way, from the 5th generation baker in the local village that supplies your morning croissants to the aristocratic count who opens his stately home to you for a private dinner.
If this idea floats your boat then why not take a look at our Special Offers page here