A well-appointed, chic, and comfortable barge, the Meanderer is owned and supervised by longtime Barge Lady friends George and Susan Kovalick. This personable couple make it all look easy due to their pre-barge professional stints in the travel, restaurant, and fashion industries.
Their personal lives – George grew up in Paris, Susan in London – and their passions for fitness (bicycling, hiking, boating, and tennis), cuisine, history, and the arts match well to the cosmopolitan interests of barge guests. As residents of a village along the cruise route, the Kovalicks have developed relationships with artisan purveyors and friendly neighbors. A professional crew of five handles day to day operations, while George is still available to guide rides through the region’s scenic bicycle trails and Susan to unlock a local church for a private tour.
Excursions include winetasting in the rolling vineyards of Sancerre and a visit to the extraordinary Palace of Fontainebleau, along with more intimate stops at seasonal markets and preserved chateaux. Shoppers will enjoy the Faiencerie de Gien, where the secrets of producing fine china since 1821 are revealed, followed by time to browse their onsite pottery boutique (the Barge Ladies have purchased wonderful souvenirs here!). Floating over the Loire River on the “Pont Canal,” a famous aqueduct designed by Gustave Eiffel, is another cruise highlight.
Back onboard, passengers are welcomed in the newly redecorated salon, while smartly appointed cabins offer clever storage. As Meanderer cruises through its idyllic route, guests can to choose to lounge on the shaded teak deck, laze in the hot tub, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the towpath. Dining is an equally pleasurable aspect of the Meanderer experience, with an emphasis on classic Continental cuisine freshly crafted from regionally sourced ingredients.
Et voila, you are cordially invited to wander with wonder on the Meanderer!