Most travelers know that barge cruising offers serene floating on France’s most beautiful canals and rural waterways…gourmet cuisine freshly prepared by your dedicated Chef…escorted excursions to villages, chateaux, and vineyards…pampered, privileged, private; these are the adjectives that apply to the barge cruise experience. But did you know that barging is also FUN?! Yes, FUN! Barge Lady guests know how to have a great time on the French canals.
Here are The Barge Lady’s 5 MOST FUN things to enjoy on a barge cruise:
JUMP IN THE HOT TUB
What could be more fun (and feel more luxurious at the same time) than lazing in the hot tub on your barge’s spacious sundeck while gorgeous countryside scenes float slowly by. It’s the ultimate in onboard opulence! The locals out walking on the towpath will salute you; jealous guests aboard other ships will hail you; the birds are chirping — and you are calling for…another glass of Champagne, s’il vous plait!
With cycle-friendly towpaths running right alongside the French canals, grabbing a bicycle from the boat’s deck and jumping on for a spontaneous ride deep in the French countryside is nothing short of exhilarating! What a fantastic way to explore the sights, sounds, and scenes of the barging lifestyle, including the adorable lockhouses, pastoral landscapes, and expansive skies. Everyone is welcome to take a leisurely bike ride to the next lock, or even the next four locks!
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When on a barge in France, sip and savor wine as the French do! The wonderful world of French wine and its many pleasures opens up to barge guests in the most fun ways, with excursions to prestigious wineries, exclusive tours of vineyards, and once-in-a-lifetime winetastings sure to delight even the most educated of oenophiles. Wines served at lunch and dinner compliment the oenophilic experience, with many barges offering appellations found only in their cruising region.
MINGLE WITH THE LOCALS AT FRENCH MARKETS
Lively local markets in small towns are one of the highlights of the French barge cruising experience. What could be more fun that attending a thriving community market full of seasonal produce, fresh meats, and boutique cheeses, exactly as the locals do? Gastronomes will revel in the regionally diverse cuisine, while those looking for the most special and gifts are sure to find the best souvenirs at the small craft stalls. The luckiest of Barge Lady guests will attend the market with their onboard gourmet Chef to help choose the ingredients for the next meal.
VISIT YOUR CAPTAIN IN THE WHEELHOUSE
An afternoon in the wheelhouse is a highlight for guests especially interested in the geography, history, and happenings along the canals. As the individual responsible for the vessel, passengers, and crew, the Captain often has remarkable insight about the route and region. Guests are always encouraged to join the Captain there for a friendly chat — and the chance to steer the barge down the waterways of France!