Preparing for your trip
Every country has immigration regulations regarding passports, visas and entrance requirements in general. As these are subject to change at any time, we do not publish them, but do urge that you contact the embassies of the countries you are visiting. Be very certain, in particular, that the expiration date on your passport is correct with regards to current regulations.
The day begins with a colorful breakfast buffet of pastries and breads brought in from the local village boulangerie, and various fruits, yogurts, cereals and freshly brewed coffee and tea. Some barges offer breakfast made to order such as eggs. All barges follow the same format – they cruise in the morning, and after lunch the Tour Guide chauffeurs everyone on the scheduled, guided excursion to appoint of interest near the waterway. These daily excursions include wine tasting, and visits to local markets, artisans, villages and chateaus. Alternatively, they go on the excursion in the morning, and return to the barge for a late lunch while starting the cruise portion of the day. While the barge is cruising, active guests can bicycle and meander into the countryside and canal side villages. Or, guests can stay on the barge and relax on deck or in the salon to admire the bucolic and romantic scenery gently glide by. Socialize with others, read a book, take a snooze, or help the Captain steer…there is always something to do! Meanwhile, your attentive crew will be offering to fix you a drink and ensuring that you are comfortable at all times. Lunch a presents a bountiful buffet of rustic salads, homemade soups, and savory quiches. A selection of regional cheeses is often served, and a sweet treat may be included as well. Lunches are always accompanied by quality wines selected by Chef. The evening’s present a cocktail hour, where the crew prepares and serves drinks and canapes. The day culminates with a grand (yet informal) gourmet meal that Chef has been preparing for hours. Wine pairings, cheese boards, decadent desserts, and traditional nightcaps are also part of the evening’s repast. Retire to your cabin and drift off to a restful sleep, perhaps dreaming about tomorrow’s fun and festivity.
We advise you to bring clothes that are informal and comfortable. Bring comfortable walking and/or athletic shoes, as you will be walking on the daily excursions, enjoying yourself on deck, and have the option to walk or bike along the tow path. During the day, The Barge Ladies wears slacks, jeans, shorts, capris, exercise wear, informal tops, and sweatshirts/sweaters. For dinner, we sometimes freshen up our attire with a new top, cardigan or scarf, although this is certainly not required. Please note: It is not necessary to bring dresses of any kind, expensive or special jewelry, or high heels. During the day, men wears slacks, jeans, shorts, exercise wear, informal shirts, and sweatshirts/sweaters. For evening, some men change into long pants, a fresh shirt, knit or button down, although this is certainly not required. Your last night on board there will be a celebratory farewell dinner. Some guests may choose to dress up slightly this night, although this is not required. If your itinerary includes meals at casual bistros, the dress code is what we call smart-casual; neat yet informal attire along the lines of comfortable and presentable outfits. If your itinerary includes a Michelin-Star restaurant, the dress code is “country club casual” attire. For women, this means coordinated separates or blouses and slacks. For men, this means shirts such as knit polo’s or collared button down and slacks or khakis (ties are not required). If your barge has a hot tub, be sure to bring a swimsuit. If you are on a family cruise during the summer months, we suggest packing a swimsuit, as an impromptu swimming hole may pop up! If you plan on biking or hiking along the tow path, bring clothes that you can wear to work up a little sweat. During cooler months, we suggest packing clothing that can be layered.
We will advise you the meeting and drop off location and time upon booking. Barge crew will meet you at the pre-arranged location, whether it is a hotel, railroad station, or rental car office. Customized meeting and return drop-off points may be arranged for charters.
- Chauffeured transfers to and from the barge pre- and post-cruise at a designated pick up and drop off point
- Six night’s accommodation with private bathroom
- All meals on the barge’s dining program*, which include breakfast, lunch and dinner. (*There are some barges that offer dining ashore at the guest’s expense)
- Wine pairings with onboard lunches and dinners
- Open bar with top shelf liquors, wines, spirits, waters and soft drinks, coffee and tea
- Daily escorted sightseeing to local places of interest, including all entrance fees
- Daily maid service of cabins and bathrooms
- Use of on all onboard amenities such as hot tub, bicycles, electronics, music, games, library, etc
The crew will call the medics, take you to the hospital, or do whatever is necessary to provide you with the care needed. We recommend the purchase of travel insurance including emergency medical coverage and evacuation.