European cruise, barges, Europe, europe, travel, floating hotel, luxury, cabins,
rivers, canals, historic, itinerary, route, sightseeing
Caribbean Cruise Discounts!
European Cruise - Not All Barges Are the Same!
by: Colin Hartness
What image comes to mind when you hear the word barge? Most likely, an American
will visualize a long low-slung cargo vessel situated on a river or the Great
Lakes, dirty and loaded with coal or iron ore. The idea of a barge cruise may be
reminiscent of an old black and white movie where the hero leaves home at a
young age on a cheap tramp steamer to seek his fortune in the great world
beyond. Or a barge cruise might bring to mind long-haired hippies of the 1960ís
traveling through Europe on $3 a day. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The only resemblance between an American cargo barge and a European cruising
barge is the long low-slung shape and overall proportions. A European cruising
barge is, in reality, an exclusive and elegant means of travel. These barges are
also called floating hotels due to the preponderance of amenities and staff.
Forget the thought of a tiny pigeon-hole stateroom just above the waterline of a
2,000 passenger cruise ship. All staterooms in a floating hotel are spacious and
well-appointed, more like suites that you find on a cruise ship. Staterooms
typically feature twin beds and a private bath. On luxury barge cruises, you
will find even larger cabins and modern conveniences such as TV, jacuzzi, and
computer hook-up. You have all the amenities of home, including air
conditioning, carpeting, a commons area, a dining area and, of course, a bar.
The European barge cruise is an intimate and personal experience as barges
typically accommodate as few as 4 people up to as many as 24. Each barge is
staffed with a personal chef who prepares gourmet meals from locally purchased
ingredients to please guests as well as a captain who pilots the vessel and
stateroom staff. A cruise with 6 people can be served by as many as 4 staff
Barge cruises are available on most of the rivers and canals in Europe. You can
experience up-close the beauty and cultural sites of Belgium, England, France,
Germany, Holland, Ireland, or Scotland. The pace of a barge cruise is leisurely.
The itinerary includes stopping at historic and cultural places of interest
along the cruising route. You can sightsee on foot or on bicycles that are
available onboard. On barge cruise operator even provides an air-conditioned
touring bus to takes passengers to local points of interest at each stop along
the way. What a change of pace from the hotel hopping of a bus trip! Just depart
from the barge in the morning, enjoy a day of sightseeing and return to the
quiet of a private dining room where a gourmet meal is waiting.
The price of a European barge cruise, like all other cruises, varies based upon
the cruise line, the accommodations selected, the area visited, and the season
(high or low). However, a quiet and personal barge cruise can be had for a price
competitive with a Caribbean cruise, without airfare of course. The barge cruise
price usually includes accommodations, 3 meals a day, beverage service that
includes wines and spirits, and pre-arranged sightseeing tours. And these barge
cruises cater to the American tourist by providing English speaking crew
About The Author
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