Has anyone had a good or bad experience taking a barge cruise in france?
Do you mean a Hotel Barge cruise, where your crew drives the boat and cooks the meals, or a drive it yourself canal barge cruise? Have not done the former, but have done a lot of cruising in hired canal boats. Can help on the latter.
I've done a bunch of the u-drive canal cruises and never had a bad experience.
Sondra - we haven't had our cruise yet but are very excited to be going with friends who have done 3 of them before and obviously had a great time. Our cruise will be out of Dijon and is indeed one of the "hotel barge" type experiences with chef, tour guide, etc. My understanding is that we will be able to wander the small towns on our own as the barge doesn't travel very far - only 50 miles for the entire 7 days! They will also have a van to take us to market days, wineries, other sites, etc. so it really is more of a hotel that follows you as you travel as opposed to standing on a boat and looking at scenery. This will be a very different experience for us and not something I'd normally be doing except for the generosity of our friends. And of course we will use this as the excuse to tag extra days on the front and back end to travel independently.
Karen, which boat/company are you going on?
We have done 3 self-drive canal boat trip in France. I loved the one in Burgundy area on the Petite Saône Canal the best of the three we did we did so far. They have hotel barges in that area if you are not interested in self-drive.
We are doing The Barge Lady: www.bargeladycruises.com/ Again, though we haven't actually had our cruise yet, the people who are taking us did do their last cruise with this company and were so happy that they are doing it with them again. We're really looking forward to the whole adventure!
I am asking about a hotel Barge. We are looking at a week cruise on the Barge from Dijion France. They stop at a different village each night and you sleep on the Barge.
Thanks Karen for the Info. The one you are planning to go on is sounds like the same one we are looking at though we will be going in 2012. It is also with BargeLadies. Please post your experience and have a great time.
We've taken several of the drive-yourself barges with great success in France. A fraction of the cost of the hotel barges, you meet great locals, and it's beautiful. Even better, anyone who can drive a car can do it. You can't get lost on a canal, and the boats handle like big bumper cars. Two great stories on drive-it-yourself barge trips are in CharterSavvy magazine (www.chartersavvy.com)