Now more than ever travellers are looking for a meaningful kind of holiday: one that will not only allow for complete relaxation away from the stresses of modern life, but also one that will afford a genuine insight into a different culture. A French barge trip offers both those aspects in abundance, plus a whole lot more – making them more and more popular with a range of different people. |
If you’re considering a French barge trip for your next break, you might be wondering who else this kind of holiday appeals to. Here are just four kinds of people we know absolutely love the idea of this slow, immersive way to travel.
Escaping on a French barge trip is the ideal holiday for an active person. While there is certainly plenty of time to laze around on board, watching the scenery slip by, for those who want it, there are many activities to be had. You can choose any number of shore excursions, which can be as active or relaxed as you like, but one of the genuine bonuses of a French barge trip is that due to the slow pace of the vessel, it’s easy to hop off and walk along the towpath beside, or take one of the provided bicycles (kept on board) and cycle alongside (or go off and explore).
Anyone at home on the water will appreciate life on board a slow-moving barge. While it’s certainly a very different kind of water travel than, say, yachting or large liner cruising, it’s wonderful to be able to get up close and personal with the captain and crew to learn how they navigate and negotiate the locks and canals. In some cases guests are even invited to get hands on!
There are so many opportunities to embark on shore excursions, where passengers can wander around and explore the highlights of small towns and villages, visit castles and chateaux and spend time at local vineyards to sample the superb wines. The chance to visit so many out-of-the-way places that many people don’t get to see offers a host of wonderful cultural experiences through art, history and cuisine.
Photographic opportunities abound on this kind of trip, in part simply because there’s plenty of time to discover them and France is so photogenic! The slow, relaxed pace gives amateur photographers the chance to capture so much more than on a rushed holiday. Because these trips take you to many places larger vessels and other kinds of travel experiences can’t, images are often more authentic and genuinely depict the ‘local’ kind of life.
The idea of a well-planned French barge trip appeals to so many people because it really is one of the most fulfilling and fun ways to explore. There are many other demographics than the ones mentioned above that would find something to love, particularly on special ‘themed’ cruises, which are tailored to special interests. If you make sure you book with a well-known and reputable company, exploring the stunning rural regions of France on a hotel barge can be one of the most memorable travel experiences of your life.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of the best itineraries for a French barge trip. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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