Barge Cruising Advantages
The smaller size and guest limitations lead to intimate cruising. You quickly become acquainted with fellow passengers (and the crew), an ideal situation for solo travelers and sociable couples. Excursions on charters can be tailored (for children on board or special requests), and for non-chartered, there are also themed cruises if you wish to explore your interests (hiking, antiques, golf, wine or whisky, culinary, & more).
As the barges travel slowly (4-5 mph), it is almost a hop-on-hop-off situation. Stroll the footpath alongside the barge or bike. Most barges have complimentary bikes on board. If you get side-tracked by local sights, it’s always easy to catch up at the next lock or beyond. Barges travel slowly and not far- even during a 6-day cruise.
Excursions are included. Because there will never be a “crowd” due to the limited numbers of passengers, you do not have to wear ear sets or struggle to keep up with your guide. The tour guide(s) may be part of the crew, well-versed in the local sights and sites, so you get truly knowledgeable background information. Depending on the region, you could be visiting castles, wineries or breweries, chocolatiers or other artisans, World Heritage sites, quaint villages, film locales (eg Downton Abbey), historical battle sites, and more. If you can’t walk to the tour property, some cruises furnish rides in private limousines.
And for those of you who have to stay connected, there is always free Wi-Fi, though quality is dependent on the locality. But we bet little time will be spent “connected” except perhaps to post photos and brag on social about your vacation choice!