Imagine yourself spending a week aboard a vintage luxury barge cruising along a medieval canal. Your typical day begins with a beautiful breakfast and sipping coffee as the barge passes through the French countryside. At one of the many locks, you decide to hop ashore to walk off the indulgences of the prior evening. After you’ve spent the morning admiring at the beauty of the ancient towpath and local villages, your chef announces that lunch is ready. A perfectly chilled white wine is poured and served with a Grilled Goat Cheese and Roasted Beetroot Salad and a summer vegetable tart. After lunch, your guide accompanies you on your excursion for the day to a local chateau. Upon your return, you are greeted with cocktails and appetizers while you relax on the deck.
Conversations continue through dinner and into the night as everyone enjoys the local wines paired perfectly with one of the chef’s specialties. Tonight’s menu includes Roasted Leg of Lamb, Potato Dauphinoise and Ratatouille with a Fruit Tea Infused Crème Brûlèe and Homemade Shortbread for dessert. Later, you reflect upon the wonderful sights, sounds and flavors of the day as you drift off to a relaxing sleep.
The history of the barges you see today begins in the early 1900’s when they started their commercial lives carrying cargo and proudly steaming the waterways of northern Europe. Many of these barges were redesigned in the 1970’s for vacationers wishing to enjoy the vast European canal systems. While the exteriors of the barges have maintained their classic design, the interiors range from quaint to modern but all are comfortable and well-appointed.
Depending upon their size, the barges can accommodate 6-12 passengers and come fully staffed with a crew that has a wealth of information about the region. They truly enjoy sharing their passion about the local culture, cuisine and wine and they strive to provide the trip of a lifetime for every guest.