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More on Picking a Riverboat or Barge Cruise | Cruising in France

Cruising in France

...Travel blog about river and canal cruise vacations on luxury barges and riverboats

 

How to Choose the Best River or Canal Cruise for You (Part 2)

Written by Carolyn on March 6, 2009
Summary:

More things to think about when planning your river or canal cruise…

Do you enjoy drinking wine and other alcoholic beverages?

Most cruise packages include water, tea and coffee, but beyond that, policies vary. If you don’t drink wine or other alcoholic beverages, you can usually save money on a cruise that doesn’t include these or only includes wine with dinner, for example.

The usual options, depending on the cruise, are:

  1. Wine with dinner only, all other alcoholic drinks extra  (soft drinks may or may not be included with meals)
  2. Wine with lunch and dinner, all other alcoholic drinks extra
  3. Wine with lunch and dinner, plus open bar between meals

French Wine with Gourmet CuisineClos de Vougeot vineyard, Burgundy, FranceChocolate Dessert

Most cruises include at least one or two wine tastings of local vintages, but if you’re really interested in wine, look for a wine theme cruise. Many of the smaller luxury barges offer these for group charters. We even offer a “Wine and Chocolate Cruise” in the Chablis region of Burgundy. This cruise is open to both individuals and groups in the spring and fall.

Do you want to do a lot of sightseeing or just relax?

Most cruises include at least one sightseeing excursion per day, and these are usually included in the price of the cruise. However, it’s a good idea to find out if any of the excursions are “optional,” i.e., you have to pay extra for them. In addition to wine tastings at local vineyards, excursions can range from visiting a village farmers market to touring nearby chateaus and cathedrals.

If you just want to relax, you can skip the excursions, of course. And with a barge charter, your group can decide to do things like additional wine tastings instead of sightseeing.

Do you have a special interest?

Besides wine cruises, you can take a cruise focused on a special interest, like garden cruises, golf cruises, bicycle cruises, etc. Most of these require putting together a group for a charter, but this can be arranged for groups as small as four people.

As you can see, there are a lot of choices available for cruising in France, from larger boats that cruise the Seine and Rhone Rivers to small luxury barge-hotels that travel the networks of canals and smaller rivers in Burgundy, Provence, Champagne, the Loire Valley and other regions. So, whatever your interests and budget, you’re sure to find the perfect cruise that will provide a lifetime of wonderful memories.

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