Ellen Sack, The Barge Lady, an American based broker of 50 European crewed canal barges, is offering six night, fully crewed, luxury barge cruises in Europe aimed at multigen vacationers.
Barges accommodate 4 to 24 guests, with 4 to 6 in crew. The French Tour routes offer a range of daily excursions and scenery viewing from the ship. The barge Tour Guide can arrange visits to points of interest along the canal – towns, vineyards, basilicas, and local markets. For those seeking more physical activities, bicycling, swimming, horseback riding, and traversing high ropes courses can also be organized. The barge Chef can prepare meals for the whole family, from simple fare for the grandchildren to gourmet Continental Cuisine for the adults.
The Barge Lady has highlighted a selection of barges that are best for accommodating two and three generation families:
Luciole - Carries up to 14 and cruises in Burgundy. The Luciole specializes in family charters. Family-focused activities such as zip-lining, kayaking, go-karting, and scrambling over the ruins of a medieval castle are all organized by the crew. For those who like less action and more culture, there will be excursions throughout Northern Burgundy offered on some days.
Athos – Carries up to 10 and cruises on the Canal du Midi. Families can be greeted by the barge dog, Jill, which starts the cruise off on a fun note. Family festivities include such activities as kayaking, swimming on a Mediterranean beach, bicycling, tennis, picking out produce and then lunch with the chef in a covered food market, and playing French boules with the locals beside the canal.
Elisabeth – Carries up to 6 and cruises in the Upper Loire. The Elisabeth is owned and operated by, Peter and Sheena Jenner, "France's Favorite Grandparents". Guests can be taken kayaking and zip-lining, and guided visits include a tour of a family-owned chateau, as well as a witches museum. Bicycling and walking on the towpath and into towns will also keep guests active.
Prices range from $30,000 - $66,000 for a six night family cruise and include all meals, open bar, activities, excursions, and use of the vessel’s facilities such as bicycles and hot tubs.