With women travel groups on the rise, European Waterways has introduced “Girls’ Getaway” barge charter, offering a wide range of excursions, culinary experiences, shopping and health-conscious themes, such as yoga and walking.
Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, noted that girls’ getaway charters can be tailored to meet the unique interests of each group. For example, a culinary-themed cruise can include private cooking demonstrations, truffle hunting and visits to local attractions such as an artisan chocolatier or a Mediterranean oyster farm. Guests can take an educational tour of L’Oulibo, a factory that produces extra virgin olive oil from the Lucques olive, one of the hardest from which to extract the oil. They can also enjoy gastronomic excursions to local food markets, accompanied by their on-board master chef who can incorporate their culinary finds into the evening menu.
Among barges offering culinary themed charters is the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste, which sails Southern Burgundy on the Canal de Bourgogne. The cruise offers complimentary transfers in chauffeured minivans from Paris. For smaller groups, the eight-passenger Enchanté, cruising on the Canal du Midi, is more suitable.
Health-themed vacations are also increasingly popular, and European Waterways’ cruises offer various “soft adventures”, such as walking on the towpaths that run parallel to the canal, or morning yoga class on deck. The eight-passenger L’Art de Vivre barge offers walking cruises in Burgundy between Auxerre and Chevroches, with the cruises providing countless opportunities to take in the historic Burgundian countryside and medieval villages along the way.
For those who prefer sipping to stretching, a wine appreciation cruise will do the trick. The eight-passenger Rosa takes guests through Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 20-passenger La Bella Vita operates a Wine Appreciation Cruise through the Veneto region of Italy. Guests can taste world = vintages as they tour the Renaissance wine estates en route between Venice and Mantua.
For more creative groups, art themed cruises come with an expert “art guide” who shows guests around craft workshops and boutiques and suggests the best painting spots. The hotel barge itself makes an ideal spot, and guests can paint on-board while enjoying a cocktail or chilled glass of champagne.
European Waterways is also offering 10 percent off the charter prices on select cruises for spring 2019, good when booked by September 14.