What To Consider When Planning A Barge Cruise Holiday
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A barge cruise holiday can be a truly unforgettable experience. Holidaymakers cite solitude, zero stress, a slow travel pace and the ability to see a large area without multiple separate car/plane journeys as reasons for going on such holidays. When booking one of these relaxing breaks, here are a few things to consider first.

Budget

As with all holidays, budget can be a major consideration. If you don’t have much to spend, remember that you can actually have a fantastic barging experience in the UK, in places like Scotland, for instance. Doing so will minimise travel costs as well as potential administrative costs involved in going abroad (passports, visas, etc.). However, even places like France and Italy can sometimes be surprisingly affordable. When deciding on the most cost-effective option, it’s important to weigh up factors such as travel and administrative costs, local cost of living and the exchange rate, as all of these will affect the overall cost of your barge cruise holiday.

Vessel

The kind of vessel used is also a big consideration. Would you like a very simple, self-crewed barge, or would you prefer something more luxurious and elaborate? For those with a bigger budget, luxury crewed barges will allow you the freedom to relax and enjoy the journey without worrying about anything else. However, sometimes even those with a bigger budget may enjoy the simpler, do-it-yourself approach of a small, self-crewed barge cruise holiday.

Destination

Although not a final destination in the typical sense of the word (you travel there in order to do more travelling!), the area you’d like to cover in your barge is also important. You may have a specific location in mind, in which case you need to look into available itineraries in that area. If not, you need to start thinking about the sort of place you’d like to visit. This includes factors like the weather (seasonally dependent – remember it may not be the same season in your proposed destination), scenery, local activities, and proximity to friends/family you may want to visit.

Time Spent On-Board

This covers two factors: how many days your barge cruise holiday will last, and what proportion of each day you plan to spend aboard the barge. If you plan to spend a lot of time on-board, you may want to consider redirecting some of your budget towards comfort. If, on the other hand, you intend to spend less time on-board, it may be wise to choose a destination with good weather and an itinerary with lots of potential outdoor activities.

A barge cruise holiday can be a really wonderful way to travel, allowing you to spend a few days on the water and experience all kinds of places without having to pack or settle in to new accommodation. Remember to think carefully about all the above factors, and you’re sure to have a good time.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, a provider of luxury, all-inclusive barge cruise holiday itineraries to France, Holland, Italy and the UK.


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