What To Look For In A Barge Cruise Holiday
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When you’re planning a barge cruise holiday it's possible you'll have a destination in mind already. Depending on the region, you’ll have a choice between a number of different vessels – varying in both size and level of comfort. For the more popular barge cruise areas with a range of suitable waterways, you may find yourself with a broad array to choose from, whereas more specialist destinations may only have a few barges available. Either way, it pays to understand a little more about the vessels.

How the Barge Feels

Get as good a feel for the vessel as possible before finalising the details of your barge cruise holiday. If not likely you'll actually be able to board a vessel and investigate first-hand, but read up about the barge, look at pictures, see if there are any videos available on the provider’s website or on user-upload websites, and try to understand exactly how big it will be by looking at other boats of a similar size.

As well as size, the décor, amenities and appearance of the boat are important. You need to be sure the interior is somewhere you’ll enjoy spending time in, in the same way you’d want to make sure you had a nice villa or hotel room for a holiday on terra firma. Does it have everything you want? You’ll find that if you’re 100% satisfied with your vessel, you’re much more likely to be satisfied with other aspects of the holiday too.

The Crew

Your crew will be responsible for your safety during your journey, and they’ll also be cooking your food, telling you about the surrounding area, making recommendations for your day’s activities when you leave the boat, and generally be involved in every part of your barge cruise holiday. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that you have a friendly, professional crew who enjoy their work.

Safety

Safety is always a major consideration when planning any holiday, especially one around water. Ensure you book with a reputable company, so you can rest assured the crew have the proper safety training. You should familiarise yourself with all the on-board safety procedures and equipment, and also make sure you are prepared and able to keep an eye on any children in your party when they are playing or involved in activities above deck. If you are travelling with children, make sure you speak to them about water safety and what they can and can’t do unsupervised before starting your barge cruise holiday.

The best way to ensure all the aspects above are covered is by booking your barge cruise holiday through a trusted, high quality provider. Even then, you should be comfortable asking specifically about the crew and whatever other aspects of the vessel or itinerary you may have.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, a provider of luxury, all-inclusive barge holidays. If you're looking for a barge cruise holiday, we offer itineraries through some of the world's most picturesque waterways in France, Holland and the UK.


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