I, my wife and two friends enjoyed a wonderful weeks cruising aboard a barge called Nilaya this summer ( www.bargenilaya.com ) We found it an enjoyable and inexpensive way to hit the canals of France, without having to actually rent and pilot our own hire boat.
Hotel barge cruises are far too structured and expensive for our tastes, although for the wealthy and paupers like us just once, a really excellent splurge!
Having only just discovered this trip advisor thingy, I'm now keen to explore what others of you out there know about barging that I don't.
The week aboard Nilaya will be hard to top, but can you offer any personal experience of laid back boating / barging opportunities on the French canals? If so please let me know them...
During our cruise we came across another holiday barge which offered purely self catering cruises. It has a less luxurious fit out, but is capable of carrying up to six I believe and also at reasonable rates. In fact, I understand that Johanna ( www.johannacharters.com ) cruises similar routes to Nilaya and could possibly cruise in tandem with Johanna as long as a good lead time was allowed.
This could open up the possibility of groups of up to ten people travelling aboard the two barges who would tie up together at night. The barges not the people!
We have a big anniversary coming up in 2010 and are seriously thinking of treating our two sons, two daughters and partners to a once in a lifetime family vacation.
Please let me know any affordable barge recomendations you have.
Thanks in advance
Hughie & Jess