Here’s a new idea from European Waterways, the company that runs 17 hotel barges in nine countries, from the Scottish Highlands to the Midi in the South of France: “Girls’ Getaway” charters, aimed at the growing market of women traveling on their own or who want to create their own charters with families and friends. The Girls’ Getaways can be very flexible and organized around such themes as culinary excursions, wine appreciation, wellness or simply walking along scenic towpaths.
“Today’s women travelers are more confident and independent than ever before,” says Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “The social nature of hotel barging makes it an ideal way to take a break with like-minded friends in a relaxing setting.” The vessels hold from six to 20 passengers, and most have one crewmember per every two passengers to ensure a relaxed, luxury cruising experience.
Among the barges available for a culinary theme is the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste, which cruises Southern Burgundy on the Canal de Bourgogne. For smaller groups, the eight-passenger Enchanté cruises on the Canal du Midi.
A culinary themed cruise could include private cooking demonstrations, truffle hunting and visits to an artisan chocolatier or a Mediterranean oyster farm. An on-board chef could accompany guests on visits to local food markets; he then could incorporate that food into the evening menu. For more: