Luxury barge cruises along the picturesque canals of France are not inexpensive vacation experiences. Rates ranges from $750 per person per day up to more than $1,000 per person per day, plus suggested gratuities from 5 percent to 10 percent of the total cost of the cruise depending on how generous you’re feeling.
Are barge cruises worth the cost? If you have the money, absolutely.
I’ve been fortunate to have been on two luxury barge cruises this year (one operated by European Waterways, and the other by French Country Waterways). What I learned in talking with guests is that for some of them, six days on a barge through a small slice of France was a lifetime aspiration that they had spent years saving for.
On a per-diem basis, barge cruises are certainly among the most expensive travel experiences offered.
River cruises, by contrast, typically will cost you less than half the price of a barge cruise, but as is often said, you get what you pay for. At these prices, you better.
Last month, I spent six days on European Waterways’ Panache, barging the canals of Alsace and Lorraine in France. I’ve put together a short video that aims to give you a bit of the flavor of the experience.
If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.
Back in April, I traveled with French Country Waterways through Burgundy, also an experience to remember.
The Cost Of Barge Cruises
In checking published “Value Season” rates for barging Alsace & Lorraine, French Country Waterways appears to command pricier rates over European Waterways.
Priced in U.S. dollars, Adrienne, operated by French Country Waterways, is offered at $5,795 per person, or $11,590 per person. That final price is nearly long enough to be a phone number in some countries.
Panache, operated by European Waterways, goes for around (around, because rates are converted from euros) US$4,150 per person, or about $8,300 per couple for the week.
Extrapolating those numbers, European Waterways will cost you $3,290 less than French Country Waterways, but be sure to refer back to a point I made earlier: You often get what you pay for.
I encourage you to dig deep into your research to determine which barge cruise is best for you. The links below provide a wealth of information. If you have questions about barge cruises, please leave a comment in the space provided below. I’m happy to provide additional information.
And oh, don’t forget to set aside cash for the suggested gratuities, which are the same percentages for both barges, 5 percent to 10 percent. Let’s face it, 10 percent of $11,590 isn’t pocket money for most of us.
Should you consider a barge cruise? If you can budget for it, yes. Barging provides an experience you’re not likely to forget.