DIJON, France -- There's another way to see the waterways of Europe
up-close and personal -- barging.
Barging along countryside canals and rivers is somewhat
different than a river cruise-ship experience.
The ships are tiny, perhaps with 24 or fewer passengers aboard.
It's a slow boat, and while comfortable, the converted barges are
not as luxurious as their larger, more formal river-cruising
However, said Guy Bardet, chief executive officer of Continental
Waterways, their atmosphere is more congenial. "It's more relaxed
than on the river cruise," he said. "It appeals to a slightly
Barge cruises are more active, Bardet noted; passengers can hop
on and off a ship at canal locks and bike or walk alongside.
"Because we have bicycles on board, the crew will give you a map
and tell you what there is to discover in the immediate
surroundings," he said. "We have more flexiibility."
Continental Waterways cruises start around $1,990 for cruises in
the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France, or for tulip cruises