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What differentiates a hotel barge from a large cruise ship or a narrow boat? Paul Newman talks through the things you can look forward to with a hotel barge cruise.

People often ask me what it is that makes hotel barge cruises truly special. While it’s hard to put your finger on the magic mix of circumstances that make for a memorable vacation, there are a few things that differentiate hotel barge cruises from other forms of water travel.

Relaxing Speed

Since the hotel barge is much smaller than a cruise ship, it has access to a large network of canals and waterways throughout Europe. It allows you to cruise and stop right in the heart of some of the world’s most beautiful cities and towns without the hassle of traffic or transfers.

Hotel barges will generally travel at 3 miles per hour, covering less than 70 miles a week. Gentle cruising rather than hopping on a fast destination is a vacation destination. Your onboard guide will regularly lead visits in small groups, on foot or by bicycle, to hidden places you might not find if you were traveling alone. This relaxing pace encourages you to immerse yourself in the history and local culture around you as you watch the world slowly pass you by.

Intimate atmosphere

One of the most special features of a hotel barge cruise is the atmosphere you experience on such a small boat. Navigating, directing and cooking are all left in the capable hands of your crew, who will become like a second family to you during your journey. Unlike large cruise ships with hundreds of guests, hotel barges are an intimate and personal vacation experience.

You can even rent an entire barge for your party, which will make a great celebration venue. Imagine a get-together for the whole family as you sail into the heart of Italy, or a school reunion in style on a serene aqueduct that snakes through the French wine regions. From Henley to Holland and Burgundy to Belgium, hotel barges provide the opportunity to spend time with loved ones in luxury.

Stories to Tell

The hotel barge cruise offers a unique experience that is sure to be fondly remembered for many years to come. The unique vantage point you get from the water allows you to appreciate the special sight with fresh eyes. The Lazy Tunnel, the Aqueduct Eiffel in Briere, and the Arzviller Boat Elevator are just some of the incredible engineering feats you’ll experience on a hotel barging holiday.

Whether you are a seasoned seaman or a newbie to explore, this vacation will immerse you in the culture and history of every place you travel by. If you are looking for a relaxing cruise that will allow you to find your way into the heart of many of Europe’s most stunning locations, all in complete luxury and comfort, a hotel barge cruise could be perfect for you.

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