Family hotel barge charters at all-time high, says European Waterways

Published on : Wednesday, July 15, 2015

European Waterways - Panache Tulip Cruise (sm)European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury hotel barge cruising company, reports that a growing number of its charters are being booked for family vacations and by multi-generational groups celebrating special anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones. The company attributes this to the intimate atmosphere that provides the utmost privacy, a relaxed pace, and a customizable itinerary that ensures a memorable and active vacation for every generation. Above all, whole-boat charters offer excellent cost savings over individual cabin prices.

European Waterways recognizes that many families plan and book their vacations up to a year in advance, so the company is offering lower, “value season” pricing for those booking cruises for July and August 2016. However, last-minute specials are still available this year with up to $15,000 off the charter price on some departures.

“Burgundy, Southern France, and Alsace & Lorraine are among the most popular routes for family and multi-generational vacations,” notes Derek Banks, managing director for European Waterways. “But every cruise offers its own, unique rewards. We’ll be happy to work with interested groups to find the best fit for them.”

Burgundy Cruises
European Waterways’ Burgundy canal cruises on hotel barges such as the 8-passenger L’Art de Vivre or the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque, offer many opportunities for families to bike and walk past picturesque villages and visit many of the region’s unique attractions. Among them, groups can visit Parc L’Auxois, a wonderful zoo and science learning center. They can also explore the Grottes d’Arcy sur Cure, a network of underground caves and lakes, whose limestone walls are lined with Paleolithic cave paintings. Other itineraries can include a visit to Loisirs en Morvan Parc Adventure for four-wheel off-road riding, tree climbing and kayaking, as well as a day at the Amphitrite Centre in Montbard with its outdoor pools for all ages.

“Many travelers know Burgundy for its wine and gastronomic offerings, but it is also a truly diverse, family friendly destination,” says Banks.

The Historic Midi
A Canal du Midi cruise on hotel barges such as Anjodi and Enchanté can take families to many historic attractions, such as Carcassonne, the most complete example of a fortified medieval city in existence today. Other favorites are the amazing Dinosaur Park and open air museum, and the Grotte de Limousis, a subterranean world carved out by an underground river and filled with immense stalactites and stalagmites.

Children also enjoy exploring the underground passages of the Oppidum d’Enserune, a pre-Roman hilltop settlement with Greek and Iberian excavations dating from 600 BC. The region’s other family friendly attractions include the nature reserve of Bagnas and the famous beaches of Cap d’Agde on the Mediterranean, a short bike ride from the canal.

The Alsace & Lorraine Cruise
European Waterways’ Alsace & Lorraine cruises aboard Panache offer a host of family-friendly attractions that include cycling in the stunning Brumath Forest; touring historic Strasbourg and visiting the chocolate museum; and for adults, discovering the famed Alsace hops-growing region and visiting one of the traditional breweries.

Other itinerary favorites include visiting the Saint-Croix Animal Park; the troglodyte houses in Vosges National Park; the mountaintop village of La Petite Pierre, with its medieval castle; and Wingen-sur-Moder, a World War II battleground. A memorable highlight of the itinerary is the “Luge Alpine Coaster”, a fantastic 1,300 meter long roller coaster ride at the Chamonix Amusement Park that winds its way down the forest and offers scenic thrills all season long.

“With multi-generational charters a growing market, European Waterways ensures that our cruises offer a widely diverse itinerary to satisfy the interests of every member of the family or group,” says Banks. “Charters offer an unforgettable experience that gives new meaning to family ‘quality time.’ They offer enough attractions and activities to answer every member’s question of ‘What are we doing today!’”

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