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Any tips on barge vacation on canals of France?

Any tips on barge vacation on canals of France?

Jan 31st, 2002, 05:36 PM
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Any tips on barge vacation on canals of France?

We are considering a barge vacation in France on the canals this year. Does anyone have any tips on company to use, area to see or time of the year to go. Any recommendations or ideas would be appreciated.
Feb 1st, 2002, 03:22 AM
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Hi Bob, we used Blue Crown Lines, they have a good web site where you can read about the various options. We went in 1st week of June, practically perfect weather, not too crowded yet, although many times there would be 4 of us (boats) going through the locks at the same time. My major tip is go downstream and why not reserve early enough that you pay the extra and go one way so as not to repeat the scenery? We loved it but beware of going on one that has too many locks, they are alot of work to maneuver and we had a very experienced boat person as one of our 6 people. Judy ps, the Canal du Midi in S, France is a world heritage site (UNESCO) and it was lovely.
Feb 1st, 2002, 04:32 AM
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check out the slowtrav.com website. There are a few reviews written by folks who have done canal trips in England and in France
Feb 1st, 2002, 06:06 AM
AGM/Cape Cod
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I have book both a self-drive and a hotel barge through LeBoat (leboat.com) and was very pleased with their service. I worked with Debbie and she knew everything. They deal with many companies in many countries.
Feb 1st, 2002, 06:49 AM
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Bob - my husband and I have taken 4 barge trips - all thru Abercrombie and Kent (can book thru AAA) on the Continental Waterways barges. We have done the burgundy region; Alsace -lorriane and Netherlands. This past Oct. we were supposed to do the upper Loire Valley but water levels closed the canal so we ended up in Burgundy region again.
This company arranges 6 night trips - everything is included - all theliquor; meals sightseeing - transportation form Paris to the starting point and return to PAris. Continental Waterways has a website - i think it's continental waterways.com We recommend this company highly. There are ususally up to 20 passengers - and we have always hit it off. They also have bicycles so you can hop off at a lock and either walk or ride to the next lock (they;ll tell you how far it is to the next one) Barging is a wonderful way to see and experience the small villages. enjoy! Brooks
Mar 6th, 2002, 07:44 PM
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Read your reply about the A & K trip and we have booked Continental Waterways the "Mirabelle" for their family departure July 20th through Burgandy. Have you ever been on this specific barge? What can you tell me about the rooms. We have 2 cabins for our family (2 daughters ages 10 & 12)Any other info I need to know about barging w/my family would be appreciated.
Mar 6th, 2002, 07:56 PM
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We used Crown Blue Lines for our boat rental on the Venetian lagoon, but we prepaid for fuel, then were charged AGAIN by the caretaker...and we've never received our original fuel payment from Crown Blue Lines in spite of repeated attempts. Based on this experience, I can't recommend them.
Mar 6th, 2002, 08:57 PM
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Several years ago I rented a boat from Le Boat to travel up the Saone for a week from St. Jean de Losne. They made a big deal about how easy it was to use the locks, how much there was to do, what a great orientation they gave, etc.
When we got there the orientation consisted of telling us about the boat, when I asked about the locks, the advice was "Va doucement"--go slowly.
The boat was mildewed, it rained, the locks were a headache and the other boaters screamed at us in the locks. It was difficult to find places to moor for the night. We encountered more rude people than anywhere else in France. We bailed after two days and headed to the French Riviera. Prior to departure we had asked Le Boat if we could convert the trip from one way to out and back and they promised to refund us the extra fee. They never paid up.
So it is possible to have a bad time on a barge trip, though most people seem to have a great time. For relaxation think about one of the barges where somebody else drives.

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