source - Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel Online
Daily Newsletter
Friday, December 18, 1998
 Article 2 of 6  

Starting in the Spring, You Can Enjoy the Canals and Waterways of Europe in a Self-Skippered Barge For As Little As $910 a Week--For the Whole Boat!
We always view with a degree of bemusement (and a degree of outrage) those travel advertisements for barging holidays in Europe, wherein you can enjoy a week on a "hotel barge" in France or Ireland or the Netherlands, floating down the aquatic equivalent of the slow lane while receiving non-stop pampering at an audacious price. A much cheaper alternative--as well as way to actually experience these very special waterways--is to take the helm of your own rental barge. Starting in the spring (exact dates depend on destinations), a New Jersey-based company called Le Boat lets fully-equipped, bumper-padded craft for as little as $910/week. And that's not per person, but for the entire boat. (The number of people the vessel can sleep will, obviously, depend on the boat itself.) Le Boat handles barge rentals in the three countries mentioned above as well as Germany, Belgium, England, and Wales. You need no particular expertise in boating--an hour's instructional course will give you just about all the information you need--as the boats themselves rev up to a top speed of about five miles per hour. What's especially commendable about this mode of travel is that you really get a hands-on, up-close perspective on the regions you visit, whereas on the high-priced barges you're generally paying more attention to the luxury than to your surroundings. In other words, lower price, more stimulating vacation. For information and reservations, call Le Boat at 800/992-0291.

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