|Friday, December 18, 1998
|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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