Multigenerational Hotel Barge Cruising

After seeing a 60 percent increase in family charters last year, cruise provider European Waterways is changing up its offerings to cater to multigenerational travel. Now, traveling families enjoy a wider range of family charter excursion options, and guests can “pick and mix” daily tours and activities to best fit every member of their family, whether they want to visit theme parks or wine tastings, swimming spots or golf courses.

“Families are busier than ever before, so finding quality time together is a major driver of multigenerational travel,” said Derek Banks, managing director, European Waterways. “A hotel barge charter offers flexibility and freedom for family members of all ages. It’s like having your own ‘private floating villa’ in a different location every day! All excursions are preplanned and the onboard master chef can satisfy every palate, from hearty children’s meals to sophisticated haute cuisine for adults.”

Additionally, to make the idea of a family charter even more appealing, European Waterways offers 20 percent off select departures in France this year, during 2019’s school vacation seasons, as well as an additional $300 off for each child under 18 who travels with you on the charter.

Eligible cruises include the Aug. 11 departure of L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy; the July 28 and all August departures of Nymphea, in the Loire Valley; and the Aug. 25 departure of Anjodi, cruising the Canal du Midi in Southern France. If you were to travel with just two children, you could save up to $8,600 when you combine the 20 percent off savings and the $300 off for each child.

Canal du Midi in the Languedoc region of France.

Canal du Midi in the Languedoc region of France. Photo: Peter Titmuss | Dreamstime.com

“No other cruise operator provides the choices that we do, or the kinds of savings we offer at the height of the summer season, when the kids are out of school and it’s easier for adults to take vacations,” said Banks.

As far as the new excursion options, what can families expect? Well, if you were to travel on the eight-passenger L’Art de Vivre, you might choose to visit Guédelon Castle, where craftsmen are currently recreating a medieval castle using only the materials and means that would’ve been available to them in the Middle Ages. Adults will enjoy 5-star dining and wine tasting in the cellars of Domaine Laroche, while the kids look forward to laser tag battles and getting competitive in mini golf.

If you’re aboard Nymphea, you get the chance to combine history with the great outdoors when you pay a visit to Leonardo da Vinci’s former home, explore the Charente River from your own canoe or kayak and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Beauval Zoological Park.

And then, aboard Anjodi, you might choose to visit a theme park for the kids one day or go on a paintball adventure at Bezieres Forest Adventure Park before everyone enjoys visits to pre-Roman settlements and prehistoric caves.

“Excursions can be the highlight of the day, but the boats themselves offer plenty of opportunities for socializing, relaxing and entertainment,” added Banks. “For example, children can help the Captain steer the barge while the adults relax in the spa-pool on deck, or the whole family can bicycle on the gentle towpaths as we cruise only a few feet away from them.”