River Cruising for Families on European Waterways

by Felicity Long

Jul 7, 2019

European Waterways


Multigenerational travel is hot — so much so companies like European Waterways — which used to attract a more senior crowd — has seen a 60 percent increase in family charters in the last year. To introduce more families to the joys of hotel barge cruising, the company is upping its game in 2019 by allowing guests to “pick and mix” daily tours and activities to meet the interest of every generation on board.

“Families are busier than ever before, so finding quality time together is a major driver of multigenerational travel,” noted 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.”

On the eight-passenger L’Art de Vivre, for example, families can “pick” a visit to Guedelon Castle, where they can watch a team of craftsmen build a castle with just the materials and techniques used in the Middle Ages.

Other kid-friendly activities include playing laser tag or mini golf or visiting a dinosaur park, while Mom and Dad can opt for a wine tasting excursion to the cellars of the prestigious Domaine Laroche. Adults can also tour the 1,000-year-old Obediencerie monastery where monks have been making wine since the middle ages. Foodies of all ages can tuck into dinner at the posh Chateau de Vault-de-Lugny’s restaurant on a secluded estate in the heart of Burgundy.

The six-passenger Nymphea offers families the chance to explore the Charente River by canoe or kayak and to enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the Beauval zoological park, which houses nearly 10,000 animals.

They can also join excursions to the Chateau du Clos Luce and Gardens, once the home of Leonardo da Vinci, where they can see some of da Vinci’s famous inventions and become inspired to create their own.

Chateau du Clos Luce in Amboise town. The manor was the residence of Leonardo da Vinci.

Chateau du Clos Luce in Amboise town. The manor was the residence of Leonardo da Vinci. Photo: Vvoevale | Dreamstime.com

The eight-passenger Anjodi’s itinerary offers a wide range of family-friendly activities, visits to Pirateland, an amusement park in the beach resort of Marseillan Plage with a waterpark, inflatable games and mini golf, and paintballing at Beziers Forest Adventure Park. Children and parents will likely enjoy the prehistoric caves at Limoussis, home to some of the largest array of aragonite crystals, and the pre-Roman hilltop settlement near Beziers. Sports nuts can get a few swings in at the international Centre of Tennis in Agde or the nine-hole Cap d’Agde golf course near the seafront.

“Excursions can be the highlight of the day, but the boats themselves offer plenty of opportunities for socializing, relaxing and entertainment,” said 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.”

European Waterways is offering 20 percent off for select departures in France during the school vacation period of 2019, as well as an additional $300 off for each child under 18 participating in the charters.

Eligible cruises include the Aug. 11 departure of L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy; the July 7 and 28 and all August departures on Nymphea in the Loire Valley; and the Aug. 25 departure of Anjodi, which cruises the Canal du Midi in Southern France.

The limited time offer represents up to $8,600 in savings for a family with two children under 18. Some excursions may require a supplemental fee.


Insta Feed
Destinations / Asia
Sep 20, 2019

5 Kid-Friendly Activities in Incheon

One of South Korea’s most-visited and famous cities, Incheon is home to nearly everything your family could want from a vacation. Between the city’s stunning temples and historic landmarks to its modern shopping centers and world-class amenities, including golf courses, spas and dining establishments, you’ll have your hands full in just choosing what to see and do.

Age Specific / Kids
Sep 20, 2019

Guadalajara with Kids

Looking for a vacation that will immerse your family in Mexican culture? Book a flight to Guadalajara where they can listen to authentic mariachi music, explore cathedrals and historic buildings, shop for handmade crafts and more.

Sep 19, 2019

It’s Uphill From Here!

Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.

Take Me to Tahiti

Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.

Age Specific / Adult Children
Sep 19, 2019

Calling All Plant Lovers

In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.