Barging in France Source: Dana Peterson
Barging on European waterways is a unique travel experience becoming more popular, especially amongst baby boomers, according to Toujours France.
The companys research revealed that 95 per cent of travelers are looking for that unique travel experience. This generation has no qualms in spending what money otherwise may be left to their children in doing so.
Offering 18 barge options in regional France, Toujours France bookings increased by 30 per cent over the past two years with more than 40 per cent of these travellers re-booking.
Last year an increase of 20 per cent was recorded for Australians 50 years and over booking a barge as a way to experience regional Europe.
Toujours France owner Sue Heine says interestingly the figures show influence from their Generation X children is driving these baby boomers hunger for unconventional travel experiences that offer an opportunity to meet locals.
There is simply no other way to have this type of travel experience, for example on the Canal du Midi near Béziers, you can just sit back and wine and dine on the deck while the barge ascends Fonserannes, an eight level water staircase down to the Orb River, which the barge then crosses over on an aqueduct, Ms Heine commented.
The appeal of a cruise is similar in barging where travellers can enjoy having everything taken care of and unpacking just the once to experience new destinations with the flexibility to get off and on as they please.
Having recently travelled the Bordeaux region on a seven day barge trip in Le Mas dAgernais, Mrs Dana Peterson told e-Travel Blackboard self drive barges are an adventure.
Easy to drive, but we were kept busy with the locks, opening and closing, Mrs Peterson said.
We met many people who live on the waterways of France, she added, explaining how the locals made them feel very welcome, many even cycled along the canal paths with baskets of fresh produce for sale.
Mrs Peterson said she found it appealing when the locals opened doors for us after we draped a New Zealand rugby flag on the side of our boat (French are mad about rugby).
Its a fantastic way to see the country, access historic spots that you would otherwise never experience and meet friendly people. We would love to return to Europe and explore the waterways of another country. After all the travelling over the years, barging Europe is the ultimate, unique adventure, Mrs Peterson concluded.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W