In response to the growing popularity of electric bicycles worldwide, European Waterways has added e-bike rentals as an option on most itineraries in France for 2020. E-bikes supplement the traditional bicycles available on all barges for guests’ use. The company has also upgraded its tailored biking maps to provide more detailed and easier-to-follow route information that includes historical context for self-guided bike tours through the towns and attractions along the barging routes. The maps are available in printed form and can be downloaded to mobile phones.
E-bikes can be pre-ordered for charter and cabin bookings for $580 for the first bike and $290 for each additional bike. They are an excellent option for couples who wish to explore the countryside in a more leisurely manner, while still enjoying the benefits of gentle physical exercise. Among the hotel barges offering this option are La Belle Époque, L’Art de Vivre, and L’Impressionniste in Burgundy, Renaissance in the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy, Anjodi in the Canal du Midi, and Panache in Alsace.
A Bike For Everyone
Every vessel on European Waterways’ fleet carries bicycles and helmets as part of the many amenities available free to guests. With advance notice, the company can also provide children’s bicycles for family groups and even tandems for those who want to “share the load!” “Barging and Biking” charters are available for the casual enthusiasts and biking groups that may desire more upgraded bikes and the opportunity to roam longer distances. They can include guided, half-day itineraries with a picnic in the countryside and are customizable to meet every level of interest, from rugged Highland routes that will test the endurance to level towpath circuits that can be taken at a leisurely pace. “Biking Plus” options allow guests to follow carefully researched bike routes on their own during the cruise and return to the barge where they left it or a little farther up the canal. Itineraries are arranged around guests’ biking schedules to ensure they don’t miss any planned activities or organized excursions.
For all cruises, crew members can off-load bicycles at any point for use along the tow paths and in the surrounding countryside. Since barges cruise at a speed just barely above a brisk walking pace, guests can easily explore the region for an extended period and meet up with the vessel as desired farther up the canal. A crew member is always ready to respond to any guest who may become lost or require assistance.
Hotel Barging is a boutique, unique experience which offers an immersive, all-inclusive “gentle voyage of discovery” that focuses upon the culture, history, fine wine and gourmet cuisine of the region. With a 6 to 20 person capacity and 1:2 crew ratio, European Waterways are able to provide an impeccable level of on board service and can transport their guests on the intimate inland waterways that are inaccessible to larger vessels. This fascinating network of smaller canals allows for flexibility, spontaneity and ample opportunity to hop off and explore the beautiful surroundings via bicycle, or on foot. In addition to this there are daily, chauffeured excursions “off the beaten track” to a wide variety of enthralling locations, from exquisite wine tastings to private tours of stately homes. With over 40 years’ experience and a fleet that spans nine countries it is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe. For more information, call 1-877-879-8808 in the U.S. and 1-877-574-3404 in Canada, or visit www.europeanwaterways.com