Taking The "Slow Boat" From Paris

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What relaxation-and what sights! A growing number of American visitors are finding the relaxed pace of river and canal barge cruises can be a great way to see Europe. These journeys can expose more of the true flavors of Europe than the hurried pace of the typical tour bus. Best described as floating country inns, these barges slowly meander through the legendary rivers of Europe and offer passengers a unique way to experience the charm of Europe.

Today, river cruises are becoming very popular in the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France, through the Rhine River Valley in Germany as well as in Ireland and England. These barge-type cruise ships are slow and small, but they offer travelers a true taste of a region while enjoying a number of on-board amenities. These ships move slowly enough so passengers can hop off and on to enjoy the day in local towns, vineyards, castles, sightseeing or shopping. With many of the smaller river barges, navigating locks and canals that date back hundreds of years make for an enjoyable and exciting journey.

Ships range in size from six to 50 passengers and vary by region. One thing they all have in common is remarkable regional foods and wines served by attentive staff. Often the ingredients are purchased by the ship's mate along the way to insure freshness and quality.

The leading seller of river barge cruises to U.S. travelers, New York-based BV Waterways, is offering a number of special packages that include meals, drinks, excursions and air from the U.S., BV cruises to the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France also include two free nights in Paris.

For more information about river barge cruises in Europe, check with BV Waterways at 800-676-6613 or visit www.bvassociates.com on the Web. (NAPSI)

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