Art, Wine Discovery & Gourmet Barge Cruises - Barge Connection

Art, Wine Discovery & Gourmet Barge Cruises

People travel for different reasons. Some seek the beauty created by adding paint to canvas or the skilled chiseling of delicately grained marble. Still others seek fine wines aged in cellars that have been tended by generations of the same family. It is possible to experience all of these things, and more, on a relaxing barge cruise that treats you to the best Europe has to offer. Barge Connection has been specializing in barge cruising since 1998, and is ready to help you discover your journey of luxurious delights.

Specialty barge cruises focusing on the arts and fine wines are scheduled for the 2012 season. These vessels offer all the pampering found on the larger riverboats, but with an average of three to six cabins, the experience is much more intimate, relaxing and all inclusive. The barge Captain heads a well-trained crew made up of a gourmet chef, stewardess, a knowledgeable tour guide and driver.

Taking a barge cruise means your hotel, and gourmet restaurant travels with you as you visit one exciting destination after the other. No need to constantly pack and unpack. Sleep in the same comfortable bed every night with your own private bath in each cabin. All meals, beverages and excursions with experts are part of your barge cruise.

Upon boarding your barge, you are greeted with a glass of bubbly at the Captain’s reception. After meeting the crew and your fellow travelers, a tour of your floating home is in order. A salon offers comfortable chairs, an assortment of books and games for your enjoyment and an atmosphere that encourages relaxation. Next to the salon you will find the dining area, the venue for your array of culinary treats. Both rooms offer an abundance of picture windows so you don’t miss a minute of the countryside drifting by.

The best views are from the deck, which also has a small dining alcove where you may enjoy lunch. If you’d like a bit of exercise, take one of the available bicycles, get off the barge and peddle alongside. These vessels are slow moving, so it’s easy to get on and off at your convenience.

For the 2012 season, three luxurious barges will be dedicated to the special wine and art cruises. The first is Art Week on the Fleur de Lys in the Burgundy Region, departing on May 20, 2012. The six-night cruise features David Napp, a pastel and oil artist with works in galleries and museums on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr. Napp will show you how to bring the European countryside to life on canvas.

While on your journey from Escommes to Dijon you will get to know the artist, and yourself, as you create your own personal work of art, the perfect souvenir. The Fleur de Lys, with three large cabins, is the most intimate of the barges but it also features a heated pool on the sun deck and a grand piano in its lounge. The Five-Star vessel insures an intimate vacation and fun painting experience.

The luxuriously appointed Napoleon, with six large cabins, is the largest of the Five-Star barges. The upper deck offers exercise equipment and a Jacuzzi for your enjoyment. This barge hosts a six-night Art Week cruise with David Napp, departing on July 29, 2012. This time the destination is the Provence region. Your first lesson will be in the sun washed fields of Viviers and its hilltop Cathedral. As you cruise from Viviers to Grignan, then onto Avignon your skills improve. By the time you reach Arles on Thursday morning, you are ready to capture the essence of a countryside that inspired the great Vincent Van Gogh. This is where the artist’s signature “Starry Night” piece was born.

The delights of Provence’s vineyards are also featured on the Napoleon. Two six-night Wine Discovery on the Napoleon cruises depart on July 1, 2012 and July 8, 2012 Sample wines from some of France’s most distinguished vineyards in Condrieu and then it’s on to Lyon where a gourmet lunch is served with a different wine to sample with each course.

The third barge is the Amaryllis. Offering four large deluxe cabins and a heated pool on its spacious sun deck, this vessel hosts the six-night Grand Cru Special Cruise, departing on July 15, 2012 from Dijon. Grand Cru is French for “great growth.” The term is used to describe vineyards that have a respected reputation for the wines they produce. As you cruise to Longecourt, St. Jean, Chalon, Rully, and finally to St Leger you will sample the best of the Grand Crus, both aboard and while on shore. Your personal wine expert will be sailing with you, eager to tempt not only your palate with the local vintage, but to fill you in on the history behind those fine wines.

Combining the beauty of art with the taste of fine wines and a relaxing barge cruise makes for a memorable vacation. When you think about it, wine making is an art in itself, as is the creation of these memorable journeys. Let the experts at Barge Connection share their love and knowledge of the art of barge cruising with you.

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