“Adversity” is not a word that The Avid Cruiser’s Ralph Grizzle knows. Currently sailing aboard French Country Waterways’ Horizon II, I had figured I wouldn’t hear from him until he disembarks on Saturday, May 5. But armed with an iPhone and and a keen photographic eye, Ralph managed to post these amazing shots of his barging experience through Burgundy on our sister-site, The Avid Cruiser.
So what is barging? The predecessor to river cruising as we know it today, a barging cruise is characterized by its more intimate setting and smaller ship. In fact, Ralph is one of just eight passengers aboard Horizon II as she winds her way through the French countryside!
Launched in 1984, Horizon II carries a crew of 6 dedicated staff members who tend to guests’ every need. All staterooms onboard are exceptionally well done and offer both full air conditioning and heat controls for all weather options. Each features two portholes that do not open, along with a comfortable bed, writing desk, two closets and drawers for storage. In a rare touch, staterooms feature both North American and European-style electrical outlets. Bathrooms include a spacious shower, heated towel rack and luxuriant Lanvin bath amenities.
Ppublic rooms are grouped together on a single deck. These include a relaxing bar and a comfortable lounge and dining area. Plenty of outdoor seating is available on the ship’s forward deck, and little touches like fresh flowers and a well-stocked library are included throughout.
But the greatest benefit of barging is the personalized service and intimate onboard atmosphere that rival anything else afloat. If you’ve experienced how intimate river cruising can be, barging is the next logical step for travellers looking to fully immerse themselves in their surroundings.
We wrote extensively about the emergence of barging a few weeks ago. If you missed it, have a read through our feature article on how barging gave birth to the modern river cruise industry as we know it today.