On European Waterways, Barge, Bike & Benz Combine For A Perfect Mix

European Waterways Panache In Saverne. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle
Bicycle paths run along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, and European Waterways made well-maintained bicycles available for us to use free of charge. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

This week, I’ve been recapping our barge voyage on European Waterways’ Panache. Our adventure took six guests in what is basically a floating luxury hotel through beautiful French countryside in Alsace and Lorraine.

One aspect of the experience that I appreciated was the ability to step off the barge at any of the many locks to walk, jog or bicycle.

European Waterways Panache. © 2012 Monica Frisk
On one day we rode nearly 30 kilometers alongside the canals and our home for the week, the luxury barge Panache. © 2012 Monica Frisk

Bicycles, in excellent condition, were provided at no additional cost, and there were days when we rode nearly 30 kilometers (about 20 miles). Others walked between the locks or sat out on the sun deck as the French countryside passed by.

With delicious dinners, French wines and cheeses on board Panache, bicycling helped keep the calories balanced while providing a way to see Alsace and Lorraine at just the right pace. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

When it came time to rest, I enjoyed the included guided tours. Our 34-year-old driver and guide, a (former) East German named Florian, was always there to pick us up in a modern and air-conditioned Mercedes Benz van. We did tours at least once each day, ranging from wine tastings to museum visits.

Barge, bike and Benz, a perfect combo. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle
On one morning, Florian, our driver and guide, took us up the hill to Château de Lutzelbourg. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

I’ll be writing more about our barge adventure this week, so please stay tuned. Questions about barge cruising? Ask in the comments section below this post.

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