Beyond the Cruise Lines: Boating in Europe
What do you imagine when you first think of boating in Europe? For many of us the idea of a Mediterranean Cruise Ship may be the first thing that comes to mind. Giant ships depart for popular locales almost on a daily basis, but boating in Europe goes much further than this common form of tourism.
Many visitors are unaware that the continent hosts an intricate network of rivers, canals and waterways of various sizes, which can be navigated on a canal boat by even the most inexperienced travellers.
Just think of the famous canals of Amsterdam or Venice and you’ll have an idea of just how important canal travel is. You can also visualize the famous Seine River that flows through the city of Paris to understand this significant means of transportation.
Canal boating for tourists offers an excellent way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and experience the true essence of any country. With maximum speeds of just 4 km per hour, boating can be a welcome departure from busy cities, which often offer limited opportunities for true relaxation.
Aboard a canal boat you’ll have ample opportunity to spend true quality time with family members and those you are travelling with. Instead of having to race around on public transportation and wait in long lines, you’ll be able to rise together in a calm and relaxed environment and take your time throughout the day.
Chart your course to visit iconic sites like the windmills of Holland or castles in France, or just plan to meander along and stop wherever suits your fancy. Mooring is inexpensive or free, and you can stop for as long or as short as you like.
Step onto dry land to explore charming villages and meet local people. Foodies in your group will enjoy sampling regional delicacies like cheeses, preserves, baked goods and fresh produce. And of course you’ll have the best wine and spirits from each area you visit, in boutique shops located in riverside towns.
Meals can be prepared using provisions you purchase in each village, or you can dine out at riverfront restaurants and eateries.
Travelling by canal is really about slowing down the pace and getting a feel for the places you are visiting; this is your chance to make your European vacation much more relaxing than a packed sight-seeing itinerary allows. Having trains to catch, taxis to take and airports to reach can really make you return home feeling like you never had a chance to just breathe and take it all in.