Thursday, April 5, 2012

European Barge Cruising

I have been taking you to all the wonderful places I've been in Europe and I feel the need to premise how I got the chance to have these experiences.  I had a job in Chicago with The Barge Lady who is a leading expert in her field of travel -  European Barge Cruising.  I basically lucked into this job, first helping with her yearly newsletter mailing and eventually working my way into the office manager position.  I know when you think of Barge Cruising you may think of the old dirty cargo barges but this is on quite a different scale than that entirely.  

Caprice - Southern Burgundy, France

You can read all about our Ireland trip HERE.
All of the barges were once cargo barges that have been renovated into comfortable passenger barges offering the best in idyllic countryside, fine cuisine, wine oh the wine and pampering.  I felt closer to being royalty on these cruises than I ever have in my life - truly an experience of a lifetime, we had this unique opportunity three times! 


Most of these luxury barges are from 5 to 20 passengers cruising on small waterways in France, Germany, Ireland, Holland, Scotland and beyond. Each barge ranges in class from First Class up to Ultra Deluxe and range in price accordingly. There are itineraries each day that may include wine tastings, walking tours, dining at local restaurants. In most cities where you stay overnight, there is time for you to explore these places on your own as well. It really is a unique way to stay in one place while stopping at a different port each day to discover the nooks of Europe on your own floating hotel.

The Shannon Princess II - Ireland
My boss would send each employee (at most there was four of us,  including her) on a cruise each year to have us out in the field so we would know what we were talking about to clients on the phone.  Makes sense right? What a field to be sent out on, almost like heaven only with security checks.


No matter what other dream job I ever get again, the perks from this one will definitely outshine anything else.  I'm happy I had this job for the time that I did.  I was definitely in the right place at the right time on this gig and I'm thankful I was able to help The Barge Lady out in a time that she needed it. Sadly, I was let go from this job a little over a year ago - I can't say I really miss the job itself and I can't even imagine still doing the almost 2 hour commute one way to get there. I lived much closer to the city when I started the job. It was amazing while it lasted to say the least.


With the incredible travel that this is, I can understand why my boss was so passionate about what she did.  It's amazing to make people's dreams come true - these trips are pretty much that in a nutshell..


Where would you love to go if given the chance?







12 comments:

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom said...

The Czech Republic. :-)

Jennifer Hall said...

Italy, and all over the Mediterranean! And England.

udita banerjee said...

I really really want to visit ALL of Europe. And so far, I've never been outside of my own country!

Misha Gericke said...

Oh wow that sounds like a wonderful vacation. I really want to tour the whole of Europe. :-)

Nicki Ivey said...

Just another A to Z Challenger here...

Sorry to hear you were let go from such an amazing-sounding job! Being sent out on cruises as part of job research? I'd love that! If I could go anywhere it would be back to Prague, Czech Republic. It's gorgeously old there, and even though I was plopped in the middle of a boat-ton of tourists, I still loved every second. :)

CoffeeLovinMom said...

I would love to go to Australia!

CoffeeLovinMom said...

Italy would be great - they have a cruise in England if you have the dough..

CoffeeLovinMOm said...

I hope to give you some ideas of places to go!

CoffeeLovinMom said...

I would love to go back and see more of it - definitely a different world over there..

CoffeeLovinMom said...

I'm not sorry - even the day I was let go I just knew my time was up..it really was great that I was in the right place at the right time to have it in the first place. Of course now I have a passport that's getting dusty...

Elizabeth Twist said...

I would love to travel anywhere in Europe on a barge cruise! It's great that you had the chance to do that.

A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

Pauleen said...

My ancestor's place of birth is Dorfprozelten on the River Main. I'd love to cruise past on a barge or ship but then I'd want them to turn straight back round again and see it over and over.

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