France Cruises, Day 6: On The Way to Carcassonne

Today we sail to our final port, and the one excursion that convinced everyone onboard to take this barge cruise – Carcassonne. The medieval city is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site, and showcases 1,000 years of military architecture. During the morning, we sail through five locks, patiently waiting at intervals for the lockmaster to allow other barges through. The Midi Canal is full of families sailing their own private boats and barges, and traffic …

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France Cruises, Day 5: Exploring Minerve

Overnight the weather has turned. Rain and blustery winds have blown in out of nowhere, and as the thunder and lightning woke us up in the middle of the night, you could hear Mathias working throughout the barge, closing windows, battening down the hatches and making sure all was well. He is always scrubbing or washing or taking care of something on the barge – not that it needs it, but because he takes great pride in …

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France Cruises, Day 4: Off to Le Somail

After a late breakfast and a mid-morning start to sailing, we are journeying off to our next port – Le Somail. Along the way, there are plenty of low bridges that we will be sailing under. As one of the largest barges on the canal, we barely fit underneath the ancient stone bridges. Each passage seems precarious to us, but Matias has clearly mastered the art of tight sailing. As inches separate our barge from the edge …

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France Cruises, Day 3: Our excursion to Narbonne

ABOARD THE ESPERANCE — At 10 a.m. we’re sailing again (well, give or take a half hour or so, but what’s the rush?!). The scenery starts to look just a bit like Tuscany and we’re suddenly sailing along vineyards and will be for the rest of the cruise. We’re in prime French wine country now. The Minervois appellation is France’s largest, according to Mathias, with the greatest output of grapes for wine. Some of the wine produced …

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France Cruises, Day 2: A slow journey to Capestang

ABOARD THE ESPERANCE — On our first full day onboard the Esperance, we find out that today is a very relaxed day. Every other day of our journey we will be met by a tour guide in the afternoon who will drive us to a destination to explore. Today, though, there will be no tour guide. Just gentle cruising and peaceful scenery. A breakfast buffet is put out each morning at 8 a.m. for the six passengers. …

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France Cruises, Day 1: Arriving in Beziers

Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise? That was the big question as we embarked on the Esperance, a hotel barge that sails through the Midi Canal in the south of France. After several months of fast-paced travel where other people and companies were always dictating my itinerary, arranging a six-night stay on the Esperance was a breath of fresh air, if not just a little bit unnerving. From the …

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France Cruises: Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise?

Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise? That was the big question as we embarked on the Esperance, a hotel barge that sails through the Midi Canal in the south of France. After several months of fast-paced travel where other people and impersonal companies were always dictating my itinerary, arranging a six night stay on the Esperance was a breath of fresh air, if not just a little bit unnerving. …

Read moreFrance Cruises: Could I possibly adjust to the slow paced nature of a canal barge cruise?

Art abounds on Regal Princess

Walking through the Regal Princess, it is hard not to notice the stunning art and architecture. The moment that you step onboard, you will walk into the Piazza, a dazzling display of glass, water and crystal features. The beauty extends beyond the social center of the ship, though. Around every bend and in every corridor, artwork is showcased in a prominent way. There is so much stunning artwork to be found that Princess Cruises has developed a …

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Chocolate Journeys introduced on Princess Cruises

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS-Cruising is known for indulging in fine food, wine and spirits. Perhaps Princess Cruises has set a new bar of indulgence, though, with its introduction of Chocolate Journeys. Debuting on 18 of Princess’ ships, Chocolate Journeys is a chocolate experience throughout the ship in partnership with famed chocolatier Norman Love. The new program was launched as part of the 50th Anniversary of the cruise line. Love is the former head pastry chef of Ritz …

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The Love Boat Cast Talks About Cruising

ABOARD THE REGAL PRINCESS-The Love Boat television show will be forever a part of the history of Princess Cruise Lines. So when the original cast comes onboard the newest ship and starts recounting stories of their escapades during filming, it’s a unique glimpse into the earliest memories of the company’s history. The cast that portrayed Captain Stubing, Gopher, Isaac, Doc, Julie and Vicki joined together for a Q&A session the day after the official naming ceremony of …

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