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European Waterways Adds E-Bike Options to French Hotel Barging Programs for 2020

September 27, 2019 River Cruising No Comments Email Email

Hotel barging specialist European Waterways has added e-bike rentals as an option on most of their France 2020 itineraries due to the growing popularity of electric bicycles worldwide.

The E-bikes are supplementing the traditional bicycles available on all barges for guests’ use.  European Waterways will also upgrade its tailored biking maps to provide more detailed and easier-to-follow routes that includes historical context for self-guided bikes tours through the towns and attractions along the barging routes. The maps are available in printed form and can be downloaded to mobile phones.

“E-bikes are an absolute pleasure to ride,” said Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways. “Technology allows riders just the right amount of assistance to handle slopes on surrounding terrain with greater ease. Riders can concentrate on the view and soak in the natural beauty of the French countryside, rather than tackling that ‘daunting’ little hill or the final mile on extended treks!”

E-bikes can be pre-ordered for charter and cabin bookings for €500 (AUD$815) for the first bike and €250 (AUD$410) for each additional bike. The hotel barges with the E-bike option include La Belle Époque, L’Art de Vivre, and L’Impressionniste in Burgundy, Renaissance in the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy, Anjodi in the Canal du Midi, and Panache in Alsace.

Every vessel on European Waterways’ fleet carries bicycles and helmets as part of the many amenities available free to guests. With advance notice, the company can also provide children’s bicycles for family groups and even tandems for those who want to ‘share the load’.

“Barging and Biking” charters are available for the casual enthusiasts and biking groups that may desire more upgraded bikes and the opportunity to roam longer distances. They can include guided, half-day itineraries with a picnic in the countryside and are customisable to meet every level of interest, from rugged Highland routes to level towpath circuits that can be taken at a leisurely pace. “Biking Plus” options allow guests to follow carefully researched bike routes on their own during the cruise and return to the barge where they left it or a little farther up the canal. Itineraries are arranged around guests’ biking schedules to ensure they don’t miss any planned activities or organized excursions.

For all cruises, crew members can off-load bicycles at any point for use along the tow paths and in the surrounding countryside. Since barges cruise at a speed just barely above a brisk walking pace, guests can easily explore the region for an extended period and meet up with the vessel, as desired, further up the canal. A crew member is always ready to respond to any guest who may become lost or require assistance.

“With more flexible biking options, our guests are free to roam near and far, whether on the gentle towpaths alongside our barges or the moderate and sometimes challenging slopes of the charming French countryside,” said Banks.

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