La Bella Vita Barge Cruise Review
Is a barge cruise on La Bella Vita right for you?
What makes barge cruising special:
A cruise on a hotel barge is all about relaxation, slow-motion sightseeing, and attentive but unpretentious service. (If you require spa treatments or butlers, you aren't likely to be happy on a barge.)
Your fellow passengers may be doctors, lawyers, business people, schoolteachers, or retired civil servants. Regardless of income or background, they're likely to be congenial, because misanthropes and show-offs aren't attracted to barge cruising.
For us, one of the greatest features of La Bella Vita was being able to step off the ship in Venice like the owners of private yachts that moor along the waterfront above the Piazza San Marco. When we returned to the barge after a nighttime walk, we were greeted by Captain Rudy, who'd kept the gangway open for us. It was an altogether different experience--not necessarily better, but different--from ordinary cruising.
Fares, more information, and bookings:
A cruise on La Bella Vita isn't cheap: In 2014, the per diem (daily rate) starts at US $640, with supplements for golf and other themed cruises. On the plus side, La Bella Vita's rates are all-inclusive, except for tips. You pay nothing extra for drinks, wines, or shore excursions.
Another option is a , which will allow you to have a private barge vacation with your family or friends. Charter rates depend on the number of guests: The more passengers, the lower the cost per person.
For more information--including current rates, itineraries, brochures, and videos--see the La Bella Vita pages at the European Waterways Web site, gobarging.com. (European Waterways also a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and a YouTube channel.)
Next page: La Bella Vita: Day-by-day cruise photo diary
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From Durant and Cheryl Imboden:
Copyright © 1996-2015 Durant Imboden and Cheryl Imboden.