Although the identity of Andrew Harper is a closely guarded secret, he (or she) is not unreachable. Members regularly email in questions, and our editor-in-chief endeavors to respond to them all. Every few months, we like to assemble a selection of some of the most interesting queries. This month our members wrote in about river cruises, once-in-a-lifetime trips and overtouristed Venice. Read on to get our editor’s feedback.
Q: We’re interested in a river cruise in France but don’t want to charter a whole barge. What are our options?
A: Prior to Covid, our close partner Les Bateaux Belmond offered per-cabin bookings on certain luxurious barges in its fleet of seven that cruise Burgundy, Champagne and Provence, among other regions. Unfortunately, for now only Belmond’s Napoléon barge, which cruises the Rhône River, is available per cabin. But several other high-end cruise lines propose trips aboard luxurious ships without the requirement of a private charter. Uniworld’s opulent SS Catherine travels along the Rhône and Saône rivers through Burgundy and Provence, for example. Viking Cruises offers various itineraries, including ones that depart from Paris and travel through Normandy and options connecting Avignon and Lyon. And if you’re interested in doing a canal cruise, Abercrombie & Kent and French Country Waterways have several barge options bookable on a per-cabin basis.