Its growing in popularity so now seems the perfec

first_imgIt’s growing in popularity so now seems the perfect time for six personal travel managers (PTMs) to experience the unique holiday that is barge cruising – where better to start? – through the fabulous Bourgogne region of France.Setting out on a six day Back-Roads Touring Barge Cruise, with host Karen Nelson, BDM NSW & ACT, for Back-Roads Touring, aboard MS Jeanine on Le Canal De Bourgogne, from Dijon to Besancon, were NSW-based PTMs Kristina Acevski representative for Merewether Heights, Jason Smith representative for Newtown, Peter Carmichael representative for Merewether, Michelle Michael-Pecora representative for Tennyson Point, Janice Lee representative for Surry Hills and Maria Miller representative for Parkes. Exploring the Citadel of Besancon a 17th Century fortress and UNESCO world heritage site (from left) Peter Carmichael, Karen Nelson, Marie Miller, Kristina Acevski, Jason Smith, Michelle Michael-Pecora and Janice LeeCarmichael has sold a few French barge cruises but hadn’t personally experienced one before.“I now understand why my clients come back raving about their barge cruise, the hype certainly lived up to my high expectations,” he said.“The guaranteed small group experience creates an intimate experience and by the end of the cruise you have made some great new friends. A barge cruise is such an easy way to see many destinations without the hassle of moving from hotel to hotel on a daily basis or the sorting of plans for driving and self-touring in each village. We also saw the small villages and towns that are outside of the touristy areas.”Michael-Pecora said the famil gave her the opportunity to see the destination from a different perspective.“We were so fortunate to experience the product in its entirety, getting to know staff and the ship in such detail. It is often the little things that make a product unique and the highlight for me was definitely the staff and the food. The staff’s impeccable attention to detail and eagerness to assist made a good holiday, great.” All the PTMs agreed they were spoilt for culinary choice both onboard MS Jeanine and at the local French villages.“Food is an important part of any cruise and we felt we were on a floating French restaurant. There were so many good meals aboard our barge, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner but it was also nice that we could get off the barge each day to experience local life and dine in some spectacular restaurants. The highlight for me was dining in a cave in Dole – not only was it an incredibly unique venue, the food was delicious,” said Carmichael.For Lee, the town of Dijon was a foodie favourite.Janice Lee“The best souvenir of the trip had to be the Dijon mustard, from the source at Dijon, but I can highly recommend the mustard and local ginger cake, it’s divine! The Burgundy wine also goes without saying as a highlight!”Miller even had a chance to put her first-hand barge experience to good use once she returned home, closing the sale on her recommendation of a barge cruise to a client who wanted a stress-free, all-inclusive small group holiday.“Since returning home my client was looking for a stress-free, all-inclusive small group holiday with personal experience on all levels. I knew a barge cruise would suit perfectly. Being able to talk knowledgeably about visiting the Besacon Citadel, the famous Hospice in Beaune, wine and cheese tasting at local vineyards and even being able to suggest a great local restaurant in Dole that’s located in a cave, was invaluable. Talking about the cruise with such passion and excitement with knowledge gained from my own experiences and sharing my own photos, without doubt closed the sale.” TOP IMAGE: In the frame L-R Karen Nelson – Back-Roads Touring and PTMs Janice Lee, Kristina Acevski, Michelle Michael-Pecora and Maria Miller. L-R back row passengers Linda, Pam and Wendy with PTMs Peter Carmichael, and Jason Smith and passenger Mark barge cruisingFamilsFranceTravelManagerslast_img read more