Life On Board The Barge: Exploring European Waterways’ Panache | TravelResearchOnline


Life On Board The Barge: Exploring European Waterways’ Panache

Earlier this week, I told you about the culturally immersive experiences on our European Waterways‘ barge adventure through Alsace and Lorraine. Some of our meals on board were also cultural experiences.

In Lutzelbourg, for example, we enjoyed an Alsatian Charcuterie, characterized by an assortment of pork and meat, served with potatoes and Choucroute (sauerkraut).

On one evening, we enjoyed an Alsatian Charcuterie on board Panache. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

The dinner was accompanied by local beverages such as Alsatian wines and Picon bière. The latter was a mix of Kronenbourg 1664, a 5.5 percent pale lager first brewed in France in 1952, and Picon, a French orange bitter liqueur. Refreshing and delicious.

All six of us on board raved about the dining, particularly lunches and dinners with complimentary fine wines and cheeses. We even dined ashore one evening, compliments of European Waterways.

Panache featured an outdoor sun deck, with seating for outdoor sunning and lounging as well as lunches and dinners — and a jacuzzi. Bicycles, which I’ll write about in a future post, were available and offered for use free of charge.

Inside Panache, comfortable and cozy. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

Step down one deck to a living-room-like area with complimentary bar, open 24/7, and the dining room.

Panache featured a DVD library (there were televisions in staterooms), book-lending library, music and a few games. Free WiFi was offered, and during our week, it functioned well. One thing I missed, however, was specialty coffees.

Though staterooms on nearly all barges are necessarily smallish, Panache gave us about 150 square feet, with a queen-sized bed, plenty of storage, desk, television, bathroom with dual vanity and shower. One of our fellow passengers from Australia said he booked on the basis that Panache’s staterooms were relatively large by barge standards.

Not super spacious as some suites on ocean-going cruise vessels, but certainly large enough for six days on the canal. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

We spent little time in our stateroom, sleeping only, and were out on deck or along the canals cycling during the day. It did not take long before we started thinking of Panache as our home away from home, and indeed stepping on board, we always received a warm welcome back.

An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at

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