Merganser ll Canal Cruise, Vitry-le-Francois,
8th-14th Sept. 2018
We are a group of five friends who booked all of the en suite cabins on the Merganser, a handsome, old Dutch working barge that has been converted by the owner and captain into comfortable cruising accommodation. The cabins are compact but have everything you could reasonably want including UK 3-pin outlets. The showers have plentiful hot water, body soap and shampoo.
The food is very good with main dishes cooked by the Captain himself. There is an ample continental style breakfast, a full light lunch of changing delicacies:- sausages, cheeses, pates, smoked fish and salads. The evening meal is a delicious three course affair and can be modified to meet individual diets/allergies. Wine and beers are freely available as are aperitifs and digestifs.
The cruise did not go quite as expected because the original Canal Lateral towards Reims was very unexpectedly closed so our captain made a quick re-schedule and we cruised down the Canal de la Marne au Rhin instead. An excellent choice as a delightful pastoral idyll followed with moorings at interesting local villages. The countryside is beautiful and the environment very relaxing with abundant aquatic bird life. Robin Purdue, our captain, is an entertaining and informative host and made sure that we did not miss out on the trips by car to a champagne house and the local timber framed churches and houses.
Despite not being the original itinerary, we all had a most interesting and peaceful break that we would heartily recommend.