Barge holidays and expedition cruises are two very different ends of the water-based travel market, but both have a lot going for them when it comes to luxury travel.
For one thing, the vessels tend to be smaller than those in other forms of cruising, giving them an added air of exclusivity. And perhaps more importantly, they offer a different type of vacation than a traditional river or ocean cruise.
"Traveling has been commoditized," said Daniel Skjeldam
, CEO of Norway-based Hurtigruten
. "That is what's driving the interest for expedition cruising. It's the desire to do something and go somewhere where the rest of the pack is not going."
The same is true of barge holidays, albeit on a much smaller scale. A wealthy traveler isn't going to blink at paying up to $7,000 for a six-night trip through the waterways of France
, as long as what they're getting is sufficiently different.