Luxury Barge Offers French Art Cruise

ms elisabethThe MS Elisabeth is offering travelers the chance to take a river cruise in France focused on the art of Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir. 

Guests will visit the tiny village where Van Gogh painted his last works; Giverny, Monet’s famous gardens; and the riverside town where Renoir enjoyed and depicted the café lifestyle. Added to these highlights are chateau visits, modern art installations, moorings in quaint towns, gourmet cuisine, and opportunities to bicycle along the route. 

The Barge Lady, Ellen Sack, is an American-based broker of luxury European barge cruises, and has recently added the MS Elisabeth to her portfolio of 50 barges.

MS Elisabeth is owned and operated by a Belgian couple, Captain Bernard Buisseret and Chef Martine Buisseret, assisted by a crew of two. In addition to the “Impressionist and Chateau” theme, guests who are interested in cooking are invited into the kitchen by Chef Martine for informal cooking lessons, and may accompany her to shop at an outdoor produce market.

The cruise also offers guests a Two Day Paris Museum Pass, which provides free entry and no lines in 60 museums in and around Paris. Prior to their cruise, guests can preview the work of Vincent van Gogh at the Musee d’Orsay and view Claude Monet's masterworks, the Nymphéas (Water Lilies) painted in the artist's garden at Giverny and donated to the French state at the Musee de l’Orangerie.

The vessel cruises on rivers within an hour’s drive from Paris, and carries up to eight guests in four double occupancy cabins, each with en-suite bath. The barge is sold on a private charter basis. 

Six night cruises on the MS Elisabeth depart every Sunday from Paris and return the following Saturday to Paris. The 2015 season begins on May 3 and ends October 11. The price for a private cruise for eight guests is $40,000; for six guests, it is $36,000. The cruise rate includes all meals, wine with meals, open bar, daily chauffeured and guided sightseeing, use of all ship’s facilities such as bicycles and transfers to and from central Paris and the barge route.