Loosely defined as anything off the mainstream, specialty cruising encompasses river cruising, small-ship cruising, barge cruising and experiential cruising. French Country Waterways and Scenic Cruises are two specialty lines that span across multiple subcategories, share a passenger demographic, and both operate within Europe. American-owned French Country Waterways operates four luxury hotel barges and has long been known for its culinary program. While many large cruise lines have begun to introduce celeb chefs or specialized food experiences, French Country Waterways has small boats perfect for navigating the interior rivers and canals of France, taking passengers through the Loire or the Lorraine, and stopping frequently to pick up ingredients from local fields and farmers' markets.
Lena Katz is the senior travel correspondent for JustLuxe, covering trends, tastemakers, news and more.