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Belmond Afloat in France

How civilized does floating down one of the canals of France with family and friends aboard your very own captained luxury barge sound?

Meet the two newest members of the Belmond Afloat in France luxury fleet, launching in 2017. Soak up the scenery of Alsace aboard Belmond Lilas, or uncover the delights of the Champagne regiion abord Belmond Pivoine. 

Belmond Lilas

Step in and discover the casual, welcoming atmosphere of Belmond Lilas. Vibrant colors reflect the barge’s namesake lilacs and the rich wines of Alsace. Natural linens, handcrafted ironwork and timber wood furnishings add to the rustic charm.

Four generous cabins offer king or twin beds, hosting up to eight guests. Soak up the sun while relaxing in the heated pool on deck, or relax in the shade under the canopy. Sit down to a sensational dinner in the formal dining room. Savor lunch in the lounge, with full-width doors that open up for an alfresco atmosphere.

Journey to the grand city of Strasbourg, soaking up the postcard-perfect views en-route. Experience the unique Arzviller boat lift, a marvel of engineering which lifts and lowers boats an impressive 148 feet.

Belmond Pivoine

From the trompe l’oeil wall mural and embroidered Parisian bed covers to the marble bathrooms, Belmond Pivoine is a stylish haven. The soft, romantic yellows and whites echo the color of peonies and champagne, creating a space perfect for relaxation.

Up to eight guests can be accommodated in the four contemporary en-suite cabins. Much like its sister barge, Belmond Pivoine also boasts an expansive deck with a heated swimming pool, inviting lounge, and sumptuous dining room.

Travel in total luxury as you cruise between Meaux and Chalons-en-Champagne, past beautiful vineyards and enchanting villages. Famed not only for its world-renowned wineries, Champagne also boasts a range of fascinating historical sites that you will have the opportunity to explore.

Cuba

For many decades, only a few U.S. citizens were able to enjoy a Cuba travel experience. Now it is completely legal and increasingly popular for our clients to travel on people to people programs. 

The people-to-people initiative allows Americans to travel to Cuba, via a specific license, issued by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Every program operating under this license includes a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities, including interactions with Cuba’s musicians, artists, naturalists and new generation of entrepreneurs. As the name suggests, International Expeditions’ people-to-people travel license means that our itinerary focuses on cultural exchanges that will be as educational for the Cubans you encounter as they will be for you! Our suggested itinerary allows participants to visit a wide scope of organizations, institutions and community projects, which will provide a deeper understanding of Cuban culture through people and places that the average tourist rarely sees.

We have many people who call regarding our programs that want to arrange an individual trip or custom program; however, while not impossible, keep the following things in mind:

  • Cuba travel license dictates that all groups must be accompanied by both our authorized professional guide AND a Cuban guide. This requirement is not waived based on group size.
  • People-to-people travel is not tourist-oriented or self-directed. There is no time allotted to skip an activity in favor of shopping or to wander the streets of a colonial city. Our partners do include a full-schedule of engaging activities.
  • You can’t travel to or from Cuba on your own and “meet the group later.” Flights to Cuba are highly regulated by the U.S. government, and only licensed travelers are able to secure a seat on charter flights. Since these charters are not commercial, interested travelers will be unable to find them available online or direct through an airline from the United States. As an participant with Resort to Laura Madrid partners, your travel is fully licensed and your charter flight is coordinated and booked on your behalf.

Despite the long absence of American visitors, Cuba has a well-developed tourism infrastructure and is extremely popular with Canadian and European vacationers. In Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos, our clients are placed at the very best hotels the island has to offer.