About Us ...
Featured above is the C'est la Vie cruising in the Upper Loire in the fall of 2016
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About Us ...
We are a small, family-run business. We have been aboard all of the barges in France (and other countries), and arranging luxury hotel barge cruises is our only business, since 1997. We serve travelers throughout the world who search for a unique travel experience that combines exquisite cuisine, exclusive wine tastings, intimate excursions, biking and walking, and pampered relaxation into a magical week that is the perfect stage for celebrating a special birthday or anniversary, a family adventure, or simply to savor 'joie de vivre'!
To make sure we have the most current information and to share our first-hand experience with you, we visit barges in France and the rest of Europe every year. Our long-standing relationships with each barge owner provide us with the background to help you select the best canal cruise or river cruise for the vacation of a lifetime. Based in Edgewater, Maryland, USA, we provide you with personal attention and detailed answers to your questions 7 days a week. With our many years of experience aboard Barges in France and Barges in Europe, Special Places Travel is a leading, trusted source you can rely on. In addition to helping you select the barge and cruise area that's best for you, we can also provide detailed recommendations on hotels, itineraries, things to do, and how to get to your cruise destination.
Left to right: BargesInFrance.com / Special Places Travel owners Sally Dillin, Don Dillin, Chip Banister, and Sales Manager, Kathy Lynch
When you telephone or email us, you will be reaching owners Don Dillin, or Sally
Dillin, or Chip Banister, or Sales Manager Kathy Lynch -- all are passionate
about barge travel and all have first-hand experience aboard the 50+ barges
in France and the rest of Europe.
As a team we are focused on helping you make the very best decision from
among the many choices based on our personal experience. We are all
familiar with each booking, so you can always get knowledgeable answers
to any question from your initial inquiry through your return home from
What Our Clients Say About Us ...
"You guys were totally on top of the situation. We all were constantly provided
with the information we needed to ensure a successful trip."
J.A. CA USA
Excellent! Complete, thorough, and did a nice job of setting expectations,
although I would suggest that my experience exceeded the high expectations you set.
L.B. Encinitas, CA
"The pre-trip information from Special Places Travel was a very detailed and
informative compilation of all the information needed from departing the US,
arrival in France, transport to barge, and departure. I do not believe we have
seen such a detailed travel piece completed by any of our other trips.
P.& R.S. WY, USA
"Special Places Travel was always responsive, helpful, and informative.
I especially liked the itinerary booklet.
The pre-trip information was perfect. I always obsessively research trips
- Our information always squared with SPT's. Even better was the communication
between SPT, us, and the barge. This communication contributed to the
success of the trip."
W.M. & J.W., GA, USA
"Excellent service in every way: Communication, timely and complete receipt of
documents, insurance recommendation, even extra tidbits of general travel info
that we found others who booked through someone else had not been given."
D.G., North Carolina
"Your services were first class. You answered every one of our questions fully
and promptly. We took a lot of comfort and confidence from that. In the
pre-booking stages, you were enormously helpful to me in sorting through the
various alternatives, and providing objective criteria for evaluation."
C.H., Washington, DC
"The service from Special Places Travel was extremely helpful and professional.
Kathy's suggestions regarding trains, hotels and day trips post barge cruise
was a lifesaver."
"The service from Special Places Travel was excellent! I got rapid responses
and complete answers to all my questions. We immediately felt that somebody
really cared about our enjoying the cruise experience."
"The booklet we received from Special Places Travel was so helpful and
so beautifully done I showed it to all my friends. I also took it on the trip
and showed it to the barge owner. She was amazed at the content and
the professionalism displayed."
P. M. MA USA
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