Seeks low-price barge cruise

This item appears on page 16 of the March 2012 issue.

My wife and I have traveled to almost all the countries in the world. We usually stay in hostels for $10 to $20 a night. In fact, if a Hilton or Sheraton were offered to us at that same rate, we would prefer to stay in a hostel, 15 persons to a room.

In the luxurious room in the Hilton we would be all by ourselves and looking at the walls, with no one else to talk to. Meeting people and making friends is part of what we enjoy about travel, so we would choose the dormitory-style accommodations in order to meet people from all around the world.

For lists of youth hostels around the world, visit Hostelling International’s website or contact a country’s tourism bureau.

Our second objective in travel is to sightsee, including seeing natural beauty. In 1962 I began skiing every year. I’ve skied in most places in the US and all around the world. The last time was in the French Alps two years ago, when I hurt myself falling down and couldn’t get up. I realized that that was the last time I could ski. I am 81 years old now.

My wife and I have traveled with many cruise lines. For exceptionally low rates, we find when the cruise lines are repositioning their ships from one area to another, which happens mostly in the spring and fall. Fares are lower, and several days in a row are spent at sea.

In 2009 we took a 12-day repositioning cruise aboard Royal Caribbean Line’s Navigator of the Seas from Málaga, Spain, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for only $549 per person.

In the January ’12 edition of ITN, on page 54 a subscriber mentions having taken a six-day barge cruise in France at a cost of what works out to $524 per person a day. My wife and I would like to experience a barge cruise but not at $524 per person per day. We would be very grateful to anyone who could provide information on companies that will charge a much lower rate for a barge cruise in France or Holland.

Write to me or e-mail me c/o ITN.