No matter what the weather, you’ll find Roger and Sue aboard Harmonie II . She has been their home since retiring two years ago and leaving the UK to begin a new life of adventure cruising on the European waterways. Roger is a former marine engineer so they felt this would be an activity they could manage technically and financially.
They don’t have a permanent home mooring and spend the warmer months travelling before finding a different spot to spend the winter. So far they have explored a fair portion of Belgium, Holland and Northern France.
Harmonie II is a 78ft (24m) long Dutch-built Luxemotor barge. She was constructed in 1918 and converted from a cargo vessel into a pleasure craft in 1992. She is extremely well equipped for her life of adventure, including a variety of extras for comfortable cruising such as pin anchors (pointed steel poles that extend through the hull to the river or canal bed) at the front and rear of the ship and even a hydraulic crane to lift a small car onto the deck.
Roger and Sue described what they liked about their cruising life:
A different place every night if you want.
Camaraderie amongst the barging community.
The ability to moor up in the centre of Europe’s great cities in luxury accommodation for a fraction of the price of an equivalent hotel.
Entertaining friends and family when cruising.
And the things they find a challenge:
Missing out on friends and family social life.
Keeping up with news from home.
Not being able to find good English beef and free range meat.
Clothes shopping, finding fresh water and good moorings on the Seine.
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