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News, Tips & Bargains : American-Led Floats Through France

March 13, 1994

About five years ago, Jim and Karine Marett of San Diego found themselves captivated by the canals of France, so they decided to try their hand at running a charter barge on the waterways. It took them two years to arrange the details, but they left for France in February, 1991, and today--three years and 46 guests later--they are ready to begin their fourth cruising season. Between April 29 and Oct. 23, they will take their 70-foot "Bateau Mary," below, on six-day trips in the Jural Mountain, Alsace-Lorraine and Vosges regions. Jim Marett, a licensed captain, prepares all dinners on board, specializing in regional foods. Karine--an alumna of UCLA--says "history, art and architecture are what fascinate me." Both speak fluent French and say they strive to tailor each cruise to the interests of their passengers. Charter rates are $1,500 per person, based on double occupancy, and include all meals on the boat, guided sightseeing and transfers. The Mary accommodates four guests "who must be family or friends." For brochures and more information, write Jim and Karine Marett, Bateau Mary, Le Port, 21170 St.-Symphorien-Sur-Saone, France.

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