Considering a barge cruise in France? European Waterways promises to offer you the ultimate holiday for those who are seeking an alternative way to see France.
As Told by Our Guests...
The welcome we received and everything on board was perfect
Pauline Taplin, Hampshire, UK
This is a treasure that most people don’t know about
Denise Thorson , New Jersey, USA
Everbody should do this at least once in their life
Charles Baertl, Texas USA
For a very special occasion this is the place to be
John Thorson, New Jersey, USA
Where we Cruise in France
Nestled right at the heart of this beautiful country is Burgundy, a region often regarded as the place to go for the perfect French barge cruise. Famous for its wonderful wines, as you cruise through the region past acres and acres of sun-kissed vines, you will have the opportunity to stop and taste the delectable vintages at some of the most prestigious vineyards along the way. Besides Burgundy, the Canal du Midi is renowned for its fabulous options for a barge cruise. France’s sun-drenched waterway right in the south of the country winds along shady canals, bordered by trees that sway in the gentle breeze, while passing charming old villages and the remains of many interesting Roman buildings. The pace of life is easy-going and you will soon find yourself unwinding into the relaxed way of life that is par for the course on these holidays.
Heading west from the Midi is the charming region of Gascony, which is another idyll, perfect for a barge cruise. France’s Canal des Deux Mers winds through L’Occitanie, famous for its watercolour scenery, its beautiful orchards and endless vineyards, while Bordeaux is yet another wine paradise ideal for exploring by water. Good food and wine go hand in hand in France and a barge cruise in France’s Bordeaux exemplifies both.
The chateaux of the Loire Valley offer the perfect backdrop to a French barge cruise. The vessel that tours the very essence of the Loire Valley along the River Cher is the only one of its kind in this region and we are proud to offer you a uniquely charming way to explore this magnificent land that oozes grace and incredible natural charm around every corner. Complementing the scenery are the fine examples of Renaissance architecture that add to the whole unique experience in this region.
Of course Champagne, lying east of the capital city of Paris, has fabulous barging opportunities in abundance. Your French barge cruise in this region will see you winding your way through bountiful vineyards, passing rolling hills, and making detours to wineries that offer you the chance to taste the fruits of these famous lands. It is not just the delicious sparkling wine that has made this region famous though, and on a cruise through this historical area, you will encounter chateaux, cathedrals and other monumental landmarks.
For those looking for something completely unique, we present some wonderful cruises in Alsace & Lorraine, which is on the eastern border of France. The distinct fusion of French and German culture is reflected in every element of community life here and as you gently cruise the canal you will find yourself visiting quaint villages, marvelling at fine Baroque and Romanesque architecture, and dining on regional specialities accompanied by the famous white wines of the region.
France has more than 2700 miles of waterways, with rivers all linked up by a 750-mile network of canals, so there is endless opportunity to explore on the water. Imagine cruising along at a gentle pace, enveloped in the stunning scenery, and exploring the out of the way places that escape the main tourist trails, and all in the comfort of your own hotel barge? A French barge cruise could see you meandering down the canals of Briare, Nivernais, Burgundy or the Canal du Midi, among many others, and also offers you the opportunity to see some of the country’s finest countryside, experience real local culture and visit places of interest along the way.
The Hotel Barging Experience
France offers so many options for barge holidays and whatever your choice of destination, the country will open its doors and reveal itself in ways you would never imagine. Local excursions allow you the chance to explore on foot and experience rural French life, while on board you will be indulged in wonderful food, fabulous vintages and very comfortable accommodation. Crew is, of course, on hand to take care of your every need while on your French barge cruise, so you can just sit back, enjoy the experience and unwind in the gentle pace of daily life on board.
All hotel barges in the fleet benefit from an annual refurbishment and this may vary from redecoration and refurnishing of the...
Crews are mainly British or French and they all speak English, so there is no need to worry about a language barrier when they are...
The classic traditions of French and International cuisine are an unforgettable highlight of your cruise. The onboard chefs are...
Every hotel barge cruise includes daily excursions to some fascinating local places of interest - châteaux, Cathar hilltop...
We can arrange a wide selection of themed charter cruises which will appeal to all types of interest groups, large or small...
Families or groups of friends can charter any of the hotel barges. You will have the whole vessel to yourselves and she becomes a...
We know that many of our passengers enjoy taking some exercise during their hotel barge cruise, so each vessel carries...
Even if you are not normally a lover of shopping, the vast array of fascinating shops and markets you can discover on one of our...
Many of our cruises are through some of the best wine- growing regions of France, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux...
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of...
Our Exclusive Collection of Hotel Barges
We have 13 hotel barges, which can accommodate between 6 and 12 passengers, spanning regions from Alsace to the Midi. The route of each of our barge holidays in France has been specially selected by us, so no matter where or when you cruise, we are sure to have the barge cruise for you.
Some vessels in our fleet are owned by us, others by experienced hotel barge operators who maintain similar standards and have been vetted by us. On board all of them you will glide serenely along waterways that pass through magnificent countryside; be taken on fascinating local excursions; indulge in delicious meals, fine wines and comfortable accommodation – whilst all the time being pampered by your attentive crew.
La Belle Epoque is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the picturesque Burgundy Canal in Northern Burgundy
L’Art de Vivre is a first class, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the charming Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne in Burgundy
L’Impressionniste is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the Burgundy Canal in the wine region of Southern Burgundy
Finesse is an ultra deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy
Themed Barge Holidays
We can arrange a wide selection of themed charter cruises which will appeal to all types of interest groups, large or small, including golf, walking and wine appreciation themed cruises.