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

Known as the home of hotel barge holiday, France’s Burgundy region, right in the heart of the country, is one of the most popular places when it comes to cruising. Home to world-famous wines and well known for its annual wine auction, Burgundy is the perfect destination if you are a lover of the good stuff.

For sun seekers, France’s stunning Canal du Midi in the south is a delight. Cruising these waters, you will find yourself soaking up the relaxed vibe and winding down as you meander through the tranquil countryside past almost forgotten villages and ancient Roman ruins in abundance.

West of here is Gascony, with its famous Canal des Deux Mers. As you travel through the majestic L’Occitanie, it’s hard not to be captivated by the rainbow of colours and heady melange of floral scents emanating from the endless orchards and vineyards that greet you around every corner.

Food and wine go hand in hand here, and one is rarely seen without the other. Bordeaux exemplifies this, and a visit highlights this intrinsic part of French culture.

Ah… and then we come to the majestic Loire Valley, with its serene landscape punctuated by glorious chateaux and their fairytale turrets. This region is another wonderful option and the country is epitomised in the very essence of the Loire and we are very pleased to say that we offer the only barge trip along the region’s sublime River Cher; a stunning waterway bordered by some of the most magnificent Renaissance architecture in the country.

Champagne is an equally stunning location and has much to offer the discerning lover of barge holidays. France’s sparkling wine capital lies east of Paris and is distinguished by its patchwork of vineyards that spread across the rolling hills in all directions. Emanating an historical story from every tiny village and grand chateau, the region boasts a number of iconic landmarks, including cathedrals, chateaux and more.

If uniqueness is what you’re seeking on your barge adventure, head to Alsace-Lorraine on the eastern border with Germany. This area is proud of its fusion of cultures, the mix of Baroque and Romanesque architecture, diverse culinary accolades and its interesting production of wines. If you enjoy ‘off the beaten track’ locations, this could be the cruise region for you.

More Destinations

Around 2700 miles of inland waterways, which include a 750 mile network of canals, await you on your barge holiday in France. If discovering a country at a leisurely pace and experiencing it away from the hub of visiting crowds sounds appealing, then travelling by barge could be just what you’re looking for. Canals such as the Briare, Nivernais, Burgundy and Canal du Midi are among the definitive favourites when it comes to delving deeper into the fascinating history, spectacular scenery and welcoming culture.

The Hotel Barging Experience

We really want to bring Europe’s finest assets to you on your barge holiday in France, including history, culture, scenery and more. Our excursions include a six night stay aboard a luxury vessel, all gourmet meals, wonderfully paired wines, an open bar, transfers locally and complimentary use of bikes so that you can stretch your legs on the tow paths. You can also look forward to an extensive deck for sunbathing, and even a spa pool for those days when you just need to cool off. Daily excursions include visits to wineries, castles, markets and other out of the way places.  

Comfort, character and charm

Each vessel is beautifully furnished with its own unique style and carefully chosen artworks that reflect its personal history, but never at the expense of a supreme level of comfort. One of our finest barges is the Spirit of Scotland, a vessel that exudes a regal air and, adorned with tartan upholstery, it evokes images of a grand Highland hotel. Renaissance, on the other hand, with its wooden beams and a saloon lounge, is a favourite in the fleet used on our French barge holidays. France’s finest manor houses come to mind when you enter this beautiful boat.

We have a stunning range of boats to suit all styles. They are full of character and, whether you prefer spacious and airy or grand and elegant, we can accommodate you.

Onboard, we provide a true home from home. A well-stocked library offers the perfect respite if you want to kick back and immerse yourself in a book for a while, and every vessel provides a range of board games as well. Wi-Fi comes as standard and the open bar never closes; you can help yourself to drinks or ask a member of the crew to give you a hand.

A Home Away from Home


All hotel barges in the fleet benefit from an annual refurbishment and this may vary from redecoration and refurnishing of the...

Multi Generational Cruises

Multi Generational Cruises - Family Picnic

With capacity for between 6 and 20 passengers, a private hotel barge charter is perfect for a multi generational getaway

Hotel Barging Experience

Barging Experience

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of...

Insider Experiences

highlander header

These experiences form the heart of a European Waterways cruise; spontaneous, unique adventures that just couldn't be had anywhere else

Outstanding Service


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...

A Gastronomic Experience


The classic traditions of French and International cuisine are an unforgettable highlight of your cruise. The onboard chefs are...

Enriching Excursions


Every hotel barge cruise includes daily excursions to some fascinating local places of interest - châteaux, Cathar hilltop...

Themed Charter Cruises


We can arrange a wide selection of themed charter cruises which will appeal to all types of interest groups, large or small...

Family & Friends Cruises

Family Cruise

Families or groups of friends can charter any of the hotel barges. You will have the whole vessel to yourselves and she becomes a...

Barging & Biking

Spirit Of Scotland Biking

We know that many of our passengers enjoy taking some exercise during their hotel barge cruise, so each vessel carries...

Shopping & Markets

Wonderful Local cheeses

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...

Wine & Whisky Tours

Wine Banner

Many of our cruises are through some of the best wine- growing regions of France, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux...

Our Exclusive Collection of Hotel Barges

Our 13 vessels accommodate between 6 and 12 passengers and we travel routes that span areas across from Alsace to the Midi. When it comes to selecting routes for our barge holidays, France made our job easy! We specifically selected our favorites and can guarantee that no matter where you cruise, you will enjoy a wonderful and truly memorable trip.

We own some of our vessels, but the ones we don’t are owned by reputable operators that have a similar ethos to us when it comes to standards and quality. As you glide gently along any of the waterways we have chosen, you will be surrounded by bucolic landscapes, with the serenity only interrupted by the occasional bustling market, a trip to the local town or an excursion organised by your tour guide. While you’re out, your attentive crew will freshen up your comfortable cabin and your chef will be busy preparing delicious meals and selecting the accompanying fine wines; barge holidays in France really do have all the ingredients for a fabulous trip.

La Belle Epoque

La Belle Epoque - Cruising - 490

La Belle Epoque is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the picturesque Burgundy Canal in Northern Burgundy


Finesse is an ultra deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy


L'Impressionniste barge

L’Impressionniste is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the Burgundy Canal in the wine region of Southern Burgundy

L’Art de Vivre

L’Art de Vivre is a first class, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the charming Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne in Burgundy

Themed Cruises

We offer a huge selection of themed itineraries that can be incorporated into private, entire boat barge holidays. France and Italy are popular destinations when it comes to themed cruises, many of which we have listed below. In addition to these we are also open to options; should a whole boat charter enquire about a themed cruise, we will do what we can to make it happen. Choose from one of our many themed charter cruises…

Wine Appreciation Cruises

It’s no secret why these are popular barge holidays; France is the perfect destination! You can look forward to personal tastings at exclusive vineyards, with expert producers providing information on the grapes, cultivation and history of their winery.

Tasting the carefully selected fine Burgundies, including Nuits St-Georges, Santenay and Vosne Romanée, in situ brings the whole wine tasting experience to life.

The Vovray and Touraine wines of the Loire have been made for centuries by generations of local Chateau owners, and on the Loire Valley wine cruise you will be introduced to both. In glorious Provence and the Languedoc-Roussillon the vintages are lighter, fruitier but no less exquisite, while the crisp whites of Alsace are the perfect complement to the delightful scenery of the Route des Grands Crus. Tour guides often buy a few bottles for you to enjoy onboard over dinner too.

Of course, we also offer a whisky cruise in Scotland that ticks all the boxes for any whisky lover or wannabe connoisseur.

Walking Cruises

Walking trips and hotel cruising are of the same ilk when it comes to holidays; both are equally relaxing and abundant in opportunities to discover a country at a leisurely pace. It makes sense then that the two activities can be merged to create another selection of wonderful itineraries. France’s Burgundy is a delight to explore on foot in autumn, while the Great Glen Way in Scotland and the landscapes of Ireland provide a painter’s palette of colours throughout the season, which brings a new level of joy to hiking.

Golf Cruises

Royal Dornoch, Wentworth, Sunningdale, Lahinch and Galway Bay are among the finest golf courses in the world, and we include these and more on our golf themed cruises. We arrange tee times to suit you and work them around plenty of time on board so that you can enjoy everything a day’s cruising has to offer too.

Tandem Barge Cruises

Do you have lots of friends or an extended family group? Or perhaps you want to book for your wine club or golfing mates but have too many people to fit the number of cabins. As long as you plan in advance and choose one of our selected routes, we can offer tandem trips. These allow for up to 20 passengers across two boats and can be lots of fun. As you cruise alongside each other, you can look forward to two chefs bringing their menus together to create daily four course feasts and the crew organising cocktail parties. Your group is required to do nothing but sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Other Charter Ideas

Other themed cruises can also be arranged with special itineraries, from Art Cruises on the Midi, to Flower Show Cruises on the Royal River Thames in England and Opera Cruises in Italy.

Whisky Cruises

We offer a Whisky cruise aboard hotel barge Scottish Highlander along the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness, with a special itinerary that allows...

Walking Cruises

The beauty of hotel barging and walking is that two of the most relaxing holidays possible are merged to give you the best of both worlds

Tennis Cruises

If you are passionate about tennis, then bare in mind we offer "tennis cruises" on board our barges Magna Carta and l'Art de Vivre to either spectate a game at...

Opera Cruises

For the opera lovers amongst you, taking one of our special Opera Cruises aboard La Bella Vita in Italy is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.

Video Feed

We uploaded our first video in 2010 and since then we have added over 100 hotel barging videos and received over 1,000,000 views on YouTube. We hope you enjoyed watching our videos…

A Tour of Dijon

Dijon is a modern, growing city with a well-designed boat harbor. It is the center of Côte d’Or and was the ancient capital of Burgundy in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Luxury Barge Cruises in Burgundy

La Belle Epoque is a spacious, luxurious hotel barge and sister ship to L’Impressionniste. Although she originally carried logs from Burgundy to Paris, she was skilfully converted into a delightful hotel barge. She is now the perfect vessel for cruising the Upper Burgundy Canal with its towpaths that are ideal for walking and cycling.

Beaune - The Capital of Burgundy Wine Country

We absorb the fascinating 15th century Hotel Dieu Hospice and visit a local winery’s cellars to sample some fine local wines

The Lock-Keeper Blog

The Lock-Keeper has gone viral! Every few weeks we will be blogging about the Hotel barging experience; From the history of our hotel barges to some of the off the beaten track excursions we visit. Intrigued? Then read on…

Unspoken Highlight of a Barge Cruise Aboard Anjodi: the Captain

We’re so grateful we had such an awesome captain on Anjodi. The week’s experience sailing the historic Canal du Midi in the South of France was spectacular. Read More

New and Enhanced Wine Tours in 2023

Private Tastings, Tours and Unique Dining Experiences Reveal the History and Traditions of France’s Renowned Wine Growing Regions Read More

Falling In Love With Slow Travel in France

Writer and Travel Expert, Judi Cohen recounts her time aboard hotel barge Anjodi on Southern France's Canal du Midi in October, 2021 Read More

In the Press

There have been many interesting and entertaining articles written by journalists and travel writers from across the globe about their journeys on our luxury hotel barge cruises.

Slow Travel of the Canal du Midi

On board, you can reach out and almost touch the passing scenery – the giant plane trees lining both sides of the canal, the vineyards, the fields dotted with red poppies, the stone farmhouses, the other barges and boats. Read More

Cruising France’s Canal du Midi aboard European Waterways’ Barge Anjodi

Was the trip about more than fine food and wine? Absolutely. Barge cruising is slow travel at its best, a chance to settle into the rhythms and textures of life along a French waterway from your very own floating boutique hotel. Read More

Anjodi Cruise Review

Barge cruising is the absolute antithesis of today’s 5,000-passenger cruise ship experiences. Read More