France is a land of fine food and wine, spectacular scenery and wonderful culture, and all of this can be experienced on a barge holiday.
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
Burgundy, in France’s heartland, is one of the most popular cruising areas and is often referred to as the home of hotel barge holiday. France boasts some of the world’s finest wines and with around 60,000 acres of sunlit vines, a cruise in Burgundy is highly recommended if you are a wine enthusiast. Another popular destination for a France barge holiday is the sun-drenched Canal du Midi in the South of France. The pace of life is relaxed and lulls you into unwinding as you cruise this serene and shady tree-lined waterway inland past ancient villages and Roman fortifications.
Further west from the Midi is Gascony, another great region to cruise. The Canal des Deux Mers passes through the region of L’Occitanie – a veritable palette of colours and scents created by orchards and vineyards. Bordeaux wine country is another region visited on a European Waterways barge holiday. France is country where good food and wine is a way of life, and Bordeaux perfectly exemplifies this culture.
The wonderful Loire Valley with its chateaux and scenery offers another great experience for a barge holiday. France can often be a timeless land of spectacular beauty and grace, and we are delighted to offer the only hotel barge navigating the heart of the Loire Valley, along the peaceful River Cher. The proximity of such a wealth of gorgeous Renaissance architecture makes a cruise along this waterway a unique travel experience.
The beautiful region of Champagne, east of Paris, has much to offer with vineyards spread across the rolling plains as far as the eye can see, and there will be plenty of opportunity to sample the sparkling wine to which the region has given its name. The area has a rich, history and during our barge holidays in France we will visit a number of landmarks, chateaux and cathedrals. For something slightly different we offer cruises in Alsace-Lorraine, located on France’s eastern border. With its unique mix of French and German cultures, Baroque and Romanesque architecture, storybook villages, diverse culinary specialities and wonderful white wines, it truly is a great region for a hotel barge cruise.
There are over 2700 miles of inland waterways in France and an integral part of this system is a 750-mile network of canals linking up the main rivers. Gently navigating its waterways is the perfect way to explore the country. France is at its best away from the main tourist trails, and canals like the Briare, Nivernais, Burgundy and Canal du Midi are perfect for exploring some of France’s finest scenery, fascinating history and local culture.
The Hotel Barging Experience
Our cruises gently introduce you to some of Europe’s finest scenery, fascinating history and local culture. Every European Waterways six-night excursion includes all gourmet meals, regional wines, an open bar, local transfers and the use of facilities such as bicycles to explore the towpaths, a sundeck to laze on, or a spa pool to relax in. We also offer daily escorted excursions “off the beaten track” to wineries, castles, markets or to see craftsmen at work.
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 vessels, 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 holiday 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.
L’Impressionniste is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the Burgundy Canal in the wine region of Southern Burgundy
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
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.