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

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Our Barge Trips in France

If you want to touch the very heart of the barging community, you need to visit Burgundy, the beautiful rural area known for its rolling hills, sleepy villages and, of course, its wonderful wines. For any wine connoisseurs looking for a holiday in France, barge trips in this central heartland are a dream come true. Sunkissed vines stretch for miles in every direction and cruising the different appellations offers plenty of opportunity for tasting.

Life in the south of the country is perfectly suited to leisurely barge trips. France’s Canal du Midi weaves its way through leafy waterways, taking in Roman fortifications and antiquated villages that seem almost stuck in a bygone era. The pace of life is slow here and, as you gently make your way through your trip, you’ll feel yourself unwinding and resetting in the serene, relaxed atmosphere that envelops every inch of this region.

The Canal des Deux Mers in Gascony, which passes through the region of L’Occitanie, is another wonderful place to explore on a barge trip. France’s very own artist’s palette, the colours that create the stunning landscapes of this region are simply magical. Brought to life by the floral scents from the orchards, L’Occitanie is a region that brings joy to all who visit.

Those with a special interest in culinary accolades will be treated to a truly wonderful gastronomic experience in Bordeaux. Food and wine go hand in hand in this country and a barge trip in France’s Bordeaux offers the opportunity to experience the finest of both.

Fairytale chateaux tower elegantly above the beautiful River Cher, while verdant landscapes roll out as far as the eye can see in the stunning Loire Valley. We are proud to be the only company offering a luxury hotel barge holiday along this waterway, which gently weaves its way through some of the most beautiful and tranquil scenery in the country. Travelling along this river allows you to take in the spectacular Renaissance architecture as well as the magnificent chateaux that you will have the chance to visit.

For a truly unique barge trip, France’s iconic Champagne region has all the ingredients. With vines striating the undulating hills, a bottle of this sparkling vintage is never far away. Despite being most well known for its prestigious viniculture, Champagne is a region famed for its elegant chateaux, intricate cathedrals and a history and culture definitely worthy of exploration. On our itineraries there is always plenty of opportunity to venture off independently or on excursions and guided tours.

In the east of the country, the Alsace & Lorraine region offers an itinerary with a different feel. In an area where French and German culture have come harmoniously together, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a leisurely cruise through picture postcard villages, past Romanesque architecture and Baroque style buildings, while indulging in fabulous white wines and some wonderful local food specialities. What more could you want?

Exploration on water is one of the best ways to get to know a country. France, with its 2700 miles of waterways that combine meandering rivers and 750 miles of canals, lends itself perfectly to discovery by way of a barge trip. France’s tourist trail is well trodden but travel by waterway and you’ll have the opportunity to cruise at a leisurely pace, escape the crowds and uncover plenty of out of the way spots that you wouldn’t otherwise see.

A barge trip in France will see you indulging in fine food, tasting exquisite wines and travelling through some of the country’s most beautiful scenery – and all from the comfort of your luxury floating hotel. Whether you choose to cruise the Briare Canal or the Nivernais, the Burgundy Canal or the Canal du Midi, you can look forward to a relaxing holiday like no other.

The Hotel Barging Experience

Travelling via waterways offers a wonderful introduction to the less discovered parts of this country, which begin to open up in a way that you can only imagine. Days are spent relaxing in the onboard spa pool or exploring local French life, whether that be on an excursion or guided tour. Evenings are all about the fabulous food, incredible wines and comfortable accommodation. An attentive crew is on hand to make sure you have everything you need, and in no time you will be unwinding and settling into the gentle pace of life that goes hand in hand with a barge trip in France. 

A Home Away from Home

Saloon

All of our vessels are well maintained and undergo refurbishment or redecoration every year. Your comfort is our priority.

Themed Charter Cruises

Walking

We can accommodate a wide range of interests on our themed cruises and these are a popular option for group or individual travel.

Multi Generational Cruises

Multi Generational Cruises - Family Picnic

Why not get the family together, from grandparents to grandchildren, and charter a whole vessel for a family holiday that will be remembered always?

Hotel Barging Experience

Barging Experience

Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life at home and slow down, unwind and relax aboard a luxury floating hotel.

Insider Experiences

highlander header

Unique, special and memorable are some of the words used to describe our wonderful holidays.

Outstanding Service

Service

Exemplary service is attentive without being intrusive. All crew speak English and are on hand to cater to your every need.

A Gastronomic Experience

Dining

Food and wine are an integral part of the barging experience and you can expect exceptional quality of both.

Enriching Excursions

Excursions

All itineraries include the option of taking local tours and excursions to places of interest, be it a castle, market, museum or vineyard.

Family & Friends Cruises

Family Cruise

Perfect for a big group of family or friends, we offer the option of chartering the whole boat, which then becomes a home from home.

Barging & Biking

Spirit Of Scotland Biking

Make the most of the towpaths and borrow one of the bikes onboard, which is another relaxing way to experience the surroundings.

Shopping & Markets

Wonderful Local cheeses

Soak up a little local culture at one of the many markets along the way, which offers a great way to touch the cultural heart of a place.

Wine & Whisky Tours

Wine Banner

Explore endless vineyards and working distilleries and indulge in the finer things in life on one of our wine or whiskey trips.

Our Exclusive Collection of Hotel Barges

We are proud to present our 13 hotel barges that are all located in regions throughout France, from Alsace to the Midi. We have carefully selected each and every route and have plenty of choice to suit every discerning passenger. The vessels are all comfortable, and as they glide effortlessly through the endless waterways you can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

All of our barges are designed to accommodate between 6-12 passengers; some are owned by us and others belong to larger reputable hotel barge companies. The companies we work with match our exemplary standards and are as committed as we are in the service they provide.

L’Impressionniste

L’Impressionniste cruises the Burgundy Canal and takes in the vineyards of Southern Burgundy. It is a deluxe, 12-passenger vessel.

L’Art de Vivre

L’Art de Vivre is an exceptional vessel accommodating 8 passengers. It cruises the charming Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne in Burgundy.

La Belle Epoque

La Belle Epoque is a luxury hotel barge that carries 12 passengers and sails the stunning Burgundy Canal in Northern Burgundy.

Renaissance

This 8-passenger vessel is ultra-deluxe. The Renaissance cruises the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy canals.

Themed Barge Holidays

Our range of themed charter cruises has been designed to appeal to all manner of interest groups. From golf and walking to wine appreciation themes, our selection is wide and varied.

Family Cruises

Families can charter any of our vessels and enjoy a home from home experience while exploring the best of France’s waterways.

Wine Appreciation Cruises

Burgundy and the Languedoc region are perfect for our wine appreciation barge trips in France.

Biking Cruises

Cycling the long towpaths running next to the canals in Scotland and France is a relaxing activity that complements any of our holidays.

Whisky Trail Cruises

For lovers of whiskey, join our Whiskey Trail cruise that takes in distilleries close to the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness.

Video Feed

Since our first video upload in 2010, we have added more than 100 hotel barging video clips and we hope you have enjoyed watching them. YouTube has seen us receive nearly three million views and we are hoping for more!

Hotel Barge Cruises on the Canal du Midi in Southern France

If you are looking to experience the best of the French countryside, a cruise on a Canal du Midi barge might be just the thing for you!

Experience the Champagne Region aboard Hotel Barge Panache

Few places on Earth can boast the name recognition of Champagne in France. You can taste the history, heritage and culture in every glass.

Cruise the Canal du Midi aboard Hotel Barge Enchanté

Enchanté is a hotel barge that offers an alluring blend of luxury and modernity. She is a vessel that will charm any discerning traveller on her sedate journey through the Midi countryside.

The Lock-Keeper Blog

For interesting information about the hotel barging experience, the history of our barges and the best of our excursions, make sure you stay up to date with our Lock-Keeper blog. Every few weeks we will share something new and exciting with you.

The Best Historic and Cultural Attractions in Burgundy

Enjoy the cultural and historic attractions of Burgundy on a relaxing hotel barge cruise through this stunning French region Read More

Anjodi’s New Provence Cruise – Following in the Footsteps of Van Gogh

Seaside oyster tasting, exquisite local wines and ancient Roman cities are all part of Anjodi's new Provence cruise Read More

5 Things to Do in Auxerre

5 reasons to visit Auxerre, from foodie heaven to amazing architecture! 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.

La Belle barge provides small-scale cruising with a very French flavour

Mike Grenby spent 6 days on the Burgundy canal, read about his Belle Epoque adventure here Read More

La Belle barge provides small-scale cruising with a very French flavour

Mike Grenby spent 6 days on the Burgundy canal, read about his Belle Epoque adventure here Read More

Slow Barge through the Loire Valley

Karen Pasquali Jones takes a tranquil cruise aboard Renaissance, through Burgundy and the Upper Loire Read More

6 Reasons You Should Go on a Canal Barge Cruise

Laura Lynch spent a week aboard the luxury hotel barge Finesse cruising the Canal du Midi. Read about her experience here Read More

Cruising in Burgundy

David Powell spent a week on the luxury hotel barge L’Impressionniste cruising through Burgundy. Read about his experience here Read More

The Best River Cruise Ever!

Tim Hedgley cruised aboard hotel barge L’Impressionniste in Southern Burgundy in June 2017. Read about his experience Read More

Taking a Hotel Barge through Burgundy

Cruise through Burgundy aboard the elegant La Belle Epoque Read More

La Belle barge provides small-scale cruising with a very French flavour

There’s a lot of numbers, but no math needed for a six-day cruise along the Burgundy Canal on La Belle Epoque: one hotel barge, 17 meals, 22 wines and 19 cheeses, one hot tub, some mountain bikes and visits to at least a dozen interesting sites Read More

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