As throngs of tourists flock to the more obvious cities such as Paris and Nice, French River Cruises are growing in popularity, as a stress free, serene alternative. So without further ado here’s our top 5 French River Cruises to consider for your next holiday!
5 French River Cruises for 2023
Canal du Midi
A Mediterranean haven, this 330 year old waterway skirts the sun drenched shores of the sea before meandering calmly inland through an incredibly diverse landscape of ancient villages, fortresses of old and spectacular hillside vineyards. It’s a winning combination of sunny southern weather and tranquil authentic countryside, with stops along the way including the fortified city of Carcassonne and jaw dropping views from the hilltop village of Minerve, which puts us in mind of an earthly Elysium. Luxury Hotel Barges Anjodi, Athos and Enchanté cruise the Canal du Midi from April to October each year.
Alsace and Lorraine
A unique corner of France, Alsace & Lorraine is a cornucopia of different cultures, storybook German castles and delicious Alsatian wines. All of this set to the backdrop of sloping forested hillsides and unusual architecture, such as the colourful La Petite France quarter of Strasbourg or the beautiful stained glass of Chagall in the Reims Cathedral. The scenic Canal de la Marne au Rhin also features the Arzviller Boat lift, an incredible feat of engineering which carries the entire boat sideways up a 450 foot incline! Luxury Hotel Barges Panache and La Nouvelle Etoile cruise the Alsace & Lorraine Region at select times throughout the year.
Possibly one of the most famed French River Cruise Regions, it is the perfect pilgrimage for wine lovers. Boasting regular world beating vintages and over 60,000 acres of vines which are criss -crossed by a myriad of pretty canals and waterways. With the Charolais Cattle in residence and one of Europe’s largest food markets at Dijon it’s also one of the premier spots for foodies. Sumptuous food and wine aside, there is of course a whole host of other activities available such as hot air ballooning and biking amidst the glorious pastoral hamlets. We currently have 6 Luxury Hotel Barges cruising Burgundy.
Since the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne, the Champagne region has been one of the great heartlands of Europe and now thanks to its world famous sparkling wine, is a mecca for those who appreciate the best in gastronomy. The region starts around 75 miles from Paris, around the city of Meaux and stretches along the beautiful River Marne to the city of Epernay, home of such renowned Champagne houses as Moet & Chandon. There is a plethora of vineyards spread across the undulating plains as far as the eye can see, brilliant green with the new leaves of spring, turning to gold as the grapes ripen in the autumn. Luxury Hotel Barges Panache and La Nouvelle Etoile cruise Champagne from mid-June to August each year.
Perhaps the prettiest and most family friendly area of France, its main tributary, the River Cher has played host to cargo and passengers for more than 2000 years and as such is an ideal spot for French River Cruises. Spanning as far as the Atlantic Ocean and through the Valley of Kings it is a region of fairytale châteaux and Royal French History with numerous UNESCO heritage sites and magnificent markets and gardens along the way. We have a variety of Luxury Hotel Barges cruising the Loire Valley throughout the season.