Fabulous Boating Holidays in France

In search of a boating holiday in France? Each region is sure to take your breath away with an abundance of fantastic sights. But it pays to choose your holiday wisely…

Hotel barge Rosa cruising Bordeaux - life aboard Rosa
Fine dining aboard hotel barge, Rosa

More often than not, if you were to ask people what their ideal destination might be for a boating holiday, France will top the list of answers. It’s no surprise, since the French waterways are incredibly beautiful and the country is a gold mine of fascinating destinations just waiting to be discovered.

As far back as the 17th century, the country already had a working network of canals that connected major regions. Through these waterways, which connect rivers such as the Seine, Yonne, and the Loire, the country has become more accessible to visitors who want to explore its regions from a different perspective. Today, a holiday on a “floating hotel” is one of the most popular modes of exploring the country. But for those going on this type of getaway for the first time, there are some essential things to keep in mind to maximize the experience.

Hotel barge Nymphea - boating holidays france
Hotel barge Nymphea cruising the Loire Valley

Decide Which Cruise is Right for You

When some people consider barging, cruising, or boating holidays, they may think they are going to spend the entire time in the boat. While being on the water is definitely the highlight, travellers don’t need to limit their experience by staying on the boat the entire time sipping wine and relaxing in comfy chairs – although that may be quite tempting! They will actually have the option to tailor their itinerary so they can explore the towns and villages along the way. For a fulfilling and attraction-packed boating holiday, France can offer the enchanting Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that passes through towns in the Languedoc-Roussilon area – which are worth exploring by cycling. With a dedicated crew to take care of the details, those on the cruise will have more freedom to explore the villages they pass through instead of just admiring them from a distance.

Anjodi cruising the Canal du Midi - boating holidays france
Hotel barge Anjodi cruising the Canal du Midi

Consider a Themed Trip

It is safe to say that there is nothing ordinary about a French boating holiday! France is rich in culture and history to explore, but for a truly unique experience, why not consider a trip with a specific theme – such as wine-appreciation, biking, walking or culinary cruises? We offer custom itineraries to cater to a range of interests. Contact our Cruise Teams to find out more 

Guests on a wine-tasting tour among Burgundy's vineyards in the summer months - boating holidays france

Know Your Vessel

It might seem like a simple decision to make, but so much depends on the size of the vessel you select for your holiday. The theory behind choosing is simple: bigger boats will not be able to navigate through narrow canals, and smaller ones are more inclined to avoid wider rivers. Especially if you are going to navigate on your own, this consideration is extremely important. Fortunately, on a standard boating holiday, France has a great number of options. Smaller vessels will be able to navigate through the Canal du Midi more efficiently, and for the more adventurous types, bigger ones are more suited to the Rhône and the Saône rivers.

Enchante on the Canal du Midi - boating holidays France
Hotel barge Enchante cruising the Canal du Midi

Boating Holidays in France

For more information on our boating holidays in France, speak to a member of our Cruise Teams via our Contact Form, or order your free copy of our brochure for help in planning your future cruise by clicking here >

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