Culinary Heaven on Our French Foodie Cruises

Our fabulous collection of French Foodie Cruises feature enhanced, more immersive wine and food excursions, daily gourmet dining and onboard cooking classes presented by our talented master chefs.  Read on to find out why these limited tours sell out year after year…

Fine dining and fine wines on our culinary cruises

Foodie Cruises in France

Cruising the idyllic countryside, far from the crowded streets of major cities and tourist traps, these specially-designed cruises include a series of hand-picked gourmet experiences such as “vine dining” at local wineries, “shopping with the chef” for evening ingredients, and meals paired with local wines that reveal the fascinating history and cuisine of the cruise regions.  You can even go truffle hunting in the nearby hills and visit an escargot farm!

Our 6-night ‘Foodie Cruises’ are available on a selection of luxury hotel barge, including elegant L’Impressionniste in Southern Burgundy and stylish Enchanté on the historic Canal du Midi.

Impressionniste and Enchante

Our themed cruises offer the ultimate escape from the busy cities. Since hotel barges hold just a small number of people, they create the perfect ‘travel bubble’ for groups of like-minded friends and families – who will have the barge all to themselves. – Derek Banks, Founder & Managing Director

A classic French cheese, Roquefort can be found on a number of European Waterways luxury barge cruise menus

Cheese and Truffles with Enchanté

Ultra-deluxe Enchanté is a stylish, 8-passenger double-decker hotel barge with an open-plan show kitchen, where guests can observe their skilled master chef at work preparing gastronomic masterpieces.  Itinerary highlights include a visit to a goat farm for a comparative tasting of young and mature goat cheeses.  Guests will also visit an olive press and taste the famous Lucques green olives, as well as Picholine or Ascolana tapenades, which are made with puréed, or finely chopped olives. Similarly, you will visit the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne, where you’ll discover speciality chocolate and other sweet offerings produced by the city’s many artisanal confectioners.  It’s all capped with a stop at a local boulangerie – or bakery – to enjoy freshly baked bread and pastries.

Also on this foodie cruise itinerary is the market in Narbonne, a former Roman Mediterranean capital, where guests will accompany the hotel barge chef in picking ingredients for the evening meal.  This will be followed by an educational tour and wine tasting at Château Pique Perlou in Minervois.  Another day will be dedicated to truffles, with guests experiencing the art of cavage, or truffle hunting, in the hills of Minervois, after which you’ll taste the famed white variety, known as “white gold”.  You’ll also tour La Cargolade farm, named after the traditional Languedoc dish of snails.  The farm specializes in the Petit Gris variety of escargot, as well as olive oils and seasonal vegetables. Guests then return to the hotel barge to watch a cooking demonstration with the truffles found that day.

Wine cellars at Domaine Chanson

Savouring the Moments with L’Impressionniste

12-passenger L’Impressionniste hotel barge cruises Southern Burgundy, with an elegant décor that includes hardwood flooring, comfortable leather sofas, and large picture windows for a perfect view of the rolling French countryside.  Among the culinary highlights is a visit to the Abbaye de Citeaux, home to Cistercian monks. The monks have been making cheese for over a century, using the milk of the white Montbéliarde cows that graze in their meadows.

New to the itinerary is a drive through the slopes of Côte de Beaune, home to the great names of Burgundy wine.  This is followed by a private tour and tasting at Domaine Chanson, one of Burgundy’s most historic producers, and a gastronomic lunch in the Domaine’s château.  You will also visit the Chevaliers du Tastevin, the famed fraternity of wine enthusiasts, located in the wall-enclosed Grand Cru vineyard of Clos de Vougeot.

A walking tour of old Dijon is a popular excursion, with a visit to its mustard shops and indoor food market to select ingredients for the next meal.  Guests will then visit the Edward Fallot Moutarderie mustard mill – a family-run establishment that has been making the spicy condiment since the 1840s.  The tour includes a private tasting of their diverse mustard-based products.

Along with the Midi region, Burgundy also enjoys a reputation for fabulous cheeses, which can be explored with a visit to the Gaugry Fromagerie – a famed specialist that still produces the traditional raw milk Époisses, as well as Plaisir au Chablis, a soft and mellow cheese matured with Chablis.

If you enjoy tasting world-class cuisine and sampling fine wines in picturesque surroundings, a foodie cruise on a luxury hotel barge is for you. – Derek Banks

Haute cuisine served aboard La Bella Vita luxury barge cruise, photo by Lily Heise

Our Book With Confidence Promise

The health and safety of our guests is a top priority, with strict protocols in place that include crew and passenger temperature checks as well as deep cleaning and disinfecting of all cabins and public surfaces on the barges. For more information, read our Safe Cruising Protocols.

Don’t forget, our flexible booking policy allows guests to reschedule 2021 cruises up to 30 days prior to departure, if Government regulations prevent travel.

For more information on our foodie cruises, click here >

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