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


French Canal Cruises

Bountiful Burgundy

Some of the most popular cruises are in Burgundy, which is sometimes described as the heart of these vacations. Wine lovers could not choose a better cruise destination than Burgundy – you’ll have ample opportunities to discover part of the 60,000 acres of vineyards in this region.

The Historic Canal du Midi

For sun-lovers, the Canal du Midi in the South is the waterway of choice, being a host for many of our French canal cruises. Being pampered and looked after as you unwind on deck, with a glass of chilled wine in hand, you can watch the French countryside glide by at your leisure, with stop-offs at vineyards, chateaux, and quaint, authentic villages en route.

Gastronomic Gascony

Our French canal cruises to the west of the Midi visit the region of Gascony. The vessel heads through the heart of L’Occitanie along the Canal des Deux Mers, where the vineyards and orchards offer up bountiful fruits that are made into the wines and food for which Bordeaux is renowned.

The Luxurious Loire Valley

If you are looking for fairytale castles then your dreams will come true on a cruise through the Loire Valley. Cruising on the River Cher in a luxury hotel barge is a holiday that only European Waterways offers. Leave the car and board a boat to explore the architectural splendours of the many chateaux that populate this charming region.

Sparkling Champagne

For those who have a taste for Champagne there can be no better way to sample this luxury wine than in the region itself. Our French canal cruises here include opportunities for visits to champagne houses, with private tasting sessions and the chance to see the regional sites which include chateaux, historic battlefields and cathedrals.

Architectural Alsace & Lorraine

At European Waterways we like to offer our guests a rich range of destinations, where there is an inland waterway takes you to the heart of a cultural experience in a region of France. Alsace & Lorraine is just such a region and you’ll be in for a feast of architecture, charming village life, unique cuisine and superb white wines on a barge holiday along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin.

Whether you join us on a luxury barge cruise for one of our river or canal holidays in France, we promise that you’ll travel the waterways in style.

More Destinations

The choice of European Waterways barges offer opportunities to discover some of the 2,700 miles of French inland waterways. If you’re looking for ‘off the beaten track’, you should try ‘on the water’: floating along the Canal du Midi, the Canal du Nivernais, the Canal de Briare, Canal de Garonne or the Canal de Bourgogne, will give you a unique perspective of some of the delightful scenery, history and regional culture of this country.

The Hotel Barging Experience

Our French canal cruises gently introduce you to some of Europe’s finest scenery, fascinating history and local culture. Every six-night canal holiday in France includes all gourmet meals, regional wines, an open bar, local transfers and the use of barge 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.

Multi Generational Cruises

Multi Generational Cruises - Family Picnic

With capacity for between 6 and 20 passengers, a private hotel barge charter is perfect for a multi generational getaway

A Home Away from Home


All hotel barges in the fleet benefit from an annual refurbishment and this may vary from redecoration and refurnishing of the...

Enriching Excursions


Every hotel barge cruise includes daily excursions to some fascinating local places of interest - châteaux, Cathar hilltop...

Insider Experiences

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These experiences form the heart of a European Waterways cruise; spontaneous, unique adventures that just couldn't be had anywhere else

Hotel Barging Experience

Barging Experience

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of...

Outstanding Service


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...

A Gastronomic Experience


The classic traditions of French and International cuisine are an unforgettable highlight of your cruise. The onboard chefs are...

Themed Charter Cruises


We can arrange a wide selection of themed charter cruises which will appeal to all types of interest groups, large or small...

Family & Friends Cruises

Family Cruise

Families or groups of friends can charter any of the hotel barges. You will have the whole vessel to yourselves and she becomes a...

Barging & Biking

Spirit Of Scotland Biking

We know that many of our passengers enjoy taking some exercise during their hotel barge cruise, so each vessel carries...

Shopping & Markets

Wonderful Local cheeses

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...

Wine & Whisky Tours

Wine Banner

Many of our cruises are through some of the best wine- growing regions of France, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux...

Our Exclusive Collection of Hotel Barges

With no fewer than 13 hotel barges, there is sure to be a fully-crewed hotel barge that will suit you and your party.

La Belle Epoque

La Belle Epoque - Cruising - 490

La Belle Epoque is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the picturesque Burgundy Canal in Northern Burgundy


Finesse is an ultra deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy


L'Impressionniste barge

L’Impressionniste is a deluxe, 12 passenger hotel barge that cruises the Burgundy Canal in the wine region of Southern Burgundy

L’Art de Vivre

L'Art de Vivre barge cruising

L’Art de Vivre is a first class, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the charming Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne in 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.

Wine Appreciation Cruises

Our wine appreciation holidays in Burgundy and the Languedoc region will give you the opportunity to visit some renowned vineyards with our...

Family Cruises

Family themed holidays are available aboard all our barges. You have the whole vessel to yourselves and she becomes a home from home, except we...

Biking Cruises

The endless towpaths and trails that run alongside or near our canal itineraries in France or Scotland, make cycling and cruising the perfect...

Golf Cruises

Scotland, Ireland, England and France all have some great golf courses including Royal Dornoch, Lahinch, Galway Bay, Wentworth, Sunningdale and Cap d'Agde...

Video Feed

We uploaded our first video in 2010 and since then we have added over 100 hotel barging videos and received over 1,000,000 views on YouTube. We hope you enjoyed watching our videos…

Video of the Week

The Spectacular Hilltop Village of Minerve, France – We take an excursion to Minerve, the ancient capital of Minervois, which boasts a 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges.


During our classic Alsace & Lorraine cruise we enjoy a tour of Strasbourg, including of course, a visit to the 12th century Gothic pink sandstone cathedral, home to an astronomical Renaissance clock and a soaring spire.

Abbaye de Fontenay

The Abbey at Fontenay was founded in 1118 by St- Bernard. Situated at the bottom of a remote valley, this large Cistercian monastery near Montbard is noteworthy for its rather simple, austere style and its no-frills architecture.

The Lock-Keeper Blog

The Lock-Keeper has gone viral! Every few weeks we will be blogging about the French canal cruises. From the history of our hotel barges to some of the off the beaten track excursions we visit. Intrigued? Then read on…

New Christmas Market Cruises in Alsace & Lorraine for the 2023 Holiday Season

Christmas market cruises capture the true spirit of the holiday season, introducing travellers to Alsace and Lorraine at their most festive Read More

A Guide to the Christmas Markets of Alsace

The Christmas markets of Alsace are a must visit for anyone who loves the magic of the festive season. Read more in our guide to Alsace Christmas markets Read More

5 Must See Fairy-tale Châteaux in the Loire Valley

To make it easier for you to choose which Loire Valley châteaux you stop at, we’ve put together a list of our top 5, so you don’t miss the best... 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 canal holidays in France.

Slow Barge through the Loire Valley

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

Barging through France with Panache

"I had been looking forward to this trip for a while. Not just because it would be my third visit to fascinating France, but also because of the mode of transportation I would be using to get around during my six days here — a barge. And not just any old commercial barge, but a luxury European Waterways barge with all the amenities of a 5-Star hotel." Read More

Barging Through French Wine Country

European Waterways offers the perfect all-inclusive vacation for wine lovers wishing to explore wine regions in other parts of the world. Read More

Finding Balance on a Barge in France

Barging is a perfect adventure for a couple. Once the reservation is made, there are no more decisions to discuss. There is nothing to argue about, except perhaps who is having more fun Read More