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 River Cruise Experience

Our vessels gently introduce you to some of Europe’s finest scenery, fascinating history and local culture. Every European Waterways six-night French river cruise includes all gourmet meals, regional wines, an open bar, local transfers and the use of on board 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

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

Riverboat Cruises in France

Take a Classic Riverboat Cruise Through Burgundy

With rolling vineyards connected by stunning waterways, you will get the classic Burgundy river cruise experience. Some of the most renowned Burgundian vintners will host wine-tasting sessions for you, allowing you to make the best of your time in the region.

Enjoy a Culture Tour of the Loire Valley

A Loire Valley river cruise is ideal for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the rich culture of the area. You’ll find stunning views and historic castles to visit, with exclusive cruises along the River Cher.

Dine in Gascony

Gascony is known for its rich gastronomic traditions, making it perfect for food lovers. This wine-making paradise is also home to the oldest brandy in France and is considered to be a culinary heartland in the country.

Taste the Best Wine in France in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is the undisputed wine capital not only of France but the world. You can enjoy private wine tastings in the area, so take a Bordeaux river cruise to the best vineyards in the area and sample the most beautiful wines.

Book Your River Cruise in Saône

The Saône river cruise will take you along one of the most important water links in the country, which has proven throughout the years to be a popular boating experience. The river meets with many other rivers and canals, making it the ideal path to travel along if you want to explore France.

Sip in Champagne

When it comes to French river cruises, Champagne is the perfect destination. The region is truly one of the most beautiful and you’ll get the chance to visit some of the famous wineries in the area to sip champagne.

Relax on a Garonne River Cruise

Garonne is a truly stunning location to visit and is often bathed in sun, making a luxury barge the perfect way to soak up the rays. With Roman monuments to discover along the way, you can take a break from relaxing to explore the rich history of the area.

No matter what type of escape you are looking for, you’ll find the ideal river cruise in France with European Waterways. Contact our team today to discuss your needs and find your perfect holiday destination in France.

Choose Your French River Cruise Destination

Boasting almost 3,000 miles of canals and riverways to explore, you are sure to find the perfect destination for your holiday. Take in the history of the country, enjoy a wine tasting or two, or simply relax on a luxury river cruise. We have more destinations in France for you to choose from and other European destinations to explore, so book your trip today.

Book Your Hotel Barge

Here at European Waterways, we have 12 luxury barges to take you on a French river cruise. Capacities range from 6 to 12 people with cosy and comfortable cabins or premium suites to choose from. You’ll find that your hotel barge is a home away from home, allowing you to


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


The Ultra-Deluxe hotel barge Finesse

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

Kir Royale

Hotel barge Kir Royale cruising Champagne

Kir Royale is a ultra deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the renowned Champagne region of France

L’Art de Vivre

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

Choose Your Holiday Theme

Book the ultimate escape with themed river cruise holidays. Whatever it is that your group is interested in, from wine tasting and exploring to golfing and art, you’ll get the perfect river cruise in France for your dream escape.

Whisky Cruises

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

Wine Appreciation Cruises

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

Family Cruises

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

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.

Verified Reviews

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Video Feed

We uploaded our first video in 2010 and since then we have added over 100 hotel barging videos and received over 3,000,000 views on YouTube. We hope you enjoyed watching our videos…

River Cruises in Champagne

Few places on Earth can boast the name recognition of Champagne in France. This renowned region, famous for the sparkling white wine that bears its name, is also the birthplace of chivalric romance and has been at the crossroads of Europe since Roman times. You can taste the history, heritage and culture in every glass.

Despite the growing popularity of cruising, especially on large river vessels, hotel barging is still a little known niche concept.

Hotel Barge Enchante

Enchanté is a spacious, double-decker hotel barge that has been built to the highest standard to offer a stylish on board ambience that is perfect for enjoying a cruise through this sun-drenched region.

Hotel Barge Anjodi

Anjodi is very much a hotel barge of the classic Dutch design and also the founding member of our fleet, embarking on her first cruises along the historic Canal du Midi 35 years ago.

The Lock-Keeper Blog

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

Are Whisky, Scotch and Bourbon really the same thing?

On our Scottish cruises, the exceptionally stocked open bar plays host to several choices of single malt whiskies, scotch and bourbon. But what is the difference between them? And dare... Read More

Tales from the Tour Guides: French Cheese – Why is it so amazing, and sometimes smelly?

Our Tour Guides have compiled some of their most frequently asked questions on French cheeses to help you understand the importance of one of France’s greatest exports… Read More

Châteauneuf-en-Auxois: Home of a Fairy Tale Castle in France

Have you ever wanted to visit a fairy tale-like castle? Cruise the Burgundy Canal aboard hotel barge L’Impressionniste and you will be greeted with the beautiful sight of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. 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 French river 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

Der gute Geist der Highlands

Auf einer 6-tägigen Kreuzfahrt an Bord der Luxus-Hotelbarge Spirit of Scotland besuchte O. Schmidt die schönsten Sehenswürdigkeiten Schottlands. 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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year for a river cruise in France?

French river cruises usually run from March onwards, depending on the destination. The best time for river cruises in France is between the spring and autumn months. For more information about the best time of year for a cruise in a specific area of France, we recommend you visit the desired region’s page by selecting it from the ‘destinations’ drop down menu at the top of this page.

How much does a French river cruise cost?

The price of a France river cruise with European Waterways starts at £4,050/$5,490/€4,750 based on two people sharing a cabin. The exact price will vary, depending on several factors such as which part of France you wish to cruise in and whether you book a cabin to join like-minded travellers, or charter the barge for the entire week for the ultimate in privacy. Contact us for more information about the price of river cruises in France.

What are the cruise ports in France?

There are several different cruise ports in France. Some of the most popular ports that ships often dock at during river cruises France include:

  • Paris
  • Burgundy
  • Le Havre
  • Canal du Midi
  • Bordeaux