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.

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...

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

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...

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

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...

Enriching Excursions


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

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...

River Boat Cruises in France: Our Destinations

To experience some of the most classic river boat cruises in France, it has to be Burgundy. A tour of this region will navigate the waterways that wind their way through rolling vineyards, giving our guests access to superb wine tasting sessions hosted by some of the most renowned Burgundian vintners.

For the sights, sounds and flavours of the central regions, the French river cruises that follow routes along the rivers Loire, Cher, Seine and Saône are hard to surpass. Take a cultural tour of the Loire Valley Renaissance chateaux or explore the gastronomic traditions of Gascony and Bordeaux. If your holiday takes you along the Saône you’ll find yourself navigating the natural east-west border of the country. Sample the unique blend of cultures from two nations, France and Germany, as you cruise past charming villages and through towns with their elegant Romanesque and Baroque buildings.

If you fantasise about rivers flowing with Champagne then you might consider one of our French river cruises that includes the Marne. Our vessels that travel through this region will stop off to let you visit famous wineries producing the bubbly beverage, fairytale chateaux and awe-inspiring cathedrals.

For those who want to sit on the deck of a luxury barge and soak up the warmth of the sun, the best French river cruises will take you along the Garonne. When you want to stretch your legs your vessel will moor up alongside some of the region’s most impressive Roman monuments so you can explore the history of the area on foot.


More Destinations

With nearly 3,000 miles of canals and riverways, you can explore facets of French life from many different angles and in a range of regions with diverse characteristics. Cruising along the waterways you’ll find yourself surrounded by bucolic countryside scenes that are frequently off the beaten path. From the comfort of a luxury room on one of our deluxe barges you can enjoy the convenience of top-quality accommodation with the thrill of ever-changing scenery, and a variety of expeditions ranging from wine tasting to bike riding to sightseeing.

Our Exclusive Collection of Hotel Barges

We can accommodate you on any of one of our 12 luxury barges that offer the best French river cruises. With passenger capacity ranging from 6 to 12 people, the vessels for our river boat cruises in France explore hand-selected routes in regions as diverse as Alsace and the Midi.

We own some of the boats in our fleet, and those that are owned by other operators have been selected for their high standards that match our expectations. Whichever vessels you choose you can expect a comfortable and luxurious passage through luscious countryside scenes with opportunities to leave the vessel on guided excursions on land. You’ll enjoy sumptuous meals on board and in select local restaurants. Our crews include a chef and sommelier so you can expect the highest quality culinary experiences.


La Belle Epoque

La Belle Epoque - Cruising - 490

A deluxe hotel barge that accommodates 12 and travels the Canal de Bourgogne in the north of the region.


Cruising the River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy, the Finesse is an ultra deluxe, 8 passenger vessel.


L'Impressionniste barge

A deluxe, 12-passenger hotel barge whose route follows the Burgundy Canal in the southern area of this wine region.

L’Art de Vivre

Accommodating 8 passengers, this first-class floating hotel explores the charming Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne in Burgundy.



Enchanté is an ultra deluxe, 8-passenger hotel barge that is based on the sun-drenched Canal du Midi in southwest France.


Anjodi cruising on the Canal du Midi, France

You’ll travel the historic Canal du Midi in southwest France on board the Anjodi, a first-class, 8-passenger vessel.



Accommodating 10 guests, this vessel offers the ultimate in service on the waterways of southwest France.


For a luxury barging experience in Gascony and Bordeaux along the Canal de Garonne, the Rosa cannot be surpassed.


This ultra-deluxe vessel accommodates 8 passengers and plies the waterways of the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy.


Barrage à aiguilles, batellerie, Chenonceau, Chenonceaux, Cher canalisé, Ecluse, Lever de soleil, nautisme, Péniche, Vallée du Cher, MAison Éclusière, mongolfièe

French river cruises that tour the heart of the Loire Valley are enjoyed on this first-class, 6-passenger hotel barge.


Panache is a deluxe, 12-passenger hotel barge that visits Holland, Belgium, Picardy, Paris, Champagne and Alsace & Lorraine.

La Nouvelle Etoile

La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra-deluxe, 8-passenger boat for cruising in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg.

Themed Barge Holidays

If your group members have a particular passion like golfing, walking or wine tasting then it’s likely we have a themed charter holiday that will cater to your interests. 

Walking Cruises

Looking for the ultimate in relaxation? Combine a walking holiday and a luxury hotel barge for an idyllic experience.

Tennis Cruises

Tennis and boating – what could be more civilised? Cruising aboard Magna Carta or l’Art de Vivre can include opportunities to play and watch tennis on world-famous courts.

Longer Waterway Cruises

For the ultimate cruising experience we can organise holidays that explore the waterways of several countries in a voyage of discovery.

Family Cruises

From French river cruises to Italian canals, we can offer family groups a holiday to remember aboard a privately chartered vessel.

Biking Cruises

Our French and Scottish holidays that cruise canals with infinite towpaths and trails are perfect for a cycling-themed break.

Wine Appreciation Cruises

Some of the best river boat cruises in France take place in Burgundy and the Languedoc where we can tailor a wine-themed holiday for you.

Golf Cruises

Our barges in France, Ireland, England and Scotland make for the perfect base to tour some of Europe’s great golf courses.

Culinary Cruises

Join us in southwest France aboard Enchanté on a culinary extravaganza where you learn and sample the finest regional dishes.

Tandem Cruises

If you need to organise a large group of family, club members, friends or staff then we can offer you a tandem cruise using two vessels.

Art Cruises

Paint your way around southern France on board the magnificent Athos as it cruises from the fishing port of Marseillan to Argeliers.

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

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

Cruises in Italy

Our Italian holidays afloat will let you discover that country’s hidden beauty!

Cruises in Alsace & Lorraine

In the Summer and Autumn, hotel barge Panache sails the beautiful waterways of Alsace

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…

Unspoken Highlight of a Barge Cruise Aboard Anjodi: the Captain

We’re so grateful we had such an awesome captain on Anjodi. The week’s experience sailing the historic Canal du Midi in the South of France was spectacular. Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Whisky

Whisky is fascinating. There are hundreds of variations, yet very few whiskies taste alike. Find out more in our beginners guide to Whisky Read More

The Ultimate Guide to the Canal du Nivernais

The Ultimate Guide to the Canal du Nivernais - History, interesting facts, maps, nearby towns and villages, places of interest and lots more! 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