We are proud to introduce our newest selection of voyages: barge cruises on the delightful, scenic canals of France. Our barges have a maximum capacity of 24 passengers, so these intimate trips are the perfect getaway for vacationers who prefer an even more leisurely and peaceful environment than offered on our river cruises.
Barge cruises give you an exceptionally charming glimpse into French life, up close and authentic. The elaborate canal systems in France — initially designed to haul coal and other goods between towns and villages — create a type of water highway, deep into the countryside. As your barge moves along between locks, you’ll see quiet vineyards and historic châteaux, sunlit pastures and traditional villages. Your excursions from the barge bring you directly into local life and activities: perhaps to a cheese-maker, an open-air market bursting with fresh produce and local goods, a wine-tasting, or an ancient stone chapel nestled by a brook.
Many of the locks are still tended by lock keepers, so during your trip you might have the experience of seeing these burly men race out at the approach of your barge, crank control wheels and raise the water level to let the boat pass through. It’s a little bit of history that happens every day on the French canals.
And of course, each cruise includes our delectable cuisine and elegant wines, carefully chosen and prepared by our team of elite chefs. Our cruises pass through some of France’s most celebrated wine and cheese regions, and our chefs will take advantage of the many local food specialties available. You may find yourself eating sautéed fresh-picked morel mushrooms, or savoring unique locally made cheeses.
We’ll be launching trips through the canals of Alsace-Lorraine and Burgundy, with cruises to Provence and Champagne soon to follow.
For more information about any of our barge cruises, please click here.