Learn About Barging
Daily Excursions and Sights
Each barge strives to offer you a diversity of sights on the daily guided excursions. These may include chateaux, abbeys, bustling outdoor markets, wine tastings, medieval villages, local artisans, cheese farms, etc. Typically, half a day is spent cruising with lunch on board. The excursions can be in the morning or afternoon depending on logistics. Please see the individual barge itineraries for the highlights.
Gourmet Food and Wine
This is France, the land of exquisite cuisine and fine wines. That means fresh food from local markets, innovative recipes and courses paired with handpicked French wines. Every day is another culinary delight with three or four course gourmet dinners capping your idyllic day of relaxed activity and fascinating sights. For more information on breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Barges are rated by amenities, size of cabins and price per person based on two people sharing a cabin. Click here for more information on the four categories of charming, first class, deluxe and ultra deluxe barges.
- Many barges offer "value" and "regular" season prices. Value season prices can save considerably and apply in early spring, mid summer and late fall.
- Charter prices often depend on the number of guests and can make the price per person less than booking individual cabins. Read more about barge cruises for charters and groups >>
- For single occupancy of a double cabin, a single supplement applies. One barge has 2
single cabins with no supplement.
- Luciole, a 14-passenger first class barge, cruises on the Nivernais Canal in Northern Burgundy.
- Early bird specials are available on most barges if you book well in advance, typically the winter or spring of the year before you travel. For example, 2015 prices are good for 2016 cruises until early summer of 2015. The is highly individual for each barge, so be sure to check with us as soon as you know you would like to go barging.
General Barge Cruising Information
- Length of barge cruises are six nights, usually Sunday to Saturday or Saturday to Friday with some exceptions. Extended cruises may be possible upon request. Longer 3-country cruises from Holland to Belgium to Paris are available in the spring on deluxe Panache and ultra deluxe La Nouvelle Etoile.
- The barging season is generally April through October.
- Weather is unpredictable in Europe with May, June, September and early October having the mildest weather. July and August can be quite hot. April and late October can be rainy and cold. Be prepared for rain at any time of year.
- The size of barges is limited to the dimensions of the locks. The traditional barges which originally carried cargo and have no been renovated into comfortable to luxurious floating hotels carry 4-21 guests.
- Charter barges are for private parties who book the entire barge with captain, chef and crew. The excursions can be customized around the guests' interests.
- Hotel barges can be booked on an individual cabin basis for singles, couples or groups. The barge reserves the right to book the other cabins. Hotel barges can also be chartered for private parties.
- Full board includes all meals, wines and open bar, unless otherwise stated.
- Half board includes all breakfasts, welcome dinner and one other meal each day. Usually 5 dinners are on shore at the guests' expense. This can vary with individual barges which is outlined in the booking form.
- Special Interests - Many charter cruises can be customized to guests' interests such as wine, walking, biking, golf, antiquing, cooking, families, special occasions, etc. We call these Theme Cruises.
- Theme cruises are offered for parties chartering the entire barge, such as wine, cooking, walking, biking, golf, antiquing, families, girlfriend getaways, etc.
- Children - Most charter barges are happy to take families with children and design the itinerary to include family activities. Some barges are not suitable for very young children because of safety factors. Hotel barges are generally adults only unless the entire barge is chartered.
- Cabins - Each cabin has an en suite private bathroom with a shower, sink, toilet and, occasionally, a bathtub. Toiletries are provided. Many deluxe and ultra deluxe barges provide bathrobes as well.
- No smoking is permitted anywhere inside the barges and is strictly enforced due to guests' comfort and safety.
- Air conditioning - All the barges we represent are air conditioned and have central heating, most with individual controls in each cabin.
- When to book - Barges book very early especially for the spring and fall. As soon as you know you want to go barging, let’s book to have the best selection
- Terms and Conditions - Each barge has its own Terms and Conditions which must be agreed to when booking. Cancellation policies should be carefully reviewed as many payments are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
- Travel Protection - We recommend you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment, as payments are non-refundable. Now more than ever it’s extremely important to think about the unexpected! Consider travel protection for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. We provide protection plans with Travelex and you are welcome to purchase from your own resources.
Please note that the above information is general and may vary with individual barges.