A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its wonderful countryside and historical treasures and meeting its many friendly, diverse people.
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking, whilst enjoying a balanced blend of daily excursions and fascinating cruising.
You are collected at the designated meeting point by the Captain or another crew member and escorted by air-conditioned minibus to your hotel barge. After a champagne welcome and the opportunity to meet the English-speaking crew and your fellow passengers, they will show you to your comfortable stateroom or suite, with its full en suite facilities.
Sometimes embark on a short cruise on the first evening and immediately the fascinating world of barge cruising begins to unfold before you. Then, perhaps after an aperitif, it’s time to indulge in your first gourmet dining experience aboard, complemented, of course, by fine wines.
Each day, once under way, your hotel barge moves so sedately from one peaceful mooring to the next, you can just wander along the towpath, or get on or off at one of the pretty locks. You may stumble across some local villagers playing a game of boules, or discover a vineyard, its vines laden with grapes.
The hotel barges all carry bicycles for towpath riding and other excursions ashore, and discover the little villages and farms as you cruise by become part of the adventure. Alternatively, just absorb the ever-changing scenery from a comfortable lounger or deck-chair on the sun deck.
Then, after a day of cruising and sightseeing, your hotel barge moors up for the night and there is plenty of time for a cocktail before dinner, or perhaps to enjoy a relaxing soak in the spa pool that is on most of our vessels.
In Burgundy, the Loire Valley and England, hot-air ballooning is an exciting option. Ballooning generally takes place in the early hours just after dawn or before sunset, when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently along and gazing down at the beautiful countryside below.
Please inquire about our Artisan and Wine Appreciation European Barge Cruises.
Highlights of the cruise include a guided tour by the master cheese maker, Ralph Haslam, owner of Mossfield Organic Cheeses, and visits to Kelly’s Moonshine Organic Dairy and the award-winning Meadowsweet Apiaries & Farm Shop which has won many awards for its delicious honey.