Cruise the canals and rivers of France on a luxury vessel – the ultimate vacation

What cruising means to you?

Travelling takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to check, taste and try new life. It constantly challenges us, not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings, but also to engage with different people, to embrace new things as they come and to share new and meaningful experiences with playmate and daughter.

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An ocean cruise is undoubtedly a great experience, and a riverboat cruise can be a fun vacation too. But neither comes close to a luxury inland waterway cruise in France. So the question is… how different is cruising on French barges from other types of cruises?

Firstly, France is definitely the ideal place for cruising. It is the place for art, architecture, romance, culture, wine and gourmet food. All this can be yours as you glide gently down the Seine through Paris to Normandy, up the River Rhone through sun-drenched Provence, along the Canal de Bourgogne in rustic Burgundy, over the wetlands of Camargue or across the majestic Canal du Midi in Languedoc. And don’t forget the Loire Valley with its abundance of Renaissance castles, plus the regions of Alsace and Champagne.

In an inland waterway hotel you have a good chance to experience the local culture. The pace is slow and the distances covered are short. In addition, an inland vessel can navigate narrow man-made channels and reach places that larger river cruisers could never reach. This makes it the perfect way to venture down less traveled routes, deep into the countryside. Once there, you have many opportunities for walks into the heart of quaint villages, where the smiling faces of the locals greet you as welcome visitors. Also common are the leisurely walks along the canal towpath and visits to small vineyards to meet the “vigneron” and taste his wine. And it’s not rare to come across a local market filled with unusual items typical of the region.

You can “create” your own cruise. Most inland waterway cruises have fixed routes. One week they sail up the river and the next they come the other way. But barges tend to be small – 4 to 12 passengers – so other charter options for “whatever floats your boat” are often easy to arrange. These themed cruises – usually for private groups or families – can be organized to suit your own needs and interests. Wine, golf and cycling are the most common themed cruises, but there are many more: chocolate and wine in Burgundy, art and painting in Provence, Mediterranean gardens in the south of France, you name it… it’s possible.

And one of Barging’s claims to fame is its cuisine. The culinary experience is the heart and soul of an inland cruise. Special gourmet meals are prepared daily by the onboard chef using fresh local and seasonal produce. Delicious local wines are paired with your meals. And, of course, cheeses are always on the menu. Every effort is made to keep your taste buds happy all the time. On some of these boats, even bar drinks are included in the package.

Barge cruising is truly a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. For many people, it is a once-in-a-lifetime event that inevitably leaves behind precious and romantic memories. It’s about the good life, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Imagine drifting gently through rural landscapes, through historic towns, under old stone bridges or past medieval houses and castles while sipping a local wine on the sundeck. Paradise!

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Why is cruising good for you?

Travelling relieves stress and boosts testosterone

Tour has the ability to take you out of our daily routine and into new enviroment and experiences and this can reset your body and calm your mind. Even planning a trip can have an fantastic effect on the body – it boosts happiness and feels satisfying.

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