Step aboard a comfortable canal barge, a floating country inn where you enjoy gourmet food and wine every day while only having to unpack once. Relax on deck as the lovely scenery flows by, or borrow a bicycle for a serene pedal along the towpath. Thanks to our European offices and extensive local connections, we can provide a truly comprehensive journey, with pre- and post-cruise stays in some of Europe's greatest cities and all transportation arranged for you.
The 20 stylish canal barges our Travel Partner selected each ply their own distinct routes through Europe's most popular cruising regions: Provence and the South of France; Burgundy & the Upper Loire; Alsace, Champagne & the Moselle; Holland, the Rhine, Main and the Danube; Ireland, Scotland & England; and Italy.
About European Canal Barge Cruises
Superb Cuisine in an Idyllic Setting
While on board your graceful canal barge, inspiring dining opportunities, prepared by an expert chef, abound. Each morning, your crew offers a tempting spread of locally sourced pastries, fresh fruit and jam. Lunch comes complete with colorful salads, silky pátés, quiches, cheeses and wine pairings. Later, sit down to a multicourse dinner, a culinary adventure in itself. As you moor beneath the stars, savor a delightful, relaxing feast prepared with market-fresh, local ingredients. Throughout your evening meal, enjoy a selection of specially chosen fine wines is served to complement the evening’s cuisine.
Exploring by Foot and Bicycle
Canal cruising opens up endless opportunities to explore. Most vessels carry enough bicycles for everyone on board. During your journey, you may take a gentle pedal — or a stroll — along scenic towpaths. While on land, you may venture into a nearby town or village, perhaps following recommendations that your hosts are ready to provide for the asking. Afterward, rejoin the vessel at another lock along the cruise route, possibly arriving in advance of your floating hotel.
Journeys You Can Book with Confidence
Barging is a wonderful way to travel and our Travel Partner curates a portfolio of the finest canal cruise vessels operating in Europe today. Drawing upon their more than five decades of experience in luxury travel, and applying criteria developed by the experts working in their five full-time offices across Europe, they have presented only the most comfortable vessels, innovative chefs and attentive crews for your consideration. Each journey they offer meets their highest standards for excellence, while delivering an experience unique in flavor and character, so you can choose your cruise with confidence.
A Choice of Ways to Cruise
To allow you to experience Europe as a couple, on your own, or with a circle of friends or family members, many canal barge journeys curated by our Travel Partner offer you the choice to book independently or travel as a group on a private charter. On an independent booking, you secure a cabin the way you would book a room in a country inn, sharing the vessel's amenities, sightseeing excursions and meals with your fellow guests. On a private charter, you and your group of family or friends hire the entire vessel, enjoying sightseeing activities specially tailored to your interests.
Extend Your Stay in Tailor Made Luxury
If you would like to travel in Europe for a while before or after your canal barge cruise, consider a Luxury Tailor Made Journey to compliment your travels. Our Luxury Travel Specialist can fashion an itinerary to your exact specifications as well as offer suggestions for must-see highlights in and around the region through which you are cruising. Contact one of Elite Travel & Events Inc Luxury Travel Specialists to extend your stay in Europe.
Reflections on a Day of Canal Barge Cruising
A canal barge cruise is a gracious invitation to come discover Europe at its most intimate and delightful; to follow your heart from morning till night. Wake and sip piping hot coffee or tea from the deck of your vessel, as the sun bathes the tranquil waterways. Disembark to explore iconic and less-frequented sites, far from throngs of tourists. It might be a local truffle farm and lavender distillery in the South of France, a tasting at a chocolatier or a guided stroll around the ramparts of a medieval castle. From châteaux and cathedrals to busy local markets, each experience proves more revealing than the last.
As the afternoon lengthens, consider a peaceful cycling excursion through the countryside, or simply find a spot on deck and enjoy a cool drink as the scenery lazily rolls by. Return to your floating home as the sun hangs low, indulging in a gourmet meal, matched with curated wines. Before turning in, enjoy a nightcap with fellow guests, and then slumber peacefully in your well-appointed cabin, arising the next morning to begin the adventure anew.