The Barge Cruise Experience...
Luxury barges have been cruising in France for over 30 years and although one of the most enjoyable, relaxing and luxurious ways of experiencing the country, the waterways remain blissfully unspoilt and 'traffic-free'. From the tree lined beauty of the Canal du Midi (a UNESCO heritage site) to the meandering splendour of the Burgundy Canals, the French waterways will surely captivate you. Whether you’re seeking the irresistible charm of the Shannon River in Ireland, the majesty of the River Thames in England or the scenic splendour of the Scottish Caledonian Canal, the waterways of the British Isles also offer something to suit everyone’s taste. Usually cruising for a few hours each day, you will have time to take in all the sights and sounds, experiencing the wealth of history en route and catching a glimpse of times gone by.

The Magna Carta Barge Cabins on the Phenicien Barge
Above and right, the graceful Le Phenicien barge cruises between Avignon and Aigues Mortes on the River Rhone and the canal du Rhone a Sete. Her suites are spacious, light and airy. Wake up to the sight of flamingoes and wild horses on this fine barge.
Barge cruising is a very special experience……

As you relax on deck watching the ever-changing scenery glide gently by, enjoying sumptuous food and fine wines at every meal, you’ll probably think you’ve discovered the ultimate vacation – and you have! Barging is cruising with a difference….you’re away from the frenetic modern world of deadlines and appointments to keep, but within easy reach of your fellow man, with the countryside at your fingertips and the friendly atmosphere and attentiveness of the crew. All these factors combine wonderfully to make your cruise the right vacation for you, and offer you the total relaxation that you deserve. If you enjoy good food, fine wines, a voyage of discovery and a taste of the idyllic, relaxing life that too often escapes us these days, a barge cruise is definitely for you………………

Thomas Jefferson was an ambassador to France before he became the third President of the United States. Very much a man ahead of his time, he wrote to a friend almost 200 years before canal vacations became popular saying "You should not think of returning to America without taking this tour I have taken".

Jefferson was talking about France's Canal du Midi - one of the great jewels in Europe's waterway network. But he could equally have been referring to any one of Europe's canals or rivers, from the beauty of France's Provence region, Loire or Burgundy , the quiet charm of England's River Thames, Scotland's Caledonian canal or Ireland’s River Shannon.

The barge operators usually arrange to pick you up at a local airport, railway station or hotel. Or, for example, for most Burgundy cruises, many will pick you up and drop you off at an agreed hotel in Paris. Personalised arrangements are usually made for your individual charter group.

There are big barges and small ones, barges with pools and fitness rooms and many offering theme cruises, golf, art, cookery or wine appreciation to mention just a few. The wonderful barge cruises in Holland, Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany and Italy also offer something different and unique.

Views from the Bella Vita barge cruises
Views from the Bella Vita barge cruises
Views from the Bella Vita barge cruises

Images (above) of the lovely La Bella Vita cruising in and around Venice and the lagoons and islands in that exquisite region of Venetia. A perfect place for romance, decadence, relaxation, hedonism, art, history, sunshine, wonderful food and all-round great vacations!

It’s easy to find the right barge, just call us toll free from the USA or CANADA on 1-800-688-0245, or + 33 561 59 20 07 from the rest of the world, fax us on 011 33 561 59 23 54 (from the USA or CANADA) or + 33 561 59 23 54 from the rest of the world, or e-mail us at and we’ll help you to make your choice. It’s very likely to be “one of the best vacations ever” (the most frequently used quote from our previous clients!)

Our office is open until late to fit in with USA times, so don’t hesitate to call, we look forward to talking to you...

The Renaissance Barge
The Renaissance Barge
The Renaissance Barge

Above, images of the sumptuous interior of the Renaissance, our favourite barge cruising in the Upper Loire region. Taking up to a maximum of 8 guests she is the perfect vessel for a family gathering, high school reunion of best friends or simply a group of close friends who wish to take an unforgettable vacation together and create many happy memories.

In 2010 why not step aboard one of our barges and simply Relax, Unwind and Let the World Float by…TM

To find out more about the various different cruise destinations, simply use the menu at the top of the page and click on ‘Cruise Routes

Phone: +33 561 59 20 07, Fax: +33 561 59 23 54
Phone (Toll-Free from USA + Canada): 1-800-688-0245

The Barge Cruise Company Ltd, 2 Allée de Castelnouvel, 31490 Léguevin