L’Impressionniste cruising in Southern Burgundy

Barge Cruising & Holiday Packages

Life on board a barge cruise is slow paced and relaxing as you cruise the canals of Europe. Whichever barge you choose to cruise on, you can rest assured that a lot of thought and care has gone into combining traditional features with modern comfort. Every cruise itinerary includes exciting daily excursions. Visit local places of interest such as Châteaux, villages, markets, wineries or hidden gems off the beaten track.

Barge Cruising: Explore Europe’s Tranquil Canals

Discover the unique charm of barge cruises with Entire Travel Group. Set off on a tranquil journey through Europe’s scenic canals, where each stop leads to authentic and bespoke experiences. Your days begin with serene views of the countryside and unfold with leisurely explorations of quaint villages and regional culinary delights.

Entire Travel Group offers bespoke barge cruising packages, perfect for those seeking a more personal and immersive travel experience. With small guest numbers, our cruises ensure a cosy and intimate setting. Sail through France's Canal du Midi or Italy's Po Delta, and enjoy a journey tailored to your interests, complete with exclusive excursions and local experiences.

Barge cruising is an opportunity to slow down and truly connect with your destination, far from the typical tourist track. It's a journey that combines relaxation, cultural exploration, and luxury in a way that is both exclusive and authentic.

Popular Barge Cruise Destinations

Let Entire Travel Group take you on a journey beyond the ordinary with luxury barge cruises through Europe's picturesque landscapes.

  • France: Barge cruises in France offer a unique way to explore the country's rich landscape and heritage. Discover the beauty of Burgundy with its sprawling vineyards and historic chateaux while indulging in fine wines and gourmet dining. The Canal du Midi invites you with stories of Renaissance and charming riverbank towns.
  • Italy: Journey through the Po Delta, rich with Roman history, lush landscapes, and delicious local cuisine. Experience Venice's enchanting canals and explore Padua's artistic heritage.

Amenities and Services

On your luxury barge cruise with Entire Travel Group, you'll find a unique blend of comfort and personalised experiences. Far from the crowds and generic offerings, our cruises focus on creating a cosy, intimate atmosphere.

  • Gourmet Dining: Enjoy meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, featuring local ingredients, with the option to dine al fresco under the stars.
  • Luxurious Cabins: Relax in spacious, en-suite cabins with plush linens and premium amenities.
  • Peaceful Leisure Options: Spend time sunbathing on the deck, reading in the lounge, or indulging in spa treatments.
  • Active Exploration: Cycle through picturesque villages, join guided excursions to historic sites, and visit vibrant local markets.
  • Evening Entertainment: Participate in game nights, enjoy local cultural performances, or unwind with a book in the library.
  • Modern Conveniences: Stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi, and enjoy the seamless blend of modern amenities and the charm of river cruising.

Each aspect of your journey with Entire Travel Group is meticulously designed to offer a luxurious, memorable, and deeply personal travel experience.

Barge Cruising vs. River Cruising

A barge cruise and a river cruise share similarities in their relaxed atmosphere and often visit the same major ports, but there are key differences:

  • Size and Speed: Barge cruises are smaller and slower, usually carrying 12-24 passengers and cruising at less than 4 miles per hour, while river cruises can have around 200 passengers and travel at about 11 miles per hour.
  • Scenery and Pace: Barge cruises provide a leisurely way to enjoy the countryside and landscapes at a comfortable pace, often moving slower than walking speed. This slower movement means visiting fewer ports but allows more time to savour the views.
  • Intimacy and Interaction: With fewer passengers, barge cruises offer a more intimate experience and closer interaction with the crew. They are great for small groups or families, fostering a sociable atmosphere.
  • Cuisine: On barge cruises, meals are typically prepared by the captain or local chefs, ensuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and authentic regional flavours. The smaller scale allows for more personalised and gourmet dining experiences.
  • Cabin Size: Barge cabins are generally smaller than those on river cruises. It's important to request specific accommodations, like a double or queen bed, for a comfortable stay.

These distinctions make each type of cruise unique, catering to different preferences in travel style and experiences.

Barge Cruising Tips & Advice

To help you maximise your barge cruise holiday, here are some handy tips and advice:

  • Embrace intimacy: With a small group of fellow travellers, be prepared for close quarters and friendly interactions. Pack your open mind and willingness to connect, as conversations and shared experiences are inevitable and enhance the charm.
  • Plan for excursions: Research and pre-book shore excursions if there are specific experiences you don't want to miss. Some barge cruises include excursions, while others allow for independent exploration.
  • Relax and unplug: Barge cruising is about slowing down and appreciating the journey. Leave the hustle and bustle behind, disconnect from digital distractions, and immerse yourself in the scenery and local culture.
  • Engage with the crew: The crew are your onboard experts and often locals. Don't hesitate to ask questions about the region, hidden gems, or recommendations for local specialties.
  • Embrace the local culture: Learn a few basic phrases in the local language, try local dishes, and participate in cultural activities offered by the barge.

By following these tips and advice, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable barge cruise experience.

Why embark on a barge cruising holiday?


Start your journey in comfort directly from the hotel with a transfer. We can arrange your pre and post cruise accommodation, and we will make sure your transfer is organised. A member of the crew will pick you up at your hotel and drive/ train you to the barge. The transfers are planned for you to have enough space for your luggage and be the beginning of your journey.

Welcome Cocktail

When you arrive on-board you will be welcomed by the crew. This is an opportunity for them to introduce themselves and have all your requirements prepared for the week. They will make sure you are comfortable and explain how your week will un-fold on the canals. Enjoy the welcome cocktail, start relaxing and fully enjoy the barge cruise experience.

Outstanding Service

Life on board a barge cruise is slowpaced and relaxing. Barges cater from 2 to 24 people, making it an intimate experience where your crew can personally look after you. Comprised of a captain, a chef, a tour guide and host or hostess, the highly professional English-speaking crews take their jobs very seriously. They are attentive to guest needs and will happily share their rich, local knowledge.

Barge Ratings

All barges have different ratings, but one important point they all have in common is their high standards. Every winter, vessels are fully painted and varnished to be perfectly accommodating. Some of them are family-owned with a cosy atmosphere, some are ultimate luxury with all the amenities you can imagine. Barges range in size from 2 cabins up to 10 cabins for larger group charters.


You will enjoy the amenities on-board such as bicycles to cycle along the canals to small villages; the library on-board to relax on the sundeck with a good book; the heated swimming pool on some of the barges, a cocktail to enjoy an aperitif and the ensuite cabins where you will be comfortable.


Every cruise itinerary includes exciting daily excursions. Visit local places of interest such as castles, villages, markets, wineries, or hidden gems off the beaten track. Outings can often be tailored to your wishes – particularly if you have chartered the whole barge – and are usually led by your tour guide crew member.

Fine Dining

Wake up every morning to fresh bread, pastries, and fruit, brought on board by your crew. Meals are typically gastronomic adventures prepared by your very own chef with locally sourced ingredients. Many barges in our range have excellent selections of wines for you to savour every meal.

Fine Wines

All drinks are included, and the bar is open 24/7 for soft and alcoholic drinks. If you are a wine or whiskey aficionado, there are even cruises that will be focusing on some great tasting experiences. For most of our barges let us know prior if you prefer red, white, rose, spirits or juices and we will make sure everything on-board caters to your preferences.


How appealing is waking up to a different view from your sundeck every morning? The variety you will get to experience is a highlight of your barge cruise. Cruise along pretty waterways otherwise inaccessible to larger vessels and really unwind as your barge trundles at a perfectly relaxing pace. It truly is the ideal scenario to sit back and admire the inspiring landscapes of Europe.

Hotel Barge Anjodi Hotel Barge Anjodi

Themed Barge Cruises


Family themed cruises are available on most of the barges in our range. Whether for a special family celebration or simply a chance to enjoy quality time, a barge cruise is the perfect opportunity whatever your age. Tuck into a delightful dinner all together or partake in group activities that both adults and young ones can enjoy.


If you are looking to travel as a group with family, friends or colleagues and if you require more cabins than a single barge offers, Entire Travel Group can arrange tandem cruises for you. This is where two barges will follow the same itinerary, allowing more passengers to cruise in company. A group cruise is also a good option for two families keen to explore together but have their own personal space if wanted.


Are you a lover of fine food? Do you get a kick out of eating fresh ingredients and supporting local producers? If so, our gastronomy cruises are the answer. Itineraries on these cruises will focus specifically on the gastronomy of the region you are exploring. Typical highlights of a gastronomy cruise include a visit to a cheesemaker, a truffle farm and plenty of food markets to sample local delicacies.


Europe as a continent is well-known for producing some of the oldest and finest wines in the world. Theme your barge cruise around your love of wine and visit well-known estates for wine tasting and sometimes lunch. Predictably perhaps, many of these cruises are available across France in the country’s rich wine growing regions: Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon. The experience can also be organised for a cruise in Italy.


At Entire Travel Group, we offer whisky trail cruises on board the authentic Scottish Highlander. Discover how Scotland’s primary export is produced as you visit established distilleries around the country. Typical excursions include Benromach Distillery, a family-run business for over 100 years, the Glen Ord Distillery, Tomatin Distillery and Dalwhinnie Distillery. A thrilling experience for whisky fans.


Most of the barges in our range have bicycles on board for passengers to use during their voyage. A cycling cruise however focuses on the activity in an organised way. Your guide will take you on a tour around your chosen region on a daily basis. For avid and casual alike, a cycling route may take you along the tree-lined towpaths along the Canal du Midi for example. Cycling itineraries can be customised to suit your group’s wishes.


Discover the rustic charm of England, the lush scenery of Ireland or the pretty medieval towns of France with a walking cruise. A number of the barges in our selection offer this opportunity. In Burgundy, enjoy walks past fields of Charolais cattle, picturesque hilltop villages and vineyards. Walk around Richmond Park in England, Virginia Water lake and the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle. Wherever you choose to cruise, your guide promises to take you to the best spots.


If you are a golf enthusiast you will probably know that France, England, Ireland and Scotland feature some of the best golf courses in the world. Add scenic waterways and a unique hotel barge into the mix and you will have yourself an incredibly special and memorable golfing holiday. As well as playing your favourite sport, you get to relax on board your floating hotel with all the perks of a barge cruise such as delicious meals and flavoursome wines.


Italy is considered by many as the birthplace of opera dating back to the 1600s. The La Bella Vita offers an itinerary for opera lovers. Before your cruise begins, your guide will take you to Verona to visit its fascinating sites and that evening enjoy a performance in the authentic setting of Verona’s Roman amphitheatre. Embark on your cruising journey in Venice after a thorough visit to the main monuments and sites. Other cruise highlights include a guided tour of an opera house, a tour of Chioggia and its markets, tour of Adria, Ferrara and the city of Mantua.

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Why you need to take a barge cruise in France

France is such a beautiful country with different regions having their own specific flavours and heritage. There is no shortage of what can be explored and discovered in the country. And this is exactly why anyone who has the chance should take a barge cruise in France; to explore and taste the offerings of different regions.

6 Must-See Sights While Barging Through Burgundy

Two canals bisect Burgundy: Canal de Bourgogne, which allows a north-south access through France, and Canal du Nivernais linking the Seine and the Loire, two of France’s greatest rivers. Delving into Burgundy through these waterways aboard a charming hotel barge will bring you to the most incredible sights Burgundy has to offer. Here are six of them.

8 Things to Consider Before Booking a Barge

Planning a holiday can be a challenging experience, especially if you are anything like us and seek a perfect and, above-all, memorable getaway. If you are reading this then you are at the very least contemplating a cruise. But we know that a dozen other questions are going through your mind. Where to spend your time off, how much to budget for, what type of cruise to go for, who and how many will be going.

FAQs about Barge Cruises

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What activities are offered during a barge cruise?

Activities may include guided tours of local towns, vineyard visits, cycling along towpaths, culinary experiences, and more. The focus is on enjoying the local culture and scenery.

What amenities are typically available on a barge cruise?

Barges usually offer cosy cabins with en-suite bathrooms, dining areas, and sometimes small pools or hot tubs. They often have decks for scenic viewing and may include amenities like bicycles for exploring ports.

What is barge cruising?

Barge cruising involves travelling on a small, flat-bottomed boat, typically along canals and rivers. These cruises offer a more intimate, leisurely travel experience, focusing on cultural exploration and relaxation.

What should I pack for a barge cruise?

Packing for a barge cruise should include comfortable and versatile clothing suitable for the weather, good walking shoes for excursions, and perhaps a swimsuit for onboard amenities. Don't forget a camera to capture the scenic views!

Where can I go barge cruising?

Barge cruising is popular in Europe, especially in countries like France, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands. The most common routes are along picturesque canals and waterways.

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