European Waterways

European Waterways has been offering barge cruises on the fascinating 17th century network of canals in Europe since 1982. They operate a fleet of 17 luxury hotel barges in France, Holland, Italy, England and Scotland. Most of the fleet will accommodate 8 to 12 passengers in luxurious surroundings.

The Experience - barge cruises are all about relaxation and luxury. Meals are gourmet quality complemented by excellent wines. Cabins and public spaces are both roomy and luxuriously furnished. A cruise is a slow meander on waterways that moved goods throughout Europe in the 1700 and 1800s. Today they transport passengers through the rural countryside past small towns and villages. 

Special Themes and Charters - it is not uncommon for a family group or several friends to get together to charter a barge. It's a great way to travel with friends or family. To enhance the experience, they have developed a number of themed trips. They include:

  • Antiques
  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Christmas cruises
  • Wine Appreciation
  • Families with children

Prices - a 6 night barge cruise will run $700 to $800 per person per night. This cost is mostly all inclusive but there are extra cost options like special tours or hot air balloon rides.

Itineraries - here are a few sample itineraries:

  • Canal du Midi - there are several barges that sail this route - one of them is described here.
  • England and Oxford - the barge Magna Carta sails this area.
  • Burgandy area - the La Belle Epoque is one of the barges in this area.