What is Hotel Barging?
Forget any image of conventional cruise ships, hotel barging offers an experience unlike any other type of river cruise. Hotel barges are low slung vessels specifically designed to travel along shallow inland waterways, accommodating up to 8 passengers. Most are former cargo barges that have been converted to provide luxury accommodation complete with sun deck and hot tub. European Waterways Art De Vivre, a hotel barge operating on the canals of Burgundy, actually began life taking munitions to soldiers on the Front Line in World War One.
When travelling on a hotel barge, the pace of life is slow. There is no rushing from place to place, and you have time to enjoy the countryside, get to know an area and its traditions while enjoying gourmet food and wine in good company. This is stress free travel from start to finish. Each day there is time to relax on board, enjoy a walk or cycle along the towpath while the barge cruises to its next destination. There is no travelling at night, and the barge is always moored in a quiet, peaceful location so you can watch night fall over the water or go for a stroll. There are opportunities to visit artisan food producers and sample their wares, which might range from oysters to olive oil, unusual wines and cider. Guests are collected by minibus, taken to the barge and given friendly, guided excursions each day. At the end of the cruise, you are taken to your chosen location within a specific town.