Deck on Caroline

“2016 holidays?” We hear you ask. “But it’s still summer 2015!”

Yes, it’s summer in France right now so forgive us for talking about booking your 2016 holiday already. It’s just that there are a few incredibly organised people out there who have already started looking for next year. The autumn booking flurry has started early this year.

To chime with this flurry we’ve produced a brand new free ebook all about hotel barging in France. It’s available to download from our website.

Hotel barge guide front coverIt’s no surprise there’s early interest for this select and exclusive travel niche. Hotel barges always book up early (often before Christmas for the following year). They don’t just get booked up for summer either, they’re popular all season long – the hotel barging season is typically April to October.

Those booking for large groups or holidays to celebrate special occasions are particularly keen to get in early. Some hotel barges do what it says on the tin: they offer a hotel within a barge. So you book a cabin much like you would book a hotel room then cruise and dine with your fellow passengers. Yet even the biggest barges ensure a sense of intimacy – at most you will cruise with 16 other passengers. In contrast, some hotel barges are charter only – in other words you hire the whole boat. Then there are a few that are flexible depending on the enquiries they receive and they’ll consider both charter and ‘by cabin’ guests.

Why so popular? Hotel barging is a travel niche that France dominates globally. France has earned a reputation for having the best and most well known barges cruising its inland waterways. While some cruise itineraries can be tailored according to passengers’ requests for particular stops or activities, every hotel barge host prepares an itinerary that showcases the very best of local life in France, French history, culture and produce.

If you want expert insight into French viticulture, you won’t be disappointed. Most, if not all, hotel barges serve a range of personally sourced local wines in addition to offering wine tastings as part of the itinerary.

If you want to delve into some of the finest French cuisine, you’ll be spoilt for choice. All barges have an onboard chef using only ingredients from the local area and serving some of France’s most recognisable dishes as well as some that will make you marvel.

In our latest ebook How to: hotel barging in France you’ll find an in depth overview of a hotel barge cruise.

It would be unfair to suggest that any barge cruise is typical of the niche when so many of the cruises and itineraries can be tailored, but you’ll gain a valuable insight that will hopefully leave you desperate for a holiday aboard a hotel barge! In the guide we’ve finally gathered together more than 10 years’ experience of this luxurious and expanding travel sector. We love this most relaxing, high quality holiday. We hope you will too. It is the perfect holiday for a special occasion – for a holiday of a lifetime.

You can contact us directly with your waterway holiday requirements and we’ll help you find the best barge for your needs, budget and travel dates.