These past few months we’ve been beavering away behind the scenes to bring you fresh new look hotel content, extra navigation pages and heaps of new waterway and self-drive downloads.

When you’re browsing through the boats and barges to find your holiday boat or hotel barge, or the best route for your own adventure, you’ll notice we’ve added layer upon layer of new and extra details. We’ve organised this new content in clear and descriptive tabs.

New look hotel barging in sumptuous detail

New look hotel barge detail page
Looking for a vacation of a lifetime? With our gloriously detailed hotel barge pages you can meet your hosts, delve into the opulent itineraries, or fall for the gourmet food and impressive drinks cabinet.

View each barge holiday in detail with a summary of the barge, its capacity, history and location. Get to grips with the available itineraries on the Cruising tab and get a feel for the region the barge cruises on the Region tab.

The on board facilities are handily listed on the Facilities tab. Then the real lure begins: the Cuisine tab let’s you in on the culinary highlights that’ll woo you to want to stay in France forever.

Under Gallery you’ll find exterior and interior images of the barge as well as a floor plan, in most cases. So you can get a feel for cabin size and communal space.

Under the Advice tab we provide some personal insight from our own experiences of staying the barges. We’ve known the barges and their owner-operators for many, many years. We’ve cruise the routes they meander and in most cases we’ve experienced their itineraries, their hospitality, their open bar and their culinary skills first hand.

If you send a booking enquiry via the Booking tab, we’re on the other end ready to answer your questions or provide more information. We personally handle your luxury barge cruise booking and liaise with the barge owner-operators and partners directly to secure the dates and itinerary you’re looking for.

See what we mean with Aurora

New look hire boating: all you need, all in one place

new look hire boat detail page
Desperately seeking a fun vacation with family or friends? Hire boating is a sunny, healthy and culturally fulfilling holiday in France. Choosing how, when and where is now easy too.

We’ve brought the boats and their cruise location information into one place. We’ve added images and videos too.

Each hire boat detail page starts with a Summary tab. Here we introduce the boat, its capacity, drive-ability and suitability for various group type.

On the Cruise Locations tab you’ll be able to see from which hire bases each boat is available from. Some hire boats are available to rent on a one-way route where you cruise from one base to another. Others routes are only suited to there-and-back routes or loops.

The Gallery tab will uncover exterior, interior shots as well as a flat plan of each boat so you can see how the living space is laid out. Now you can really imagine yourself aboard!

It’s easy to send your booking enquiry via the Booking tab online form too. We send this direct to the hire boat partner responsible for your preferred cruiser. They’ll be in touch directly to answer any questions, provide more detail or to process your booking and payment.

See for yourself with Horizon

Want the latest luxury hotel barge news?

new hotel barge latest news page
We’ve added a brand new page that’s dedicated to providing news and updates from our hotel barge partners.

Here you’ll discover first when we add new barges to the French Waterways fleet. We’ll also highlight stand-out itineraries and not-to-be-missed cultural experiences.

These might include dining experiences, exclusive tastings or chateaux tours.

See what’s new

Easy on the eye hire boating FAQs

self drive hire boating FAQs
Forget any horror stories of pages of Q&A. With this new look page we bring you videos and easy to digest bullet points. So you can quickly understand the ins and outs of self-drive hire boating.

If you’re never considered hire boating in France, this refreshed section of our site will hopefully clue you up. We also hope it’ll convince you to give self-drive waterways holidays a go!

Using the new look tabs on this page we walk you through the different types of boats at your disposal. You’ll garner enough information from At The Wheel to appreciate how accessible an adventure holiday this is. And under Locks you’ll appreciate that, in most cases, the days of winding or unwinding them manually are gone.

With more than 8,000km of waterways open to you in inland France, where should you go first? Under Where? we steer you through the various canals and rivers, their regions and what’s to love about each of them.

The Season provides additional insight for those with travel date flexibility. If you’re debating when to travel to France, this section will provide expert and personal guidance on the pros and cons of spring, summer and autumn cruising.

Start your hire boating revelation 

Did someone say holiday bargains?

special offers, deals and discounts page
We’ve also done a light-touch new look for our special offers page.

Our hire boating partners tend to provide a selection of deals and discounts at the start of each month. These are available when booking within the month. Some of the best deals relate to the immediacy of your booking. So if you’ve got the freedom and flexibility to take a last minute holiday in France – keep your eyes peeled.

Throughout the year, we add the odd offer for hotel barge cruising too. These significant holiday discounts due to the high value of these vacations.

To stay abreast of the best vacation bargains, drop us a line to request to be added to our regular newsletters. We typically send two a month, occasionally more depending on what news and offers we have available to us.

And if you’ve got this far, it’s definitely time to have a wander around the site and see how we can make your next holiday to France smooth in every sense of the word. Calm waters, the relative peace of the waterways, a very unique way to uncover the real France.

Take a peek and as always, let us know if we can help.