What do you think about when you think of France? The Côte d’Azur, Skiing in the Alps, the Eiffel Tower? All very popular, but there’s a whole load more to France than that. If you want to discover beautiful landscapes, incredible food, and peaceful canals, taking a river barge cruise is a way to get to know this beautiful country in a whole new light.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at 8 reasons you should go on a river barge cruise. At least wait until reading all 8 before you start packing your suitcase!
You’ll see some of the most beautiful places in France
France has an extensive canal network all over the country, and this is one of the best ways to see the rolling landscapes, hills, and points of interest in the countryside. Want to explore the vineyards of the Champagne or Burgundy regions? Catch a glimpse of the beautiful chateaux of the Loire region? Or listen to the chatter of Provençal language in the brilliant sunshine? All of these are possible on French river barge cruises. You’re sure to fill up your camera’s memory card and make your friends and family back home jealous with your snaps!
Learn about the history and culture of France
Of course, it’s not all about seeing the landscapes from the boat! You’ll have the opportunity to get off the boat and see some of the most important monuments scattered throughout France. On the ‘Anne Marie’ Cruise in Provence, you’ll get to see one of the most beautiful villages in France – Saint Guilhem le Désert, while on the Alouette Cruise, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most complete medieval cities in existence nowadays – Carcassonne. In these places, you’ll get to see daily life, and learn about their fascinating history and culture. And these are just two examples among many!
You can walk or cycle along the canal’s towpaths
Yes, river barges are extremely relaxing and while navigating the canals, you can go anywhere. However, it’s understandable that after too long in quite a confined space, you might start to get cabin fever! Don’t worry though. The towpaths along the side of the canal make for the perfect place to feel free and uninhibited, while still enjoying being close to the water. Many of the boats offer free bicycle use, so you can keep up with the boat! Even though you wouldn’t have too much trouble on foot…
All meals are included and prepared (always by a master chef!)
All river barges from France Cruises are all inclusive when it comes to food. Beginner with dinner on the first evening, to breakfast on your last day, that’s 3 delicious meals a day prepared with fresh and delicious ingredients. They say that French cuisine is some of the best in the world and you’ll certainly be feeling that way if you’re on one of France Cruises’ smaller boats. They come with a master chef, who makes the most exquisite food. They might even share a couple of recipe tips with you, if you’re lucky!
Try local, vintage, and premium wines on your trip
Great food has to be accompanied by great wine, and that’s exactly what you’ll get on your river barge cruise. Some of the premium and vintage wines won’t be all-inclusive, but if you want to try them, they’re certainly worth the extra cost as they’ve been selected by fine sommeliers who know a thing or two! If that’s a bit out of your price range, you’ll still be impressed by the selections included in your trip. As well as having an excellent choice of wines on board your river barge, many cruises (depending on the location) will offer wine tastings during your time on land. Considering France is one of the world leaders when it comes to wine production, these are often the most popular trips!
You’ll be treated to excellent service by the crew
As well as your chefs preparing you food, there will be a crew on your boat making sure that you won’t have to lift a finger. They’ll make sure that your barge is spotless and clean, your wine glass is always topped up, and any problems you might have on the barge or on land they will do their best to sort out immediately. The attentive service is often what makes the difference from your holiday being good to great!
You don’t have to share with strangers
You know how it is on a big cruise ship. Every night, you sit down at your table which has been chosen for you with a group of people you didn’t know at the beginning of the trip. Sometimes, it’s great and you make friends for life. However, other times you meet people you have nothing in common with and it puts a bit of a dampener on your evening. Not with France Cruises! Some River Barges can be privately chartered for between 2 and 8 people. So, whether you’re a couple celebrating an anniversary, a group of friends, or you want to enjoy a family gathering, you can have an entire barge to yourselves!
You can get experts to help you plan your river barge cruise
Just tell the friendly staff at France Cruises exactly what your interests are, and they’ll find the perfect cruise for you! Whether you want to take advantage of plenty of wine tastings, tee off at some of the top golf courses in France, or simply just disconnect from the world and enjoy the French countryside, the knowledgeable experts will know exactly where your next holiday should be. Email or phone them to get advice tailored specifically to you!
Now that you’re convinced a river barge cruise should be your next holiday…
It’s time to pick out the perfect one for you. France Cruises offers a range of river barge cruises for a number of different budgets, experiences, and locations. Check out our website and chat to our friendly advisors to work out which river barge cruise is your dream holiday.