A Barge trip in France has gained importance among French tourists since the 1980s. If you wish to see France at its core, experience French culture and a remarkable gastronomic affair, learn about its fascinating history, and explore the finest scenery, a slow-paced French barge cruise filled with activities is bound to entice you.
Why Should You Go on a Barge Trip in France?
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The French canals, spanning 3,000 kilometres (more than 4,800 miles), date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. These canals were used to transfer coal and grains to Paris and to and from different villages during that time. Horses and women used the footpaths along the canals to pull the vessels by walking beside the locks.
Some of the most well-known canals are Canal du Nivernais, Canal de Bourgogne, Canal de Briare, Canal du Midi, etc.
For centuries, the canals lay forgotten and ignored until hippie travelers re-discovered them in the 1960s.
Since then, there has never been a single dull day for the canals. Over the last 15-20 years, this type of cruising has turned into a luxurious industry, catering to the needs and luxuries of thousands of tourists from all over the world.
What is barge cruising?
Board a barge that travels on the French canals’ vast yet serene waters in barge cruising, also known as canal cruising, mainly from April to October. Visit areas like Alsace & Lorraine, Burgundy, Gascony, Champagne, Bordeaux, and more.
While a river cruise might host 120-200 passengers, barges may transport as few as six!
And a barge trip in France is the perfect way to see all these cities up close, meandering through the country’s smaller canals and waterways. Passengers will bypass the big-ticket tourist sites for small towns and enjoy leisurely afternoons, and of course, sample the outstanding French cuisine and wine.
1. Barge Cruise in France Explores Uncharted Destinations
When boarding the barge, get ready to explore the interiors of the French countryside. These barges generally travel at low speeds, so you can get down at one lock, walk a little, and then reboard at the next lock.
These medieval waterways are far from the main tourist attractions, and the boat crew leverages their in-depth knowledge of the areas to offer you a memorable ride.
2. Set Sail with Few People
Covid or not, these trips are ideal for people who love the blend of privacy and company. Being smaller than river cruises that can hold up to two hundred passengers, barges accommodate six to fifteen passengers. These vessels help you keep to yourself while focusing on the innocence and scenic beauties of the French villages.
3. Feel at home
The service on-board is excellent and of five-star rating. There is no particular dress code or specific time to eat or drink. It is incredibly casual and makes you feel like you’re at home.
And that is the point in a French barge cruise. Be yourself without worrying about formalities.
4. Experience luxury at its best.
If you wish to be treated like royalty, book a tour on this vessel. Typically, these boats have many crew members.
For instance, if the passenger count is twelve, you have as many as six crew members, meaning there’s one crew member to cater to two people, which is more than enough. Not just that, each member is well-learned in their art and is well-trained in communicating freely with English-speaking tourists and sharing their knowledge.
Everything about a barge trip in France is outstanding, from the unique destinations to the relaxed ambiance and homely atmosphere.