Our Hotel Barge Cruise Excursions and activities
Our Daily Excursions & Activities
…have something for everyone; cultural experiences, historical sites, film locations, castles and stately homes and, of course, local producers of wines, spirits and regional produce. Some visits will be to well-known destinations such as the medieval city of Carcassonne or the world famous Delft porcelain factory, whilst others will take you off the beaten track to find interesting people and places that we have come to know over more than 30 years of inland waterways cruising.
Our passengers are usually very well-travelled and have seen many of Europe’s more famous sights, but on each hotel barge cruise we aim to show you something new as part of a unique insight and immersive experience through one of Europe’s heritage-rich regions. Then, of course, after every outing, you return to relax on your nearby private floating hotel.
Vineyards and Wine Tasting
Whether you are a connoisseur or simply know what you like, our cruises have something to offer when it comes to discovering the wines and vineyards of a region. You will be taken on private tours of long-established domaines to find out more about the art of great wine-making – and of course get to taste the wonderful results. These visits may be to a producer of fine Burgundies such as Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune, a renowned grand cru domaine in St Emilion, or a smaller, family-run vineyard like Château de Villemagnes in Corbières.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
During your cruise, to help you appreciate the history and heritage of a particular region, there may be a visit to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These places of special historical interest include in France, Carcassonne, Reims Cathedral, the hilltop town of Vezelay, even the whole of the Canal du Midi itself.
Off the Beaten Track
We visit many places that are little-known or overlooked by other companies, such as the Troglodyte cave dwellings in the Loire Valley.
Private Stately Homes
We arrange visits to a number of privately-owned stately homes, castles and other residences, each with fascinating histories. At some of them, such as L’Abbaye de Fontenay in Burgundy.
Artisan Food Products
One of the real pleasures of a hotel barge cruise is being served some wonderful, locally-sourced produce on board, so we include excursions to see some of the skilled artisans at work and, of course, sample their products! It may be a visit to an ancient olive oil press in the Midi, or a family-run bakery in Alsace.
Some of our cruises include tours of historic battlefields – the World War Two battleground at Wingen-sur- Moder in Alsace; even Alesia in Burgundy, where the last battle between the Gauls and Romans took place in 52 B.C.
Castles and Châteaux
For architecture and history lovers we visit some of Europe’s finest castles & châteaux including Château de Fontainebleau near Paris, Château de Bazoches in Burgundy and many others.
Famous Film Locations
For film buffs, we also visit some famous film locations, such as the village of Flavigny sur Ozerain in Burgundy (‘Chocolat’); Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Champagne (‘The Man in the Iron Mask’).
On canals such as the Canal du Nivernais and the Canal du Midi, our hotel barges cruise past many charming waterside villages and towns. And to really appreciate the local history and culture, we also visit places such as the Cathar hilltop pilgrimage halt of Minerve and the picturesque village of Vezelay in Burgundy.
Distilleries and Breweries
There are visits to local drinks producers, such as the Meteor Brewery in Alsace, Armagnac producer Domaine de Lapeyrade and the Noilly Prat vermouth distillery in France.