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Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, crewed canal barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking, whilst enjoying a balanced blend of daily excursions and fascinating cruising.

The beginning of your journey

You are collected at the designated meeting point by either your Captain or tour guide and taken by air-conditioned minibus to your barge. After a champagne welcome and the opportunity to meet your English-speaking crew and your fellow passengers, you will be shown to your comfortable stateroom or suite, with its full en suite facilities.

Some barges will take you on a short cruise on your first evening and immediately the fascinating world of barge cruising begins to unfold before you. Then, perhaps after an aperitif, it’s time to indulge in your first onboard gourmet dining experience, complemented by fine wines.

Relax and unwind

Each day, once underway, your barge moves so sedately from one peaceful mooring to the next, that you can just wander along the towpath if you wish, getting on and off at pretty locks. You may come across some local villagers playing a game of pétanque, or discover a vineyard.

The barges all carry bicycles for tow path riding and other excursions ashore and the little villages and farms we discover as we cruise by become part of the adventure. Alternatively, just observe the ever-changing scenery from a comfortable chair on the sun deck.

Then, after a day of cruising and sightseeing, your barge moors for the night and there is plenty of time for a cocktail before dinner.

In Burgundy and the Loire Valley, hot-air ballooning is an exciting option. Ballooning generally takes place in the early hours just after dawn or before sunset, when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently along and gazing down at the beautiful countryside below.

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