There are many ways to explore the French countryside, but one of the easiest by far is on a private barge with Belmond. You and a few friends (and by a few, we’re talking 12 passengers maximum depending on the vessel), can spend six nights immersing yourself in charming towns with the ease of unpacking only once. By day, relax onboard, walk or bicycle along the banks, or go on a tour; by night, enjoy a gourmet meal in a most beautiful setting. How you spend your time is up to you – it is your private barge after all! And no matter what you do, you can expect Belmond’s attention to detail, top-notch cuisine, and exceptional service throughout the trip.
Want to learn more? Great! Brownell’s own Yeardley Williams gives us an inside look at her recent barge trip with Belmond below.
Number of Passengers:
Length of trip:
Where did you go:
Canals and rivers in Burgundy, France
Exceptional food, wine, crew, guiding – all the time – no misses! I enjoyed the wonder and excitement of learning about and watching the locks operate. The skills of the captain and mate was very impressive!
Beaune and Dijon touring with our guide, Lou.
Why is a barge trip ideal for this destination?
There are so many reasons – the intimacy and camaraderie of a group of friends, no packing and unpacking, the food, wine, and amenities on the barge, the beauty of traveling on the water past fields of wildflowers and quaint villages. And it would be hard to find a better hotel with better service. Plus, since it is a barge charter, you have the ability to stop frequently to walk or bike.
Tour and tasting at Drouhin Laroze winery
We had 12 of the best meals I have had in my life on board! Oeufs en Meurette were a delightful surprise!
Insider tips for this cruise:
Belmond can transfer you anywhere in France for an additional cost. For instance, we were driven to Normandy at the end of the cruise. So consider extending your trip on the front or back.
Know Before you go:
If there are any dietary restrictions or particular spirits or wines you prefer or do not like, let your travel advisor know beforehand.
Pack light, take good walking shoes, a jacket, rain jacket, and a bathing suit. Bring casual clothes, with slightly dressier clothes for evening if desired – it is your cruise, so you decide!
Who would like this trip:
Anyone who truly enjoys outstanding food, wine and spirits and the beauty of the rural countryside and waterways of France. Groups of couples, a girls trip, families with grown children. There is opportunity for plenty of walking and biking – 1-10 miles/day – or for leisurely sitting and enjoying the countryside – so each passenger can be as active or non-active as desired.