...Insight

Float through France

ON A BELMOND BARGE

Explore France’s waterways on a luxurious canal journey. See a serene side to France, visit exclusive wine and champagne houses and sample exquisite food and wine.

A peaceful and relaxing holiday exploring the Champagne or Burgundy regions by Belmond barge will give you insider opportunities to meet wine producers, visit wine houses and discover medieval villages.



“Perfect for Francophiles and those that like a slow pace to holidays, Belmond ensure every detail is taken care of on this luxurious cruise.”

Sarah Woodthorpe

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Sarah’s profile
Sarah W

The Belmond Barge

Leave behind any misconceptions you might have about canal boats; Belmond barges are the epitome of luxury. Step aboard and you’ll be greeted with hot towels and a chilled glass of champagne, before you refresh in your cabin – surprisingly spacious rooms with a classy décor: antique Louis XVI furniture, trompe l’oeil wall murals and gleaming marble bathrooms replete with free-standing tubs.

Depending on which route you take, the barges have between two and six cabins – which can also be booked individually, just for the pleasure of you and your group. In addition, the boats have heated pools nestled in the prow and on-board chefs to rustle up the best of local, French cuisine from truffles, moules, artisan cheese, lobsters and wholesome salads. Bikes are also available for rides into the French countryside.

Journeys

“Visiting famous champagne houses by barge is an exclusive experience that will need to be booked in advance. Talk to us about availability for your trip.”

The lovely thing about a barge holiday is that it travels unobtrusively to your next destination and the journey becomes part of the trip – riverbanks edged with wildflowers, birdlife flitting on the banks and a new perspective on French villages as you glide by. That said, the Belmond Barge also offers a unique opportunity to discover more about French way-of-life, through market tours, champagne house visits and tastings, truffle-hunting and medieval chateaux tours.

Choose your Route

Usually taking a week, the Belmond barges take a variety of routes through France’s waterways. For wine lovers we’d recommend the Champagne route which starts in Berry-au-Bac and includes an exclusive visit to the underground cellars of Veuve Clicquot. You’ll also explore the Gothic cathedral of Reims, the champagne houses of Epernay and visit Dom Perignon’s grave. For oenophiles, the Burgundy route starts in St Leger sur Dheune and includes in-depth tastings at top wine estates including Chateau de Pommard. You’ll also have time in Beaune and Dijon.

Your Day

Your morning begins peacefully aboard your boat, with a tranquil breakfast riverside of steaming coffee and freshly baked croissants, fruit and eggs cooked to your liking. The chef will also confirm your evening meal with you. As the boat drifts onwards, you have the chance to walk or cycle on the towpath or else staff can recommend a route for you to explore quaint French villages and rural life by bike.

Lunch could be at a Michelin-starred restaurant before a tasting at a famous wine house or a one-to-one meeting with a wine-producer and a tour of the vines and estate. Or you may prefer to head into a medieval town to discover its gothic architecture, castles and cobbled streets. For something special, lift off in a hot air balloon at sunset to have a bird’s eye view of this beautifully rural land.  Come back for a splash in the pool before a tranquil dinner under the stars with the chef’s gourmand creations, and a drop of wine, of course.

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

Get in touch

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