A hotel barge docked on a canal next to a grassy hill.

10 reasons river cruise fans will love a barge cruise

Taking a river cruise in Europe has become hugely popular in the last ten years, and for good reason. It’s an affordable, super-convenient way to travel and explore some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery and different cultures. What could be better than that? Well, have you considered a barge cruise?

Serenity Barge cruises in France’s stunning Champagne region and offers all the benefits you love about river cruising;..waking up with a new view every morning…tour guide led excursions to explore the local area and culture… a friendly social atmosphere… only having to unpack once… And with 7 day/6 night all-inclusive cruises for €3,250 per person, (for two people sharing a cabin) a barge cruise is just as affordable as a river cruise.

Here are the top 10 reasons why you’ll love a barge cruise with Serenity Barge.

1. Cruising without the crowds

Serenity carries just six guests……yes you really did read that right (rather than the 150+ you’ll find aboard most river cruise boats).

This means you’ll never be passing strangers in a corridor, won’t have to join a queue to disembark and won’t have to get to know someone new over dinner every night. Barge cruising instantly creates a small group atmosphere, which suits social travelers who enjoy mixing with their fellow cruisers.

2. Daily guided excursions

Daily guided tours are included in your cruise price, exploring both highlights and hidden places, far from the tourist crowds. Your tour guide will introduce you to fascinating local places of interest – perhaps a walled hilltop town, privately owned châteaux, charming village, market or renowned wine cellar.

Some visits are just a sunny stroll away from your hotel barge. Other days we’ll use our comfortable air conditioned minivan to explore further afield. And with just six guests there’s no need for headsets, your guide can easily speak to the entire group.

3. Personalised service

From the moment your Captain picks you up in Paris or Reims, our team of four crew will look after everything – meaning you can sit back and relax.

On our cruises you’ll enjoy truly personalised service, your crew will know not just your name but your likes and preferences before you even step aboard, and at the end of your voyage you’ll feel like you’re saying goodbye to friends.

4. Explore further and get of the beaten track

While river cruise ships travel the great rivers of Europe like the Danube, the Rhine or the Seine, barge cruises explore the small, intimate canals and rivers of France.

Here you really feel like you’re part of the landscape, not just traveling past it. Each day the barge will moor small towns and historic villages, where the pace of life is gentle and truly authentic.

Four pictures of people eating on a charter barge on the river.

5. Creature comforts

Barging might be small ship cruising, but there’s plenty of room aboard. The large open plan salon has a comfortable lounge seating area and a large dining table. Outside on the sun deck there is another dining area, comfortable seating for everyone and even a jacuzzi!

Our guest cabins are 150 sq ft with private ensuite bathrooms with shower. You’ll find all your creature comforts with queen size beds (or twin beds if you prefer), fluffy robes, luxury toiletries, hairdryers and free unlimited wi-fi throughout the barge so you can stay in touch with friends and family.

6. Gorgeous scenery

We’ll spend 3 to 5 hours each morning, cruising through the varied landscape of peaceful countryside and vine clad hillsides, passing chateaux and historic villages.

Sailing on both the winding Marne river and the 19th century man-made canals, Serenity travels through the heart of the Champagne region. And because the canal’s are narrow, in some places just wide enough for your barge, it feels like you can reach out and touch the scenery.

7. Restaurant dining

From bustling bistros to fine dining at Michelin starred restaurants, with Serenity, all-inclusive doesn’t mean only eating aboard. You’ll eat breakfast and lunch on the barge, often while we cruise, but most evenings you’ll go for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.

This way you’ll enjoy authentic French cuisine, a range of dining experiences and amazing food from a different chef each night. To keep things simple, at each restaurant the three or four course set menu is included in your cruise price – so you just pay for your drinks.

8. Active travel

Barging might be relaxing but that doesn’t mean sedentary. On the canal the barge stops frequently as it passed through the locks that raise or lower the canal to match the contours of the land.

This means there are lots of opportunities to hop on and off the boat to take a closer look at a village we passed or just burn off the calories from that extra croissant at breakfast. As the barge only travels at 3 mile per hour you’ll easily catch us up and if you want to explore a bit further, why not use one of the barge’s bikes.

Four pictures of a hotel barge.

9. No need to rush back

On a barge cruise there is time to explore by yourself if you like either on foot or using one of our bikes. Your crew will be happy to give you tips on which way to head so that you stumble across an ancient church, a pretty viewpoint or village square for a bit of people watching.

Whether you’re an early morning stroller or want to head out before dinner, don’t worry – the barge won’t depart without you!

10. Bring your friends and book the whole barge

Do you have friends who love to cruise? Or family who you like to travel with? Then charter the barge for a private group cruise for up to six people.

Not only is a charter cruise cheaper per person but we will work with you to create a bespoke itinerary of daily excursions to suit your interests – so whether your wine lovers, village strollers, foodies or culture vultures we’ll create your perfect cruise.


So, there you have it. 10 great reasons why you’ll love your first barge cruise on Serenity Barge.



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