INDIVIDUAL CABINS

Join us aboard Serenity Barge for a holiday to remember.  Whether you’re travelling as a couple, solo or with a friend, we offer individually bookable cabins on departure dates throughout the season.

Our all-inclusive six night barge cruises include daily tour guide led excursions, all meals, all drinks on board and transfers to/from the barge.

Take a barge cruise along France's intimate canals

A barge cruise is a very special way to explore the smaller canals and rivers, that larger river boats simply can’t reach.  And whilst this may be small ship cruising, at 128ft (39m) long there’s plenty of space on board, with a large open plan lounge dining area inside and a sun deck with dining area, comfortable seating and even a jacuzzi.

Read more: Discover the barge

With only three cabins on board, you’ll be sharing the barge with a maximum of four other guests.  And with a team of four crew to look after you, personalised service is guarenteed.

Cruise through the heart of Champagne

On our 6 night cruises we travel between Sillery and Chateau Thierry (check the availability calendar below to see which direction the barge is travelling each week).

Whichever week you choose, you’ll experience cruising on both the winding river Marne and the narrower more intimate man-made canals which date from the 1800’s.

Champagne is just a short train ride from Paris, or to make things even simpler we can pick you up and drop you off in central Paris for a small extra charge.

Click for interactive route map

Barging really is the ultimate in slow travel.  It’s all about the journey, having tile to connect and exploring both the highlights and hidden places of Champagne, far from the tourist crowds.

On our 6 night, 7 day trips you’ll truly relax into the cruising lifestyle and have plenty of opportunity to enjoy all the things France is world famous four; stunning chateaux, fresh food markets, mouth watering patisseries, charming quaint villages, grand gothic cathedrals, peaceful countryside, delicious cheese, fine wines and gourmet dining.

Read more: Enjoy 10 iconic French experiences on your cruise

Relax and unwind

We typically spend 3 to 5 hours cruising each morning through the varied landscape of the French countryside past vineyards, châteaux and through woodland and charming villages.

As the barge travels at only around 3 miles per hour (6 kilometres per hour), there’s time to look around and take in the beautiful tranquility of the countryside sliding past.

While we’re travelling the crew are here to look after you – relax on deck and soak in the scenery, take a dip in the jacuzzi or join Captain Claire in the wheelhouse, you can even try steering the barge!

Serenity halts frequently at locks which raise or lower the canal to match the contours of the landscape.  With the tarmac towpath alongside you can hop on and off the barge at the locks to take a stroll along the water or go and explore a pretty village we’re passing.

Book with total confidence for 2021

No fees or price increases

Need to change your plans?  Re-schedule our cruise any available date in 2021 or 2022 with no fees or price increase.

COVID safe travel

Undoubtably COVID will continue to impact how we travel but with just six guests and stringent health procedures, our cruises offer a safe option.

Guaranteed departures

NeedWe don’t have minimum numbers.  Your cruise departure is guarenteed from the moent you pay your deposit, even if no-one else books a cabin.

100% financial protection

Your payments are held in an independent trust account until your cruise, giving your complete peace of mind on your financial protection.

Explore our region

In the afternoon, after lunch aboard, you’ll enjoy an excursion accompanied by a member of the crew.

While some visits are just a short walk from our mooring, most days we’ll use our comfortable 9-seater van to explore a bit further.  With just six guests, all our excursions are private and exclusive, no crowds and no headsets needed to hear your guide.

Having been in the Champagne region for several years, we have done the ‘hard work’ for you and found amazing locations that showcase the best of the area’s wine, countryside, history and culture.

Whether you are meeting a passionate5th generation winemaker, visiting the historic city of Reims or exploring a privately owned 18th century château, you’ll meet local people and enjoy authentic experiences.

But there is also plenty of opportunity to do your own thing – you can head off for a stroll or bike ride any time or if you don’t fancy joining the excursion, just stay onboard and relax.

Your barge cruise itinerary

Fewer guests aboard shouldn’t mean less choice for you – so we offer a choice of daily excursions………

…….and the first guests to book for a departure date choose the excursions, so book early of the opportunity to create your cruise.

Excursion options

Each day we offer a recommended excursion and a selection of alternative options.  Our recommended excursions are perennial guest favourites, suitable for all fitness levels and offer a great mix of visits across the week.

But a holiday is not ‘one size fits all’ – so we offer the other great excursions that we’ve discovered over the years as alternatives.

And because all of our excursion options are included in your cruise price, whichever you choose you don’t need to worry about any hidden extras.

This also means that our cruises have different itineraries, so if you are flexible on your travel dates make sure you click to see the itinerary for each cruise departure – you are bound to find something that is perfect for you. 

Or book a call with us or send us an email with some ideas of which excursions you’re particularly interested in and we can advise you on which cruise departure would suit you best.

Eastbound: Chateau Thierry to Sillery

Afternoon – Pick up at Reims train station
This afternoon we will meet your cruise group at Reims train station (or at your hotel if you’re already staying in the city).


The direct high speed train from central Paris takes just 45 mins – about half the time it takes to drive! We’ll provide all the information you need, including where to go and how to buy your tickets online in advance. Typically the fare from Paris to Reims is around €25 per person, each way.


Optional Extra: Transfer from Paris €100 per person
If you prefer we can pick you up and drop you off in central Paris at the Gare du Nord train station.
NB. We are only able to do one pick-up location per cruise so the first customers to book decide if there is a Paris transfer – so please check the individual itinerary for the date you are interested in.

Evening – Dinner aboard
Upon arrival at the barge in Chateau Thierry, you’ll be welcomed by the rest of the crew with champagne and canapes. Afterwards there’s time to take stroll to the ruined hill-top castle or just relax and unpack before sitting down to a three course dinner aboard.

Morning – Cruise from Chateau Thierry to Dormans
About 9.30am we’ll be taking off the mooring ropes to start our cruise along the river Marne. This tree lined winding river has for centuries been an important trade route to Paris and even today we will likely pass some cargo barges on our journey. Otherwise the river is a peaceful place with wildlife, fishermen patiently waiting for their catch, pleasure boaters and canoeists.

Afternoon – recommended excursion: Champagne Dom Caudron
A visit to this vilage co-operative makes an ideal introduction to how champagne is produced. We start our tour at the historic wine presses in the museum, before moving onto the modern cuverie. And your visit ends with a tasting of three champagnes, each paired with a different handmade chocolate. We’ll then take a short drive to the Memorial Chapel in Dormans, with its beautiful views over the Marne river valley, before walking back through the village to the barge. (10 minutes drive from the barge).

Evening
Tonight you will enjoy dinner at a popular local restaurant on the town square, just a few minutes from the boat.


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Alternative excursions
WW1 History – This area was a key strategic location during the Aisne Marne Offensive during the closing stages of World War 1. We start our tour at the statuesque Franco-American Memorial atop Hill 204, with its sweeping views over the champagne hillsides of the Marne valley. We will then drive a short way to Belleau Wood were the trench lines and shell holes remain as scars of the fierce fighting that took place here, famous as the first significant engagement of the newly created US Marine Corps – who earned the nickname ‘The Devil Dogs’ from the assulting German troops. We will also visit the adjoining American and German cemeteries (40 minutes drive from the barge).


Ride a Segway through the vineyards – On this fun excursion we’ll explore the vineyards above the Marne valley in the company of Bruno, the winemaker at Jacques Copin Champagne. Segways are easy to ride and mean we can cover a greater distance than walking. And ofcourse your visit ends with a tasting of Bruno’s champagne. (10 minutes drive from the barge)


The castles of Fere-en-Tardenois & Nesles – Built in 1206, today only the atmospheric ruined towers remain atop a dramatically steep mound – but what makes this castle unique is the monumental 5 arch bridge spanning what was originally the moat. On our way back to the barge we will stop at the Chateau de Nesles, which remains a family home, to admire the courtyard garden (20 minutes drive from the barge).

Morning – Cruise from Dormans to Damery
Today as we continue eastwards along the river, the banks become less tree-lined to reveal sweeping views of the rolling vineyards.

Afternoon – Recommended excursion: Champagne Le Gallais
At this winery not only are their vineyards blessed with beautiful views down the Marne valley but the grapes also go right up to the turreted Chateau Boursault, built in 1843 by Madame Cliquot. Join the lovely Florie for a walk in the vineyard and learn how they care for the vines throughout the year. And whilst tasting the estates champagnes, one of the group will be taught how to open a bottle using a sword! Called ‘Sabrage’ this technique dates back to the Napoleanic troop’s who liked to celebrate victory with champagne. (10 minutes drive from the barge)

Evening
Dinner this evening is at an excellent restaurant in Epernay (a short drive from the barge), which offers modern, refined French cuisine.


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Alternative excursions
Walking tour of Epernay – Often called the Capital of Champagne, you’ll discover the stories of some of champagne’s most iconic names on this city walking tour. A highlight is a flight on a tethered balloon, offering fantastic views over the city and vineyards (weather permitting). There is also time for some shopping if you wish. (15 minutes drive from the barge)


Private chateau and a sparkling village – We start our afternoon at Chateau Pierry, a charming, privately owned 18th century chateau. Small but perfectly formed, we may well bump into the owner as Claire shows you round, before enjoying a glass of champagne in the garden. We then drive onto the nearby village of Cramant which is nestled among the vines of the Cote de Blanc. Our stroll around the pretty village concludes with a tasting at a small producer. (20 minutes drive from the barge)


Chocolate workshop – Get hands on and learn how to make filled chocolate champagne corks with Xavier at his artisan chocolate shop. (20 minutes drive from the barge)
Cellar visit to Champagne Guy Charbaut – At this family owned producer we will explain the complete process of making champagne as you tour the vat house and century old cellars dug into the chalk cliff above. Your visit ends with a generous tasting of a range of the vintage and non-vintage champagnes. (15 minutes drive from the barge)


A stroll in historic Ay – Join Claire for a walking tour of this charming village, with its 14th century half timbered houses, winding lanes and gothic church. After a ‘re-fuelling’ stop at the patisserie we visit Champagne Collet, with its Art Deco villa and museum of champagne production. (15 minutes drive from the barge)

Morning – Market visit and Cruise from Damery to Mareuil-sur-Ay
It’s an early morning start today if you want to join Claire for a visit to the bustling Saturday morning covered market in Epernay. The stalls are laden with fresh produce from across the region and you can choose the cheeses and charcuterie to enjoy as a platter style lunch today.

After we return to the barge, Serenity will continue cruising east along the river. As we pass the village of Cumieres, make sure you look out for the metal sculptures along the river bank, depicting different scenes from the vineyards. Soon afterwards we leave the river and turn into the man-made canal with its narrower locks, where Serenity squeezes in with centimetres to spare.

Afternoon – Recommended excursion: A stroll in the village of Hautvilliers
We’ll drive through the vineyards to the village of Hautvilliers, considered one of the prettiest villages in the region. Famous as the home of Dom Perignon, who is often credited with discovering how to make champagne, today this village is home to around 800 people and more than 30 champagne houses! On our guided walk around the village you’ll visit the abbey and enjoy another champagne tasting at one of the village’s small producers. (20 minutes drive from the barge)

Evening
For tonight we are moored in one of our faveourite spots, on the edge of the village of Mareuil-sur-Ay. Right underneath the vineyards we always get beautiful sunsets over the canal here. You’ll have dinner in the neighbouring village of Ay, at a restaurant popular with locals and visitors alike.


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Alternative excursions
Walking tour of Epernay – Often called the Capital of Champagne, you’ll discover the stories of some of champagne’s most iconic names on this city walking tour. A highlight is a flight on a tethered balloon, offering fantastic views over the city and vineyards (weather permitting). There is also time for some shopping if you wish. (15 minutes drive from the barge)


Cellar visit to Champagne Guy Charbaut – At this family owned producer we will explain the complete process of making champagne as you tour the vat house and century old cellars dug into the chalk cliff above. Your visit ends with a generous tasting of a range of the vintage and non-vintage champagnes. (15 minutes drive from the barge)


A stroll in Ay – Join Claire for a walking tour of this charming village, with its 14th century half timbered houses, winding lanes and gothic church. After a ‘re-fuelling’ stop at the patisserie we visit Champagne Collet, with its Art Deco villa and museum of champagne production. (15 minutes drive from the barge)


Cellar tour at Moet & Chandon – Probably the best known champagne brand of all, if this is your favourite then a cellar tour here is a must-do. Afterwards we’ll take a strong along the Avenue of Champagne. (15 minutes drive from the barge)

Morning – Cruise from Mareuil-sur-Ay to Isse
We’ll spend around 6 hours cruising today so the barge will probably already be moving as you sit down to breakfast. After passing through the pretty villages of Tours-sur-Marne and Bisseuil, Serenity starts climbing uphill through a chain 6 locks. With the towpath alongside and locks every kilometre of less this is the perfect opportunity to hop off the boat and get some pictures of her cruising along.

Afternoon – Recommended excursion: Champagne Pommery and Villa Demoiselle
One of Champagne’s ‘Grande Maisons’ it was Pommery champagne that first developed the modern “Brut” style of champagne in 1874. Your guide will show you around the beautiful natural chalk cellars which were originally dug out by the Romans, which today house an eclectic collection of modern artworks as well as million of bottles of maturing champagne.
After your cellar tour we’ll cross the road to visit Villa Demoiselle. Originally built for the directors of Pommery Champagne, in the last five years this Art Deco house has been lovingly restored before being opened to the public. The result is a real architectural jewel with floral paintings climbing the walls, stained glass windows, period furniture throughout, sweeping central staircase and superb Baccarat chandeliers.

Evening
Tonight we are moored in a peaceful spot in the middle of the countryside and to make the most of it you’ll enjoy a BBQ dinner onboard.


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Alternative excursions
Cook a meal with a French Chef – Join Chef Eric for a fun and educational evening in the kitchen – learn pro tips and techniques as you help prepare a starter, main and dessert. Then sit down to dinner and enjoy the fruits of your labour! Example menu: turbot with kaffir lime and ginger, duck cooked at low temperature with foie gras two ways and chestnut macaroon (25 minutes drive from the barge).


E-bike adventure through the vineyards – You’ll have seen the vineyards from the barge and from the car but today we head out to explore them on electric bikes. Our ride takes us up through the vineyards to the villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay. This is Pinot Noir territory and with both villages being designated Grand Cru, the highest quality, here you’ll find vineyards belonging to Krug, Bollinger and Veuve Cliquot. As well as stopping for a couple of tastings we’ll visit the charming village church which dates from the 1850s and a panoramic viewpoint. And with electric bikes even going uphill is easy! (0 minutes drive from the barge)


The villages of the Montagne de Reims – Head out to explore the vineyards and villages of the Montagne de Reims. This north east facing hillsides here are famous for their Pinot Noir grapes, with many villages designated as ‘Grand Cru’ ie. the highest of quality. Our explorations take us to the pretty villages of Verzy, Verzenay and Mailly with a stop at the picturesque ‘Lighthouse in the vines’ and a tasting at a small producer (15 minutes drive from the barge).


Historic city of Reims
We start our visit at the magnificent gothic cathedral. Every king of France since Clovis in 1130 has been crowned in this cathedral, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of this history it’s architecture significance and the impressive beauty of the external sculpture work. You can then choose from the following options (25 minutes drive from the barge):
• Option A – Walking tour of Reims city centre –NB. We can combine this with options B or C to make a longer excursion if you would like.
• Option B – Musée de la Reddition – where the German surrender that ended World War 2 was signed
• Option C – San Remi Basilica and Musee San Remi – beautiful 11th century church and museum telling the history of the city from Roman times
• Option D – Musée Beux-Arts – art museum with over 300 works from 5 centuries.

Morning – Cruise from Isse to Sillery
About 9am we’ll be taking off the mooring ropes to start our cruise along the canal. Our journey this morning takes us through peaceful countryside, past occasional grain silos that are the canal’s original raison d’être. Around 10am we will reach the Mont Billy Tunnel. Built in 1860, this tunnel took 15 years to complete and takes the canal beneath the Montagne de Reims. Passage through the tunnel takes around 35 minutes – if anyone is claustrophobic or doesn’t want to travel through the tunnel, the vehicle is available to take you for a visit to the nearby Phare de Verzenay, a lighthouse built in the vineyards as an eye catching landmark, which now houses a modern museum about the vineyards, before meeting the barge at a later lock.

Afternoon – Recommended excursion: Historic city of Reims
We start our visit at the magnificent gothic cathedral. Every king of France since Clovis in 1130 has been crowned in this cathedral, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of this history it’s architecture significance and the impressive beauty of the external sculpture work. You can then choose from the following options.
• Option A – Walking tour of Reims city-centre – Settled since Roman times, Reims is awash with history. On our walking tour you’ll get to discover of it’s hidden gems and beautiful art deco buildings. With this option there is also time for souvenir shopping and a stop at a patisserie. NB. We can combine this with options B or C to make a longer excursion if you would like.
• Option B – Musée de la Reddition – The school which served as the Headquarters of General Eisenhower, and where he received the German surrender that ended combat in WW2 (24 hours before it was re-signed in Berlin) is now a museum dedicated to this historic event and the city’s role in the closing stages of the war.
• Option C – Musée Beux-Arts – With over 300 items on display you’ll take a walk through five-centurys of French and European art, from the Renaissance to Impressionism, Le Grand Siècle, Impressionism and the unclassifiable work of the French-Japanese artist Léonard Foujita.

Evening – Michelin star dinner
As a fitting end to your cruise, dinner tonight is at Le Millienaire in Reims. Holder of a Michelin Star since 2011, the father and son team of Laurent and Thibault Laplaige are in the kitchen, offering modern seasonal cuisine based on local products. We love this restaurant for the interesting flavour combinations, beautiful presentation and excellent service to match.


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Alternative excursions
Cellar tour at Lanson, Mumm, Veuve Clicquot or Pommery – All of these famous brands are located in Reims. Your visit will include a cellar tour and tasting of at least two of their champagnes. NB. a private tour is not possible at all Champagne Houses, we will discuss the options when to choose your excursions (15 minutes drive from the barge)


The villages of the Montagne de Reims – Head out to explore the vineyards and villages of the Montagne de Reims. This north east facing hillsides here are famous for their Pinot Noir grapes, with many villages designated as ‘Grand Cru’ ie. the highest of quality. Our explorations take us to the pretty villages of Verzy, Verzenay and Mailly with a stop at the picturesque ‘Lighthouse in the vines’ and a tasting at a small producer. (10 minutes drive from the barge)


Cook a meal with a French Chef – Join Chef Eric for a fun and educational evening in the kitchen – learn pro tips and techniques as you help prepare a starter, main and dessert. Then sit down to dinner and enjoy the fruits of your labour! Example menu: turbot with kaffir lime and ginger, duck cooked at low temperature with foie gras two ways and chestnut macaroon. (15 minutes drive from the barge)


Fort de la Pompelle – Built in the Napoleanic period as part of a ring of 7 forts around Reims, this bunker-like fort played a key role in protecting Paris from invasion during both the Franco-Prussion war and WW1. We visit the modern museum that tells it’s history. (5 minutes drive from the barge)

After a relaxed breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to Serenity.


You’ll leave the boat at around 10am and we will drop you off at the train station in Reims to meet your train back to Paris.


Alternatively if you choose the Paris pick-up & drop-off option you’ll be dropped off at Paris Gare du Nord train station around midday, depending on traffic.

Westbound: Sillery to Chateau Thierry

What our customers say

Fabulous food and wine

From relaxed BBQs to fine dining at Michelin starred restaurants, with Serenity Barge all-inclusive cruising doesn’t mean only eating aboard.

Each morning starts with a feast of croissants and gorgeous pastries from the best local bakery together with yoghurts, fresh fruit and cereals.

Lunch is your opportunity to try the pates, charcuterie, cheeses and quiches that France is famous for, all accompanied by a selection  of tasty salads.  And if you’ve still got room, there’s a light dessert to follow.

Served aboard while the barge is cruising, lunch is typically a relaxed affair at the top deck table, accompanied by a selection of wines, sourced directly from small independent vineyards.  During your cruise you’ll have the chance to try famous Grand Cru wines and hidden gems you’ll never taste outside France.

Most evenings you’ll enjoy dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.  As our cruises are all-inclusive, when eating off-board the 3 course set menu is covered in your cruise price.  Normally you will have a choice of several dishes for each course, or if something on the a-la-carte menu catches your eye instead we will pay the equivalent value towards your meal.

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Affordable barge cruising

With Serenity Barge we have deliberately kept our prices affordable and comparable to other much larger river cruise ships – so that everyone can experience the magic of the French canals. 

Travelling solo? – as standard a 50% single supplement applies, but we can waive this on cruises where only 1 cabin remains or last minute bookings, so if you can be flexible on your travel dates get in touch.

6 night / 7 day cruise

Based on two people sharing a cabin
2,950
per person
  • Double or twin cabin
  • Breakfast and lunch aboard each day
  • All dinners - either aboard or at restaurants (set menu or equivalent)
  • All beers, wines and soft drinks aboard
  • Daily excursion with one of the crew as your guide
  • 9 seater vehicle for excursions and transfers
  • Pick up/drop off in Reims (easily accessible by train from Paris)
  • Use of onboard amenities including hot tub and wi-fi
  • All taxes, fuel and mooring charges

Optional extras

prices per cruise
  • Pick up and drop off in central Paris - €100 per person
  • Bicycle - €40 per person
  • Electric bicycle - €100 per person
  • Hot air balloon flight - from €200 per person

Book your barge cruise

Our cruises depart on Wednesdays from mid April to mid October.

We travel Eastbound and Westbound on alternating weeks – click on any Wednesday highlighted in blue to see the itinerary for that week.

By booking early you not only get the pick of the dates (we normally limit the number of cabin departures to two per month) but if you’re the first to book you choose the daily excursion option.

As soon as your deposit (€500 per person) is paid, your cruise departure is guaranteed, regardless of whether any other cabins are booked.

Not sure when to cruise? – check out our handy month by month guide.

2021 Availability

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic, we’ve decided to delay the start of our cruising season until the middle of the summer.

We have cabins available on many weeks during July, August and September – just click on any blue date on the calendar to see the itinerary for that week.

2022 Availability

We know lots of you are already planning ahead for trips in 2022.  We’ll be releasing our 2022 calendar online soon, but in the meantime please send us a message to check availability and reserve your cabin.

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Excursion Profile: Champagne Le Gallais

We love visiting here - sampling their wines on the terrace overlooking the vines below is just bliss!