A&K in the Know: Canal & River Cruising in Rural Europe

A&K in the Know: Canal & River Cruising in Rural Europe
October 2016

If you are looking for a European holiday with a focus on fine food, good wines, beautiful landscapes and an exciting new destination each day without ever leaving home, then canal and river cruising is for you. It is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to discover rural Europe, without the crowds and in great comfort.

When is the best time to travel?
If you want a Vitamin D hit, Europe is best between April and September. For milder temperatures, consider March or October. Cruises operate from March to October.


Daily excursions and cultural experiences in nearby villages or the surrounding countryside.

Visits to historical sites, film locations, castles and stately homes and, of course, local producers of wines, spirits and regional produce.

Some visits will be to well-known destinations such as the medieval city of Carcassonne or the world famous Delft porcelain factory, whilst others will take you off the beaten track to find interesting people and places who we know from our more than 30 years of inland waterways cruising.


Things to see 
From the quintessential luxury of France and unparalleled charm of Germany to the beauty of Scotland’s countryside, Europe is a melting pot of culture, history, clothing shopping and picture-perfect backdrops. See the best of rural Europe, including the charming hilltop village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain , wine tasting in Burgundy, explore Minerve  and its 12th century Cathar fort or a gothic cathedral in the beautiful city of Strasbourg. 


Cuisine & Dining
One of the major highlights of any European sojourn is the regional cuisine. On board each barge the chef is a master whose gastronomic creations guests often rate higher than those in top restaurants.

A&K’s Recommended Vessels
The exclusive vessels we recommend all have charming cabins with private facilities, central heating/air-conditioning and portholes/windows. All offer exceptional service with distinctive dining and include spacious lounges and sundecks, some with Jacuzzi.

La Belle Epoque
La Belle Epoque is a spacious, luxurious hotel barge and sister ship to L’Impressionniste - perfect for cruising the Burgundy Canal with its towpaths that are ideal for walking and cycling.


Panache is a stylish 12 passenger hotel barge, with spacious public areas and six comfortable suite cabins. In summer and autumn, cruise the beautiful waterways of Alsace & Lorraine and experience a unique mix of French and German cultures.  


Anjodi is of classic Dutch design, specifically rebuilt to negotiate the 330-year-old Canal du Midi. She has been completely refurbished in a tasteful tradition using African hardwoods, hand-crafted panelling and shining brass, to create a comfortable and charming ambience reminiscent of a classic yacht.


Scottish Highlander
The 8 passenger Scottish Highlander has the atmosphere of a Scottish country house with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. She is spacious and has every comfort needed for year round cruising.


L'Art de Vivre
L’Art de Vivre was built in England during World War One as a supply vessel to the allied troops of the Somme. She has been carefully transformed by skilled craftsmen into a floating celebration of the Burgundian “good life”.


Rosa is an old Dutch “Clipper” barge that cruises in Southwest France. Discover Gascony’s medieval towns, local produce and wines during spring and summer.  During summer and autumn Rosa cruises to Bordeaux known for its fine wines, cheese and Armagnac.


Renaissance is a very spacious hotel barge that accommodates up to 8 passengers in ultimate luxury. Her cruise route takes her across the mighty River Loire on the Canal de Briare, France’s oldest canal steeped in history.  


La Nouvelle Etoile
La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra-deluxe barge with very spacious accommodation for only 8 passengers, offering a wonderful blend of tradition and elegance. She cruises the delightful waterways of Holland’s western provinces in the springtime, the best time to see tulips in bloom.   


Finesse is a luxurious, double-decker hotel barge , built to exacting standards with luxury in mind,  for cruising the scenic River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy.


Shannon Princess
The ten passenger Shannon Princess is the largest hotel barge cruising the River Shannon. Captain and crew go out of their way to ensure your every need is accommodated. Your Master Chef was trained at the Ballymaloe School and distinguishes herself with the creation of some wonderful signature dishes.


Magna Carta
Magna Carta is one of the finest, most luxurious vessels cruising the British Isles today. The barge’s experienced Captain knows the Thames well and will pilot the barge and be your tour guide.


For a European River or Canal luxury journey please visit: Canal & River Cruising