Travel Styles

European Canal Barge Cruises


  • Private Transfers
  • Open Bar
  • Airconditioned Staterooms & Suites
  • Gourmet Meals Prepared Onboard
  • Daily Escorted Excursions

Tranquil voyages along Europe's scenic canals and riverways

Explore Europe's scenic canals and rivers, enjoying fine food, good wines & beautiful landscapes.

A&K has a fleet of 20 beautiful hotel barges at its disposal. 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.


Private Transfers

Open Bar

Airconditioned Staterooms & Suites

Gourmet Meals Prepared Onboard

Daily Escorted Excursions



Canal barge cruising reveals Europe’s hidden charms in exemplary style

An Intimate Way to Travel

Cruising the canals and inland waterways of Europe by barge is tranquil, relaxing and always authentic. Every day on board every handpicked barge features fresh gourmet meal and a charming new view. Chat with your hosts — who may double as captain, chef and lock tender — and get to know your fellow guests in pleasant, intimate surroundings.

Explore the Europe that Locals Know, at a Casual Pace

Your cruise route takes you to secluded towns and villages, where you can explore freely and in the open, immersing yourself in inspiring architecture and quiet cafés not listed in the guidebooks. Most routes offer the chance to follow along the towpath, either on a bicycle or your own two feet. Venture into a nearby town or village, and then rejoin the vessel at another lock along the cruise route.

Each Barge Handpicked for Comfort and Style

A&K selects a portfolio of the finest canal cruise vessels operating in Europe today, with something to satisfy every traveller and every taste. Only the most inviting barges, accomplished chefs and attentive crews are presented here for your consideration. Sightseeing, transfers, meals and alcoholic beverages are all included, leaving you free to enjoy yourself — you don’t even have to pack until you’re ready to return home.

A Choice of Ways to Cruise

To allow you to experience Europe as a couple, on your own, or with a circle of friends or family members, many canal barge journeys included in our portfolio offer you the choice to travel independently or as a group on a private charter.

Private Charters

Whether celebrating a birthday, getting together over the holidays or just spending quality time together, a private charter provides the perfect solution for travelling exclusively with friends or family. Privately chartered cruises also can be completely customised according to a theme, from walking, biking, wine and more. Enjoy Burgundy, for instance, on a refreshing walk or bike ride, admiring its mustard fields, medieval villages and rolling green hills; or journey to the vineyards for private tastings, learning about their grapes, cultivation methods and wine history from a master sommelier.

Individual Travel

You can secure a cabin the way you would book a room in a country inn, sharing the vessel’s amenities, sightseeing excursions and meals with your fellow guests. It is a wonderful way to meet new people with a similar passion for exploration while exploring the best local sights.

Enjoy inspiring fine dining aboard every canal barge

Refined Cuisine in Breathtaking Locales

Look forward to extraordinary dining experiences aboard every vessel, prepared just for you by an expert chef. Some barges are even equipped with a demonstration kitchen, where your chef prepares gourmet meals and shares with you rich culinary traditions unique to each region.

Delectable Meals Are an Everyday Highlight

Wake up each morning to a beautiful arrangement of locally sourced pastries, artisanal cheeses, fresh fruit, yogurt, fruit juice and freshly brewed coffee. Lunch features an impressive spread of rustic salads, homemade soups, quiches, pâtés, and cheese and wine presentations, and is often served al fresco, with countryside views. Later, sit down to a dazzling multicourse dinner, ending your culinary odyssey on another high note. Moor beneath the stars and savour an unforgettable feast prepared with market-fresh, local ingredients, accompanied by a selection of cheeses and dessert. Throughout your meal, specially chosen fine wines are served to complement the evening’s cuisine.

Help Your Onboard Chef Gather the Best Local Ingredients

Your onboard chef knows that great meals begin with the freshest ingredients, many of which can only be gathered after your voyage is already underway. For example, Olivia Power, chef aboard ‘Shannon Princess,’ relies on key suppliers she has cultivated all along her vessel’s cruise route. Ask the chef on your cruise how he or she sources ingredients, and if you wish, rise early to help gather them yourself.

A&K takes you on an unforgettable journey, from sunrise to sunset

Reflections on a Day of Canal Barging

Wake and sip piping hot coffee or tea from the deck of your intimate vessel, as the sun bathes the tranquil waterways in a golden morning glow. Take in the stunning backyards of historic towns, private residences and architecturally significant landmarks, and watch as they come to life.

Explore both iconic and less-frequented sites, outdoors and far from throngs of tourists. It might be a local truffle farm and lavender distillery in the South of France; a winery in Chablis, which you tour with its owner; or the open-air Dijon market in Burgundy, an irresistible icon featuring cheese stalls, artisanal bakers and pie makers, along with rich snails, cured meats and sweet gingerbread. From walled cities and stunning châteaux and cathedrals to busy markets and time spent with local craftspeople, each experience proves more revealing than the last.

As the afternoon lengthens, consider a peaceful cycling excursion through the countryside, a singular adventure offering rare glimpses into local life. Your captain has a selection of bicycles on hand, as well as a local’s knowledge of the best places to see on two wheels. Alternately, find a spot on deck and enjoy an afternoon drink as the scenery lazily rolls by.

As the sun begins to set, gather in the dining room for a gourmet meal matched with curated wines. Before turning in, enjoy a nightcap with fellow guests in the comfortable onboard salon. Then, moor overnight for a relaxing sleep in your well-appointed cabin, arising the next morning to begin the adventure anew.

Each hotel barge cruise is for 6 nights and includes:

  • Comfortable accommodation in air-conditioned, en suite staterooms or suites
  • Gourmet meals prepared by the on-board chef, fine wines and an open bar
  • Daily escorted excursions to places of interest and private wine tastings
  • Local transfers, for example to and from Paris, or other designated pick up locations
  • Bicycles and on most hotel barges, an on-deck spa pool
  • Attentive service from an experienced crew – Captain, chef, tour guide and hosts/hostesses

Extend Your Stay in Tailor Made Luxury

If you would like to travel in Europe for a while before or after your canal barge cruise, consider a Luxury Tailor Made Journey by A&K. Our Travel Consultant can fashion an itinerary to your exact specifications as well as offer suggestions for must-see highlights in and around the region through which you are cruising.

Contact one of our expert Journey Designers or talk to your travel advisor to learn more and start planning.



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