Frequently Asked Questions

FAQS

Can I book just one room?
Yes – this is the perfect option if you are keen to cruise as a couple or with a friend. You can find out more about booking an individual cabin on a 6 night cruise here.

What will the weather be like?
When Serenity starts her cruising season in May the weather is still spring like with typical daily temperatures of around 16°c/54°F. Summer begins in June with normally dryer weather and daily highs of around 20°c – 25°c/68°F – 77°F. July and August can be hot, with daytime temperatures above 25°c/77°F and the long warm nights are perfect for enjoying an al-fresco dinner on deck. As we head into September days start to cool again to around 20°c/68°F as the vineyards begin harvesting their grapes.

Can children come on a cruise?
Children are welcome if your group is booking the whole boat – in fact a cruise can be a great multi-generation holiday option. However we ask parents to consider that this is a cruising boat and generally more suited to babies or children over 8 years.

Why is Serenity cheaper than other hotel barges?
Barging cruising is a fantastic holiday but we know not everyone wants 5* luxury. That’s why we offer more informal cruising, with tasty home cooked food aboard, great wines from small producers and dinners at local restaurants.

Is smoking permitted onboard?
For safety reasons smoking is strictly prohibited inside all areas of the boat, however guests may smoke on the sun deck.

Is the internet available?
We do have wifi internet access for guests, however as this is provided via a mobile connection we can’t guarantee constant availability.

What should I pack?
There’s no dress code aboard Serenity so just pack clothes that you’re comfortable in. We recommend packing for both warm weather (sunglasses, wide brimmed hat etc.) and an additional layer as it can be cooler in the evenings. Comfortable shoes are a must for excursions and don’t forget your swim gear for the spa pool!

I’m not sure about a barge – will I get motion sick?
At 125 tonnes, Serenity is a very large and stable boat so whether we are cruising on the river or moored up you won’t feel any rocking motion.

Are pets allowed?
If you are booking the whole barge we may be able to welcome your dog onboard but please bear in mind that Serenity is also home to our two cats. They both like dogs but definitely believe they are the boss!

Are there steps onboard?
As a historic and working ship it is impossible to make Serenity step-free. Access from the shore is either via a stable gangplank or steps and our crew are available to assist you. Convenient handholds are available by the few external steps. The staircase down into the saloon/cabins is like at a normal house – wide and not very steep. Please contact us if you have any concerns about accessibility.

And no need to worry if you’re tall – there’s over 6ft 4″ head height throughout the ship.

Where do we meet the barge?
Pick-up and drop off at Reims train station is included in your cruise price.  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. 

Alternatively we offer pick-up and drop off at the Gare du Nord in central Paris for an additional €100 return per person. 

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.

Is our cruise departure guaranteed or is there a minimum number of cabins required?

As soon as we receive your signed booking form and deposit, your cruise departure is guaranteed, even if no-one else books a cabin.  This means you can make your other travel plans with complete confidence.  

Can we choose a specific cabin when we book?

All our cabins similarly equipped but each one is slightly different and you will choose your cabin when you book.

Can we take a longer cruise?
We only offer individually bookable cabins on our six night cruises.  However if you do want to cruise for longer you can book two consecutive six night cruises (with an extra day/night aboard between the two cruises) and explore our entire extended cruise route from Meaux to Soissons.  Interested?  Get in touch for potential available dates.

A barge cruise sounds great but we only have a few days spare on our visit to France – are there any shorter options?

Yes we do offer mini-cruises, which are 1 day trips or a 2 day/1 night cruise – you can find our more here

 

What happens if I want to change my cruise dates?

You can change your cruise date as many times as you like, up to 60 days before your cruise departure.  You can choose any available departure within 24 months of your originally booked departure date and you’ll pay no change fees and your base cruise price won’t increase (please note that if your new cruise has optional extras eg. Paris transfer these costs will be applied to your final balance payment). 

No changes are possible less than 60 days before your cruise.

What happens if I need to cancel my cruise?

You can cancel your cruise at any point up to the date of departure, however the following termination fees will be charged:

  • If we re-sell your cabin, a termination fee of €100 per person will be charged (to cover administration costs).
  • If your cabin is not re-sold, a termination fee of €850 per person will be charged.

In accordance with UK and Europe regulations, your deposit and balance payments are held in a separately managed trust account until after you travel, ensuring that if you do need to cancel your refund is available.  

We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance with cover for ‘cancel for any reason’, prior to booking your cruise.

Where do we meet the barge?
For charter cruises pick-up and drop off in Reims (the closest major city to our cruise route) is included in your cruise price. 

Alternatively we offer pick-up and drop off in Paris for an additional €500 for your group.  You can choose a pick-up location and drop-off point that is convenient for your group (eg. airport, train station or a Paris hotel).

Can children come on a cruise?
Children are welcome on our charter cruises – in fact a cruise can be a great multi-generation holiday option. However we ask parents to consider that this is a cruising boat and generally more suited to babies or children over 8 years.

Can you accommodate more than six people?
With three cabins Serenity is limited to six passengers, however if you are a larger group please contact us as we have other barges we can partner with to accommodate you all on a tandem cruise.

What happens if I want to change my cruise dates?

You can change your cruise date as many times as you like, up to 60 days before your cruise departure.  You can choose any available departure within 24 months of your originally booked departure date and you’ll pay no change fees and your cruise price won’t increase. 

No changes are possible less than 60 days before your cruise.

What happens if I need to cancel my cruise?

You can cancel your cruise at any point up to the date of departure, however the following termination fees will be charged:

  • If we re-sell your cruise dates, a termination fee of €100 per person will be charged (to cover administration costs).
  • If your cruise dates are not re-sold, a termination fee of €850 per person will be charged.

In accordance with UK and Europe regulations, your deposit and balance payments are held in a separately managed trust account until after you travel, ensuring that if you do need to cancel your refund is available.  

We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance with cover for ‘cancel for any reason’, prior to booking your cruise.

Q: I’ve booked a charter cruise but some of the group now can’t come – do we get a refund?

Our charter cruise prices are based on the number of guests travelling, so if you group size increases, or decreases, your cruise price will be updated to reflect this.  For example a 6 night cruise costs €2,500pp with six guests (ie. €15,000 total) – if two people cancel your cruise price would be changed to €3,300pp (ie. €13,200 total). 

You can make changes to guest numbers at any time up to 60 days before your departure date (ie. when your balance payment is due) with no fees.  If any member of your charter group needs to cancel less than 60 days before your departure date a €100 per person termination fee will be charged.  

Q. There is a change who is travelling in my charter group – can we amend our booking?

Of course you can, however please be aware that any changes to the deposits or balance payments for your booking (eg. refunding one couple and then invoicing a new couple) will incur a €100 administration fee. 

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Serenity barge cruising along he tree lined canal