On our charter barge cruises your group has exclusive use of the barge.  It’s like having your own ‘private floating villa’ that moves to a different location each day and with the crew handling all the organisation, everyone can relax and enjoy their holiday.

Relax, bond and make memories with your favourite people

Able to accommodate up to six people, a charter barge cruise is great for groups of friends or family celebrating a special birthday, milestone anniversary or just getting together to relax and enjoy each others company.  

You’ll quickly slide into the gentle routine of cruising and excursions, punctuated with delicious meals.  With just your group onboard the pace is totally up to you.  Feeling energetic? – then borrow a bike and explore before meeting the barge further down the canal.  Want to just while away the afternoon soaking up the sun and enjoying a good book? – no problem.

You'll enjoy:

Book your 2021 cruise today with complete confidence - discover our flexible booking policy

A bespoke barge cruise, tailor-made for you

Map of our charter barge cruise route through the Champagne region
Click for interactive map

Our cruise route takes us through the heart of the Champagne region, along both the historic canal with its small locks and the Marne river which lazily winds its way through a valley covered in vineyards.  

You can choose to charter the barge for a cruise with us for anything from a weekend to a fortnight, although 6 nights, 7 days is our most popular option

Getting here is easy because Champagne is conveniently close to Paris, just 45 minutes by high speed train.  

Or if you prefer we can pick you up and drop you off at your choice of location in Paris for an additional supplement.

Whilst the route Serenity will cruise along is pretty set, when you book a charter barge cruise we design a bespoke itinerary of excursions to suit you.  

The process starts with a call to find out about you and your fellow travellers – is it your first visit to France?..what are your passions/hobbies?..are you a wine lover or foodie? you want to do lots or simply sit back and relax?….etc  

Based on this conversation and our local knowledge we put together a personalised itinerary which combines your interests with the best our region has to offer – whether that’s making a visit to your faveourite champagne house or taking a cooking class.

Normally we offer you a choice of two or three excursions for each day of your cruise, giving you the ability to create your perfect trip.  And of course we’ll do our very best to accommodate last minute requests once you are aboard.

Montage of images from our charter barge cruises

Personalised service in a homely atmosphere

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

Travelling at about 6km/h, Serenity is in no hurry giving you the opportunity to truly get away from it all and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

While we’re travelling, you can relax on deck and soak in the scenery, lose yourself in a book, take a nap in the sunshine or, if you want, ‘join the crew’ and help Graeme with the ropes.   You can even soak in the jacuzzi with a glass of something as you watch the champagne countryside sliding past.

With a tarmac towpath alongside, the canal is perfect for walking or cycling and the short distances between locks mean it’s never long before you can hop back on the barge.

View from the barge as we cruise through Mareuil-sur-Ay
Serenity moored on the river during a barge cruise in 2019
Charter barge cruise guests sitting in the courtyard at Chateau Pierry

Vines, villages and sparkling cities

In the afternoon 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 afield.

Having lived in the Champagne region for several years now we’ve done the ‘hard work’ for you and found amazing visits that showcase the best of the area’s culture, history, wine and landscapes.

These are just some of the types of excursions you can choose from on a charter cruise:

  • cellar visits and tastings at iconic names and small family producers
  • vineyard visits
  • walking tours of historic cities and charming villages 
  • visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites – Reims Cathedral and the Palais du Tau
  • chateau visits
  • soft-adventure activities eg. E-Bike tour or riding a segway through the vineyards 
  • fun activities for youngster including zip-lining adventures, horse-riding and cable wakeboarding
  • foodie activities – chocolate making workshop and cooking class
  • WW1 and WW2 history tours  
  • hot-air ballooning (additional costs for this excursion)
  • golf days (additional costs for this excursion)
Serenity barge cruising along he tree lined canal

Fabulous food and wine on your charter barge cruise

From relaxed BBQs to fine dining at Michelin starred restuarants, 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 a meal at one of our faveourite 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.

Examples of the food and wine guests enjoy on our charter barge cruise

Affordable and all-inclusive charter barge cruises

Our cruises are truly bespoke, meaning you choose the length of your trip as well as all the excursions and activities along the way.  This tailor-made approach means we can create a cruise to suit your budget and wider travel plans. 

All-inclusive pricing makes things easy for everyone – no need to manage a kitty – and each person or couple can pay their share of the cruise price individually.

Normally we publish our next season prices each September, with those who book before this beating the price increase.  But this year, because many of our cruise’s have had to be re-scheduled for 2021 (due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions), we’ve decided to hold our 2020 prices for next season as well.  

And don’t forget our charter cruises offer the lowest prices per person – so start recruiting your group today – see my top tips for organising a charter cruise.  

What's included?

Exclusive use of the barge for your group

Breakfast and lunch aboard each day

All dinners, either at a restaurant (set menu or equivalent) or aboard

All wines, beers and soft drinks aboard

Daily excursion with one of the crew as your guide

9 seater vehicle with driver for excursions and transfers

Private transfer to/from Reims (45 mins by train from Paris)

Use of all onboard amenities including hot tub and wifi

All taxes, fuel and mooring charges

3 nights / 4 days

Our most popular cruise

Itinerary inspiration:

Weekend getaway with friends?  Megan and her girlfriends gave it the thumbs up…..see their itinerary

4 nights / 5 days

Our most popular cruise

Itinerary inspiration:

Wine lovers Shaun and Davina tasted over 20 champagnes on their 4 night cruise……see their itinerary 

5 nights / 6 days

Our most popular cruise

Itinerary inspiration:

For Sam and her family a 5 night cruise fitted perfectly with their other travel plans……see their itinerary

6 nights / 7 days

Our most popular cruise

Itinerary inspiration:

France first-timers Winne and her friends packed lots of experiences into their cruise….see their itinerary

....Or a longer trip.....

If six nights just isn’t long enough we also offer longer cruises.

On these trips we sail north past Reims and/or further West towards Paris, giving you the opportunity to explore further.

Share our brochure with your travel buddies and get them excited about a barge cruise

Book your charter barge cruise

For private charters we offer maximum flexibility – you choose the length of your cruise and any available departure date.  

But if possible we strongly recommend starting your cruise on a Wednesday – this is because it puts us in a convenient location for some excursions that can only happen on a specific day (eg the Saturday morning food market or the candlelight evening at Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte).  

2021 Availability

Availability calendar July 2021

2022 Availability

Availability calendar July 2021

How to book

Step One: Fill out our cruise enquiry form

Step Two: Claire will phone you to find out a bit more about your travel group and answer any queries

Step Three: We’ll put together a bespoke itinerary for your group with several excursion options for each day.  If you have specific dates in mind we can put these on hold for you while you organise the rest of your travel plans

Step Four: Confirm your cruise booking with a €500 per person deposit

Step Five: Book your other travel plans – we can help with recommendations for Paris and getting to Reims 

Step Six: Pay the balance of your cruise price 60 days before departure – and start getting excited about your trip! 

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