You’ve always had a love affair with Europe – the cafes, the shopping, the people. But this year, you want to try something new, but still get your Euro fix. Now you can experience Europe from a different perspective – on the water. No, we’re not talking a cruise, we’re talking about renting a barge – a tranquil voyage along Europe’s most scenic canals and rivers.

Here are the top five you and your friends can book and experience this summer, in no particular order.

Fleur de Lys – Burgundy Canal

 

Gracious ‘Fleur de Lys,’ a luxury barge in the Belmond Afloat in France collection, ventures into the heart of the quiet French countryside. She plies the waters of the Burgundy Canal, River Saône and Canal du Centre, cruising between Dijon and St-Léger-sur-Dheune or Vandenesse-en-Auxois and Dijon. From the gracious lounge or on-board pool, guests can observe the charming scenery in comfort and style.

 

Price: $47,000 per person
Passenger allowance: 6
Crew: 6
Trip length: 7 days

Alouette – Canal du Midi

Alouette,’ a luxury barge in the Belmond Afloat in France collection, travels the historic Canal du Midi between Béziers and Carcassonne. The two spacious cabins have a unique intercom system, and an open kitchen allows guests to observe the chef at work, preparing the gourmet meals. ‘Alouette’ is the perfect vessel for enjoying the beautiful unspoiled landscape of this scenic part of France.

Price: $28,600 per person
Passenger allowance: 4
Crew: 4
Trip length: 7 days

River Cloud II – Holland & the Rhine, Main & Danube Rivers

 


‘River Cloud II,’ a five-star floating hotel, cruises Europe’s most beautiful rivers, setting a romantic course that is both elegant and relaxing. Your deck chair provides a box seat to watch the picturesque landscapes pass by – and colorful life ashore is only steps away every time the ship docks. Each day waits to be discovered, with views and experiences that are ever changing, from great cultural cities to country hideaways.

Price: $3,595 per person
Passenger allowance: 88
Crew: 35
Trip length: 8 days

Prosperite – Burgundy Canal

Beautiful ‘Prospérité’ offers a memorable journey through one of the most popular holiday regions of France: Burgundy. Watch the glorious scenery go past as you glide along the Burgundy Canal from your spot in the on-deck hot tub of this spacious barge. Visit the open kitchen to observe your gourmet chef in action or chat with the captain from a guest seat in the pilot house.

 

Price: $45,000 per person
Passenger allowance: 8
Crew: 5
Trip length: 7 days

Hirondelle – The Rhone

 

‘Hirondelle,’ a luxury barge in the Belmond Afloat in France collection, cruises a delightful canal and river route between Chagny and Besançon. Comfortable accommodation and gourmet cuisine are an integral part of the ‘Hirondelle’ cruise experience.

 

Price: $5,400 per person
Passenger allowance: 8
Crew: 4
Trip length: 7 days

For information about these barge cruises and other options, go to Abercrombie and Kent or Belmond.