Bespoke barge cruises through France, without the luxury price tag
Serenity is our home, not just a business and we live in the old Captain’s quarters year round. We love sharing our life afloat with you and our approach is old-fashioned Kiwi hospitality – we hope you arrive as guests and depart as friends.
On our charter barge cruises your group has exclusive use of the barge. It’s like having your own floating private 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 on board the pace is 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.
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 of the candlelight evening at Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte).
In the afternoon you’ll enjoy an excursion accompanies 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 some of 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:
From relaxed BBQs to fine dining at Michelin starred restaurants, 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 pâtes, charcuterie, cheeses and quiches that France is famous for, all accompanied by a selection of tasty salads. And if you have 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 favourite restaurants. As our cruises are all-inclusive, when eating off board the 3 course set menu if covered in your cruise price. Normally you will have the 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.
Our cruises are truly bespoke, meaning you can 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.
You’ll pay the currently published price for your cruise whether you are booking for 2021 or 2022, so by booking early you’ll lock in the best price.
And don’t forget our charter cruises offer the lowest prices per person. So start recruiting your cruise group today – see my top tips for organising a charter cruise.
3 nights / 4 days
4 nights / 5 days
5 nights / 6 days
6 nights / 7 days
Our cruise route takes us through the heart of the Champagne region, along both the historic canal with it’s small locks and the Marne river which lazily winds it’s 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 a foodie?..do 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 a visit to your favourite champagne house, taking a cooking class or discovering the hidden corners of centuries old villages.
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.
We typically spend 3 to 5 hours cruising each morning, through the beautiful landscape of the French countryside including vineyards, châtaux and charming villages.
Travelling at around 3 miles per hour (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 are 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, ‘joijn the crew’ and help Graeme with the ropes. You can evern soak in the jacuzzi with a glass or 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 the locks mean it’s never long before you can hop back on the barge.