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Barge Trip in France: Something in Between Self-Drive and Hotel?

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Old time Fodorite, but new to this forum. Hope you will indulge my questions ....

My group of 6 are planning a barge trip in France next year. We are all experienced sailors, and have many, many miles under our hulls; we are well-versed in boat-handling and are accustomed to the "camping on the water" lifestyle that can be a sailing trip. We want a little more luxury than that on this trip, but don't want either the full cost or the full-on pampering that a hotel-type barge trip would offer. While we are perfectly willing to do a self-drive trip, I was wondering if there is a happy medium -- especially since among the various languages spoken in my group, French is not included. Can we charter our own boat, and then hire a chef/guide that will help with a few meals and provide some guidance? Has anyone done such a thing? Are there any recommended companies that can provide this sort of experience?

Any advice gratefully accepted!

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