Barge/canal trip in Europe

Old Nov 21st, 2000, 12:00 AM
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Barge/canal trip in Europe

We would like to do a barging trip on a small boat in Europe, like one can do in UK midlands. There are only two of us so we would like to hire a small boat and "go it alone". Any suggestions as to what country accomodates this and where to start looking -I don't even know which countries in Europe have canals like the UK??
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 12:51 AM
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France and Holland certainly offer canal holidays of the type you describe. A web search should turn up the necessary information.

For a more up market trip have a look at <>
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 07:04 AM
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There are several companies that offer the barging/canal experience in the UK, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal (river, not canal) and Germany. We used Crown Blue Lines for our boating trip in the Venice lagoon.
Here are some sites to check:
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 09:47 AM
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Yet another site:
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 10:44 AM
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Your trip sounds like one we've considered for ages, but it always gets put on the back burner. But my first choice would be the Canal du Midi in southern France. We've traveled along most of it by car and find the towns interesting, the area extemely scenic, and from all accounts, the going easy.
Old Nov 23rd, 2000, 05:14 PM
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Julie, my husband and I (along with my sister and her husband) took a "wide boat" (not really a barge) down the Burgundy canal in September about three years ago. It was a spectacular trip--we paid a small supplement to make it a one-way trip, which I think was very worthwhile. It was a quite comfortable boat, and they have them in all sizes and shapes. I have a few tips I'll be happy to pass on if you'd like to email me directly. The boat hire we used is British, which really helped with making arrangements, since we are pretty much do not speak French! In the end, we had no problems at all with the locks (many) or the side-trips (also many) to towns like Chablis, where we had dinner one night. The name of the company we used was Connoisseur Cruises, and their website, where you can order a brochure, is Another point you may want to consider as you begin researching this trip, is that some canals require a much higher degree of competency (handling the boat, reading the maps, and maneuvering the locks) than does the "Canal de Bourgogne." Good luck...

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