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Discover the beauty and delights of the French countryside in a relaxed and exceptional way, rediscovering your ‘joie de vivre’ on a journey aboard one of the finest craft to explore the European waterways. These exceptional péniche-hôtels (barges) take you from great cities to remote landscapes of forests, fields and hidden villages.

Carrying between four and 12 guests, these five spacious river cruisers are perfect for a group of family or friends. Charter your own barge or reserve a cabin with other guests.

Once on board you will be treated to gourmet dining with visits to local sights along the way, making it an exceptional way to truly experience France as you journey into its beating heart. Charter your own barge or reserve a cabin with other guests - the choice is yours.

These individually designed craft are distinguished by their spaciousness and luxurious facilities. Certain barges include heated swimming pools, sitting rooms with period furniture and state rooms with canopied beds.

Sample Itineraries

Belmond Alouette: BEZIERS TO AVIGNON

Day 1
Champagne reception
Cruise the Canal du Midi and gourmet dinner

Day 2
Breakfast and cruise to the port of Agde
Drive to port of Marseillan.
Visit Mediterranean-style Noilly Prat
Moore at Agde in the evening

Day 3
Visit second-largest port city in France, Sète.
Lunch on the barge and cruise to Frontignan famous for its natural wine

Day 4
Visit the Spanish-influenced, Camargue
Discover salt marshes and sand dunes
Walk around Aigues-Mortes, a village founded by Louis IX

Day 5
Cruise the Petit Rhône, Canal du Rhône à Sète and River Rhône
View Beaucaire and Tarascon castles from the deck
Visit the Roman town of Arles where Van Gogh once lived

Day 6
Pass Le Pont St Bénézet whislt cruising to Avignon.
Explore the walled city and the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame.
Farewell gala dinner

Day 7
Breakfast and disembark

Belmond Napoleon: ARLES TO TAIN L'HERMITAGE

Day 1
Champagne reception and cruise to Arles
Dinner and tour Arles

Day 2
Visit 18th-century bastide in St Rémy for olive oil tasting
Cruise to Avignon past Pont Saint-Bénezet
Moor and visit Roman Pont du Gard aqueduct
Drinks on deck and dinner

Day 3
Tour Avignon and guided walk around the Palace of the Popes
Experience French café culture
Lunch then visit the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard
Wine tasting and cruise to Saint-Etienne-des-Sorts

Day 4
Roman city of Orange tour and discover two of the finest Roman monuments
Cruise to Viviers via Bollène lock, with a dramatic 23-metre drop
Stroll around the medieval town

Day 5
Visit Nyons a Provençal village then visit a lavender distillery and olive mill
Lunch at Grignan famous for the medieval château
Visit a truffle farm
Cruise to La Voulte from Le Pouzin

Day 6
Visit the market in La Voulte and choose ingredients for lunch
Cruise past Côtes du Rhône vineyards
Visit Chez Ferraton winery
Farewell gala dinner.

Day 7
Breakfast and disembark

BELMOND ALOUETTE

4 passengers capacity
Length of 100ft/30.48m
Width of 15.58ft/4.75m
4 Crew
Dinning area
Lounge
DVD Player & range of DVDs
Computer with internet
Sun deck with sun loungers, table and parasol
Computer with internet access
HiFi/Stereo with range of CDs
iPod docking station
Books and board games

BELMOND FLUER DE LYS

6 passengers capacity
Length of 129ft/39.3m
Width of 16.567ft/5.05m
6 Crew
Lounge with large windows
Sun deck with heated swimming pool
Writing desk
Computer with internet
Grand Piano
DVD Player & range of DVDs
iPod docking station
Books and board games
HiFi/Stereo with range of CDs

BELMOND AMARYLLIS

8 passengers capacity
Length of 128ft/39m
Width of 16.567ft/5.05m
6 Crew
Sun deck with canopy and heated swimming pool
Lounge with large windows
Computer with internet
Dining room
iPod docking station
DVD Player & range of DVDs
Stereo surround sound system W/ CDs
Range of books and board games

BELMOND HIRONDELLE

8 passengers capacity
Length of 129ft/39m
Width of 16.56ft/5.05m
5 Crew
Lounge & dining area W/ stereo system
Sun deck W/ 360 view, sun loungers, two tables W/ large parasol
Computer W/ internet
Range of books and board games
iPod docking station
HiFi system & range of CDs
DVD Player & range of DVDs

BELMOND NAPOLEON

12 passengers capacity
Length of 129ft/39.3m
Width of 16.58ft/5.05m
6 Crew
Sun deck with Jacuzzi, sun loungers, gym equipment & canopied dining area
Lounge with piano keyboard
iPod docking station
Computer with internet
Range of books, games, DVDs and CDs

6 nights full board Open Sailing on Belmond Hirondelle from £3,499 per person including return economy class flights and transfers