• Idle hours on the French waterways will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated.

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  • Your barge: a moveable feast for the senses.

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  • The French countryside. Exquisite hamlets, bountiful vineyards await your arrival.

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Gently Barging Through France. 8 Days.

Barges. Once they were the workhorses of Europe’s developing nations. Back then they carried everything from potatoes to lumber. Today these boats have been reborn as slender, elegant masters of the French canal for a lucky few who wish to uncover the secrets of the countryside, village by village, in grand style. 


Type:Custom Journeys/Rivers & Rails



Forty-eight hundred miles of canals wind through France. Cruising along them are barges, which (despite that slightly clunky word) are frankly luxurious... exclusive floating country inns, really, catering to quite small groups.

     The French have anticipated your need to get away from it all on the European excursion of a lifetime. The perfect package, in a sense.

   Awaken each day in your lovely room with private bath. Drink in the morning air, then coffee (served by one of your discreet bilingual crewmembers). Fresh-cut flowers. Well-stocked libraries (and wine cellars). Sun decks, perhaps a grand piano, maybe a swimming pool. Almost heartbreakingly good meals created by your personal onboard chef who peruses the local markets each day along the way.

     Our barge journeys begin in Paris, they are a week long, and they travel along the canals and rivers of Burgundy and Franche-Comté, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, and the Rhône Valley.

    There are several ways to go: Charter one of the seven barges hand-selected by R. Crusoe for your own bespoke group of two, four, six, eight, 10, or 12 (depending on the boat). Or join a select scheduled cruise if you (and yours) don’t need a whole barge to yourselves. Traveling with a slightly larger group? If so, consider chartering the Amaryllis and the Fleur de Lys in tandem or the Hirondelle and Alouette in tandem. The barges can cruise in pairs, allowing passengers to enjoy the amenities of both boats.

On these journeys, R. Crusoe & Son partners with Afloat in France. If you are not chartering a barge, you share your boat with other, non-Crusoe travelers.

The Barges

The Alouette.
Sleeps up to four passengers, travels through Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon.

The Amaryllis.
Sleeps up to eight passengers, travels through Burgundy.

The Fleur de Lys.
Sleeps up to six passengers, travels through Burgundy.

The Hirondelle.
Sleeps up to eight passengers, travels through Burgundy.

The Napoléon.
Sleeps up to 12 passengers, travels through Provence.

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Prices vary according to season; Low Season runs March, April, and November; Regular Season runs May through October.


Prices (per week-long charter):

From $21,900 for a barge that sleeps two.

From $26,300 for a barge that sleeps four.

From $35,000 for a barge that sleeps six.

From $39,900 for a barge that sleeps eight.

From $60,800 for a barge that sleeps 10.

From $66,800 for a barge that sleeps 12.


From $5,580 per person per individual cabin.


Prices include the TGV round-trip fare or private vehicle round-trip transfers between Paris and the barge.

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.


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Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Option

Paris is France’s capital city. To understand France as a whole, it’s important to have a working knowledge of this great metropolis.

     Paris is a city of history, romance, style, and beauty. There are at least 32 reasons to stroll along the Seine—namely, the 32 unique bridges that cross the river, the oldest being Pont Neuf, built five centuries ago. Paris is a city of magnificent churches and public gardens that charm and seduce. Art museums? The Louvre, of course, is Paris’ foremost gallery, but there are a whole collection of, well, collections around town that you shouldn't miss. And let us not forget the incredible meals that await around evey corner...

Paris Extension. 4 Days.

Arrive in Paris and settel into your hotel before we take a panoramic city tour. The Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more.

     Then spend time at one of two excellent art collections, either the Rodin Museum or the Musée d'Orsay. Follow up with a visit to Napoléon's tomb at Les Invalides and a walk in legendary Montmartre, once home to Dalí, Picasso, Modigliani, and other masters.

     Speaking of art, no Paris visit is complete without time in the Louvre. We take a guided tour to view the highlights including the "Mona Lisa" and the "Venus de Milo." If you'd like, continue on to the Pompidou Center for contemporary art or the Orangerie for Cluade Monet's fantastic Water Lilies series.

     We conclude our Paris visit beyond the city limits, at Versailles, extravagant residence of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and his court. If you would like, take a behind-the-scenes tour with a lecturer who leads you to areas of the palace normally closed to the public.

     Pricing: Please speak to an R. Crusoe travel specialist for pricing information.

Remember that R. Crusoe & Son can create Paris pre-tour and post-tour itineraries of any length to meet your exact specifications.


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About Our Barges.

R. Crusoe & Son has chosen France’s finest barges for our travelers. Think of them as floating luxury country hotels, outfitted for the sophisticated traveler, appointed with the most impeccable taste, staffed by seasoned crewmembers who anticipate your every need and fulfill your every wish. Your barge carries bicycles for those who want to pedal, and many have tennis racquets so you can get in a few games along the route. All have WiFi. Some have swimming pools (heated to just the right temp, of course).

     Traveling with a slightly larger group? Consider chartering the Amaryllis and the Fleur de Lys in tandem or the Hirondelle and the Alouette in tandem. The barges can cruise in pairs, allowing passengers to enjoy the amenities and company on both boats.


The luxurious Amaryllis is furnished in the Louis XV and Louis XVI  styles, and she exudes absolute sophistication from her Nobilis and Nina Campbell fabrics to her Christofle flatware. To top it all off, the Amaryllis has a heated pool on its bow deck and salon doors adjacent to it that open to the width of the boat to create an extended canopied deck (perfect for al fresco dining). In the salon, you’ll find a television, stereo, DVD player, and VCR. She can accommodate up to eight passengers. Her four cabins are paneled, and each has a bed that can be configured as a double or two twins, an armoire, a writing desk with chair and casual seating, and an en-suite bathroom with double sinks done up in marble. Six crewmembers accompany you. Fully air-conditioned. WiFi. Bikes available. A minivan takes passengers on daily excursions. Boat dimensions: 129’ x 17.5’.

Fleur de Lys.

Sister barge of the Amaryllis, she is an intimate boat with three stateroom suites, each with a canopied bed (configured as a double or two twins) and an en-suite bathroom with tub. The richly furnished salon and separate dining room have large windows. A grand piano, library area, and heated plunge pool add the finishing touches. This barge sleeps six passengers. Six crewmembers are at your disposal. WiFi. Bicycles are available. A minivan takes passengers on daily excursions. Boat dimensions: 129’ x 17.5’. 


Sister barge of the Alouette, she sleeps eight passengers in four double cabins with en-suite bathrooms, each with a shower stall. Also on board: a salon-dining room, a sun deck with lounge chairs and umbrellas, and a writing desk. WiFi. Four crewmembers are at your service. A minivan accompanies this boat for shore excursions, and bikes are provided for exploring France’s gorgeous countryside. Boat dimensions: 128’ x 17’.


The Alouette has undergone a full interior renovation. She now accommodates just four lucky passengers in two beautifully appointed and sinfully luxurious cabins. Each averages 226 square feet and has an en-suite bathroom with a full shower, a choice of a double or twin beds, satellite TV and DVD system, WiFi, a safe, and an intercom to communicate directly with the kitchen, salon, and crew. The new kitchen facilitates cooking classes. An air-conditioned minivan follows for shore excursions. Bikes are provided for you as well. Boat dimensions: 98’ x 17’.


The Napoleon on the River Rhone.

Larger than the other barges we use, the Napoléon accommodates up to 12 passengers in six luxurious double cabins with double or twins beds. Each has its own en-suite bathroom. The barge is air-conditioned. Also on board is a large salon, charming interior and exterior dining rooms, a keyboard, a library, WiFi, Jacuzzi, exercise equipment, and chaise lounges. Six or seven crewmembers see to your every need. Boat dimensions: 129’ x 17.5’. A bus accompanies you for land excursions, and bikes are provided for guests to explore independently.

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Stump the sommelier.

A wine that tastes half dry to one person can be half sweet to another. A more objective measure of sweetness is the wine’s residual sugar, which is the sugar left after fermentation. The more sugar that remains, the sweeter the wine.

     A sommelier who know his or her vintages will know (or have quick access to) the residual sugar of each wine. This amount is usually expressed in grams per liter (g/L). Here’s a general range:

Dry wine:                           up to 4 g/L

Half or off-dry wine:            5 to 12 g/L

Medium-dry wine:               13 to 44 g/L

Sweet wine:                        45+ g/L


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