Canal barges may be dwarfed by other cruise options, but in exchange passengers get to traverse a network of serene waterways at a sweet pace, more able to engage with their immediate surroundings and fellow boaters than on larger, less intimate ships. For travellers with an interest in the charming towns, ordered fields and sumptuous cuisine of the low countries and northern France, there are few better ways to indulge than a trip on the Panache.
A large barge, Panache accommodates twelve passengers in six cabins with ensuites, and, incredibly given the space, there is still room in the sun deck for a spa pool. The boat also accommodates twelve bicycles, which can be taken out onto the towpath at any point during the trip, either to visit nearby destinations or simply for a relaxing coast alongside the barge. The helpful crew number one for each cabin, and ensure that the cuisine is delicious and every need is quickly attended to.
Food & Drink
The intimate nature of the cruise means meals are taken communally in the saloon. Here the chef serves an exquisite menu of regional French cuisine, complemented by a cellar of fine wine and, given the location, the obligatory cheese board.
The bicycles kept on board give passengers the ability to seek out their own entertainment.
Chauffeur-driven private excursions are on offer.