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European Waterways Cruises

Finesse (Photo: European Waterways)

About European Waterways Cruises

British-based European Waterways offers luxury barging on Europe's rivers and canals. Expect fine wood paneling, soft carpeting and a mix of antique and traditional decor. The barges offer a country inn feel and a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Who goes on European Waterways cruise ships?

  • Do I have to dress up on a European Waterways cruise?

Find European Waterways Cruises



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Who goes on European Waterways cruise ships?

Barge passengers are a well-educated, well-traveled lot, primarily 50-plus. Most are from North America and the U.K., but European Waterways markets internationally so you will occasionally find people from other parts of Europe and around the world. Families primarily do full charters; on noncharters children under 12 are not permitted onboard.

Do I have to dress up on a European Waterways cruise?

No. There is no dress code or requirement to dress up. Pick comfortable clothes suitable for the climate and activities you want to do. Some passengers change for dinner, but this is not a requirement.

Is everything free on European Waterways cruises?

Pretty much. Fares include gourmet meals prepared by the onboard chefs, fine wines (different each day) with lunch and dinner, an open bar, Wi-Fi (when available) and daily escorted excursions to places of interest. Tipping is not included.

What are European Waterways’s most popular activities?

Passengers can choose to do as little or as much as they want, but overall the pace is slow, with a six-day cruise often covering little more than 50 miles along a rural canal. In addition to daily excursions by mini-bus, this allows plenty of time for passengers to walk or take leisurely bike rides along the towpaths where they can be picked up at the next lock or mooring spot.

Life back onboard is equally leisurely, with long lunches and dinners prepared by what is akin to having a private chef.

Why go with European Waterways?

  • All meals, drinks and excursions included.
  • Tranquil, relaxing cruising.
  • Onboard bicycles allow for exploring the European countryside.

Best for: Family or friend groups looking for a house boat-style experience on Europe's canals

Not for: Fast-paced travelers looking to cover lots of ground, late-night partiers

European Waterways Cruises Cruiser Reviews

A huge disappointment

We have done over fifteen great river cruises in Europe with various companies, and sailed on the Caledonian Canal on Lord of the Glens. We chose this trip with European Waterways because it had a different... Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Pampered while cruising the Thames visiting Historic Gems

Luxurious barge with spacious accommodations for 8. Every detail is handled. The cruise begins with high tea at the Stafford Hotel in London before transfer to the barge. The Magna Carta is beautiful,... Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 70s


The trip was great in every respect. Crew were all helpful and pleasent. The food was all good and and a variety. The trips of the boat were interesting and guides gave us sufficient information. The trip up the... Read More
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Robert Crook

2-5 Cruises

Age 80s

Enchanting Cruise on the Canal du Midi

My husband and I, along with dear friends, celebrated our wedding anniversaries with a 6 night cruise on the barge Enchante. It was truly a wonderful trip. Our accomodations were very comfortable and the staff was... Read More
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6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

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