Explore the heart of France by river barge cruise in Northern and Southern Burgundy

Northern and southern Burgundy river barge cruises

Burgundy is famous for its gorgeous countryside and historic French heritage. Exploring the rural scenery by boat is an amazing way to experience the surprising and various landscapes of Burgundy. Cruise along the many waterways and explore the region where nature and culture come together.

Northern Burgundy

The Northern part of the region is defined by two rivers: the Loire and Yonne. But Northern Burgundy has much more to offer than these two stunning rivers! Read on to find out what..!

Northern Burgundy barge cruise

Get enchanted during a river cruise through the Burgundy region.

Canal de Briare

The River Loire is being bridged by Canal de Briare. This canal bridge is surrounded by 72 lampposts and decorated pilasters and is since 1976 a protected monument. Canal de Briare ends in the city of Montargis. In this city, Canal de Briare, Canal du Loing, and Canal d’Orléans come together. Montargis is called the Venice of Gâtinais: the French region in which the city is located. You can explore the beautiful buildings along the waterside by walking over the many small bridges.

River Loire is being bridged by Canal de Briare

The River Loire is being bridged by Canal de Briare.

Canal de Briare barge cruise France

Meander through an astonishing landscape during an unforgettable river cruise and discover the many picturesque places this river has to offer.

River Yonne

The Yonne is also a splendid river to enjoy a river trip. Culture lovers will be surprised by the beautiful historic cities such as Auxerre and Joigny. Also, the Gothic cathedral of Sens cannot be skipped. Cruise along many vineyards, including the famous Jovinian and Chablis yards. A barge trip on the meandering rivers ends in the stunning city of Auxerre, a city with 40.000 residents. The prestigious Saint Etienne cathedral, the abbey of Saint Germain d'Auxerre and Saint Pierre church need to be on your to-see list.

More canals to explore in Northern Burgundy

Besides the Loire and Yonne, there are a few more significant waterways that are worth exploring by boat. The 180 kilometers long Canal Nivernais connects Auxerre to Decize. The canal runs through an incredible different landscape: at the beginning of your trip, you will pass many vineyards, followed by the valley of Yonne. Further down, you will come across the lakes of Vaux and Baye were you can spot many animals.

Southern Burgundy

Another region that has a lot to offer is Southern Burgundy, known for the many and very diverse waterways. The attractive rivers and canals traversing the ancient Dukedom of Burgundy are perfect for barge cruise lovers who want to discover France in a pure and quiet way.

Burgundy canal

The capital city of the region of Burgundy is Dijon, famous for it’s well preserved historic architecture. Around Dijon, three famous canals are waiting to be discovered by river cruise lovers from all around the world. West of Dijon, the more than 250 kilometers long Burgundy Canal is heading towards Paris. A river trip on the Burgundy Canal takes you along beautiful Burgundian hot spots. Admire the castles of Tanlay and Ancy-le-Franc, the abbey of Fontenay or the village of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, where you can discover stunning medieval architecture.

Burgundy Canal river cruise France

Even during complete darkness, the Burgundy Canal is truly mesmerizing. 

Ouche valley

When the Burgundy Canal meets the River Ouche at Pont d’Ouche, the canal starts running through the picturesque Ouche Valley. This region will astonish you with its panoramic views and serenity, and is certainly a very much recommended destination. Enjoy vineyard tours, ancient castles and discover the beauties of this region during a river cruise through the Ouche Valley. This sereneness of the valley enables you to fully enjoy the beauty of the Ouche. Looking for a bit more action? You can find many walking and bike trails leading to different stunning towns near the canal.

Ouche Valley river cruise France

All the river cruises through Northern and Southern Burgundy, offered on Bookarivertrip.com, are hosted by experienced operators with spacious and luxurious barges. 

Rhône-Rhine canal and river Doubs

East of the capital city Dijon, you will find the Rhône-Rhine canal. This canal is 236 kilometers long and includes 114 locks and 2 tunnels. In the summer, the old trees alongside the canal will protect you from the hot French sun. A barge tour on this canal will be all about nature with urban surroundings. You will pass beautiful cities and towns like Besançon, Dole, Dannemarie, Belfort, and Montbéliard. The Rhone-Rhine canal flows alongside and into the river Doubs. This river meanders deeply through the valleys. The picturesque villages along the way are perfect spots to have lunch or dinner or to explore by bike or on foot.

The third canal

South of Dijon, Canal du Centre connects the river Loire and river Saône, with a length of 110 kilometers. Canal du Centre runs through many rustic areas. Stroll through the many cozy Burgundian towns you will pass and get to know the French cuisine while sitting on a romantic terrace.

River Saône

Last but not least: the river Saône. This river is one of the most beautiful destinations for a unique river cruise in France. Cruise to Lyon, a city full of beautiful architecture and tasty food. Come across stunning countrysides, cliffs, valleys, forests and vineyards. Enjoy a carefree cruise on this river and take in all the historic and cultural heritage Burgundy has to offer. River Saône is also interesting for fishing lovers! The river is well stocked with good fish. And action seekers will also not be disappointed: go canoeing, jet skiing or snorkeling and explore the river in another way! Get inspired by this wonderful Freedom River Cruise on the Saône, and our All-Inclusive River Cruise on the Saône

River Saône barge cruise France

During your river trip on the Saône River, you will be mesmerized by the many historical sightings that you will be visiting. 

Join us on an amazing trip of a lifetime!

Contact our cruise manager Marc