Hotel barge cruising ( barging ) in France


MERGANSER is a traditional conversion of an old Dutch barge originally built in 1931. After sailing her from her home in Holland in 1990 the present owners have created a classic interior of mahogany, ash and other fine woods reminiscent of vessels of bygone days. They have achieved this without sacrificing comfort. Her compact cabins each have en-suite facilities of shower and WC, 220/240 volt power points (UK three pin; can adapt to French two pin) and ample storage capacity, and her saloon and deck capacity is generous, this latter complemented by a canopy sufficiently large to enable al fresco dining for much of the year. She is owner operated. She is fully centrally heated, air conditioned and has a well-appointed saloon with a varied library. Passengers are also welcome in the wheelhouse, which doubles as a comfortable observation location.

 And what of life on board ?

Well, the canal itself is of great interest. One does not have to leave the boat to see small villages with their stacks of wood, ready for the winter and their carefully tended vegetable gardens. Then there are the towpaths for walking or cycling as we go along. In  2021 we cruise between Châlons en Champagne and Vitry le François and are thus enabled to explore this most beautiful region in all its diversity, from the magnificence of Reims Cathedral to the unique wood framed churches of the Champagne bocage, from award winning family owned vineyards to picturesque ruins of ancient abbeys. Baguettes and croissants warm from the oven and patisserie complements the French style cuisine provided from our own galley, sample dishes from which may be seen below. Note also that the galley will provide special menus when required – gluten free, vegetarian etc.

       Saloon     Galley   Single Cabin  Twin Cabin                               Saloon                                                                     Galley                                                                          Single Cabin                                            Twin Cabin

Barge Merganser - planBuffet Lunch on deck                          
                                                                                                                 Buffet lunch on deck

Subject to availability of the raw materials menus will be made up from the following dishes:

Starters: Crème d’Avocat et Saumon Fumé, Crêpes aux deux fromages,  Paté de maquereau fumé, Potages variés, Quiche Lorraine, Salade Niçoise, Salade de fromage de chèvre. Main Dishes: uf Bourguignon, Confit de Canard, Coq au vin, Epaule d’Agneau au vin rouge, Filet de Porc Normande, Hachis Parmentier de uf, Poulet Marengo, Omelette aux Champignons, Pavé de Saumon grillée. Desserts: Crème Brûlée, Crêpes Variées,  Fruits en saison, Mousse à Chocolat,  Poires Belle-Hélène, Tarte aux Abricots et Amandes.


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