Hotel Barge RENAISSANCE - Barging in France -

Cruising the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy regions of France

Facts About The Barge Renaissance

The French Hotel Barge Renaissance is a spacious, beautifully appointed, 8-passenger hotel barge, originally built in 1960 as a cargo carrier. The French Hotel Barge Renaissance cruises the Canal de Briare in the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy regions of France.

French Barge Renaissance - Layout diagram

128 feet x 17½ feet (39m x 5.3m)
8 Guests
5 Crew
4 Guest suites with choice of twins or king bed
TV / DVD in each guest suite
Air conditioned & Central heating
Spa pool / Hot tub
8 Touring bikes
WiFi (subject to local reception)
Air conditioned minibus

Barge Specifics

Your Crew On Board

Accommodation On Board

Maximum 8 passengers / 4 suites

All suites can be configured with either 2 single beds or 1 king-size bed.

Each Suite has a large & stylish en-suite bathroom with shower, wash basin and WC. The bathrooms have fully tiled floors and walls. All are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, bathrobes, slippers, and hair dryer.

Voltaire and Moliere Suites both have a chest of 3 drawers and a wardrobe 140cm high x 48cm deep x 133cm wide.

There are 4 portholes in each of the cabins, 2 on port side and 2 on starboard side. They can be opened, but not while cruising.

Hugo and Dumas Suites have 2 portholes, which can be opened but not during cruising. Both cabins have a wardrobe which slants under the stairwell. These are very deep and have 3 shelves behind the rails where suitcases can be stored. The wardrobe height is 155cm at its highest and 98cm deep. The clothes rail is 88cm wide.

Each suite has a TV/DVD player.

Cabin Sizes

All sizes are approximate.

Voltaire Suite (bow)

Hugo Suite (mid)

Dumas Suite (mid)

Molière Suite (stern)

Bathrooms: are en-suite and average 60 ft² (5.6 m²) in area. The bathroom measurements are included in the suite sizes detailed above.

Size of the beds:

Climate Control

Each suite has individually controlled air conditioning and central heating.

Computer and Telephone

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There is no passenger telephone on Renaissance.


The local currency in France is the Euro. Renaissance is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.

Cycling & Walking

You are welcome to walk or cycle using the on-board bicycles as often as you wish. Most guests choose to disembark the barge at a lock and visit local villages, returning to the canal and meeting the barge a little further along. The barge travels at a slow speed therefore catching up is not a problem.

There are 8 Touring Bikes on-board. Children’s bikes, helmets and child bike seats can be arranged if required on request - please contact Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure.

Dining Room & Saloon

The Saloon is a wonderful place to relax. It is light and airy and measures 42ft x 17ft (13m x 5m) and is furnished with sofas, a coffee table, two very comfy lounge chairs and a fully stocked bar which is open 24/7.

The height of the saloon is 7ft (2.15m).

Antique wood panelling, wallpapers, a beamed ceiling and brass light fittings run throughout the area with tiled floors and Renaissance paintings on the walls. The large round oak dining table seats 8 guests.


The barge is wired for 220 and 240 volts but not 110 volts. We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliance, which corresponds to the standard French two-pin plugs. If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please speak to a crew member on arrival to ensure it is suitable for the barge’s electrical system.

We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


The Renaissance barge minibus is a 9-seater (including driver) air-conditioned long wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter. It is used for transfers and excursions during your cruise.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group’s particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please speak with Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise and we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.

Facilities On Board

Food & Drink

All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). International and regional French cuisine is served.

We are able to arrange special meals, e.g. vegetarian / no fish / vegan etc, and we are able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is most important that we are notified of any specific requirements at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining room on board Renaissance accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Your day on Renaissance starts with a wholesome and balanced variety of breakfast foods, along with fresh breads & pastries, freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot beverages.

Lunch usually consists of colourful salads, pat&eacure;s and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delectable desserts and a different selection of regional cheeses accompanied by quality wines selected by the chef.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs.

Captain’s farewell dinner is held on the last night of your cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some Champagnes (with the exception of the Captain’s reception) and special vintage wines, however these can be purchased in advance of your cruise at cost price – please speak to Paradise Connections. We do not recommend specific beverage orders unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Hot Air Balooning

Once on board, the Captain can arrange this directly with the hot air balloon company on your behalf. Flights usually last between 1 and 1² hours and are weather dependent. The cost is approximately 250 Euros per person. You will need to contract and pay the balloon company directly on the day of the flight (they do accept credit cards).

Please contact Paradise Connections in advance if you are interested in ballooning. The main balloon operators they work with are Air Escargot and France Montgolfieres.


We recommend you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.

Luggage / What To Pack

Please try and fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable. There is only enough space on the barge transfer bus for up to 8 suitcases and 8 pieces of hand luggage.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Renaissance and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress-up, which is optional.

The weather in Burgundy is generally warm. June, July, and August is the warmest often being in the mid 30s°C.

Suggested things to pack:


Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention.

The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medication with you.

Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.

Problem During Your Cruise

If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.

Restricted Mobility

Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Renaissance has a gangplank to the deck level from the bank of the canal with one handrail. There are no steps from the deck to the saloon but there are 14 steps between the saloon and the lower deck and the cabins.

Wheelchairs cannot be used on-board and can only be used to help get round on excursions, however often there are cobbled streets or rough ground which may hinder a wheelchair.

If you would like to hire a wheelchair to be available for your arrival, please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks before departure. The small hire charge should be paid directly to the barge Captain on arrival and is approximately 100 Euros.

Safety & Security

Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures. Safety Instructions are detailed on the last page of this document.

Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Safes are provided in each cabin on board but cabin doors are not usually locked for safety reasons.


We have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of your fellow passengers

If you would like to smoke, we request that you do so outside or on the deck away from fellow passengers.


The outdoor deck is 17ft 6” x 22ft (5.3m x 6.7m) and is equipped with a 4 person heated spa pool and 2 long wooden sunbed chairs. There are also 8 reclining chairs and a large table for al-fresco dining beneath a covered deck area.

Themed Cruises

Wine Appreciation, Golf, and Family cruise itineraries are available for charter groups. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit Renaissance's Itinerary page and Rates page.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board. As a guideline, the average tip given by our guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the Cruise Fare.

The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.

Euros or Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.


For details of the Renaissance vehicle, please see “Excursions”. The approximate transfer duration between Paris and Renaissance is 2 or 2.5 hours depending on the cruise direction.


Tap water in France and on board Renaissance is potable and bottled water is available.

Safety Instructions On Board Renaissance

On arrival the Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures on board.In addition, it is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety instructions detailed below.

Please ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice

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