What’s the difference between Hotel Barging and River Cruising?

June 1, 2016

Hotel Barging River Cruising
Only 6 to 20 passengers aboard.
Crew of 4 to 8, so a very high level of personal
Generally under 70 miles in a week, cruising
gently at 3mph. Barges never cruise at night or
without guests on board.
Cruises on smaller rivers and canals
inaccessible to larger vessels.
Canals are much less prone to flooding or
drought as water levels can be controlled.
Gently paced, with an immersion in the local
culture & history of a region.
Always just a few feet from the canal or river
bank, so explore on foot or bicycle at any time.
Gastronomy – more focus on the specialities &
wines of the region
Excursions in small groups to “off the beaten
track” places.
Style: Relaxed, exclusive Country House party
Whole barge charters possible.
All inclusive means all inclusive.


River Cruising

100 to 200 passengers aboard.
Usually a lower ratio of crew to passenger
Much longer distances, often 500+ miles in a
week at 10mph+, sometimes cruising at night
or whilst passengers are ashore.
Cruises only on major commercialized rivers
e.g. Danube & Rhine.
Rivers cruise navigation is more often
affected by severe weather conditions.
Faster pace, less time to see a region, often
passing through more than one country.
Only possible to disembark the vessel at
fixed mooring points.
Larger scale dining, international cuisine.
Larger groups so visits are usually to the
major tourist attractions.
Style: Similar to a major international hotel.
Suite or cabin bookings only.
Often bar drinks/wines, excursions are extra.