Where: Cruising is popular throughout France, which has more than 5,000 kilometers of navigable canals and rivers. Nicols, Hideaways' first self-hire barging partner, operates 16 bases in France, one on the River Elde in eastern Germany, and another in Holland at the gateway to Friesland. Connoisseur, our newest partner, has 20 bases in Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy.
When: The season runs from late March through early November. High season is July
to late August. Some rivers flood in springtime, which could affect your plans. We
found fall spectacular, but after mid-October, the weather can get iffy in northern regions, and canal-side restaurants and businesses begin to close for the season.
Getting there: Most bases are accessible by a combination of train and taxi. If you are barging for a week or more, don't bother renting a car that will sit at your base and run up parking fees.
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