Througout our website, on individual boat pages, you can see our most recent reviews by our clients. Alternatively, please click the buttons below to view other guests comments about
Self drive cruises
John Beaumont; Burgundy, July 2017
The boat was as expected: We appreciated the controls inside and outside, and rate the boat a 10. The cruise route from Joigny out and back was good. We found Hotels Afloat on the internet and rate them a 10. Will book again.
Phillipa Baws, Australia; Lot, July 2017
The Horizon 4 was as expected: I rate it an 8/10 The cruise on the Lot River was as expected but expected more mooring spots and more moorings with power as was our previous experience on the Saone This was our second trip with Hotels Afloat. The preparation and booking of the trip with Hotels Afloat was excellent. Good attention to detail and website. On our arrival at Douelle, the office was extremely busy and embarkation details were rushed. If possible arrivals should be staggered
Jim Wilson, Uk; Linssen 30.9, Midi canal, June 2016
The Linssen was excellent. New boat and very suitable We appreciated the newness and the bow thruster Rating 10/10 The Midi canal worked well for us since we got the benefit of a one way cruise. We'll book again, and rate Hotels Afloat 10/10 for attention to detail & response rate.
Nick White, UK; N1170, Loire canal, August 2016
The boat was better than expected, with 2 steering positions. (Upgraded at the base to a superior boat than that booked) I'd rate it a 6/10 The Loire route was as expected and we liked that it wasn't too busy. We found Hotels Afloat on the internet: good site and attention to detail, nothing else needed. I rate you a 10/10, and we'll book again. Thanks for a good holiday.
Frederick A Slane, USA; Clipper, Midi canal, July 2016
The Clipper was as we expected, I rate it an 8/10 It was easy to handle. Cruising from Port Cassafieres on the Midi was a good beginner route My friend Mark Hall recommended you. I rate Hotels Afloat Excellent. Good attention to detail Will I book with you again? Absolutely
Ray Carter, Australia; Euro Classic 149 in Burgundy, September 2017
The boat was quite spacious, nice Gin Deck Rate it 9 The route from Tonnerre to Vermenton is beautiful... The scenery, ease of finding supplies, delightful friendly locals, no queues at the locks, well organised lock keepers. Customer Service Award goes to the female ticket clerk at Laroche Migennes who was so helpful in providing help and advice to find the best value tickets to get to Vermenton, Tonnerre & back to Paris. Also the guy that handed the boat to us at Tonnerre was very helpful when we turned up early to collect the boat. Hotels Afloat: We found you on the internet, rating 10/10, and would book again. It would be helpful to provide Maps for PEDESTRIANS to navigate from local railway stations to boat collection / return points
Jenny Meader, UK; Euro Classic 149 Burgundy, September 2016
The EuroClassic 149 was as expected with plenty of space and good facilities I'd rate it a 9/10. We enjoyed the scenery, food and villages in Burgundy A google search brought us to you. We rate Hotels Afloat 9/10 and found the site useful. Will book again. There were not many restaurants open on Monday evening in Migenne, we struggled to find somewhere to eat!
Steering is very sluggish on these type of boats. We got the hang of it after a while. Otherwise we really enjoyed it and will be back!
Charlotte Reid, Germany; Tarpon 49 Quattro prestige, August 2016
The boat was as expected, appreciated it's size & many bathrooms We rate it a 9 The Nivernais route was better than we expected, and loved the quietness. You need to Stock up well before sailing, very few shopping opportunities on route. Some shops closed. Found Hotels Afloat on the internet. We rate you a 7/10 and will book again. Good attention to detail
Leczynzki, Poland; America 43 Excellence, Burgundy Saone, October 2016
Very satisfied. Everything was perfect!
Dustin McLellan, USA; Linssen 32, Midi canal; October 2016
The Linssen 32 was new and clean. I'd rate it 10/10 We preferred the southern half of the Midi cruise. I heard about Hotels Afloat from a family member, and rate you 10/10. Would book again.
Frans Lecluyse, Belguim. Clipper on Midi canal, May 2016
The Clipper was spacious and easy to handle. We'd rate it 8/10 Our route from Castelnaudary - Homps and back was as expected and we loved the Magnificient views. We found Hotels Afloat on the internet and you were very responsive and helpful. 9/10 rating, we'll book again!
Damon Kendrick, UK. Euro Classic 139GC Burgundy; July 2016
The boat was as expected YES, BUT LARGER THAN WE THOUGHT WELL EQUIPPED, we rate it 9/10 The cruise from VERMENTON TO TONNERE was MANAGEABLE FOR OUR FIRST TRIP We appreciated the scenery. I found Hotels Afloat on the internet. Attention to detail, responsive and most issues and all questions answered. We'll book again. A VERY ENJOYABLE FIRST TRIP.
Patricia Jones, USA. Magnifique; Midi canal; May 2016
I'd rate the Magnifique 9/10 We cruised on the Midi canal and most appreciated the part without all the locks. Peaceful, really scenic countryside, and the villages got more charming and lovely. We found Hotels Afloat via tripadvisor.com, plus surfing the net looking for self-driving boats We rate you 9/10 Emma was fantastic. We will book again with Hotels Afloat
Janet Finan: Magnifique, Loire canal, August 2016
We hired a Magnifique, and rate it 9/10-always room for improvement! The boat was as expecte (altho' not entirely pleased with Le Boat staff at Chatillon)( staff at Decize excellent) The Magnifique was very well equipped. 2 refrigerators, nice quality kitchen items (except knives!), good bed linens. Abundant up top space. Cruise region: Lateral Loire Not as expected: Canal side villages were a disappointment. Little to walk around a see, let alone shop or dine. The Waterways book shows places like Marseilles Aubigny and Fleury in bold print which suggests they may be special when in fact they are only a very small collection of houses with often not even a boulangerie, let alone a place of interest. Places such as Charite sur Loire are at least a 30 minute or more walk away, if not biking, although very nice once there. We did appreciate that the route was not crowded which may be our choice of week. Lock keepers pleasant and efficient. Nevers a nice town. We are long time repeat customers of Hotels Afloat! Service We rate 10/10 as usual Prompt?:With minor exception, yes We would appreciate more info about routes on the website. Perhaps previous traveler reports or possibility to communicate with those willing to discuss their experiences. I think after 6 boat trips. we are really done, but I continue to recommend you to many! It has been a great relationship Emma. I thank you for all of your help over the years and wish you continued success. We would be willing to be contacted by prospective customers as we have been through Tripadvisor. Fondly, Janet and Marty Finan, and Jill and John White
Oscar Huijsse; Penichette 1120R; Nivernais Canal: 2016
We booked a Penichette 935W but we were upgraded. The boat was wonderful & we had plenty of room. I rate this boat a 9/10 - as great! Canal Nivernais - Joigny to Corbigny was the route. It was as we expected but was cut short due to flooding. Once on the Canal it was picturesque and what we thought rural France would be like How would you rate our customer service? Excellent - Emma is brilliant most importantly, responsive. Concerning your website, I would suggest perhaps more info about time taken to enjoy the rural area from the boat rather as we spent more time than we thought motoring than sight seeing...yes we knew it would be 4-5 hours per day, but till we did it, it didn't sink in that would impinge on our time to be tourists :-) Would you book with us again? Hell yeah! We had 1 day of bad weather but loved the trip and would have taken longer to do take the same route next time. Emma was wonderful and an asset given her responsiveness, courtesy and support.
Lex Van den H.: Penichette 1120R Locaboat; Burgundy canal, September 2016
The boat was as expected, we rate it 8/10: Liked the sliding sunroof Canal de Burgundy:The villages were a bit more deserted than expected and the lockkeepers took away all the fun of the work at the locks but we appreciated the time to relax! Hotels Afloat rating: 9/10 google search hotelsAfloatrate = 9 I stress your fast and correct service and sure, would book again We bumped into your website while searching for a last-minute offer. Since you offered the same prices as on the locaboat site and showed other rentals as well, website we figured we might as well support this independent agency instead.
Leo Estall: Nicols Octo; River Baise; August 2016
We chose the Octo with a senior member of the party (87 years) in mind. Amongst other things, we liked the outdoor eating area which was all in a level with the bedrooms. (2nd cruise on this boat) We rate the boat 8/10 We loved the Nature on the river Baise. The bird life and the scenery. Nerac was a beautiful town with riverside restaurants I'm not sure how I heard about Hotels Afloat, could it be through a mention on Trip advisor I rate you 10/ 10 Exceedingly prompt, excellent and will certainly book again Hotels Afloat was extremely helpful in respect of so many things in arranging a floating holiday, eg choice of appropriate boat, information about availability and different cruises, lengths, numbers of locks, nearest airport and train station. It was so helpful to have a single person to be in touch with, and who provided clear answers to my queries in such a prompt manner. I would recommend to anyone wanting to book a floating holiday. Thank you!
David Dwyer; Continentale Le Boat; river Yonne; August 2016
The boat was spacious; we rate it 9/10 Cruised from Migennes to Sens and back: Appreciated that there were relatively few locks We found you on line, and rate you 10/10. YES, we would book again! We achieved our aim,but would have loved one extra day !
Georgia Byng: Vision 3 Le Boat, Camargue; August 2016
Dear Emma: It was GREAT A few things not good otherwise we absolutely loved it. The boat was as we expected: appreciated that it floated and that the loos didn't smell and were nice beds comfy.. etc We rate the boat an 8/10 The Camargue route is really great We just loved the experience from the managing of the boat to the gypsy life .. the lovely thing of moving on every day through the Camargue
We rate Hotels Afloat 10/10 and would book with you again Room for improvement: Information about how the boats work.. manuals and things PRIOR to travel so that one can become familiar with exactly how the boats work. I think this would mean that there would be less work for the people who prepare people when they arrive etc and I expect boats would be used better.
Ashley Dawe; Mystique with Le Boat, Loire 2016
The space inside was great & the upper deck; we rate the Mystique boat a 10! Having never cruised before we never really had any expectations. But it was great! We loved the towns & villages along the way & the ability to cycle in to them when moored. A friend who has used Hotels Afloat recommended you; again 10/10 rating! We would book with you again We had a superb holiday on board the Mystique & would definitely do it again. Would certainly recommend it to others to do. One fault would be that there is not enough time given to teaching you how to manoeuvre the boat before you are handed over the reigns to start your cruise.
Elisabeth Schnel.; Switzerland. Aquitaine, June 2015
The route was mostly in the shade of the plantains-truly a pleasure. I could spend some nights sleeping on the deck under the stars! The weather was amazing.
Julian Ranger; UK, July 2015 Royal Mystique in Burgundy
Aboard a Royal Mystique: Boat rating 9/10. Beautiful scenery, quiet villages.. Branges and Santenday spurs off the river Saone The staff at Le Boat in Branges, especially Colin, were superb and deserve special praise.
Will book again: The support was excellent and your expertise very helpful
Tom Boycott, Australia. 3 x Euro Classics, June 2015
We appreciated the size and authentic look of the boats, and rated them a, 8/10. Auxerre was beautiful and the river and Canal du Nivernais beyond were also pretty. Generally it was a lovely cruise. If I had a recommendation, it would be to exclude the Burgundy Canal. Hotels Afloat customer service is very good with prompt replies to emails. Good communication. Would possibly book again.
EH; USA; May 2015, Loire canal
Rate the Calypso boat an 8/10. Top deck very good Loire Valley: Better than expected, lovely scenery and interesting stops. Hotels Afloat: Excellent customer service! We loved it and will book again
Mrs Estall; Summer 2015
Dear Emma Thank you so much, that's really very helpful indeed. I didn't notice any delay in your reply in the least; you have been immensely helpful and punctual. You can expect the balance to be paid this coming weekend. Many thanks. Leo
Lisa Schnell; summer 2015
Dear Emma, it's so great that you answer the mails even on a Sunday - thanks a million times!!!
Skip White, USA
Emma, JoAnn and I wish you and your organization all the best as we treasure photographs taken during our self hire barge trip. We are retired from travel industry as travel agent and airline employees for almost fifty years. Also, we have travelled and lived in other countries including Turkey, Italy, Korea and Japan. People we met along Burgundy barge route and rural areas were gracious and helpful although nobody in our party of five spoke French. It is our wish that others like us who live in Oregon USA are as hospitable to visitors in our state as we found while in Burgundy. Best wishes
Skip White, USA
Passport expired so no longer travel outside uSA. Your cruise offerings are excellent. Our Burgundy self-hire experience was super!
Kim McLellan, USA; Euro Classic 129 Midi cruise; October 2014
From : Kim McLellan Appreciated Everything! Boat rated 10/10 What did you most appreciate about the route? One way toward the Mediterrean How did you hear about HotelsAfloat? A friend Would you book with us again? Yes
Matthew Poste, UK; N1170 + N1310 Nicols boats; Dole, Burgundy; August 2014
The facilities were exactly what we required for our trip. The top desks were a great focal point. Please rate the boat: 9/10 The route was peaceful and quiet
Would you book with us again?: yes
John McDonald, Australia; Euro Classic 129, Burgundy, September 2014
It was the best boat we have had, having done three of these canal cruises previously. The area was pretty . Plenty of room good outside steering. Emma was fantastic. Needs mosquito repellant, they were a problem. I rate the boat a 9 What did you most appreciate about the route? Pretty all the way
Would you book with us again?Yes: Already booked for 2015
Graham Jensen, New Zealand; Tarpon 37 Duo Prestige, Midi canal, July 2014
The layout was very practical and well appointed with everything needed for a week aboard supplied and in very good condition. We were also given a very thorough briefing on how everything worked. I'd rate the boat a 7 What did you most appreciate about the route?The scenery How did you hear about HotelsAfloat? via Google The site is easy to navigate. Would book again
Heila Jacobs, South Africa; Caprice in Belguim, August 2014 (2nd trip with Hotels Afloat)
The Caprice is Spacious; we liked the sliding back door Boat rated 10/10 Was the route as you expected? yes What did you most appreciate about the route? Mooring in Brugge How did you hear about HotelsAfloat?:previous barge Would you book with us again? yes
Rachel and Garin Fenn, USA; Penichette 1107; Loire canal, October 2014
Cruising with John Fenn (father) in tandem cruise.
These little Penichettes (P1107W) are a delightful and totally reliable. The ease of driving, a great kitchen at the same level as the table, lots of big windows so you do not feel like you are IN a boat, but ON a boat. Our Garin is 2m tall so he did not quite fit the boat, but he refused all suggestions of amputations. I personally only dislike the narrow passageway, but I had a great bed. New electric toilet a welcome addition.
I rate the boat an 8/10
Dompierre sur Besbre - Briare, on the Loire canal:This is a great route with some great towns. Dompierre is a town that needs a lift and maybe the boats will help revitalise the town. Great supermarket and shopping centre and a couple good bars. Locaboats free wifi is a welcome addition, wifi will become a deciding factor in the future. My daughter and Garin worked 4 hours a day linked to their office in California. Decize harbour is great, good food and we had a good meal at a local pub. Briare aquaduct has to be seen to be appreciated and Briare town is a delight, the Ceramic factory worth a look. We got off 2 days late so we had to bypass some towns that probably deserved a look.
John Fenn; Australia; America 43 excellence; February 2014
The boat was better than expected... The drivability including the bow thruster, the kitchen, the central heating, taking the boat solo.
I rate the boat a 10
My cruise route: Starting in Tournus then up into the Canal Central at Chalon Sur Saone, the on to St Leger sur Dheune and return. This was better than expected as the Saone was in flood and a little scary but the boat was more than capable, even alone. The canal was good because the towns were right on the canal so not too much walking, and there was plenty to see. Some of the towns were really delightful, St Leger sur Deuhne, Chagney had a great downtown area and of course the wine town of Santanay. The highlight though was Tournus itself because of its church built in 1000ad and the excellent Saturday market, the best I have been to.
Hotelsafloat.com is by far the best canal boat site which is why shop there. The owners sites are a bit of a shambles altho improving. The tourist boards sites are a dogs breakfast.
I would book with Hotels Afloat again because Emma looks after me when I mess up and forget my paperwork.
Boat owner Noel is a fastidious man who takes very good care of his boats, after all he designed and built them. They are well maintained and perform very well indeed. His boats are the roomiest and easiest to drive that I have experienced. He only charged me for the fuel I used, not an hourly rate as determined by the the hour meter. He gave me some good driving advise and even tho the weather was foul it was easy. This boat drives as well inside as outside and visibility is good.
Charles Feild, USA; Penichette 1500FB Midi canal, April 2014
What did you most appreciate about the boat? LAYOUT, SHOWERS I rate the boat an 8/10 Cruise route: Argens - Lattes As expected, BUT, IF WE DID IT AGAIN, WE WOULD START WEST, TO AVOID SOME OF THE URBAN AREAS. 10 DAYS TO COMPLETE 8 DAY ITINERARY WAS JUST RIGHT FOR US
The route is BEAUTIFUL, PEACEFUL
THE DETAIL I MENTION IN MY Trip Advisor REVIEW IS INFO I WOULD VERY MUCH WANT OTHERS TO HAVE WHEN PLANNING AND ON THE CANAL See http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187149-d241572-r203767029-Canal_du_Midi-Languedoc_Roussillon.html
Would you book with us again? ABSOLUTELY I WAS OFFERED OPTIONS, OF ROUTE AND BOATS, WITH ENOUGH INFO TO BE CONFIDENT OF A GREAT TRIP. EMMAs RESPONSES TO EMAILS WERE TIMELY, AND ACCURATE.
Please add any additional comments about the Hotels Afloat service or any other issues TOTALLY MET OUR NEEDS
Donald Elliot; P1180FB in Germany, September 2014
2nd cruise (first one in 2006) The route (Furstenberg - Ketsin) was difficult to navigate in/out of the lakes: poor signage and marinas a challenge to locate, but the Germans and lock keepers ere helpful.
We like the layout of the Penichette 1180FB, one toilet per cabin and no equipment failures.
Hotels Afloat is an excellent agent for Locaboat, and Emma is a pleasure to work with. Would book again.
Chris Berkley, USA; Penichette 1500FB, July 2014; Southern Burgundy
The 1500FB actually exceeded expectation for newness and outfitting of kitchen etc
Comfortable, roomy common area inside boat and on top deck. Good hot water supply for showers. Good sized fridge.
I rate the boat a 10- highly recommend.
Cruise route: St Leger sur Dheune - Loisy Many lovely towns to stop at- was able to visit several markets. No stretches without a place to visit. Many wine producers in the first half (St Leger to Chalon)
Very impressed with the Locaboat staff who set us up at St Leger, and the response to a mechanical issue which was promptly repaired at Tournus. It was good to have you (Emma) as an additional contact and you were also very responsive to our questions and helpful in selecting our route.
I would advise other travelers on this route that actually almost all wine makers were shuttered for both Sunday and the Bastille Day Monday holiday, so if visiting those is a priority that wouldn’t be the ideal week.
Kym Dixon, South Australia; May 2014
Sheba; Cruising on the river Saone from St Jean de Losne.
Compact and easy to handle, I rate this boat a 9/10. The base staff were very helpful. Appreciated the wide route and automated locks. Would book with Hotels Afloat again: Prompt service and follow up by Emma
Dear Emma, Thank you for the quick response. I was very impressed to see your name pop up. Glad your business is doing well and you have survived through these tough times.
J McKay, Australia. Linssen 34.9, Nivernais canal, April 2013
4 points about the boat we liked: The kitchen was well stocked with crockery, cutlery, etc. There was plenty of storage for suitcases. The two ensuites made it comfortable for 2 couples although our friends who had the ensuite under the back deck found it uncomfortable having a low ceiling. The bimmy made it comfortable to dine and to sit in the shade whilst boating.
4 points about the route we liked: We loved the Nivernais - scenic, calm, green and gold fields. We enjoyed visiting Cravant and viewing its history. We loved berthing at the scenic spot at Vincelles and being able to walk to the bakery and the supermarket. We loved Auxerre - the history and being able to berth with the cathedrals as backdrop. However, we did not enjoy the Bourgogne Canal around Migennes (sewerage or chemical smell) on our final leg to St Florentin.
5 points about Hotels Afloat: We appreciated your promptness in replying to our emails. We appreciated the extra help you gave us with train timetables. We appreciated being able to contact your technical support when the speedo wasn't working. However, it continued to work erratically and we used rev speed to gauge our speed on the canal. We appreciated the blue loose leaf folder in the boat which gave additional information which was not to be found in the guide. We appreciated having the facility to have our groceries delivered from the supermarket at Vermenton to the boat. We could not have done without it!
Thanks for all your help
Maire Peate, Australia; Penichette 1180FB, Midi canal, June 2013
Hope you are well!
The 3 aspects we liked most about our boat, Le Grec, are:
* The outdoor seating space and flying bridge steering. * The well appointed kitchen, as we all love to cook. * The positioning of the ropes on our boat.... We saw a lot of boats struggling with ropes because they were placed in awkward positions, and the crew were putting themselves in danger.
The 3 aspects of the route we took, Negra to Argens that we liked the most are:
* The Plane trees, probably the main reason we chose this route. * We travelled further, we made it to the Mediterranean, so we were able to do the 7 lock staircase at Beziers as well as the aqueduct going into town.... A real highlight. * The variation in regional food, from hearty cassoulets at the beginning to fresh seafood at the end. This was perfect as the weather started very cool and ended up very hot!
The 3 aspects we liked most about dealing with Hotels Afloat are:
* Emma James! You are such a helpful person. Your emails are always prompt and informative. A real pleasure to deal with you twice!
* The variety in companies that you deal with. Although we've chosen Locaboat twice, we still had plenty of options, prices, styles of barge to choose from.
* Insider knowledge. You know the regions, canals and what the specific appeals of them are. This was very helpful to us, as we really were babes in the woods for our first cruise. To be honest, we all preferred the Nivernais, so it was perfect that you suggested this for our first trip, as we now know what is important to us if we go again!
To sum up, we have been really happy with our choices of barge and booking company. We probably will go again in a few years time, the Alsace region is looking tempting! I wouldn't hesitate to book through you, and choose Locaboat again.
I've attached a favourite photo and I'll send a few more through.
Maire, Johnny, Matt and Lucinda Sydney, Australia
Kris Sullivan, USA, Royal Mystique, Midi, May 2013
We loved the whole cruise and thought it was too short! Our boat was perfect for two couples. The quarters were quite spacious and the galley was very well supplied. It was a fairly new boat and immaculate. Our route was a bit short for the time but it still was fine. The guy who showed us how the boat worked(in Homps) was truly great! We also had a fabulous lunch in Homps at the restaurant on the canal. You were also extremely helpful to us in choosing the boat and answering questions quickly. A wonderful experience, thanks! Kris Sullivan
Rick Goudie, P1180FB Lutzelburg, May 2013
We had a lovely time on "our" Penichette 1180fb on our cruise from Lutzelbourg in May of this year. Each of the three couples enjoyed the trip and the comfort of the vessel.
We appreciated the warmth as it was a very cold time when we were on the barge so the heating was much enjoyed. We liked that the barge could be driven from the inside or the outside as due to the cold we were mostly indoors. The full sized fridge and the kitchen facilities were great too as we could stock up and prepare meals as required.
The scenery was amazing and so green and lush, we strolled around Hesse, were very impressed with the inclined plane at Arzviller and the efficiency of it. We loved Saverne, enjoyed the market, the lovely pastries and interesting shops and pedestrian streets. We had no problems at all filling up with water or on our overnight stops.
As for hotels afloat, we were collected from the railway station as arranged by your staff and also taken back there after our trip. The lady in Lutzelbourg was ok but we all thought she could have been a little more friendly and informative. Luckily for us my husband has boating experience which was handy My correspondence with the company was terrific prior to our trip and all questions were answered promptly and well.
All in all though we had a lovely time and would like to do a longer cruise at a latter date in a different area.
Sandy and Rick Goudie
S Moffett,; P1020FB; Midi canal, September 2013
Hello Emma, our 'captain' Mike Reynolds and his wife came up with some things to provide you that we concur with: 1) bowthruster (made navigating intight quarters easier); 2) flybridge (can't imagine having to steer from inside in such gorgeous weather, and all could gather in one spot for a great view); and 3) a well-outfitted galley.
We all appreciated Hotels Afloat responsiveness in all the emails that went back and forth!
As for the canal itself these pictures should speak to that. The locks were impressive, as were the lock houses, less so the eclusiers, with the exception of a couple of them who were friendly and helpful. We have picked 5 pictures (of over 800) that are representative of highlights on the canal.
Stan & Maggie Moffett, Karen Levell & Mike Reynolds
Ernette H; USA; P1020FB, Aquitaine; June 2013
Thank you for all of your assistance with our cruise.
The 3 aspects of the boat we appreciated were: 1. Ease operation for beginner drivers ( never having driven a boat before) 2. The Flying bridge with steering and seating gave everyone a chance to experience the river and scenery. 3. The boat was well equipped and we needed nothing else.
The 3 aspects of the route/region we appreciated were: 1.the Aquitaine region of France is ideal for self drive boats, with magnificent scenery contributing to a relaxing vacation. 2.The River Baise had the least number of locks and no commercial traffic. 3.The villages along the route were wonderful and an easy walk.
The 3 aspects of Hotels Afloat we appreciated were: 1.Hotels Afloat made the booking very easy from the U S, as no travel agents handle these cruises here. 2.As first time cruisers, we were fully informed about the boat, and the river .which made this cruise a unique experience. 3.Though no fault of anyone, the river was not navigable to Valance Sur Baise and we were reimbursed as well as sending transportation to our car.
I have been telling everyone about the cruise and showing slide shows of the trip. Everyone enjoyed this part of our trip the best, as it was so relaxing and unique. If you have the opportunity could you send me a couple of brochures, I gave mine away and need to give to some other people that want to book a cruise in the future and we are thinking of Italy. I was wondering if the rivers in Italy are too busy with commercial traffic and the countryside not as serene as France. It seems every time I have been to Italy it is bustling, and very crowded, even the Amalfi Coast .
Again, we had a wonderful vacation, thanks to you.
C Priester, Canada; Tarpon 49 QP; Nivernais canal, September 2013
Dear Emma Here goes We LIKED the superb weather we had the beautiful countryside the peace & tranquility slow boat travel brings the overall layout of the boat the friendliness of the lock-keepers and people in general the great restaurant meals (when we managed to find ones that were open) The food & drink we bought along the way the van driver that brought us to & from the boat
... we may try the canal du midi in the future
G Gaudreau, Canada; America 43 excellence; April 2013
Emma, Tournus to Lyon with a short trip up La Seille canal. Though I have never piloted a boat before this was an experience not to miss. The time of year we chose may not have been the best weather wise (mid- April 4 days of sun and 3 not so nice) but the rivers and canals were not very busy which enabled us to relax, learn how to handle a boat, see the beautiful scenery, stop in the evening to either prepare a nice meal or enjoy the great gastronomy which is found in all the villages along the way. Surprisingly the boat was very spacious, well equipped and fairly easy to handle - once I got the knack.
B Redican; Penichettes 1500FB and 1400FB; Burgundy canal, July 2013
Thanks for the email. We really did enjoy the cruise, it was wonderful. One of our better holidays especially as we were barging with a group of friends, we had a ball.
I would like to say that the boats were very clean, great to use and live in and your Company was amazing in everything we asked, including a breakdown call out which was efficient and well handled.
We have no "real" complaints, loved it as did our friends .. ... the route as we loved that too.
I hope the feedback is valuable... We will be back but not in 2014 unfortunately.
Mark Hall, Continentale, Loire canal, July 2013
Emma made the whole process very easy, from payment schedules to helping us organize transportation to and from the staging area.. We asked many many questions during the month leading up to the trip and she was always very prompt in her replies..We will do it again! At trips end the check out crew was very helpful and friendly... We did our own cleaning to save money and there were no problems with reimbursements of deposits etc.. The boat was very comfortable... We found the 3 cabin for 2 couples ideal.. It was nice to have the extra room for bags etc. Fridge worked like a charm and was large enough to hold food plus the very important bottles of wine we picked up along the way.. Easy to steer and easy to take through the locks..Virtually idiot proof and SO MUCH FUN! Cheers, Mark
R Eastman, Tarpon 49 Quattro Prestige, FPP fleet; river Saone 2013
Dear Emma, The boat was very comfortable and in first class shape. The rental agency was very helpful. All-in-all very satisfactory. Kind regards, Bob
R French, USA; Tarpon 49 Quattro Prestige on the Canal du Centre, 2013
For our trip on the Canal du Centre in July of 2013 we used a Quattro Prestige 49. We liked how spacious the boat was and the kitchen so we could cook full dinners easily. Having a bathroom with each sleeping quarter was really nice too. There is plenty of space on top to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. Working with you was easy as you always reply promptly and were able to provide us with helpful information regarding route choice, boat choice and other information. Gunther at the Digoin base was great and quickly responded to any questions we had while on the trip.
Jim Westaway, Canada. Euro Classic 139GC, Midi one way, October 2013
Although one might wonder when we returned, inadvertently, a day early, but we had a wonderful time on the Midi. The whole thing was a magnificent success from our point of view.
While it was something of a challenge to manoeuvre a 30 odd tonne vessel, it added to the adventure and surely added to the comfort. Beautiful countryside.
We were looking at the map and wondering if there are other canal experiences that we should consider in our planning that would be as interesting and pleasant (though different) than the Midi?
We are in Europe together for the next while and one the internet so if you have some advice that we can talk about please let me know.
Mike Thomas, USA; Nicols 1000, Loire canal, October 2012
Good day Ms. Emma, My friends and I just returned from our Hotels Afloat vacation. It met or exceeded every expectation. Your guys on either end of the trip were very helpful in getting us started and finished up. The boat was great as well. The itinerary was uncomplicated and easy to follow. Be proud of your organization, and if you ever need a recommendation for new customers do not hesitate to use us as a reference for a great experience. Regards Mike Thomas
Mary Buhler, Switzerland... N1300, Burgundy canal, October 2012
All 7 of us thank you very much for arranging our houseboat holiday on the Bourgogne canal, especially the 1300 boat - it was real luxury and we all enjoyed it very much.
We arrived in Brienons on Friday morning, so went on to Migennes and back to Brienons in the evening. We didn`t have a dull moment and most of the time two of us cycled along the canal. The boys were in their element. In the evenings we played monopoly 3 times!
I`m just puttting the photos on the laptop so we will have memories to look back on.
Thankyou again and we wish you all the best, Kind regards, Mary
Bruce Weiland, USA. EC 149, Burgundy one way; June 2012
The boat was really roomy and comfortable for four couples - both in the cabins and up top. I rate the boat 9/10. We particularly enjoyed the river sections, where the terrain was most beautiful. Loved the small towns along the way. We would book with Hotels Afloat again as we had a wonderful time. Special thanks, Emma, for the great service.
Susan Stephens, France. Euro Classic 129 , Midi canal, September 2012
The boat is well equipped but slow... I rate it 7/10. We enjoyed being able to cruise one way. We do not expect to do another canal cruise but would recommend Hotels Afloat to our friends.
We appreciated the size of the saloon which allowed both crews to sup together in the evenings... - a total of 10 from the two boats. Also the separate bathrooms facilities for each couple. Finally the upper deck area for sitting an again getting together with the other boat crew. I'd rate the boat 10/10. The route was mostly quiet French countryside with occasional villages and towns... Uncrowded waterways, manned locks and obliging folk a the locks, shops and cafes...
The holiday was perfect in weather, boats, food and drink, travel to and from... and we all came back firm friends.
Hotels Afloat met our every need and Emma helped us to arrive at the best solution for our party of 10 (ages 61-75!) splitting into two identical boats and enjoying the space that allowed. Altogether an unforgettable and hugely enjoyable week. Thank you very much.
Arthur Rogers, Tarpon 49 Quattro Prestige, Midi canal, July 2012
We had a GREAT trip... loved the beauty of the canal and the plane trees. Most appreciated part of the boat: Electronic toilets.
John Wells, Canada. P935w Locaboat... Loire canal September 2012
Here we are back home after a terrific trip to Europe, the highlight of which was our Locaboat cruise from Briare to Dompierre. We cannot thank you enough for your recommendation of it and all your advice and assistance. The boat, scenery and whole experience could not have been better.....well, except for the 2 or 3 days with rain....but only a problem when having to be on deck at the locks! Other than that we flew direct into Frankfurt and had a great week travelling down the Rhine, up the Moselle (lots of Reisling!) and across to Paris before Briare. After Dompierre we went to Beaune and had a couple of days biking the vineyards and villages before crossing to Colmar and doing much the same. You can see where our priorities and tastes are!! Then back to Frankfurt via Strasburg and home. We had a Eurail Flexi-Pass and found the train system to be excellant. Once again we appreciate all your help and are so grateful for making our trip so wonderful.
Our best regards. John Wells & Sue Palmer
Meredith Louden, USA. Continentale, Le Boat. River Yonne + Nivernais canal, 2012
It was all lovely, but the highlight was Auxerre. I knew it was a large town but we were in awe when we came round the bend in the river and saw the city. We spent two nights there and wished we had spent more time. Also loved the river. Thank you again for all of your help. Janet (Finan) was correct in recommending you
Christopher Lee, Utah. America 38, Pavillon Saone fleet. Southern Burgundy 2012
The boat was bigger than I had expected. I rate it 8.5/10 We appreciated this very tranquil route. Overall we enjoyed the experience, but on reflection should have taken a smaller boat for our first trip. We will book with you again.
David and Margot Horton; Tarpon 37 Duo prestige, Nivernais canal 2012
We really appreciated the bow thruster, and rate the boat 7/10. Enjoyed a side trip to Dompierre sur Besbre... the route was good A friend recommended your services, and we would book with you again.
Bill and Beth Gembus; Continentale, Le Boat. Midi canal, 2012
Good layout for our group.. we rate the boat 8.5/10 Cruising from Trebes to Narbonne, we liked the small villages, beauty of the canal and wine-growing areas alongside. We would book again... Helpful and pleasant people at both ends of our cruise. Friends of ours recommended you Emma: I found it most helpful indeed to ask questions of you during the months leading up to our cruise, and to have such immediate responses. The personal touch was assuring and reassuring.
Jack Durner, Bermuda.. Penichette 1500FB on the Loire, 2012
The boat provided plenty of room for our group. I rate it 8/10. We appreciated the quiet countrside cruising with interesting towns along the way.
Sarah Stewart; Corvette Le Boat; Chatel Censoir - Migennes, Yonne river and Nivernais; 2012
We had a fantastic time on the barge. Everything we were expecting and more. Spoke to numerous full time bargees who recommended the Nivernais as their favourite, so even more happy with that choice. Mike who gave us the orientation at Chatel Censoir was fantastic! His manner put us at ease straight away.
Kin-Lun Tsang, Vientnam.. Royal Mystique in Alsace 2012
We rate the boat 9/10. The scenery in the forest was great. We heard about Hotels Afloat by word of mouth and will book again.
Kenneth Schneider: Penichette 1120R, St Leger sur Dheune - Loisy; September 2012
Emma-just to let you know we had a great time on our trip, and i wish to thank you for all of your help and making sure we had a great time. thanks again--ken schneider
James Rankin; BWS 1250 cruiser with the Saone Bateaux fleet, southern Burgundy
Dear Emma We've just returned from Burgundy. Many thanks for arranging the booking with Heidi & Stefan. Everything went very well indeed. The boat was in very good condition with an excellent inventory. The boat and the service offered exceeded our expectations and we would certainly wish to book with the same company again should we return for a similar break. I hope their business flourishes in the coming years.
We're very grateful to you for arranging the booking so efficiently - thanks again. Hope the tap dancing is going well!
James & Helen Rankin.
Caroline Egleston; Penichette 1400FB Loire canal, July 2012
We all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday with Locaboat. Thank you so much for helping to organise it all.
The boat was great and we enjoyed the Canal de la Loire. We found the locks fascinating and the scenery restful and interesting.... The Loire river is dramatic and lovely to behold.... It was a good choice as I suspect it was one of the quieter canals in the region and therefore good for novices!
Thank you for all your efficient and speedy responses to my queries.
With my very best wishes, Caroline
Norman Price; Tarpon 49 Quattro Prestige in Burgundy; June 2012
Hi there Emma ,
Just to let you know that we had a great time on our barge. We miss it and the life style. We are looking at other places such as the Midi Canal.
Thank YOU !!!
Sharon Ringwalt, USA. Penichette 1106FB, Joigny cruise June 2012
We had a lovely time, Emma. Thanks for all your help with making it so.
Beth Gembus; Continentale with le boat, Trebes - Narbonne; June 2012
I just wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our cruise recently from Trebes to Narbonne. Everything did indeed work out with the Continentale despite the last-minute change by one of our couples.
Thanks very much for your help in setting us up!
Hope you have a good summer ahead.
Nic Rondell, USA Corvette: Migennes - Chatel Censoir ; Le Boat fleet
Emma, We arrived home a week ago from a most memorable vacation and cruise down the Yonne and the Nivernais. What a great time! Everything about the cruise was fantastic! Already planning our next canal cruise, Maybe Ireland.
Cruise dates: 12-19 May 2012
Susan BURKETT: penichette 1180FB Locaboat, Negra- Lattes on the Midi canal
We are now home from a wonderful trip and I want to thank you for all your help. Please feel free to use me as a reference if you are asked.
Locaboat did a very good job. Our boat was certainly comfortable and well-appointed. The direction we went (largely downstream) was wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone wanting this trip.
Lihu Koltonn, Classique Star, Midi April 2012
First let me tell you again how much we enjoyed our trip with LeBoat. The boat was exactly what we needed, in great shape, very spacious and operated flawlessly. The LeBoat people were very nice and cooperative and helped us whenever we needed. The weather was also great for the season and France is beatiful at this time of the year.
Rebecca Biton: Classique Star, Le Boat, April 2012
Hello Emma, We came back from the cruise and it was perfect. So perfect that my mother in law and her husband are asking for more... They want to travel as a couple in a well equiped/ luxury boat next year. They were wondering what is the longest time they can hire a boat in France. Someone told them two weeks. They were thinking of 2-3 months. Can you help.......
Mystique, Le Boat on the canal du Midi 2011
Overall the whole experience was just WONDERFUL and we had a fabulous time! THANKS! The boat: It was a great boat! Route: loved the scenery, the weather, the village and the people, the local produce and wines... It was fabulous... Would highly recommend Hotels Afloat: Great boats, great support and excellent CEO! Lisa Bacon-Hall; Australia
Linssen 29.9 Sturdy on the river Yonne; 2011
" exceeded our expectations.... We liked the relaxed atmosphere of the area, easy access to small villges and larger towns (Auxerre was great) ...access to great local produce and good restaurants, very friendly helpful people, despite our lack of french.. We would recommend Hotels Afloat for their responsiveness, provision of information, availability, helpfulness along with delivering above expectation product" Brian Burgraff...Australia
Corvette ( Le Boat); 2-9 july 2011; Chatel Censoir out and back
We had a great trip. The arrival, boat familiarisation and boat hand-back service at the yard were excellent. The boat was fine. We went south to Chitry, turned round, went north to Champs then returned to the yard - 92 locks. Very little traffic on the canal, which we enjoyed. Good weather , honest simple food and lovely wine. I would return to boat in Bourgogne in the future.
Rebecca M Ridge; Locaboat Nivernais canal 2010
Dear Emma, I just wanted to thank you for a delightful and wonderful trip on your Locoboat two weeks ago. We had a wonderful time. The boat was a lovely layout, great accommodation, well-equipped, The bikes went very well and really everything was perfect, even the weather after the first day just grew more and more pleasant. We are glad we didn't go any earlier. The woman who checked us in at Joigny was delightful and all staff were excellent. I will highly recommend your company to others. Thank you for one of the best holidays of our life. Thank you again, Rebecca M.Ridge
Eileen Green: Booking ahead for 2010 Burgundy cruise
You are one of the best agents I have dealt with!! Thank you so much for being so helpful....
Joy and Lamont Langworthy; USA
It was truely delightful finally meeting you, you are just as lovely as you have been through e-mails. We really enjoyed our cruise because you always make everything so easy for us, and the taxi's worked out great, thanks so much.
Calypso: Crown Blue Line fleet; Fontenoy le Chateau - St Jean de Losne May 2008
Kingsley Lewis, Perth, Australia.
Thank you for your assistance, it all went very well and the boat was very comfortable and provided everything we expected.
Magnifique: Connoisseur fleet. Chatel Censoir- Migennes; April 2008
Elizabeth Davidson, P1500R; Joigny- Corbigny., May 2008
Thanks for all your help in organising our recent holiday.
I am sure we will holiday with you again at sometime in the future.
Mr Fred Martin; Royal Classique, Crown blue Line fleet; Alsace, May 2008
Just a note to thank you. Every thing went fine all enjoyed the trip.
regards Fred Martin
Lloyd Thayer, USA
Emma James of Hotels Afloat did an outstanding job helping us select a route and the best company for our vacation on the Burgundy canal. When planning the trip, there were many questions to answer and options to consider. Each time Emma provided information and explained options in a clear and exact manner. This helped greatly in our decisions and final selection. If a vacation on the French canals are in your future, contact Emma James and she will help in so many ways that the trip will be very enjoyable.
John Robinson, South Africa
We found out about Hotelsafloat by surfing the internet, We have used them twice for trips to France and have found theme excellent having assisted us in finding suitable boats and hotel accommodation. The service and advise given by Emma has been excellent and we will continue to use them for any future canal trips that we plan
Doug and Stephanie Johnstone, Santa Barbara,Ca,USA
We had such a wonderful week in our america 43 based out of tournus. It was the perfect boat for 3 couples.The boat was roomy and very easy to operate. We loved stopping in small towns in Burgundy, riding our bikes on the towpath, buying food in the local markets. We loved our trip so much, that we plan to go again this year...this fall we plan to charter another boat for 2 weeks this time. We are going to the Alsace region. Emma was very helpful in planning our trip. We think hotelsafloat is a great boat charter company.
Joy and Lamont Langworthy. California
The reason we keep going to you is because you were the only one who would send me information two years before our first cruise, everybody else said I should wait to contact them when we got closer to an actual trip. After the first cruise in 2001 in Burgundy, Nevernais-Loire from pligny to Roney we were hooked. It is the most wonderful way to enjoy a week in the back yards of the French countryside seeing life in France that you would not see otherwise. Also that cruise is the most beautiful we have seen, and we may possibly do it again sometime. Unfortunately we missed a cruise in 2003 when we went to Italy, but after that trip we decided that all future trips would include a canal cruise. In 2005 we were in the Netherlands from Sneek to Strand Horst, another beautiful trip seeing parts of Netherlands that we would never been able to see otherwise. Last year, 2007, We did the canal du Midi from Castelnaudary to Port Cassafieres. On this trip (and future ones) we stayed a few days in Castelnaudary before the cruise, and that was just a beautiful town that we very much enjoyed. That was one of the hardest trips we have made and this was the time we were by ourselves, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything, as we went through smne interesting and lively towns. So to continue, this year 2008 we have signed up for another Burgundy cruise, French Comte & Voges from Fontenoy le Chateau to St. Jean de Losne. We will be with our friends that we took the very first cruise with as it is our 20th wedding anniversary and their 25th. We will be staying in Bains les Bains for the weekend to enjoy the surroundings. Looking forward to St. Jean de Losne as we had gone there one on a countryside drive and it looked to be a very lovely town. But wait, I'm already planning another cruise for 2010 for two weeks in Brittany for my husbands 80th birthday and Belgium in 2011 for my 60th birthday. Going on a canal cruise has become the center of our trips to Europe. Of course each trip has a few bumps in the road, but it is still well worth it and you have always been there to help with those situations. Some friends of ours that have not travelled with us thought it sounded like so much fun that I had them get in touch with you and you got them on a cruise on our original cruise area on the Loire, and they are saving for another trip. We also hand out your card to people we meet that think it sounds great. Thank you Emma for all of your hard work and helping us and our friends enjoy the beautiful countryside of Europe.
Alan R Bell, Canada
"I would like to pass on our collective thanks, for arranging our cruise, it was fabulous. The staff at both departure and arrival depots were excellent and the briefing we received in Branges fom Colin was excellent. All the staff made us so welcome it was a pleasure. As we tell of our experience to friends, I am certain there will be more bookings in the future, from our recommendation. We could not be more happy: We were lucky to have our boat upgraded. Our holiday in France was excellent and the canal cruise was certainly one of our highlights. Thanks again for your part."
Sue Gibson, Canada.
"Just arrived back from our fabulous holiday. We had a wonderful time and particularly wanted to extend our thanks and appreciation to you and the Locaboat group. The Penichette 1400F was fantastic, a great size, and it met all our needs in all areas. The linens were exceptionally clent and boat was on tip top shape! Thanks again for the experience of a lifetime!"
Jim and Betty Shivers, USA
"Just a note to thank you for your assistance and wise advice with our cruise week before last. Everything was wonderful. We came away convinced that renting this boat was not only the best value but also possibly the best rental regardless of cost. The America 38 was excellent in every respect."
"We had a super time. All 3 weeks in France were terrific. Noel's America boat was first class, and the food was first rate wherever we dined"
Janet and Marty Finan, Philadelphia, PA and Ft. Myers, FL
We have just booked our fourth self drive French canal boat trip through Emma James at Hotels Afloat because we trust and love her personal service. Our first boat experience was booked through a US company who were impersonal, almost combative, and we later found out, considerably more expensive than the rate charged by the boat hire company. Subsequent contacts with the hire companies suggested that they were really not prepared to deal with American travelers. A chance stumbling on the internet brought me in contact with Emma James who offered her services at the same rate as the boat hire companies. Our e-mail exchanges were immediately personal and attentive to our needs. Since 2001, we have now done the Nivernais/Yonne, the Canal lateral a la Loire, and the Midi through Emma using different boat companies to suit our needs. It's very reassuring to have her bilingual abilities and her knowledge as a resident of France. And it's great to have an individual personal contact who is familiar with your needs, answers your questions, and even helps with phone calls to car rentals, hotels, and important taxi connections when language barriers occur! I have wholeheartedly recommended her to many interested friends, with at least one couple booking their honeymoon hotel barge through her and being forever grateful. There is just no reason to be without this kind of service!
Hotel barge cruises
Eva and Richard Thomas, Quatar; La Belle Epoque, July 2017
We had an outstanding trip on the beautiful Belle Époque . It is the best holiday we have ever had. The staff was fun, efficient, courteous . Couldn't have asked for more. We will definitely do this again!!
The barge was absolutely as Emma described it: Luxurious and we liked the "traditional" feel We rate it 10/10 The cruise was beyond our expectations: Quiet, rural and pretty We heard about Hotels Afloat from Rick Stein and rate them 10/10 for their attention to detail and website. Cant wait to book another cruise with you. The best holiday ever!!!!!
Caroline Lehmann, Australia; Magnolia, July 2017
The Magnolia went above and beyond our expectations! The crew Magali & Nico (and beautiful little Mila) went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed every minute of the holiday. We rate the barge 10/10 We appreciated the peace and quiet with amazing restaurants Google lead us to Hotels Afloat, and we rate you a 10 for attention to details and help and would book again.
Nico mentioned they may move the barge one year, if they do we would love to know so we can come again!
My apologies I did intend to write and thank you once we had returned yet once again life and its tribulations got in the way!
We absolutely loved Magnolia and the beautiful Magali & Nico. Milan was a wonderful surprise "extra crew" and it made it very special for our daughter to have little Mila to visit during the day. I have to say we were surprised when we first saw Mila as we hadn't heard so much as a peep from her! The worlds quietest no happy baby!!
We didn't have the best weather, I think it rained every day, but this didn't stop us having an amazing time and I think the overcast weather was a blessing as it meant we could happily ride or walk along the canals without getting sunburnt (us Aussies are quite scared of the sun
Jim & Suzy Donahoe, USA; Magnolia, June 2017
What a magic and memorable time we had on Magnolia. Never imagined the variety of things we would do in a short time! Magali's knowledge of the region was very much appreciated! And of course, the tennis-organizing that for us. The entire team provided us with the best holiday ever. We hope to return... Suzy
Certainly everything exceeded our expectations, especially the flexibility and grace of the cres. We feel we saw France, the country and the culture at its best. Jim
Connie & Tony Price, USA; Magnolia, June 2017
Thank you! We have travelled often and to many places - This week was the best vacation/adventure ever! You have a beautiful peniche, a great crew, and a perfect, smoothly running operation. Thank you, thank you, thank you for our great experience!
Liz Klemann, USA; Randle, April 2016
The cruise was better than expected! We rate the boat 10/10. The host Tim was the best thing and we appreciated the serenity of the Nivernais Canal: A real vacation tailored to us. Hotels Afloat attention to detail was 10/10 too. Will book again.
Ri Regina, USA; Savoir Vivre, October 2016
This cruise was way beyond our wildest expectations. On the Savoir Vivre, the food, the wine, the excursions, the scenery, the relaxing cruising, the delightful restaurants, the warm croissants at breakfast, the lazy afternoons onboard, the energetic walks and biking on the towpath... all of it was absolutely perfect. Emma James made the booking, planning, and paying easy. Thus our pleasure with this cruise started even before we set foot on the barge. Many thanks, Emma!
The boat was ax expected... and more. It was roomy, comfortable and stylish. Everything was up-to-date and spotlessly clean. The crew was the highlight, however. They went above and beyond to make our stay exceptional. Kudos to Richard, Laura, and Marie. We rate it 10/10
The scenery (from Dijon to Escommes) was amazing. The lovely lock-keepers' cottages were a true surprise and delight, but the biggest surprise was how much we enjoyed the excursions, They were amazing!
John Griffin, USA; Savoir Vivre, October 2016
The barge was better than expected:Great bathroom facilities, despite compact size. Very nice public space for meals. I rate the boat a 10 The Burgundy canal is delightfully placid, with beautiful scenery. I heard about Hotels Afloat through a friend, and rate you a 9/10 Will book again! Special kudos to Marie, Laura, and Richard who are all efficient, accommodating, and totally charming individuals.
Barbara Sager, USA; Savoir Vivre, October 2016
I had no preconceived notions about the barge. I saw the photos online and it looked okay for a week. It turned out to be better laid out and outfitted than I imagined. The very best part of the boat are the people that came along with it - Richard, Marie and Laura. They were all very knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming. I rate the boat 10++ In addition to the wonderful crew we never ran out of wonderful things to eat, drink and look at. Even the weather was 10++ The cruise was even better than expected. The scenery was lovely as we cruised; I could easily keep up walking with the barge; and the excursions were all very different, very local, and the people we met along the way were all gracious. The specific route wasn't that much of a draw for me as wherever I went outside of Paris would have been new and different. What appealed to me was the opportunity to explore a new area, visit some local, mainly non-commercial venues and experience some different, local cuisine. Hotels Afloat: Again, you are 10++. Everything was so well thought out, planned and implemented. I've been recommending you to all my friends! Yes, Emma was very easy to reach and very responsive. Can't think of anything to add. Well, if there's a way to offer samples of the meals ... I will definitely book again with Hotels Afloat, Yes! The trip was fantastic! And I do plan to post a comment on ... not Facebook because I don't go there. What site would you suggest?
Kai and Irmgard Borner, USA. Magnolia, July 2015
We really appreciated the small intimate personal environment and the excellent service Boat rate: 10/10 Burgundy canal: Appreciated the surrounding nature and the visits to special historical sites and villages We rated Hotels Afloat 10/10 and will book again.
We very much enjoyed the trip with Magali and Nicolas on their barge Magnolia. They were very personable, attentive, and accommodating in their service. We very much enjoyed our trip with them and would love to do it again!!!
Elizabeth Opalenik, USA. Luciole April 2015
I rate the Luciole 9/10: Liked the attention of the staff The Nivernais is a small canal, lovely but weather not as good as hoped for and some of the moorings had to be changed .
Thanks Emma for making the connection to the Luciole so seamless. Needing an entire boat for a workshop is a little more to organize than just one couple. Appreciate all you did and thanks for coming by to say hello.
Richard Haslep, USA; Wine & Water, September 2014
We appreciated the Cabin sizes and furnishings Please rate the boat: 9/10
Would you book with us again? Absolutely! This is our third cruise booked with you. Sorry we did not get to meet with you on our last trip!
Great Attention to details. Very helpful and accommodating. We have been very happy with our previous bookings. Thanks again for all you do! We have recommended you to others and will continue to do so. Many have asked if this is like Viking Cruises and we explain that the barge cruises are so much more relaxing and mainly cater to small groups of 6-8, which make them perfect for family or friends gatherings. The slow pace and not dealing with 100 or so people on each excursion is so nice. A wonderful getaway treat in this fast paced world. We love it!
Fred Goldberg, Sweden/ USA: Panache Charter in Alsace, September 2014
We appreciated the efficient and friendly crew, the cosy lounge and Boat rated: 9/10 Liked the combination of cruising on the canals and making bus trips to the surrounding castles, museums, churches, wineyards and villages... Would you book with us again? Yes
Kevin Bell, Canada; Suite on La Belle Epoque, September 2014
A most enjoyable trip. Thanks for your help with the arrangements, Emma.
Friendly staff and top notch facilities on board I rate the boat a 10
We enjoyed all the visits with the exception of the winery.The tour was disappointing though the opportunity to sample the different classifications of Chablis was good. (Under review with owners)
Would you book with us again? - yes, although unlikely that we will make another trip of this sort from Canada
Donnelle Holck, USA. Wine & Water, July 2014
The boat was better than I expected.
...Being able to rest and not having to cook, drive or figure out touring plan for the day. Just relax. I thought Bea and her husband were delightful. They made us feel very welcomed and always were fun to talk with about France and a host of other topics.
Enjoyed the hot tub as well. Great to relax in after biking. The barge rates a 10.
Cruise route: Thought is was very nice. I liked the biking path beside the route, as I enjoyed getting on bike path every day.
I would you book with us again... Trust factor. It is scary thing to pre-pay for an adventure when you are unsure of your hosts. This was difficult for me, and buyers remorse always sets in for an internet transaction, including tons of worry. But of course, I did not need to worry everything was on the up and up and even better than I expected.
The accommodations were lovely. The barge, Wine and Water, is meticulously maintained by Bea and her husband . I hope someday to return and enjoy their company once again!
Larry Cerson, Canada; Shannon Princess, Ireland; September 2014
I rate the boat a 9.9/10... the food, rooms, everything The Cruise route was better than expected, scenery, day trips.. We would book with you again ( second cruise) as you provide a good service.
Barbara Blahuta; USA, Wine & Water; July 2014
Much more than we expected The rooms and baths were just lovely and fresh. Being able to be outside under an umbrella and out of the sun.. I give it a 10/10 We were delighted! Max and his wife were wonderful hosts, and she is a marvellous chef. The food was the best we had in France, beautifully prepared and presented. We had toured France for 6 weeks, and we were ready for a relaxing time. This barge cruise was perfect in every way. I had subscribed to your e-mails and you sent a notice of a special 4 days which fit perfectly into our schedule. I would book with you again: It was easy and you were helpful when we had questions and we did have questions as we had never been barging before. We just had a perfect time and the memories linger on...
J Carney; Savoir Faire; June 2013
The captain (Chris) and crew were wonderful - very friendly and helpful in all respects. Accommodations were spacious and comfortably furnished. The food was absolutely wonderful - Dan is a great chef (despite my misgivings about English cooking from trips decades ago).
Well selected land excursions - from châteaux to cathedrals to vineyards.
Interesting variety of activities along the route, both agricultural and industrial.
Patti K; Wine & Water, Burgundy canal; May 2013
We appreciated Max and Bea, first and foremost. The fantastic food and wine. Oh so comfortable accommodations.
The sheer beauty of the area. The excursions we took, especially to the vineyards. Encountering the other barges along the way (even though ours was the best!)
How professional, yet personal your service is. Everything was taken care of for us. Immediate answers to any queries we had.
Bruce, Australia. Wine & Water, June 2013
We appreciated the barge's level of comfort, the bikes and peace Enjoyed cycling into nearby villages, Châteauneuf and the locks! Max and Bea were attentive but not overbearing... Max cooked one night (best bit!!!), good wine info...
Joy Bangsund,Victoria, Australia... Luciole hotel barge. August 2012
The chef was fantastic, and the food was great. Loved the intimacy of travelling with a smaller group which is invaluable for pax travelling alone... The opportunity to get off and walk or cycle along the tow paths... I rate the Luciole 10/10!
The personal service provided by Emma was exemplary, and her dedication to looking after her clients - virtually 24/7 including weekends, was very impressive. Her knowledge of the product she is promoting, and her willingness to answer all questions promptly was very much appreciated and should ensure customer satisfaction wherever the client is located. I would heartily recommend her, and the Hotels Afloat booking site to any with whom I come in contact.
Vikki Booth; Randle, 2012
The boat was better than expected, and rates 10/10. Appreciated the contrasting countryside and villages. We would book with Hotels Afloat again because you were very responsive to our emails which built confidence. Thank you.
Barbara Meisling, Fandango... June 2012
We did have a marvelous time, dear Emma. The crew was A plus and the experience was a dream come true in so many ways. Warmest thoughts to you, Hazel, Dan and the marvelous crew from a now 77 year old purple lady feeling younger than springtime.
Mr and Mrs Burke, WHO KNOWS; October 2008
There are memories through our lives that will remain forever, and we know this is one. It has been a dream of ours to come on a barge trip for over 25 years, and this reality has proven even more than we ever dreamed. Its been a great week of fun and laughter made all the better by our hosts. The trip more than met our expectations, many thanks!
Selver family: WHO KNOWS, July 2010
Selver family 2010-07-18 N.Y. USA thank you so much for our week in paradise. the knowledge imparted, the comfort, the ease, the pace, the shared laughter, the most scrumptous meals and prolific flow of incredible wines. it has been so much fun! the oohing and ahhing expressed when we first saw and embarked on the Who Knows will be with us forever.
Robin Rensink; Jubilant hotel barge; 2010
We're back in South Africa after a fabulous holiday.
I'm very glad we took your recommendation and went on the Jubilant. The accommodation was very comfortable and spacious.
Juliet spoiled us rotten - lovely food and pampering and David was ever the jovial host. They also very kindly took us to Dijon when the local car hire place was closed for the public holiday - something we hadn't considered when making our onward arrangements.
All in all David and Juliet went out of their way to make our barging experience something memorable. Regards Robin Rensink
Donna and Barry Beach, USA : Luciole cruise, 28th September 2009
We enjoyed the barge cruise very much. The service on board was superb!
Donna and Barry Beach
Tom Berna; Switzerland. Who Knows cruise, May 2008
We had a marvellous time on the barge Who Knows. Their vessel is first rate. We have hardly ever had a bathroom of this size and such quality of fixtures, Dawn taking beautifully care of all details. The week is very well balanced with the intense, intelligent guidance of Jason who loves his job. His steering abilities are top like everything else. Floating through the peaceful countryside was a delightful new experience for us. We find it an ideal way to travel and visit. Particularly attractive when so lovingly cared for and spoiled by the most thoughtful Dawn and Jason. The sightseeing was professionally led and commented. We enjoyed it along with the excellent food and wines as well as the relaxed ambiance on board. We are already looking forward to the next trip.
Alice Kelly, USA
"We all had such a lovely time on La Belle Epoque that we are now thinking of booking a cruise for next year. The Dolce Vita looks lovely: Which dates are free in September?"
"Hi Emma; Just to thank you again for yet another great cruise. EVERYTHING was fantastic as usual. " Italy: Anjodi, La Belle Epoque, Scottish Highlander hotel barges
Customer Service comments
Jennifer Eiszele; Burgundy 2011 and planning for 2017/2018
Hi Emma, We thoroughly enjoyed a self drive cruise form your company about 4 years ago. I am still on your email list but apparently the others have "dropped off" for various reasons. We intend to do another self drive in the next couple of years and will certainly be using your company so want to add the others to your email list. Love the way you have personalised your website, much easier to trust from 12,0000Kms away. Cheers Jennifer.
Kai and Irmgard Borner, USA. Magnolia, July 2015
We found hotelsAfloat on a google search Rate 10/10: Excellent, very attentive You showed all alternatives of possible hotels afloat presented on the web site from big to small We will book again.
Maire Peate, Australia; Penichette 1180FB, Midi canal, June 2013
Emma James! You are such a helpful person. Your emails are always prompt and informative. A real pleasure to deal with you twice!
Roland Smidt. USA 2014
Dear Emma, Thank you for the quick response. I was very impressed to see your name pop up.
Kym Dixon, South Australia; May 2014
Would book with Hotels Afloat again: Prompt service and follow up by Emma
Donald Elliot; P1180FB in Germany, September 2014
Hotels Afloat is an excellent agent for Locaboat, and Emma is a pleasure to work with. Would book again.
Charles Feild, USA; Penichette 1500FB Midi canal, April 2014
Would you book with us again? ABSOLUTELY I WAS OFFERED OPTIONS, OF ROUTE AND BOATS, WITH ENOUGH INFO TO BE CONFIDENT OF A GREAT TRIP. EMMAs RESPONSES TO EMAILS WERE TIMELY, AND ACCURATE.
John Fenn, Australia: 2014 + 2015
Hotelsafloat.com is by far the best canal boat site which is why shop there. The owners sites are a bit of a shambles altho improving. The tourist boards sites are a dogs breakfast. I would book with Hotels Afloat again because Emma looks after me when I mess up and forget my paperwork.
John MacDonald, 2014 + 2015
Emma was fantastic. Already booked again for 2015
Linda Schnell; Aquitaine, June 2015
Dear Emma, it's so great that you answer the mails even on a Sunday - thanks a million times!!!
Mrs Estall, UK; Summer 2015
Dear Emma Thank you so much, that's really very helpful indeed. I didn't notice any delay in your reply in the least; you have been immensely helpful and punctual.
Elizabeth Opalenik, USA. Luciole April 2015
Excellent customer service! Needing an entire boat for a workshop is a little more to organize than just one couple. Thanks Emma for making the connection to the Luciole so seamless. Appreciate all you did and thanks for coming by to say hello. Would certainly book with Hotels Afloat again
John Fenn; Australia. 2015
Dear Emma: Thank you for the reassurances. I want to say it has been a pleasure working with you to set up this cruise. You are VERY professional, but also personable - e.g. "I do this all the time!" Best, John
Dave; Australia 2015 for 2016
Emma .... Your awesome...!!! Please pencil us in ... And tomorrow when I can get on a real computer. We'll do everything to complete the booking. Thank you for all you're doing..!! Dave
Tom Boycott; Australia. June 2015; Burgundy
Very good..prompt attention Good communication
EH; USA; May 2015, Loire canal
Excellent service! Will book with you again. Loved it!
Gavin Craig, New Zealand. Cruise in Loire, July 2015
You were particularly easy to deal with at short notice and we all appreciated this. Excellent service: We would book with you again. Prompt and friendly service and we got what we expected.
Many thanks. Gavin and crew.
John Maton, UK 2015
Excellent service with immediate attention to our emails and calls. We would recommend you to others
Maria Baars; South Africa
Dear Emma, Thank you for the information. You are the most efficient agent we have ever worked with. It is much appreciated.
Julian Ranger; UK, July 2015
The support on cruising options and availability was excellent and your expertise was very helpful. Excellent – prompt and full answers to queries Thank you for helping us have an excellent holiday, Jules