Savoir Faire hotel barge

Cruising in Holland & Belgium
The barge Savoir Faire

Accommodating up to 12 passengers

View of the Savoir Faire

Savoir Faire is rated 4 star

Book now for 2020

Discover Holland in 2019

Cruise information file for Savoir Faire


Crew members : 6

Boat size
Length 126′4″ ft (38.5 metres)
Width 16′7″ ft (5.05 metres)

Number of bicycles : 12


Up to 12 guests

Double cabins : 6


Central heating




Savoir Faire photos and videos

Click on any photo to begin the slide show, with photos of the barge and cruise program

Testimonials for Savoir Faire

Michael Higgins, September 2018 (2nd cruise)

"Thank you. Thank you again for your wonderful attention to our every need or whim - you made our return trip even more enjoyable than the first one. Strength to all your aims - we will look for a time to come again"

Michael Higgins, USA; October 2017, charter
Our cruise in Savoir Faire was wonderful in all respects: the FOOD!, the service, the accommodations, the cities, the tours — everything. The crew was very special and saw to our every want and need.
All of us want to do it again maybe next Fall if we can work things out. Chris said his favorite is Champagne and we wonder when that might be scheduled next year? Please let me know along with other possibilities in France.
I am putting some pics together for you and will send them separately.
Thank You!
Georgia; USA

This experience has been one I’ll never forget. You all have a special place in my heart. Thank you for treating the 10 of us so well. Your passion for what you do is very much appreciated

Tom & Mary; USA

All the crew were incredible, food was out of this world, the service the best and everyone spectacular

Bob & Sandy; USA

What an outstanding week. The experience, food and service amazing and our group could not have been happier with the time spent together. Thank you all

Weislers, USA

Great friends + Great Captain and crew + Beautiful French countryside = Wonderful trip

Eric & Joann; USA

Vive la France, Magnifique. Tres bon. To old friends, new friends and wine, wine, wine. Thank you all so much, crew and friends, for an experience that exceeded all our expectations

Dana & Randy; USA

Merci, merci, merci. Thank you to our Captain Chris and crew for a wonderful, perfect trip. We did not know what to expect and this week far exceeded our dreams

Vicki Little, USA

To our wonderful Captain and crew. You are all awesome and it’s been one of the most wonderful trips of my life. Thank you so much for the great food and your attention to our every need

Audrey & Georgie; USA

Exquisite is an understatement - service, scenery, food … thank you. Wonderful adventure, great crew

Saly & George, Florida, USA

Appreciate all the efforts by the crew to give us a relaxing and enjoyable vacation

Vidal; Barcelona, Spain

Our third time on the Savoir Faire. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful time. Good friends, delicious food and lots of fun. Outstanding boat and Captain. Incredible crew

Berry, USA

Kudos to all of you and the memorable barging experience. What great fun, friendship and excellence. You have set the bar so high. I cannot adequately express my appreciation

Mosley, USA

I’m speechless. This was absolutely the best trip ever. Barging is the perfect way to enjoy our vacation with so much to see and all done at a wonderful pace. Chris and our crew presented an experience that I shall savor for a long, long time

Bray, USA

The crew were entertaining, knowledgeable and competent. The food and service was exceptional -  5 stars each meal. The Captain Chris was extremely professional

Warren; USA

Words cannot describe the experience we have had on this cruise from Bruges to Paris. The excellence of service was the best part and then the scenery that is Europe. We will keep the memories in our hearts forever

Mr Putman; USA

To call the voyage perfect is not enough. Perfection has to include the crew and our Captain Chris. Thanks for all the kindness

Varga; Dakota, USA

Thank you for a memorable week of cruising on a barge. The experience was everything we had hoped for

Marcus Moss, Australia

Thank you all for a delightful experience. Your food and hospitality was excellent. Great fellow companions on board. It will be difficult to return to the real world


J Carney. 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.

About the barge "Savoir Faire"

When you step aboard the luxurious hotel barge Savoir Faire, it's hard to believe that her origins go back to the 1930s!

With her unique interior and old-world charm comes stylish, comfortable and spacious accommodation for up to 12 guests.  
Aboard you will find 5 different areas to enjoy, ensuring peace and serenity throughout your stay.

From the piano bar where you can enjoy an entertaining evening among friends, to the saloon ideal for watching the world go by, to the dining area and bar where your barman will serve your favourite cocktail, you will certainly find your favourite place each day.  
The mahogany, teak and brass fittings coupled with antiques and fine art collected over many years, create a wonderful ambiance.

The Savoir Faire also has two superb sundecks from which to admire the magnificent views.  If you're feeling energetic, a crew member will be happy to place one of the bikes ashore for you so that you can explore further afield at your own pace.

After a wonderful day of cruising and excursions, it's time for bed.
Savoir Faire has six ensuite staterooms, which can all be configured with twins or a queen bed.   The air-conditioned cabins have good lighting and ample power sockets, both European 220v and US 110v.  

The Savoir Faire is the perfect choice for groups of 8-12 guests.



Plan of Savoir Faire

Plan of the hotel barge Savoir Faire

Savoir Faire cruise routes & itineraries

Cruising from Haarlem via Amsterdam to Haarlem: A true insight to Holland

Cruise to Amsterdam

Canal and river cruising in Europe is a relaxing experience that is inherently flexible in nature.

The following itinerary is a SAMPLE of the places that you can expect to see and visit during your cruise. We have created this cruise for you to include some of the greatest sites this part of Europe has to offer.

The cruising is varied and gives a real insight into the working waterways of Holland.

Sunday: Haarlem to Leiden: Magnificent cruise past the lakes 
Begin to Cruise right away!
Your chauffeurs collect you from your Amsterdam hotel at 2.00 pm for the short drive to the Savoir Faire, moored at Haarlem. Once aboard you are welcomed with a champagne reception and an introduction to your crew and ship. Shortly afterwards we begin our cruise to Leiden, Holland’s oldest university town, where we shall moor overnight.

This evening your chef welcomes you to your table with the first of many delicious offerings. Candlelit crystal and gleaming silverware add to the romantic ambience of what promises to be the first of many memorable occasions.

Monday: Leiden to Delft: Keukenhof Flower Gardens
Acres of Tulips at Keukenhof Gardens.
A peaceful morning cruise out of Leiden and through the oldest lock in Holland at Leidschendam. After lunch, we continue our cruise into Delft. You will have free time in the afternoon to explore this wonderful 16th-century town – so you can visit the Nieuwe Kerk, with the tombs of William of Orange and other royals. Also the Oude Kerk, Vermeer Centre, the Town Hall and the Eastern Gate.
There’s so much to choose from.

Tuesday: Delft to Gouda: Hand-made Royal Porcelain and the port of Rotterdam
After breakfast, we take a tour of the Royal Porcelain Factory, where beautiful hand-painted ceramics are still made. Afterwards, we join the Savoir Faire for a cruise through the busy port of Rotterdam, past the Euromast (the highest viewpoint in Holland) and then onto Gouda, the Mecca of cheese and the smoking pipe. Depending upon availability, we may take a tour to the Kettle One Vodka Distillery while Savoir Faire moves to the overnight mooring.  Dinner aboard.

Wednesday: Gouda to Uithoorn: Stunning stained-glass windows in medieval Gouda
This morning your tour guide will escort you through the streets of medieval Gouda, where you will visit the 123m tall Gothic church of Sint Janskerk with the most famous of all stained glass windows in Holland. A leisurely stroll through this picture-perfect town is a must, with its traditional bricked main square and the Waag, where Gouda cheese has been weighed since 1668.

After lunch, we cruise through charming towns to our overnight mooring at Uithoorn. Dinner aboard.


Thursday: Uithoorn to Zaandam: A unique view of Amsterdam from the water!
Before breakfast, we offer an optional very early rise to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where some 17 million cut flowers from all over the world are traded each day. Afterwards, we begin our cruise along the winding Amstel River into Amsterdam and then through the very heart of this enchanting city where small canals and unique architecture take you back to a bygone era. You can literally reach out and touch the passers-by.

Leaving Amsterdam we join the mighty North Sea Canal and head west towards our overnight mooring at Zaandam Schans to see clog-makers and working windmills. This area is entirely representative of the traditional architecture of a bygone Holland.

Friday: Zaandam to Haarlem: Famous Museums of Dutch Masterpieces
Our final cruise takes us to the picturesque city of Haarlem, a town of exceptional beauty with its main square, once used for jousting and the famous Frans Hals Museum dating from 1862 to view the exceptional collection of Old Masters. There will be plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful place and to shop around its many boutiques.
Tonight we celebrate your company at the adorned Captain's table with mouth-watering offerings from your chef, along with laughter and perhaps some sea dogs tales!

Saturday: Haarlem: Departure 9.30am
Enjoy a special hearty breakfast before bidding farewell to the SAVOIR FAIRE, her Captain and crew. Bags are loaded by 9:30 for the private transfer to your hotel in Amsterdam, or the airport or train station for your onward journey.

Please note: This is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions

Cruise rates

Holland Tulip Cruise dates and rates

6 days / 7 nights

2020 EURO rates Value Regular
Whole boat charter for 12 40500 Euro 45000 Euro
Whole boat charter for 10 38475 Euro 42750 Euro
Whole boat charter for 8 36045 Euro 40000 Euro
Stateroom per person, based on double occupancy 4500 Euro 5000 Euro
Single supplement 1800 Euro 1800 Euro
2020 USD rates Value Regular
Whole boat charter for 12 45000 USD 50000 USD
Whole boat charter for 10 42800 USD 47500 USD
Whole boat charter for 8 40000 USD 44500 USD
Stateroom per person, based on double occupancy 5000 USD 5550 USD
Single supplement 2000 USD 2000 USD
2020 Sterling Value Regular
Whole boat charter for 12 £34900 £39200
Whole boat charter for 10 £33200 £36900
Whole boat charter for 8 £31100 £34500
Stateroom per person, based on double occupancy £3900 £4300
Single supplement £1550 £1550

USD and Sterling rates will be reviewed every two months to keep abreast with Euro exchange rates

Value dates:  From 22nd March through to 12th April 2020
Regular dates: From 19th April through to 3rd May 2020


Discovering Flanders: The Three Cities Cruise in Belgium

This cruise has been created for those guests seeing a more leisurely vacation and enough time to explore some of the most famous cities in the world, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp with a full day in each.  With 3 lunches ashore too, no other barge offers such freedom and time to make fantastic memories.

You will be met by our guide at a designated meeting point in Brussels, and transferred  by private bus to Savoir Faire, moored close to the city centre of Bruges. Known as the "Venice of the North", Bruges has an array of breath-taking squares and is laced with small canals, and justly deserves its UNESCO world heritage status.
After our champagne reception, enjoy a guided tour of the 'De Halve Maan' brewery famous for its Brugge Zot beer, before returning to the barge for an aperitif and the first of many wonderful dinners, prepared by our master chef.

Explore Bruges
After breakfast, we set off on a relaxed walking tour of Bruges to explore the many architectural wonders of this town. We have also arranged a canal boat cruise this morning through the centre of Bruges. Lunch is to be enjoyed at a local café that specializes in Belgian food. After lunch, you are free to explore the many architectural and cultural delights Bruges has to offer (with or without your guide – the choice is yours) as well as its’ many shops and boutiques. To round off the day we have a horse-drawn carriage ride through town followed by aperitifs and dinner aboard.
Bruges is a city that will capture your heart. A couple of our suggestions are:
Particularly popular and therefore ideally visited early in the morning is the Belfry. Up 366 steps and 83 metres high, you are afforded beautiful panoramic views of the Bruges skyline. This is where the Bruges carillon is accommodated which, just like the other carillons in Belgium, was recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage.
A visit to the Almshouses for a more peaceful experience. These charitable dwellings were built from the 14th century onwards. They were sometimes set up by the guilds to lodge their elderly members, and sometimes by widows or well-to-do burghers who wanted to ensure their place in heaven. In order to secure their spot, each set of almshouses had its own chapel, in which the inhabitants were morally obliged to offer prayers of thanks to heaven. Practically all of the almshouses have been carefully restored and modernised and offer cosy living to today’s elderly.
There’s so much to explore and experience in this magnificent city – it’s your Captains favourite.
Dinner aboard.

Bruges to Ghent cruise
This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we begin our cruise towards Ghent. There is plenty of opportunity to cycle alongside the canal. We shall arrive at our mooring mid-afternoon so that you can enjoy a stroll along the river or perhaps visit a local Belgian pub to taste some of the world-famous brews before rejoining Savoir Faire for dinner.

Explore Ghent
Today we have the opportunity to visit various attractions. We shall also enjoy lunch ashore.   This is the perfect chance to savour Moules Frites at the traditional restaurant de Graslei.
There is plenty of choice for your visits:
Castle of the Count: Built in1180 by Philip of Alsace, his message is clear:‘I’ll show them who’s boss. As you gazed from the battlements, you can appreciate the sense of wealth and power this position affords.

St Bavo’s Cathedral: Charles V was baptised here in 1500, but the transformation of this Romanesque church, leaving just the original crypt,  to the more spacious Gothic one, was not completed until 58 years later. As a result, the funeral service for the deceased sovereign could not take place there.
A variety of art treasures are housed in the Cathedral: The baroque high altar in white, black and red flamed marble, the rococo pulpit in oak, gilded wood and marble, a major work by Rubens, the ‘Calvary Triptych’, attributed to Joos van Wassenhove, alias Justus van Gent, tombs of the Ghent bishops, and much more.
The most fascination and stunning is the world-famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck around 1432, a highlight of the Flemish Primitives and a major milestone in art history. The Polyptych has a rich history, having survived the Protestant Iconoclasm, fallen into French hands under Napoleon and then requisitioned by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. It has been hanging peacefully for more than 50 years in the place where it belongs: St. Bavo’s Cathedral. Sadly, one panel was 'lost' along the way, the ‘Just Judges’ panel, which was stolen in 1934, but this has been replaced by a reproduction.
After a rich day in heritage, we return to Savoir Faire for dinner on board.

Ghent to Antwerp cruise
Your cruise down the tidal Sea Schelde will take you past an ever changing landscape towards the port of Antwerp. This is about a 9 hour cruise, so today is the perfect day to have a lie-in and leisurely breakfast, before perhaps updating your journal or simply watching the world go by. Lunch will be served slightly later than usual, but well worth the wait for the true Flemish dish which will be served.   Tides being fair, we expect to arrive in Antwerp mid-afternoon.  Our tour guide will then be on hand to suggest what to visit, including some rather eccentric 'watering holes' for the more adventurous!  Dinner on board.

Explore Antwerp
Today we explore this varied and vibrant city. We shall return to the barge for lunch and then continue our tour downtown in the afternoon. Some suggested visits are:

Reuben’s House: Antwerp is the city of diamonds, the port, fashion and... Rubens. Rubens is to Antwerp what Gaudi is to Barcelona. Or Warhol to New York. His art has defined the skyline and prestige of Antwerp. The Flemish Baroque master's role as a painter and diplomat, graphic artist, designer, collector, instructor and leading example means that Antwerp still bathes in the golden light of Rubens's genius today. The Rubens House is one of the most renowned artist's residences worldwide. The permanent collection contains a large number of works by the master himself and by his peers and contemporaries. These are the ten masterpieces that you cannot afford to miss. After you have visited the Rubens House, the master awaits you in the city: in museums and churches such as the stately Cathedral of Our Lady. Or in St. James's Church where Rubens is buried. One of his later works, Assumption of the Virgin Mary, hangs over the altar of the chapel where he is buried. 

The Cathedral is an iconic treasury, with an impressive collection of major artworks, including a series of paintings by Rubens. Now, after twenty years, the seven-naved church has been restored to its former architectural glory. Fascinating features include Rubens’ ‘Elevation of the Cross’ and his ‘Descent from the Cross’. Any visit to Antwerp has to include a visit of this beautiful Cathedral.

The Town Hall is the beating heart of Antwerp politics. This impressive building is one of the eye-catchers in Grote Markt, along with the statue of Brabo. Antwerp’s town hall was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1999. 

At the Diamond Pavilion you can discover why Antwerp is known as the world centre for diamonds, and learn about the past and present players in the diamond trade and diamond industry. The pavilion presents the rich history, economic importance and other facets of this typical Antwerp activity. There is, of course, the opportunity to explore the Diamond District (leave your black Amex at home for this visit).

HopNstop - a hop-on/hop-off trolley. If you would like to see the highlights of Antwerp the quick and easy way, just get on the HopNstop shuttle City Tour, a hop-on/hop-off bus that starts and finishes on the Market Square. You can get on and off at the following HopNstop stops: Grote Markt, MAS/Red Star Line Museum, Centraal Station, Groenplaats/Meir and Het Zuid. It’s up to you where you get on or off to visit an attraction. You can simply catch the next one coming along. The round trip through Antwerp is about 55 minutes long. Onboard, you receive information via audio and video in a choice of five languages: Dutch, French, English, German and Spanish.

In the late afternoon, we will return to the barge for a short cruise around the Port of Antwerp. Although very industrial, the workings of the 2nd largest port in Europe are very interesting. Ships from every corner of the globe dock here.

This evening the celebrations begin! Champagne toasts and canapes are followed by the Captains Dinner and some tall dog tales! 


Antwerp - Departure
Depart the SAVOIR FAIRE at 9:30 AM via private transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: This is a sample itinerary and may run in reverse on your cruise week. The Captain reserves the right to adjust if deemed necessary.

Cruise rates

Belgium Three Cities Cruise dates and rates

6 nights / 7 days

2020 EURO RATES Value Regular
Whole boat charter for 12 40500 Euro 45000 Euro
Whole boat charter for 10 38475 Euro 42750 Euro
Whole boat charter for 8 36045 Euro 40000 Euro
Stateroom per person, based on double occupancy 4500 Euro 5000 Euro
Single supplement 1800 Euro 1800 Euro
2020 USD rates Value Regular
Whole boat charter for 12 45000 USD 50000 USD
Whole boat charter for 10 42800 USD 47500 USD
Whole boat charter for 8 40000 USD 44500 USD
Stateroom per person, based on double occupancy 5000USD 5550 USD
Single supplement 2000 USD 2000 USD
2020 Sterling Value Regular
Whole boat charter for 12 £34900 £39200
Whole boat charter for 10 £33200 £36900
Whole boat charter for 8 £31100 £34500
Stateroom per person, based on double occupancy £3900 £4300
Single supplement £1550 £1550

Departure dates 2020: From May 24th to July 5th

Enquiry & availability for Savoir Faire

Please use the form below to check availability or ask any other questions.

After you have submitted your enquiry form, if you do not receive a reply by email within the next 24 hours then please call Emma +33 614 250 200 or email