River Cruises for a Family Outing or a Group Celebration

River Cruises for a Family Outing or a Group Celebration

When you have booked one of Kingfisher Holidays’ many villas or farmhouses, you may want to explore the beautiful countryside. The rural landscape of hills and valleys is straight out of a picture book. But why not set your sights a little further? You won’t want to ignore the grand, bordering rivers that lend their names and their scenic character to the whole area.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river… or canal

A great way to enjoy the rivers is an excursion out on the water. A wonderful boat trip should appeal to all the family. There are river trips on the Lot, the Dordogne, the Tarn and the Baise. These rivers flow through pretty, historic towns and villages, such as Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Penne d’Agenais, Bergerac, Cahors, Moissac and Nérac. There is no better way to relax and imagine the picturesque scenes of river life as it once was. And many operators offer the chance of enjoying lunch or dinner menu of local specialties.

Discover the Lot, Dordogne, Tarn or Baïse

If a river trip sounds like fun, then you have your choice of departures on the nearby Lot or Dordogne rivers. The Lot River is the longest tributary river in France. From the Middle Ages, flat-bottomed boats called gabarres were used to transport goods on both rivers, but commercial traffic declined with the arrival of the railways. The traffic on both rivers is now mainly dedicated to leisure. A bit further afield you can cruise the Canal des Deux Mers or Tarn River from Moissac, or visit the historic and picturesque town of Nérac on a boat along the Baïse.

Find just the right outing for the family

When deciding on a boat trip you have your choice of location, duration and whether you’re looking for some exercise or a gentle cruise. Some trips emphasise history, some scenery and some nature. Here, we’ve compiled a list to give you some pointers.

Villeneuve-sur-Lot (Lot River)

Trip: 1 hour / 11 places / Heritage of the bastide: mills, bridges, chateaux, dovecotes; river secrets and legends.
For information: Villeneuve, Office de Tourism and Ferme de Lacaÿ / 05 53 36 17 30 / www.tourisme-villeneuvois.fr and www.fermedulacay.com.
Notes: Also from Penne d’Agenais where the Ferme de Lacaÿ has a museum dedicated to Agen prunes and a farm restaurant.

Trip: 1 1/2 hours / peniche with 115 places / discovery cruise, Lot Valley prune industry, history of the bastide of Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Moulin de Gajac, dam, lock, cité Parasol.
For information: Lou Vent d’Olt / 05 53 36 17 30 / www.tourisme-villeneuvois.fr and Les croisières du Lot.

Trip: 5 hours / peniche with 115 places / lunch cruise between Villeneuve-sur-Lot and St Sylvestre; history, lunch with local specialities from local traiteurs in an elegant decor.
For information: Lou Vent d’Olt / 05 53 36 17 30 / www.tourisme-villeneuvois.fr and and Les croisières du Lot.
Notes: Book at least 48 hours in advance.

Trip: 1h / canoe-bus 9 places / narrated nature and history discovery tour; kingfishers, herons; bridges, chapels, mills, locks.
For information: Le Club Canoe-Kayak / 07 50 22 97 62 and 06 75 92 59 62 / www.tourisme-villeneuvois.fr.

Cahors (Lot River)

Trip: 1 day / 75 passengers / Cahors to Saint Lapopie or Cahors towards vineyards; vineyards and chateaux.
For information: Les Croisières Fénelon / 05 65 30 16 55 / www.bateau-cahors.com.

Fumel (Lot River)

Trip: 1 hour 20 minutes / 20-40 passengers / discover the Fumel Reach, medieval houses, submerged or active locks, Orgueil dyke.
For information: Gabarre Fumeloise / 05 53 71 13 70 / Tourisme Fumel.

Bergerac (Dordogne River)

Trip: 50 minutes / 12-20 passengers / history of canal shipping, Ile de la Pelouse, vineyards, bridges, wildlife, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
For information: Périgord Gabarres / 05 53 24 58 80 / www.gabarres.fr.

Trip: 1 hour 30 minutes / 12-20 passengers / from Creysse port via Mouleydier, fisheries, springs, locks, lock ladder, hydroelectric dam
For information: Périgord Gabarres / 05 53 24 58 80 / www.gabarres.fr.

Moissac (Canal des Deux Mers)

Trip: 45 minutes / 10 passengers / discover Moissac from the water, Cacor canal bridge over the Tarn, the old lock, the mills and the Pont Napoléon,
For information: Croisieres Saint Andre / 06 82 47 63 04 / www.bateaupassagersmoissac.com.

Trip: 1 1/2 hours / 20 passengers / bateau mouche on the canal, the lock, cross the Cacor canal bridge over the Tarn, the turning bridge
For information: La compagnie des bateaux Carles / 06 50 50 52 10 / www.moissac-en-bateau.fr

Moissac (Tarn River)

Trip: 3 hours / 20 passengers / discovery tour of the countryside around the Tarn on a lunch or dinner (aperitif style) cruise; local cuisine
For information: La compagnie des bateaux Carles / 06 50 50 52 10 / www.moissac-en-bateau.fr

Nerac (Baïse River)

Trip: 1 or 2 hours / 10 to 75 places / Narrated tour on a traditional wood gabare; the old bridge, Henri IV’s baths, the Fleurette fountain; pass through the Nazareth lock; longer tour goes through 2 locks; lunch cruise on some days
For information: Les Croisières du Prince Henry / 05 53 65 66 66 or 06 18 98 24 73 / www.croisieresdurincehenry.com,

Have a party

Many of the operators can organise group trips which are ideal for birthday, anniversary or wedding celebrations as the focal point of your holiday in a Kingfisher farmhouse, gite or villa. Kingfisher’s larger properties are ideal for such occasions.

Get active

If something more active on the water floats your boat, then there are plenty of opportunities for canoeing, kayaks and water skiing. Have a look at our guide to activities in the Lot Valley and surroundings.

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