Hotel Barge ART DE VIVRE - Barging in France -

Barge Cruises on the Canal du Nivernais
Northern Burgundy, France
Between Auxerre and Chevroches

Family Barge Cruise Itinerary

Families with Children Barge Charter Cruises include tailor-made itineraries planned with the ages and interests of all those in the group. Barge L'Art de Vivre cruises one of France's longest-established canals, the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy. This region of Burgundy with its charming villages and centuries-old history is truly fascinating.

map of L'Art de Vivre's itinerary

If you are a family with children, we are able to create a bespoke barging itinerary and substitute a maximum of 4 excursions from our Standard Classic Barge Cruise Itinerary with your preferred family activities.

The following activities can usually be arranged with us or onboard directly with the barge Captain and can be included in your itinerary without any extra charge (unless otherwise stated):

Ten Pin Bowling

Enjoy a game of bowling at the leisure center in the town of Auxerre, with 20 lanes. While there is no age restriction, the lightest ball weighs 3kg. Bowling shoes with socks is obligatory, and can be hired from the complex starting from size 26 (UK Child size 8 - 8½, US Child size 9½). Discount offered for bowling & laser quest combination. Open everyday except Mondays.

Caves of Arcy-sur-Cure

A series of caves featuring remarkable parietal art (cave paintings), the second oldest presently known after those of the Chauvet cave being 28,000 years old. The paintings were discovered in 1990 under a thin layer of lime sediments which were hiding them from view. Unfortunately, some of these paintings had been damaged due to regular high pressure cleaning of the walls of the cave from 1976 to 1990, but a great many have survived and are now on display to the public.

Laser Quest

At the Leisure Centre in the town of Auxerre. Four levels of difficulty are offered, with a maximum of 30 participants per game. Discount offered for bowling and laser quest combination. Open every day from 2pm, except Mondays.

Ice Skating (3 years+)

Ice Skating rink close to Auxerre with availability to rent skates. Shoe sizes start at EU size 23, so we have recommended a minimum age of three years upwards.

Château Guedelon - Medieval Castle Construction Project

A team of 50 master craftsmen are building a castle from scratch using only the materials and construction techniques available during the Middle Ages. The only construction of its type in the world, Château Guedelon is certainly a day trip for the whole family to enjoy.


An indoor mini-golf venue illuminated with black lights. Suitable for all ages. Reduced pricing available for children under 12 years.

Cardo Land

A unique park displaying 88 dinosaur sculptures and more than 800 dinosaur sound effects. Visit the park's museum to see dinosaur fossils and bones. A cave painted with frescos recreated from Lascaux, Pech Merle and Font de Gaumme is also situated on site for the chance to discover life for prehistoric man through a sound and light show. Other activities for children such as clay modeling, charcoal painting, a sand pit/archaeological dig and face-painting can also be enjoyed.

La Fabuloserie - A Typical Art & Sculpture Museum

A house and garden, displaying more than 1,000 pieces of art and sculpture collected and created by the architect Alain Bourbonnais. The collection is described as being “L'art brut” - or “raw art” - and incorporates graffiti, naïve art and other styles which lie outside the academic traditions of fine art. Suitable for all ages.


Swimming Pool in the town of Auxerre, featuring 5 indoor pools and 3 outdoor pools. The indoor pools comprise of a 25m sport pool with 8 lanes and a play pool including a counter-current river, water cannon, massage jets and Jacuzzi. The outdoor pools include an Olympic sized pool (50m x 17.5m) and a similar play pool featuring a 48m high toboggan slide. Appropriate for all ages. Flotation aides are available upon request.

Tennis (4 years+)

Enjoy tennis Courts alongside the River Yonne in Auxerre. Other activities include Squash and Badminton.

Go Karting (Minimum height of 1.25m / 4ft 1")

Indoor Go-Karting course close to the town of Auxerre. Individual sessions are limited to 10 minutes per driver, whereas a Grand Prix-style race allows for up to 8 participants, and a timed lap of 12 minutes per driver, finishing with a final race lasting 15 minutes.

Canoeing & Kayaking (Must be able to swim)

Allows for the chance to canoe and kayak on the River Cure, a tributary of the Yonne within the Morvan massif, a mountainous region in Central France. Two times are available, depending on the time slot allocated by the barge's itinerary - 8 km (1½ - 2 hours) or 18 km (4½ - 5 hours). Available for all ages. Children less than 8 years old can be provided with a child-seat if necessary.

Trampoline Tree Nets (3 years+)

Set in the grounds of a lock-house on the Canal du Nivernais, the Ecluses des Dames, this adventure park features a series of trampoline nets secured to trees for the chance to jump high above the ground. Bike rental is also available, as are eating and drinking facilities.

Tree Climbing at Go Ape (from 4 years)

Swing from the trees with this abseiling and climbing course set amidst the highest branches of the forest.


The following activities can usually be arranged but, due to their nature, they should be booked directly by the client with the activity provider. Our customer services team or the barge captain will be able to assist with any bookings. The cost of these activities are not included in your itinerary:

Quad Biking (10 years+)

Set in the heart of Burgundy, the 400 square meter Morvan Adventure Ground is exceptionally good for wild quad biking. Several different courses are available depending on the time slot allocated by the barge's itinerary. Check with the activity provider for more details.

Paint Balling (6 years+)

Our recommended paintballing venue lies on the banks of the River Cure in the Morvan Massif. Play with up to 500 pellets per player, or choose “battle-mode”, including camouflage and paint-grenades. Suitable for children as young as 6, thanks to the age-appropriate protective clothing.

Horse Riding (3 years+)

Set within the Morvan Massif, a number of different equestrian activities are available - including "around the pony" (brushing and caressing ponies, walking discovery, games and an introduction to acrobatics) for children aged 3-6 years; Pony Trekking for children under 12; Horse Riding for those over 12. Please check with the barge's itinerary as numerous durations are also offered, as well as the chance to ride under a full moon.

Hot Air Ballooning (6 years+)

Discover the landscape of the Morvan Massif or the hills surrounding Chablis from a different perspective with a pre-set route in a gyrocopter, or wherever the wind takes you in a hot air balloon.

Please Contact Us to discuss your specific requirements. We will be very happy to help.

Note: Activities are payable by the client directly to the provider, whose individual terms and conditions apply. All activities are subject to availability. No minimum age requirement unless stated. Children's bicycles, bicycle helmets, child car seats and high chairs and available without cost.

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