Hotel Barge PANACHE - Barging in France, Holland, Germany & Luxembourg -

Cruising Holland, Belgium, and France

About the Barge: Specifications, Layout, Amenities, Fact Sheet

Furnished in an "old ship" style with brass and mahogany, Panache's charming ambiance is designed for luxury, elegance and spaciousness.

Hotel Barge Panache layout diagram deck plan

128 feet long
12 passengers
6 crew
6 twin/double guest cabins each with TV/DVD and en-suite bathrooms
Air conditioning & Central heating
WiFi (subject to local reception)
Spa pool / Hot tub on sundeck
Nordic walking sticks, on request
Electric Piano
Small library of books and maps
CD player / iPod dock
12 Touring bikes
2 Air conditioned minivans


All cabins have fitted wardrobes, 2 bedside tables with reading lamps, a writing desk with chair and a TV screen mounted on the wall for playing DVDs. They each have an ensuite bathroom which runs the length of the cabin and is accessed by a sliding door. Each has an extractor fan, WC, shower with massage jets and glass sliding doors. They also have two sinks with mirrors and cupboard storage below with 6 shelves. All are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, hair dryer, bathrobes, and slippers.


Each Junior Suite is similar in comfort and size, measuring 12ft 6" x 11ft 6" (3.8mx3.5m) totalling 150sq.ft (13.9m2). The Berlioz cabin is slightly larger at 155sq.ft. All measurements are approximate and include the bathroom.

The height in all cabins is 6ft 8" (2.03m).

Each cabin has one large window measuring 3ft 8" x 1ft 6" (1.1m x 45cm).

CLOSET SPACE: Wardrobes with clothes rails, hangers and several shelves.



Size: 11ft 6ins x 3ft 2ins wide. All Junior Suites have an en-suite bathroom which run the length of each cabin and are accessed through the cabin by a sliding door. Each en-suite has a double sized shower measuring 3ft 2ins x 2ft 9ins with massage jets and glass sliding doors and an extractor fan. There are 2 wash basins with mirrors and cupboard storage below the sinks with 6 shelves and there is a W.C. at one end. All are supplied with: washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, face cloths, bathrobes and slippers.


The comfortable and spacious salon is approximately 600sq.ft (55.2) and is entered from the outside deck through double wooden doors and 4 steps with handrails.

The room is bright and airy and has 6 large panoramic windows on each side. It is divided by a glass partition, giving separate lounge and dining areas.

The lounge is furnished with a large U-shaped leather Chesterfield which seats 10 guests. There are also 2 armchairs and a large glass coffee table. There is a library of books, CDs and DVDs, and an open bar area. There is also an electric piano.

The dining area has a large table seating up to 12 guests at a single sitting.

From the salon there are 6 steps to the guest cabin area where Ravel and Debussy are located. There are 4 additional steps down to the level of the other 4 cabins.


The sundeck is 375sq.ft (34.8m2) and for al fresco dining and relaxing there is a large table and 12 chairs; large parasols provide shade. The heated hot tub seats 4 guests and measures 5ft x 7ft (1.5m x 2.1m).


The barge is wired for 220 and 240 volts but not 110 volts. It is recommended that you bring an adapter for your particular appliance, which corresponds to the standard French 2-pin plug. If you wish to use an electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable to the barge's electrical system. We cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.


Each cabin has individually controlled cooling and heating.


Complimentary WiFi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There are no passenger telephones on board Panache.


Please let us know in advance if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Panache has a gangplank with handrail to cross from the bank onto the barge and there are 4 steps with handrails between the deck and the saloon.

From the salon to the guest cabin area (Ravel and Debussy) there are 6 steps. These 2 cabins are recommended for passengers with any mobility issues, however they are not wheelchair friendly.

There are 4 additional steps down to the level of the remaining 4 Junior Suites. (A total of 10 steps between the salon and cabins).

There are adequate handrails throughout.

Wheelchairs cannot be used on board and can only be used to assist on excursions where there are often cobbled streets. Sometimes rough ground may hinder a wheelchair.

If you would like Panache to hire a wheelchair so that it is available on your arrival, please notify us at least 8 weeks before your cruise. There is a small hire charge of approximately €120 which should be paid directly to the barge captain on arrival.


All meals aboard are prepared fresh by your chef and most meals are a set menu (there is no choice available). International and regional cuisine is featured.

We are able to arrange special meals, such as vegetarian / no fish / vegan, etc; and we are able to for any preferences or allergies. However, it is important that we are notified at least 8 weeks prior to your departure date. Failure to notify us in advance of your cruise may result in disappointment on board.

There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining table accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Your day on Panache starts with a Continental breakfast with fresh breads and pastries, cereals, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and hot beverages.

Lunch: Usually buffet style with colorful salads, pates and cold meats along with hot soup or entrée, delicious desserts and a selection of regional cheeses accompanied by quality wines selected by the chef.

Dinner: Always a gastronomic adventure created by your talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, complemented by fine wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee, and liqueurs.

Captain's Farewell Dinner: Captain's dinner is held on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day which include wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are provided with meals and there is a Champagne Welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some brands of Champagnes (with exception of the reception) and special vintage wines. However, you may purchase bottles at cost price if you let us know in advance how many of each you require. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water on board Panache is potable and bottled water is also available.


Panache has two vehicles for excursions and transfers. A 9-seater, long based Mercedes Sprinter and a 7-seater Mercedes Vito. Both vehicles are air conditioned and the seating capacity mentioned above includes the driver in each.

For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group's particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everthing we can to arrange it. Please speak with us in advance of your cruise so we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.


Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they like. There are 12 all-terrain bicycles and cycle helmets are provided. Children's bikes and child bike seats can be arranged if required. Please contact Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks before your departure.


Hot air ballooning is usually available while cruising in Holland, Belgium and the French Champagne region and some areas of Alsace.

Once on board, the Captain can arrange this directly with the hot air balloon company. Flights usually last for approximately an hour and are weather dependent. The cost is approximately €230 per person and this should be paid directly to the balloon company on the day of the flight (they do accept credit cards).


Family, Golf, Walking, and Wine Appreciation cruise itineraries are available for charter groups (See ITINERARY page). Special interest cruises often have a supplement, please ask us for more details.


Our barges have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of fellow passengers. If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside on deck away from fellow passengers.


Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you require frequent or ongoing medical attention. The crew are unable to administer medicines but can accompany you to a chemist/pharmacy for you to purchase any necessary medicines. Due to your cruise often being in a rural location, we recommend you bring all necessary medications with you. Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.


We recommend that you bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise as there are no laundry facilities on board. However, the crew may be able to assist in an emergency on a request basis.


Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably-sized suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage is preferable. There is only enough space on the barge and minibuses for up to 12 suitcases and 12 pieces of hand luggage.

Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably-sized suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage is preferable. There is only enough space on the barge and minibuses for up to 12 suitcases and 12 pieces of hand luggage.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard Panache and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain's Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress up, which is optional.

The weather is hottest in June, July, and August when temperatures often reach the upper 80s°F (mid-30s°C).

Suggested things to pack:


The currency in Holland, Belgium, and France is the Euro. The barge is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.


Gratuities are not included in the cruise fare. Tipping is entirely discretionary but is greatly appreciated by the crew if you are fully satisfied with the level of service on board. As a guidance, our passengers on average tip approximately 5-7% of the cruise fare. All tips should be given to the Captain and are shared between the whole crew on board.

Please note that gratuities can only be made on board by cash payment.


If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.


Once you are on board your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures.

Please note that we cannot be responsible for any valuables that you bring on board. We strongly recommend that you do not bring valuables with you unless required and that you ensure that any valuables are covered by your travel insurance.

Safes are provided in each cabin. For safety reasons, cabin doors are usually unlocked.

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