Well-traveled families come to Ciao Bambino in search of a trip that’s truly unique. Top priorities might include pure relaxation, cultural immersion and a glimpse into a way of life entirely different from their own, not to mention fantastic food that they don’t have to prepare themselves. If this is your wish list for your next family vacation, consider a private yacht or barge charter.

The appeal of yachting or barging around the world is that the lodging and transportation are all rolled into one. It’s as if your family has a private floating hotel from which to explore multiple destinations without ever re-packing a suitcase. Ship sizes vary; the smallest can accommodate a family of four while the largest have space for a group of 20. Given that, a yacht or barge charter can work well for multigenerational groups, family reunions or several families traveling together. These private experiences are ideal for milestone events like birthdays or anniversaries.

One amazing benefit of chartering a yacht or barge is the flexibility. If a traditional cruise has always felt too stifling for your family, know that private yachts and barges have very few limitations. The ships feel more like houseboats, and they can make impromptu stops at interesting locations that a larger ship could never reach. Additionally, barges in Europe focus their routes primarily on smaller, narrower canals, meaning your family will get deep into compact villages instead of only stopping at large ports where hundreds or thousands of tourists disembark each day. Cultural immersion is effortless; it’s as easy as waving at villagers as they walk their dogs or birdwatching on uninhabited tropical islands. Yachts and barges are a logistics-free way to get off the beaten path and explore authentic, local communities as well as bigger attractions.

The universal feedback we get from clients after a trip like this is that they felt pampered by staff. These highly trained crew members not only do all the heavy lifting as far as navigation and ship maintenance, but they ensure everyone on board is happy. Squabbles over which restaurant to choose for dinner or safety concerns about food allergies need not be a point of stress on a yacht or barge. Private chefs can accommodate most requests, and they make all the dining arrangements, meaning your group merely needs to congregate around the table, raise a glass to another amazing day and dig in.

We can suggest the best vendors for yacht and barge charters, particularly those who really do cater to kids and families. Boats with top-deck hot tubs, bikes for exploring while docked and prearranged sightseeing activities, like private guides and vans to take you farther afield, combine for just the right amount of activity each day. A few of our favorite destinations for a yacht or barge charter include:

France

Name the region of France you’ve always dreamed of visiting, and chances are, there’s a barge cruise experience that will take you right into its heart. And unlike the typical whirlwind trip to France, your vacation will move at a pace that allows you to really savor the experience.

Caribbean

Families who crave freedom while on vacation are sometimes deterred from visiting the Caribbean. Limiting yourself to one island (or worse, one resort) just feels too restrictive for adventurous families. A private yacht charter is an ideal option for its combo of relaxation and exploration. Children and parents alike love deep sea-fishing experiences and exploring uninhabited islands.

Galapagos Islands

No question, exploring these fascinating islands by boat is the way to go. Arranging your tour via a private yacht means you control who your shipmates will be, which is quite appealing to families who tend not to gravitate toward group travel. Three or four families can join in together to charter a ship for about the same cost as a group tour.

Greece

Sailing on a yacht around the Greek Islands is dreamy enough to appear on countless covers of travel magazines. But do be mindful of the seasons and weather when planning a trip. In May and June, the water is comfortably swimmable and the islands are colorful with flowers and greenery. By July and August, the crowds will be thick and the land becomes more barren and dry. Often the wind dictates where you’ll stop each day. Some suppliers will arrange a flotilla for families traveling together, meaning each family gets their own private yacht but everyone tours together on land. Families sailing around Greece are rewarded with stunning views and amazing experiences, no matter which way the winds blow you.

Elsewhere in Europe

The British Isles (specifically England, Scotland and Ireland), Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands all have private barge charters available for their inner canals and small rivers. It’s easy to incorporate castle visits, farm experiences or historical walking tours so that you can enjoy views of the gorgeous countryside from your comfortable boats plus the incredible culture and attractions these countries offer. Navigating the locks gives kids a hands-on introduction to the incredible engineering that goes into the waterways.

Not quite ready to jump in with both feet for a yacht or barge charter? One of our favorite pro tips is for clients to do a half- or full-day private boat experience as a taste of what a fuller trip could be. We’ve arranged these shorter experiences in places like Capri, Paris, Turks & Caicos, London, Portugal and Amsterdam.

We’re in the business of designing trips that provide families with unforgettable travel experiences. Yacht and barge charters certainly top our list of the most memorable vacations due to the unparalleled combination of privacy, flexibility, relaxation and adventure that these amazing vessels offer.

Travel Planning

Experience the Best Yacht & Barge Charters for Families

Let Ciao Bambino! Plan Your Dream Trip

Our expert Family Travel Advisors are passionate about exploring the world with children — and empowering you to do the same. From handpicked accommodations to insider experiences, we can craft a custom vacation that’s uniquely suited to your family’s needs. Click to get started!

Get Started
Family-Friendly Packages
Europe
Greece Family Vacation Package

7 Days / 6 Nights

From $3,776 Per Person

Our Happy Travelers
"Overall the trip was incredible and I am so thankful to you for helping me plan it! We had such a good time and it was so well planned. I would love to use your services again for our next big adventure!"

–Millman Trip

"Katie planned the perfect trip. We all agree it was the best trip we've had, and the hotels were some of the best we've stayed in. We found that with a baby, it was only possible to get through about half of the suggested itinerary each day, which was great because it gave us options. We took time each night to debate what we would do the next day, and really enjoyed having those possibilities laid out for us.​"

–Beck Family Trip

"We have only good things to say about our entire trip and the planning process. You are a dream to work with! I especially appreciated how you narrowed down my options for each decision, so I wouldn't be overwhelmed. I haven't worked with a travel agent before, but you really surpassed my expectations. We will call you first the next time we travel!"

–Caldeira Family Trip

"It was an amazing trip. I can’t thank you enough for all your help. I loved the itinerary app. It made the trip so easy. You’re truly the reason this trip was perfect."

–MacNeill Family Trip

"We are 120% happy with our vacation and the kids are comparing it to our Bali vacation which has been our benchmark!"

–Schmidt Family Trip

Hotels

Family-Friendly Hotels

View All

Mas de Thau »

Domain Saint Martin Du Pin, Montagnac

Imagine Roussillon »

Mas Sisqueille, Canet-en-Roussillon

Hotel Mayfair Paris »

3 Rue Rouget de Lisle

Le Mas de Chastelas »

2 Chemin du Chastelas, Gassin

Country Kids Resort »

Le Mas Pandit, 34800 Octon

Hotel Verneuil »

8 Rue de Verneuil

Pavillon De La Reine »

28 Place des Vosges

Relais Christine »

3 Rue Christine

Saint James Paris »

43 Avenue Bugeaud

Le Fleuray Hotel »

Route Dame-Marie-Les-Bois, Cangey

Hameau Des Baux »

Chemin De Bourgeac, Le Paradou

Le Mas De Pierre »

2320 Route De Serres, St. Paul De Vence

Le Meurice »

228 Rue De Rivoli

Hotel Bachmair Weissach »

Wiesseer Strabe 1, Weibach

Cortiina Hotel »

Ledererstrasse 8, 80331

Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa »

Doncombe Lane, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8AZ

Tudor Farmhouse Hotel »

A4136, Coleford GL16 7JU, UK

The Angel Hotel Abergavenny »

15 Cross Street, Abergavenny

Bovey Castle »

North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park

Europa House »

79A Randolph Avenue, Little Venice

No. 5 Maddox Street »

5 Maddox Street, Mayfair

Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living »

Park Ln, Mount St, Mayfair, London W1K 7TN, UK

Bosinver Farm Cottages »

Trelowth, Saint Austell PL26 7DT, United Kingdom

Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa »

Climping St, Climping BN17 5RW, UK

Covent Garden Hotel »

10 Monmouth Street

The Grove »

Chander's Cross

The Athenaeum »

116 Piccadilly

Skiathos Princess Hotel »

Agia Paraskevi, Skiathos Island

Vedema Resort »

Main Street, Megalokhórion

Montagnac, France
Great for ages: 0-2, 6-12
Canet-en-Roussillon, France
Great for ages: 0-12
Paris, France
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Maillane, France
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Paris, France
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Gassin, France
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Octon, France
Great for ages: 0-12
Paris, France
Great for ages: 0-2, 6-18
Paris, France
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Paris, France
Great for ages: 0-12
Paris, France
Great for ages: 0-2, 13-18
Cangey, France
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Paradou, France
Great for ages: 0-5
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Great for ages: 0-12
Paris, France
Great for ages: 0-5, 13-18
Rottach-Egern, Germany
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Munich, Germany
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Krün, Germany
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Chippenham, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
London, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Coleford, England
Great for ages: 0-12
Abergavenny, Wales
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
North Bovey, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
London, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
London, England
Great for ages: 6-18
Rye, England
Great for ages: 0-2, 6-12
London, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Saint Austell, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
West Sussex, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
London, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
London, England
Great for ages: 0-2, 6-18
Watford, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
London, England
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Skiathos Island, Greece
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Alyki, Greece
Great for ages: 0-12
Megalokhórion, Greece
Great for ages: Multi-Generational
Destinations

Build a Lifetime of Memories

View All
France Family Vacations
Croatia Family Vacations
Galapagos Islands Family Vacations
Germany Family Vacations
The Netherlands Family Vacations
Experiences

Immersive Experiences Around the World

View All
Luxury Family Vacations
Multigenerational Trips
Food & Wine Trips for Families
Family Adventure Travel
Family Biking and Multi-Sport Trips
Get the latest family travel news, exclusive deals & more!

Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know about special promotions, perks, tips and hot destinations.

Sign In

Want to save all the great intel and tips you are finding on Ciao Bambino? My Trip Planner allows you to bookmark articles, family-friendly hotel reviews, and family vacation packages. Simply click the heart icon on anything you want to save. Site registration is required to get started. Happy planning!

Create an Account

Please fillout the form below to create your free My Trip Planner account.