Nooit Volmaakt




Nooit Volmaakt is a classic 75-foot Dutch barge with a large salon, dining area, two private guest cabins and an old-fashioned wheelhouse. If you love classic boats with antique brass fittings and wooden interiors reminiscent of the glorious days of slow travel, this is the cruise for you! Nooit Volmaakt's deck includes comfortable space for lounging and soaking up the bucolic French countryside. You have four bicycles at your disposal for exploring the beautiful sights along the towpaths or for making early morning boulangerie runs if the spirit moves you! 

Your Diva Barge experience is all about enjoying the history, culture and cuisine of rural France. Above all, life aboard Nooit Volmaakt is relaxed, informal and unpretentious. There’s time for good talk, listening to the birds, walking, reading and dozing in the shade.  If this sounds like your kind of slow travel… please join us!

 Nooit Volmaakt's History


Nooit Volmaakt's History

 “Nooit Volmaakt” is Dutch for “Never Perfect”- an aspirational term to describe a goal worth striving toward.

From our first glimpse in a wintry photograph we could tell from the elegant curve of her hull and the shape of her wheelhouse that she was a charming barge for cruising the inland waterways of Europe, something we'd dreamed of doing for a long time.


Launched in 1926 as a steel-hulled sailing barge, Nooit Volmaakt carried cargo such as sugar beets and peat for many years throughout northern Holland and Europe and like many similar vessels was eventually converted to diesel power.


In the 1960’s, she was home to a young couple from Friesland, who converted her into a comfortable, year-round abode. Her sails and rigging were lost along the way but her leeboards remained. Her original aft cabin with its charming traditional Dutch alcove bed with sliding doors was unchanged. 


An American from San Francisco purchased Nooit Volmaakt in 1989. After a major refit in 1994, Nooit Volmaakt offered classic accommodation for up to four guests. Topside, she retained the ship’s original lines. Operating as a floating bed and breakfast on the waterways of Europe for almost twenty years, she was permanently moored outside the front gate of her owner’s exquisite eighteenth century home just outside Paris.  

2008 to Present

After looking at many barges, something about Nooit Volmaakt captured our imagination. After a two-week whirlwind romance with her in Paris, we succumbed and she was ours. We have extensively refitted her with a new engine and systems to make her the safe, reliable, and comfortable home away from home she is today.