Barging is like renting a boat instead of an apartment. It is basically a hop on hop off boat tour where the boat is your house. You stay on the boat, as it sails through the French Canals through numerous villages, tourist sites and other landscapes. There is a boarding point and you check in to your boat, and check out once at the final destination. There are certain routes designated for different kinds of barging, which is elaborated further. You could book it for a minimum of 6 days or keep it to yourself for weeks. There are options of self drive as well as skipper driven. Self drive option is the best as you do not require a license to run most boats as they have basic technical rules you need to follow to ride it. Also, some companies give you a basic lesson and teach you the essentials.
I say it is romantic because you get to stop the boat wherever and whenever you want. Step down, relax, eat, drink, walk, check out a tourist site, mingle with the locals, shop for groceries, and get back onto the boat. You have your own kitchen to bake your own food, grill your own fresh fish just bought form the market, have a barbecue on the deck of the boat, pour some champagne and admire the gorgeous sunset from your very own condo.