The comfortable, compact cabins all have modern en suite facilities and the delightful saloon combines contemporary leather with more traditional furnishings.
France is where the idea of luxury barge cruises first started, due in no small part to the myriad of waterways which cross not only its scenic countryside, but also many of its historic towns and cities. And while a Burgundy barge cruise may not be one of the best known holiday options for visitors to France, those who do discover hotel barging in Burgundy are sure not to be disappointed. In fact, taking a Burgundy barge cruise down one of the region’s canals is a truly wonderful experience. The area boasts some of the world’s finest wines with around 60,000 acres of sunlit vines and arguably the prettiest canals in France. The waterways wind through the heart of the territory’s renowned vineyards, medieval towns, elegant châteaux, magnificent cathedrals, picturesque villages and wonderful local markets. En route, barging in Burgundy guarantees our clients a wealth of sightseeing opportunities. This is a region with a vast variety of cheeses, in all shapes, sizes and colours, strong in character or mild and fresh and all can be enjoyed with full-bodied red Burgundies, or perhaps with lighter white Chablis wines. The Burgundian gastronomic tradition is rich and diverse and a sedate Burgundy barge cruise along one of its delightful waterways will allow you to indulge along the way in good food and wine: two of life’s essential pleasures. Please Note: Biking, Family, Golf, Tennis, Walking, Wine Appreciation Theme Departures Available. Please contact us for more details. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Guests are met at our meeting point in Paris** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the pretty L’Art de Vivre. Following a champagne welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre, or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board.
Our morning cruise takes us through some delightful locks and past vineyard-clad hillsides to our rural mooring at Vincelles. The afternoon excursion is to Chablis, home of one of the most famous white wines in the world. A tasting in one of the town’s aged cellars will introduce you to some of the local Petit Chablis and Chablis wines. Dinner on board.
After breakfast, our excursion is to the medieval town of Auxerre. Originally the capital of Lower Burgundy, the town prides itself on its lavish Renaissance houses, fine churches and particularly its magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. We then return to the hotel barge for a cruise southwards through rich pasturelands and past grazing Charolais cattle to the sleepy village of Mailly-la-Ville. After your relaxed lunch on board, perhaps this is a good time to enjoy a walk or bicycle ride along the towpath. Dinner on board.
This morning, we visit the charming 14th century medieval market village of Noyers-sur-Surein, one of the most beautiful villages in France, on an excursion through delightful countryside. In the afternoon we cruise past the cliffs at Le Saussois, a stunning natural setting with an international climbing centre. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy delightful walks or bicycle rides along the towpath, before a somewhat spectacular dinner. We will dine ashore at Le Château de Vault-de-Lugny, a secluded and romantic 5 star Hotel with a history that dates back almost nine hundred years. On the menu you will find dishes such as Burgundy Truffle – hand-picked from the plantation housed somewhere amidst the 40 hectares of land, or Charolais Beef – some of the finest red meat in the entirety of Europe.
Our morning cruise is through the picturesque Yonne Valley to our mooring at Lucy-sur-Yonne. After lunch on board, we enjoy an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, craft shops and fine views of the surrounding countryside. Dinner on board.
A morning cruise through beautiful countryside takes us to our final mooring at the pretty canalside village of Chevroches and again this is a perfect time for a walk or a bicycle ride. In the afternoon, we visit the elegant Château de Bazoches, built in the 12th century and whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. The château was later remodelled by Maréchal Vauban and there are wonderful views from its elevated hillside setting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
L'Art de Vivre
Vessel Type: Hotel Barge / River Boat Length: 100 feet / 30.48 meters Passenger Capacity: 8 L’Art de Vivre is the oldest hotel barge in our fleet and was built in England during World War One as a supply vessel to the Allied troops battling in the Somme. Today her life is a little less dramatic as she cruises one of France’s longest-established canals, the Canal du Nivernais. She is very much a traditional barge in style, with original wood and brass features that emphasise her heritage and create a warm and inviting interior atmosphere. The comfortable, compact cabins all have modern en suite facilities and the delightful saloon combines contemporary leather with more traditional furnishings. Outside, there is a sun deck to relax on with a glass of wine as you glide through the pretty Burgundy countryside and a spa pool to soak in. You can explore the ever-present towpath on foot or on one of the barge’s bicycles towpath, before rejoining the L’Art de Vivre at one of the locks up ahead.
• Explore enchanting Auxerre and its magnificent cathedral • Private wine tasting of Chablis and Petit Chablis in the cellars of a renowned Domaine • Tour Noyers-sur-Serein, one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy • Visit the picturesque town of Vezelay and its hilltop basilica • Visit elegant Château de Bazoches • Optional hot air ballooning • Excellent towpath for walking and cycling • “Biking Plus” option available • Dinner at the 5 Star Château de Vault-de-Lugny