FINESSE  
Barging in France:
Luxury barge cruise vacations on the French hotel barge FINESSE cruising the River Saône and Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy France
French Hotel Barge Finesse

French Hotel Barge FINESSE
Cruising the Southern Burgundy region of France
along River Saône and Canal du Centre

ABOUT THE BOAT


Finesse has a very modern and well-designed interior, offering plenty of natural light. Outside, guests can relax on the large sun deck with its alfresco dining area, comfortable seating, and spa pool. With her attentive crew of five to look after you, Finesse is the perfect vessel on which to meander through the vineyards and undulating countryside of Southern Burgundy.

Layout for French Hotel Barge FINESSE

  • Length: 128 feet
  • 8 Passengers
  • 5 Crew
  • 4 Staterooms configured as either doubles or twins
  • Demonstration galley
  • Air conditioning / Central heating
  • 8 Touring bikes
  • CD player / iPod dock
  • Telescope
  • WiFi (subject to local reception)
  • Guest computer
  • Air conditioned minibus
  • Sun deck and Spa pool


GUEST CABINS

All suites can be configured as a either a double or two single beds. The cabin theme is silver-grey and champagne with Percale bed linen. There is a small sofa in each cabin and the furniture is custom made. The deep pile carpets complement the choice of color scheme.

Cabin sizes

All the suites are similar in size measuring 265 ft² (24.6 m²). The bathrooms each measure 58.13 ft² (5.4 m²) and are included in the suite sizes above. The shower trays in all bathrooms are 13.56 ft² (1.26 m²).

Ceiling height: All cabins have a minimum of 6'6" (2m) headroom

Sizes of beds:

When a suite is set up in twin bed configuration, the beds are side by side with a small gap in between them.

Bathrooms:

Each suite has a stylish, fully-tiled, en-suite bathroom. The bathroom flooring is bamboo and the oversized walk-in showers are very spacious. All are equipped with: hair dryer, shower cubicle, double wash basin and WC. Each are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels and bathrobes.

Windows:

DINING ROOM & SALON


The dining area has a large dining table, seating all 8 guests at a single sitting. The design compliments the contemporary modern look of Finesse. An open Demonstration Kitchen Galley allows guests to watch as the Master Chef prepares the meals, sharing his recipes and demonstrating his techniques. A fully stocked wine fridge and bar completes the area.

The saloon is furnished with contemporary leather sofas and suede and fabric armchairs, all upholstered in Alcantara and there is oak flooring throughout.

Large floor to ceiling windows stretch the entire length of the barge, allowing plenty of light and the beautiful scenery to be appreciated.


SUN DECK

15' x 23' (4m57 x 7m) furnished with a One Dimension hot tub, an al fresco dining table with 8 chairs and a parasol for shade. There are two sun loungers and a built-in outdoor seat for 2. The flooring has a anti-slip surface.


LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

FOOD & DRINK

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

We are able to arrange special meals, such as vegetarian, no fish, vegan, etc; and we are able to able to cater 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 on Finesse accommodate all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Usually continental with fresh breads, pastries, jam, juice, cereals, yoghurts, freshly-squeezed orange juice, teas and coffees. A hot option is usualy offered from the galley.

Lunch: A casual 3-course affair comprising of a hot soup, or entré, patés and cold meats, accompanied by colorful salads or a hot main course followed by delectable desserts. A selection of wines are served daily.

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: 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 are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day serving beers, wines, and spirits. Wines are served with meals and there is a champagne welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagne and special vintage wines are not included although 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 in France and on board Finesse is potable and bottled water is available.


ELECTRICITY

220 volt electricity (French two-pin plugs). The barge is wired for 220 and 240 volts but not 110 volts. It is suggested 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 onboard, 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.


CLIMATE CONTROL

Finesse has reversible air conditioning and central heating throughout with individual temperature control.


COMPUTER & TELEPHONE

WiFi is available for guests bringing their own appliances, however, there are some moorings where connection to the internet can be slow. Sometimes when the barge is cruising, connection is not possible because the barge is out of signal range.

There is also a computer available in the salon for guest use. There is no passenger telephone available on Finesse.


EXCURSIONS

The Finesse minibus is a 9-seater (including driver), silver-grey Volkswagon Transporter Caravelle. It is a stretch version for luggage and has 3-zone air conditioning.

If you are chartering, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group's particular needs. If an excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please advise Paradise Connections advance and the Captain will be informed.

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


CYCLING AND WALKING

Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they like. Most people choose to disembark the barge at a lock and then visit local villages and then return to the canal and meet the barge a little further along. The barge travels slowly and therefore catching up will not be a problem.

There are 8 adult, 5-speed folding bikes with a low crossbar tube. Cycle helmets are provided on board. Specialist bicycles, children's bikes, and child bike seats can be arranged if required. Please request with Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks in advance of your cruise.

Because the barge travels at a slow pace, walking is a popular activity.


HOT AIR BALLOONING

Once on board, the captain can arrange this directly with the hot air balloon company on your behalf. Flights usually last between 1 and 1½ hours and are weather dependent. The cost is approximately 250 euros per person and this should be paid directly to the balloon company on the day of the flight (they do accept credit cards).

Kindly advise Paradise Connections in advance if you are interested in ballooning. The main balloon operators we work with are Air Escargot and France Montgolfieres.


THEMED CRUISES

Themed Cruises are available for charter groups. Finesse offers Wine Appreciation, Golfing, and Family Group itineraries. Sample itineraries for themed cruises can be found on the ITINERARIES page of Finesses' online brochure. Inquire with Paradise Connections for more information, itinerary and supplement charges if applicable.


PASSENGERS WITH MOBILITY RESTRICTIONS

Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.

Because of the steps on board, Finesse is not really suitable for wheelchair-bound guests. There are 2 steps from the access ramp to the deck, and the toilets are on the lower deck in the guest cabins, so a visit to the restroom requires a minimum of 11 steps up and down.

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

If you would like us to provide a wheelchair for your arrival, please notify Paradise Connections at time of booking. There is no charge for the wheelchair but passengers must be accompanied by someone who is able to push the chair as the crew is unable to assist.


MEDICAL

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 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.


SMOKING

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.


LAUNDRY

We recommend that you bring sufficient 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 requst basis.


LUGGAGE / WHAT TO PACK

Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable.

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

The weather in Burgundy is generally warm. June, July and August is the warmest often being in the mid-30s°C (86-95°F).

Suggested things to pack:
  • Light clothing including shorts and t-shirts. A sweater or lightweight jacket is recommended for evenings and the air conditioned interiors.
  • During spring and autumn, you may need medium weight clothing. A lightweight raincoat for showery times would be advisable. In summer, a sun hat will be useful.
  • Comfortable walking shoes with textured non-slip soles are recommended.
  • Finess has a spa pool/hot tub so don't forget your swimwear. Towels are provided.

CURRENCY

The local currency in France is the Euro. Finesse is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.


TIPPING

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 7% of the full 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.


PROBLEM DURING YOUR CRUISE

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


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Once 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 on board but cabin doors are usually not locked for safety reasons.


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3/21/2018