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Cruising the River Saône & Canal du Centre in Southern Burgundy, France

Wine Appreciation Cruise Itinerary

Wine Tasting & Appreciation Cruises for charter groups include a comprehensive wine itinerary with additional winery visits, private tastings and the services of a professional wine guide. Also includes an upgrade of the wine list to include additional premier and grand cru wines.

French hotel barge Finesse - itinerary map
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Sunday, Day 1: St-Jean-de-Losne

Guests are met in Dijon* and transferred by air-conditioned minibus to Finesse for a Champagne Welcome and the opportunity to meet the crew. Prior to dinner our expert wine guide joins the barge to give an introductory talk on the vineyards of Burgundy and during an on-board wine tasting of a selection of appellations, ensures that everyone has mastered their tasting technique. Dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 : St-Jean-de-Losne to Fragnes

We begin our voyage this morning through Southern Burgundy along the peaceful River Saône, passing delightful little river ports such as Seurre and Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, before joining the Canal du Centre at Chalon-sur-Saone to arrive at our mooring in Fragnes. In the afternoon, our wine guide takes us on a visit to the world famous vineyards of the Côte de Beaune where we enjoy a tour and private tasting of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne, Meursault and St Aubin wines at Château de Chassagne-Montrachet. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 : Fragnes to Rully

This morning, we set off to visit Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Chevaliers du Tastevin, who annually award prized special labels to the finest Côte d'Or vintages. Our wine expert will meet us there and we then continue on a drive through some of the greatest Pinot Noir vineyards in the world, and after paying homage at the fields of Romanée Conti, visit the cellars of Marchand in the center of Nuits St Georges for a private tasting of Nuits-St-Georges, 1er Crus & Gevrey-Chambertins. We return to the hotel barge for lunch and then a leisurely afternoon cruise to our mooring near the village of Rully. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 : Rully to Remigny

After a short morning cruise to Chagny, we set off on a drive through the Côte de Beaune vineyards to the town of Beaune itself, which is the capital of Burgundy’s wine country. Our first stop will be a visit to the oldest winemakers in Burgundy, Maison Champey. Guests will enjoy a private tour of the wine cellars and experience a wine tasting, learning from an expert about the production of the region’s finest Premier and Grand Cru wines. A private lunch is served in a unique dining venue, which has been created from one of the winery’s historic large wooden wine vats or “cuves”. We then we go on to visit the stunning 15th century Hôtel-Dieu Hospice and return to the barge for an afternoon cruise past the charming little town of Chagny, to our mooring near the village of Rully. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 : Remigny to St-Léger-sur-Dheune

This morning's cruise takes you past the famous wine-producing village of Santenay. There are perfect opportunities to walk or cycle along the towpath en route, before we moor at the pretty little port of St-Léger-sur-Dheune. After lunch, we visit the nearby vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise. Although this wine-growing region is lesser-known than its illustrious neighbors, some wonderful wines are produced in the villages of Rully, Givry and Mercurey. We meet up with our wine expert to enjoy a private tasting at Domaine de la Folie, one of the best domaines in Rully, before returning to the barge. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 : St-Léger-sur-Dheune to St-Julien-sur-Dheune

In the morning we cruise along the Canal du Centre through undulating countryside to moor at the little village of St-Julien-sur-Dheune. We will be ascending a series of 11 locks with many opportunities to disembark and explore the villages along the way. After lunch, we head to Autun, a town of ancient origins with Roman gates and a 17,000 seat amphitheatre. Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 : St-Julien-sur-Dheune

After breakfast, guest are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Dijon*.

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