Wine Tasting & Appreciation Cruise Itinerary
Sunday, Day 1 - Fleurey sur Ouche
Guests are met at our meeting point in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the elegant l'Impressionniste. A champagne reception welcomes you on board and the opportunity to meet the captain and crew. Then enjoy your first dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 - Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Sainte Marie-sur-Ouche
This morning experience your first day's cruise along this enchanting canal, which also promises a walk or cycle along an ever-present towpath cruising past sleepy villages and pretty lock houses. Late morning, our expert wine guide joins the barge to give an introductory talk on the vineyards of Burgundy and during an on-board wine tasting, ensures that everyone has mastered their tasting technique! In the afternoon, he takes us on a visit to Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Chevaliers du Tastevin, who annually award prized special labels to the finest Côte d'Or vintages. Driving past legendary Grand Cru vineyards, we also pay homage at the fields of Romanée Conti, then stop at the family-run Domaine Jafflin in the heart of Nuits-St-Georges on the Route des Grands Crus. A tour of their cellars is followed by a tasting of their exceptional Pinot Noirs including Vosne Romanée, Nuits St Georges and Gevrey Chambertin. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Sainte Marie-sur Ouche to La Bussière
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of old Dijon, including a visit to the vivid produce markets, mustard shops and the impressive Notre-Dame de Dijon, or enjoy some excellent shopping time. Return to the hotel barge for lunch and a leisurely afternoon cruise to La Bussière and perhaps a walk or bicycle ride to the next lock or two. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 - La Bussière to Pont d'Ouche
After a short morning cruise, we set off on a drive through the vineyards, stopping en route at the "vigne de l'enfant Jesus", a famous vineyard owned by the Domaine Bouchard Pére et Fils. There, a wine expert will give us a real insight into the domaine's production of its Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines. We continue to Beaune, capital of Burgundy wine country, for a winery tour and private tasting of Bouchard Père et Fils wines before enjoying a gastronomic lunch in the orangery of Château de Beaune, owned by the winery since 1820. Afterwards, we visit the fascinating 15th century Hôtel-Dieu Hospice and explore the town, before returning to the barge for a short evening cruise to Pont d'Ouche. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 - Pont d'Ouche to Vandenesse
After breakfast, we cruise to Vandenesse, past grazing white Charolais cattle, rolling hills and picturesque villages, crossing the only canal bridge on the Burgundy Canal. Later, our wine guide joins us again and we drive from the barge through wooded hillsides out into the world famous vineyards of the Côte de Beaune. After making a stop in the Grand Cru vineyards of Le Montrachet, we visit a domaine in the village of Puligny-Montrachet where we enjoy a private cellar tour and a tasting of some of the world's greatest white wines. There should also be time to visit the medieval village, craft shops and castle of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, once an outpost of the Dukes of Burgundy and offering a fine overview of the feeder lakes, canal and surrounding countryside. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 - Vandenesse to Escommes
Our last day's leisurely cruise takes us to the canal summit, 1250 feet above sea level, just before the Pouilly tunnel. This afternoon we visit â de Bussy-Rabutin and see the portrait gallery created by the disgraced courtier of King Louis XIV, before strolling through the gardens and enjoying views of the château surrounded by its moat. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 - Escommes
After breakfast, guests disembark l'Impressionniste and transfer to the designated drop off point in Paris.
NOTE: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternative weeks the cruise operates in reverse direction and the pickup and drop off points are reversed.