Facts About The Barge L'Art de Vivre
Barge L'Art de Vivre was built in England during World War One as a supply vessel to the Allied troops battling in the Somme. Later, after her time as a lumber carrier in Scotland, the eight-passenger L'Art de Vivre was carefully transformed by a team of skilled craftsmen into a floating celebration of the Burgundian "good life" for barging in France.
LENGTH : 100 Feet (30.5m)
BEAM : 16.5 Feet (5m)
4 CREW : Cruise Director/Tour Guide, Deckhand, Pilot, Chef & Housekeeper
4 DOUBLE/TWIN STATEROOMS
AIR CONDITIONED & CENTRALLY HEATED
SPA-POOL (Hot tub)
5 TOURING BIKES
WIFI (Subject to local conditions)
- Former purpose: Ex Scottish munitions carrier
- Year of construction: 1917
- Dimensions: 100ft (30.5m) x 16'6" (5m)
- Generators: 2 x 220 volts providing all power on board.
- Main Engine: Baudouin DK6 (150hp)
- Maximum Speed: 18.5 kph
- Water capacity: 8,000 ltrs
Your Crew On Board
- Crew of 4: Cruise Director / Tour Guide, Deckhand, Pilot, Chef & Housekeeper
- Nationality of Crew: The crew are mostly British and speak both English and French
Accommodation On Board
Maximum 8 passengers / 4 staterooms
Each stateroom can be configured with either 2 single beds or a double bed.
All cabins have en-suite shower & WC, a fitted closet with hanging space and a small bedside table. There is also storage space in drawers under each bed.
All the staterooms are similar in size and are equallycomfortable, measuring 10ft 7” (3.25m) x 6ft 6” (2m).
Each bathroom measures 5ft 2” (1.6m) x 6ft 6” (2m) which is additional to the cabin dimensions detailed above.
The ceiling height in each cabin is 6ft 5” (1.97m).
All sizes are approximate.
Size of beds: Each single bed measures 2ft 6 (76cm) x 6ft 3” (190cm). Configured as a double bed 5ft (1.52m) x 6ft 3” (190cm).
Bathrooms: Each stateroom has a stylish en-suite bathroom with hair dryer, shower, wash basin and WC. Each has fully tiled floors and walls and the shower cubicle measures 2ft 11” (90cm) x 2ft 7” (80cm). All are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, bathrobes and slippers.
There are 3 portholes in each cabin and one in each bathroom. The portholes can be opened, but not while cruising.
Each cabin has Central Heating and Inverter Air Conditioning.
Computer and Telephone
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.
There is no passenger telephone on L’Art de Vivre.
The local currency in France is the Euro. L'Art de Vivre is unable to accept credit or debit cards on board.
Cycling & Walking
You are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as you wish. Most guests choose to disembark the barge at a lock and visit local villages, returning to the canal and meeting the barge a little further along. The barge travels at a slow speed therefore catching up is not a problem.
There are 5 bikes on board. Additional bikes, children’s bikes, helmets and child bike seats can be arranged if required. Please contact Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks prior to your departure.
Dining Room & Saloon
The traditional Saloon is 13ft (3.65m) x 21ft (6m) and the height is 6ft 5” (1.94m).
For relaxing there is a long banquette sofa, an armchair and a fully stocked bar. The beautiful dining table made of Iroko African wood, seats all guests at single sittings. The barge is wallpapered and panelled in teak with brass fittings and has wooden floors & carpets throughout.
There are 6 steps from the saloon down to the cabin level.
The barge is wired for 220 volts (not 110 volts). We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliance, which corresponds to the standard French 2-pin plugs. If you wish to use your electrical appliance on board, please speak to a crew member on arrival to ensure it is suitable for 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.
L’Art de Vivre has a 9-seater (including driver) long wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter used for transfers and excursions. The bus is air-conditioned.
For charter bookings, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your group’s particular needs. If a destination or excursion is within a reasonable distance of the barge, we will do everything we can to arrange it. Please speak with Paradise Connections in advance of your cruise and we can pre-arrange with the Captain.
Any guests not wishing to participate in an excursion are welcome to remain on the barge.
Facilities On Board
- 6-person spa pool (hot-tub)
- 5 Bicycles (See Cycling & Walking, above)
- A small library of books, magazines and maps
- Hi-Fi system with CD player with selection of CD’s
- Guest iPods can be connected to the Hi-Fi system Directly or via a Google Soundcast
- Bluetooth Speaker for enjoying music on the Sundeck
- Nordic walking sticks (on request)
Food & Drink
All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). International & French cuisine is featured.
We are able to arrange special meals, e.g. vegetarian / no fish / vegan etc, and we are able to cater for any preferences or allergies. However, it is most important that we are notified of any specific requirements 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 board L’Art de Vivre seats all guests at a single sitting.
Breakfast: Your day on L’Art de Vivre starts with a Continental breakfast with fresh breads & pastries, cereals, freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot beverages.
Lunch is usually buffet style with colourful salads, pates and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delicious deserts and a selection of regional cheeses accompanied by quality wines selected by the chef.
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 is held on the last night of your cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.
Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours, which includes wines, spirits, beers & soft drinks. All wines are provided with each meal and there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.
Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some brands of Champagnes (with the exception of the Captain’s reception) and special vintage wines, however these can be purchased in advance of your cruise at cost price, please contact Paradise Connections. We do not recommend specific beverage orders unless you are chartering the whole barge.
Hot Air Balooning
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. You will need to contract and pay the balloon company directly on the day of the flight (they do accept credit cards).
We recommend you bring sufficient clean 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 request basis.
Luggage / What To Pack
Please try and fit everything for your cruise into one medium sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable. There is only enough space on the barge and the minibus for up to 8 suitcases and 8 pieces of hand luggage.
Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard L’Art de Vivre and for most excursions. The dress code for dinner is relaxed and informal. For the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on the final evening, guests often dress up, which is optional.
The weather in Burgundy is hottest in June, July, and August when temperatures often reach the mid 30s°C / top 80s°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 can be useful.
- Comfortable walking shoes with textured non-slip soles are recommended.
- L’Art de Vivre has a spa pool (hot tub) so don’t forget your swim wear. Towels are provided.
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 medication with you.
Doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation and the Emergency Services can be called if required.
Problem During Your Cruise
If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things right. Please bring any concern to the private attention of your Captain who will often be able to solve any issue immediately.
Please let us know in advance of your cruise if you have a physical disability and require any assistance.
L’Art de Vivre has a boarding ramp which may slope at an angle between 15° to 20° from the canal bank to the barge with 2 handrails. There are 6 steps from the Saloon to the deck, plus one down onto the deck. There are 6 steps from the saloon to lower corridor, and a further 2 steps in the corridor to access cabins Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Wheelchairs cannot be used on-board and can only be used to assist on excursions where there are often cobbled streets. Sometimes rough ground may hinder a wheelchair.
If you would like us to provide a wheelchair for your arrival, please notify Paradise Connections at least 8 weeks before arrival. There is a small hire charge of approximately 100 euros which should be paid directly to the barge Captain on arrival.
Safety & Security
Once you are on board, your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures. Safety Instructions are detailed below.
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 all valuables are covered by your travel insurance.
Safes are provided in each cabin on board, however cabin doors are not locked for safety reasons.
We have a strict non-smoking policy for safety reasons and for the comfort of your fellow passengers.
If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside or on the deck away from other guests.
The Sundeck on L’Art de Vivre is 12ft 6” (3.9m) x 22ft (6.7m) and for al-fresco dining and relaxing there is a large table and 8 chairs. There is a large sun canopy providing more shade. The heated hot-tub seats 6 guests.
Family, Golf & Wine Appreciation cruise itineraries are available for charter groups. Special interest cruises often have a supplement, for details please visit L'Art De Vivre's Itinerary page and Rates page.
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 guideline, the average tip given by our guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the Cruise Fare.
The usual way to give the tip is to give the amount in cash as one lump sum to the Captain / Cruise Director on the last day of the cruise. They will distribute the amount equally amongst the crew.
Euros or US Dollars are equally appreciated. ATMs are accessible for cash withdrawal on most itineraries during the cruise and the crew can advise where these are located.
For details of the L’Art de Vivre vehicle, please see "Excursions", above. The approximate transfer duration between Paris and L’Art de Vivre is 2 hours 30 minutes.
The tap water in France and on board L’Art de Vivre is potable and bottled water is available. The barge carries 8,000 litres of fresh water onboard.
Safety Instructions On Board L'Art de Vivre
On arrival the Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures on board. In addition, it is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety instructions detailed below.
- Please follow the instructions of the Captain and crew at all times.
- Remember that decks can be slippery. Please wear non-slip shoes and do not run or jump whilst on board.
- Do not walk on the side or rear decks or outside the guard rails.
- Passengers are not permitted in the engine rooms, technical areas or crew accommodation at any time, or in the galley or wheelhouse unless accompanied by a crew member.
- Do not embark or disembark the barge unless the gangplank and handrail are in place or the crew have advised that it is safe to do so. Never do so when the barge is moving.
- Be careful when the vessel is being moored up with the barge ropes. In particular do not step into a loop in the rope or try to release the mooring rope from a bollard.
- Keep clear of any overhead obstructions and remain seated if on deck whilst the barge passes under bridges with restricted headroom.
- Do not attempt to touch the sides of any lock or bridge.
- Do not open lower deck portholes whilst the barge is moving.
- Life jacket preservers are located in designated lockers in your cabin or in designated deck lockers. Once on board, please take the time to identify their location and read the instructions.
- For fire safety reasons, smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the barge.
- The barge's equipment such as the hot-tub and bicycles must only be used following preparation by the crew. Use of the bicycles and the hot tub is at your own risk. Breakable glasses are not permitted in the hot tub and alcohol consumption is not advised
- There is an open bar policy on board. However, excessive alcohol consumption can be dangerous, particularly in a warm climate and in proximity to deep water and the Captain has the discretion to withhold alcohol if safety to passengers or crew is at risk.
In an emergency:
- Keep calm. Do not return to your cabin to recover your possessions.
- If you discover a fire on board, sound the fire alarm and notify a crew member immediately. If possible, close doors behind you to confine the fire. Please take the time to identify the location of fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
- If the alarm sounds or you hear repeated continuous blasts on the barge horn, you must, if possible, assemble on the sundeck for further instructions.
- If you discover water below deck, notify a crew member immediately and go to the sundeck to await further instructions
- If you are in your cabin and the way to the sundeck is obstructed, follow the signs to the alternative fire exit. Please take the time to identify all fire exits.
- There is a defibrillator in case of cardiac arrest. Instructions are in English and located by the machine.
- The emergency number for fire, police or medical assistance on all public phone networks is 112
Please ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice
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