Hotel Barge ART DE VIVRE - Barging in France -

Canal du Nivernais - Burgundy, France
Between Auxerre and Chevroches

Specifications & Facts About The Barge

Art de Vivre layout

LENGTH : 100 Feet (30.5m)
BEAM : 16.5 Feet (5m)
4 CREW : Cruise Director/Tour Guide, Deckhand, Pilot, Chef & Housekeeper
SPA-POOL (Hot tub)
WIFI (Subject to local conditions)


L'Art de Vivre accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 staterooms. Each stateroom can be configured with either 2 single (twin) beds or a double bed.

All cabins have ensuite shower and WC, a fitted closet with hanging space, and a small bedside table. There is also storage space in drawers under each bed.

There are 3 portholes in each cabin and one in each bathroom. The portholes can be opened, but not while cruising.

Cabin Sizes (measurements are approximate)

All staterooms are similar in size and are equally comfortable, measuring 10ft 7" x 6ft 6" (3.25m x 2m). Each bathroom measures 5ft 2" x 6ft 6" (1.6m x 2m) which is additional to the stateroom size detailed above.

Ceiling height: The height in each cabin is 6ft 5" (1.97m).

Bed sizes:

Bathrooms: Each stateroom has a stylish ensuite bathroom with hairdrier, shower, wash basin, and WC. Each has fully tiled floors and walls. The shower stall measures 2ft 11" x 2ft 7" (90cm x 80cm). All are supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, bathrobes, and slippers.


The traditional salon is 13ft x 21ft (3.65m x 6m) and the ceiling 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 out of African Iroko wood, seats all guests at a single sitting. The barge is wallpapered, panelled in teak with brass fittings, and has wooden floors and carpets throughout.

There are 6 steps from the salon down to the guest cabin level.


The sundeck on l'Art de Vivre is 12ft 6" x 22ft (3.9m x 6.7m). For al fresco dining and relaxing there is a large table and 8 chairs. A large sun canopy provides shade. The heated hot tub (spa pool) seats 6 guests.



All meals on board 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 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 accommodates all guests at a single sitting.

Breakfast: Your day on L'Art de Vivre starts with a Continental breakfast with fresh breads and pastries, cereals, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and hot beverages.

Lunch: Usually buffet style with colorful salads, patés, and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delicious desserts 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: 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, regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, and whole or low-fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day serving beers, wines, spirits, and 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 let us know in advance what you would like to order. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water in France and on board L'Art de Vivre is potable and bottled water is available. The barge carries 8000 liters of fresh water on board.


The barge is wired for 220 volts (not 110 volts). It is suggested that you bring an adapter for your particular appliance, which corresponds to the standard French 2-pin plugs. If you wish to use an electrical appliance on board, please speak to a crew member on arrival to ensure that 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.


Each cabin has central heating and air conditioning.


Complimentary WiFi is available on board for guests bringing their own appliances. Connectivity can be limited in remote locations.

There is no passenger telephone on board the barge.


L'Art de Vivre has a 9-seater (including driver), long wheelbase, Mercedes Sprinter used for transfers and excursions. The minibus 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 advise Paradise Connections in advance and the Captain will be informed.

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


Passengers are welcome to walk or cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they wish. Most guests choose to disembark the barge at a lock and visit local villages, returning to 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 before your departure.


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 per person. You will need to contract and pay the balloon company directly on the day of the flight (they do accept credit cards).

Please contact Paradise Connections in advance if you are interested in ballooning. The main balloon operators they work with are Air Escargot and France Montgolfieres.


Family, Golf, Walking, and Wine Appreciation cruise itineraries are available for charter groups (See ITINERARY page). Special interest cruises often have a supplement, please ask us for more details.


Please let Paradise Connections know in advance of booking 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 salon up to the deck, plus one down onto the deck. There are 6 steps from the salon to the lower corridor, and a further 2 steps in the corridor to access the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cabins.

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 to have a wheelchair provided upon your arrival, please notify us at least 8 weeks before your departure date. There is a small hire charge of approximately 100 euros which should be paid directly to the Captain on arrival.


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/pharmacy 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.


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.


We recommend that 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.


Please try to fit everything for your cruise into one medium-sized suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage is preferable. There is only enough space on the barge and minibus for up to 8 suitcases and 8 pieces of hand luggage.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm on board 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 warmest in June, July, and August, often being in the upper 80s°F (mid-30s°C).

Suggested things to pack:


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


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 guests from around the world is approximately 5% of the full 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. It will be distributed equally between the whole crew on board.

Please note that gratuities can only be made on board by cash payment. Euros or 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.


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.


Once you are 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 guest cabin. For safety reasons, cabin doors are not locked.


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 ask a member of the crew on board if you require any further safety advice

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