Standard Classic Barge Cruise
Cruising along one of Burgundy's canals is a wonderful experience. The waterways wind through the heart of Burgundy's renowned vineyards, medieval towns, elegant châteaux, magnificent cathedrals, picturesque villages and wonderful local markets. Burgundy guarantees a wealth of sightseeing opportunities.
Sunday, Day 1 - Venarey-les-Laumes
Guests are met in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to La Belle Epoque. A full crew Welcome Aboard with champagne and canapés. After time to settle into your cabin you will enjoy your first dinner on board and an introduction to Burgundy's excellent cuisine.
Monday, Day 2 - Venarey-les-Laumes to Montbard
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, then we cruise through woodlands and rolling fields with great towpath biking and walking opportunities past the tiny canalside villages of Nogent, Courcelles and Les Granges. After an early lunch, we visit the moat-encircled Château de Commarin to be treated to a private demonstration of the medieval sport of falconry (weather dependent). The close up encounter with these majestic birds against the backdrop of the castle grounds is an amazing experience and afterwards, we meet Count Bertrand de Vogue, the current resident and 26th generation of the de Vogue family to maintain continuous residence since the 13th century. He will give a fascinating insight into the Château’s history. This is followed by a private tour of the building. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Montbard to Ravières
Morning cruise with excellent towpath for walking or cycling, passing the 18th century Forges de Buffon. Then after lunch we escort you to the exquisite UNESCO World Heritage Site of Abbaye de Fontenay founded by St Bernard in 1118. Representing a distinctive example of early Cistercian architecture and virtually intact, Fontenay allows an exceptional glimpse of Cistercian life and industry with its peaceful gardens, ponds and fascinating cloisters, dormitories and scriptorium. Return to the barge and cruise to Ravières. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 - Ravières to Ancy le Franc
A truly unique day lies ahead. Following breakfast aboard we head to Les Riceys, the only wine growing area of the Champagne region to have three Appellation d'Origine Contrôlées. Here we visit Maison Taisne Riocour, viewing the vineyards and winery before tasting some of their champagnes. We then head to Château de Ricey-Bas; with its 12th-century vaulted cellars and thousand-year history it’s the ideal location to appreciate the rolling vineyards and enjoy a glimpse of family life in a rural château. Here we will be greeted for a Champagne aperitif and a gourmet lunch with the Baroness herself, which we take in either the private salon or the atmospheric vaulted 13th-century kitchen. We will spend the remainder of the afternoon strolling the beautiful gardens or exploring the regal château interiors. Upon your return to the barge we'll begin our cruise to Ancy-le-Franc, with plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle along the towpath… or sit on deck with another glass of bubbly! Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 - Ancy-le-Franc to Lezinnes
This morning we visit Château d'Ancy-le-Franc. This beautifully symmetrical, 16th-century masterpiece contains France's largest collection of Renaissance murals and is set in magnificent gardens and parkland. In the afternoon, a gentle cruise as your hotel barge continues along the Burgundy Canal and descends through the picturesque locks to moor at Lezinnes. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 - Lezinnes to Tanlay
After breakfast we enjoy a leisurely cruise to our final mooring at Tanlay, with the opportunity to cycle or walk into the picturesque village of Saint Vinnemer. Following lunch, we visit the town of Chablis, dating back to Roman times, and enjoy a private wine tasting prestigious Domaine Laroche. There, we also visit the 1000-year-old Obediencerie, originally part of the monastery of St Martin, the founders of Chablis, where for centuries, the Domaine’s wines have been aged. Later we return to the barge for Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 - Tanlay
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris.
Notes: On alternative weeks the cruise is in reverse direction. This itinerary is subject to change.