Hotel Barge LA BELLE EPOQUE - Barging in France - www.BargeCharters.com

Barge Cruises on the Canal de Bourgogne - France
Between Tanlay and Venarey-les-Laumes

Wine Tasting & Appreciation Barge Cruise

This wine-themed cruise 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 La Belle Epoque - itinerary map
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Sunday, Day 1 - Tanlay

Guests are met in central Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to La Belle Epoque. A champagne reception with canapés welcomes you on board and the opportunity to meet the captain and crew. Time to settle into your cabin before your wine guide arrives to introduce himself and outline the week's itinerary. Then enjoy your first dinner aboard and an introduction to Burgundy’s excellent cuisine.

Monday, Day 2 - Tanlay to Lezinnes

Wake to the aromas of ground coffee and French patisseries, enjoy a leisurely breakfast before your wine guide collects you for your visit to the Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis where you get a wonderful view of these world famous Chardonnay vineyards. A brief history of the region is given then on to a great local wine producer to taste a selection of wines including Premier Cru and Grand Cru's. Return to the barge and cruise this afternoon to Lezinnes. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 - Lezinnes to Ancy le Franc

After breakfast, we drive to the picturesque village of Les Riceys, the center of the Champagne producing region of the Aude. It is the only village in this Champagne region to boast three AOCs for Champagne, Coteaux Champenois and the famous rare Rosé des Riceys. We visit an excellent local Champagne producer and enjoy a private tasting, followed by a stroll around the old town centre. We return to the barge and enjoy a gentle cruise to Ancy le Franc with plenty of opportunity to wander or cycle ahead as the vessel ascends through the locks towards the beautiful 16th century Renaissance palace and gardens of Chateau d’Ancy le Franc. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 - Ancy le Franc to Ravières

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 the Maison Alexandre Bonnet for a private champagne tasting, a family owned Champagne house renowned for a stunning yearly harvest of Pinot Noir that leads to some exquisite vintages. After you’ve tasted an array of champagnes we take a short drive 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 chateau interiors. We return to the barge and begin our cruise to Ravieres, 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 - Ravières to Montbard

Leaving the barge shortly after breakfast we drive south with our wine guide to some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world. In the town of Nuits-St-Georges, we visit a small family wine producer to visit their cellar and taste some of their world renowned Pinot Noirs from villages, including Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée. After lunch in the wine capital of Beaune we return to the barge and enjoy a cruise to Montbard passing the Forges de Buffon on the banks of the tiny yet powerful Armancon River, whose power was harnessed to run the forge. Light dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 -Montbard to Venarey les Laumes

Morning cruise through woodlands and rolling fields with great towpath biking and walking opportunities past the tiny canal side villages of Nogent, Courcelles and Les Granges. This afternoon we escort you to the exquisite World Heritage Unesco site of Abbayé 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 early Cistercian life and industry with its peaceful gardens and ponds and fascinating cloisters, dormitories and scriptorium. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 - Venarey les Laumes

After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris.

NOTE: On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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