~ Barge Cruises in France ~
Chablis - Tanlay
countryside, Renaissance chateaus, and a medieval abbey
the Burgundy Canal and the Yonne River in France aboard a luxury 12-passenger
barge-hotel (7 days - 6 nights). Enjoy cruising through the peaceful countryside
and tour lesser-known yet elegant chateaus plus a medieval Cistercian abbey. If
you love Burgundy and the relaxed pace of barging but you've already seen the
well-known sites like Dijon, Beaune, Vezelay and Fontenay, this is the cruise
barge's six staterooms offer luxurious accommodation for 12 passengers. The salon,
dining area, and bar are finished in mahogany, teak and brass, decorated with
antiques and paintings. Two spacious decks offer magnificent views of the countryside.
BARGE CRUISE ITINERARY
(actual program may vary)
1 - Sunday:
Paris to Ancy-le-Franc. You will be picked
up at your Paris hotel after lunch for the drive to Ancy-le-Franc on the Burgundy
Canal, where your host and captain will welcome you aboard the barge with a champagne
reception and an introduction to the crew. Before dinner, your tour guide will
introduce you to the local area and tell you about the cruise itinerary. Enjoy
a drink on deck before the first of many delicious meals prepared by your onboard
2 - Monday: Ancy-le-Franc to Tanlay.
During your first breakfast of croissants and pastries from the local bakery,
you'll start your cruise past the beautiful 16th-century Renaissance palace and
gardens of Chateau d'Ancy le Franc, toward the picturesque village of Tanlay.
You can walk or bicycle ahead as the barge descends through a series of quaint
hand-operated locks. After lunch, you can walk over to the Chateau de Tanlay in
the picturesque village, which also boasts a challenging 9-hole golf course (advance
bookings required). The interior of the chateau is luxuriously furnished and decorated
with beautiful frescos. Afterwards, enjoy a walk along the canal bank, a cool
refreshing drink on the upper deck of the barge or a leisurely stroll into the
village before dinner.
3 - Tuesday: Tanlay to Tonnerre.
After breakfast, take a short ride back to Ancy-le-Franc, where you can visit
the chateau. This Renaissance jewel, set in the center of a large park on the
banks of the canal, houses the biggest collection of Renaissance murals in France.
Its rich decor is attributed to some of the most celebrated Italian, Flemish and
Burgundy artists of the 16th and 17th century. Return to the barge for lunch,
then cruise onward past sleepy villages and grazing cattle to Tonnerre. This town
is the center of a small wine-producing area that produces excellent reds and
roses under the name "Bourgogne Epineuil." La Fosse Dionne, a natural
spring, the second deepest in France, is known for the excellent quality of the
water that feeds a communal wash-house created in 1758. The most beautiful reminder
of Tonnerre's past is the old hospital, founded in 1293 by Marguerite of Burgundy.
The chapel is a masterpiece of 15th century Burgundian art.
4 - Wednesday: Tonnerre to St Florentin.
After breakfast, you can stop by the Wednesday morning market before rejoining
your cruise along the Burgundy Canal. Relax, walk along the towpath, or maybe
even help out with the locks. Today you can tour one of the great Cistercian monasteries
of France, the Abbey of Fontenay. The monks of this abbey are the ones who first
planted vines in the Chablis region. Return to the barge for dinner.
5 - Thursday: St Florentin to Gurgy.
Cruise along the final stretch of the Burgundy Canal before joining the River
Yonne, which winds its way upstream to Auxerre. Locks with sloping walls and electric
gates contrast with the quaint hand-operated gates on the Burgundy Canal. Before
lunch your tour guide will take you to the world-famous town of Chablis, where
you'll take a tour of the ancient press and cellars of Domaine Laroche, followed
by a wine tasting of their various fine vintages. Next, drive a short distance
for a picnic in a beautiful secluded spot where you can enjoy a panoramic vista
of the Grand Cru vineyards. After lunch, continue cruising to the sleepy riverside
hamlet of Gurgy, where you'll have dinner on the barge and moor overnight.
6 - Friday: Gurgy to Auxerre.
This morning you'll cruise to your final destination - one of the prettiest towns
in France. Auxerre, the capital of lower Burgundy, is known for its ornately painted
15th-century Clock Tower, the soaring Gothic cathedrals of Saint Germain and Saint
Stephen and ornate Renaissance houses bordering tree-lined squares. After lunch
your tour guide will show you around this delightful town. Relax before dinner
with a drink and enjoy the view from the deck of the barge while your chef prepares
a special Farewell Dinner.
7 - Saturday: Auxerre to Paris.
After breakfast on board the barge, transfer to your hotel or airport in Paris.
alternate weeks, cruise will be in the reverse direction.
This itinerary is
subject to change without notice.
Chateau de Tanlay
Tonnerre: La Fosse Dionne, 13th-century hospital, market
Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay
clock tower, Gothic cathedrals
with private bath or shower and all meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on
with lunch and dinner and selected alcoholic beverages consumed aboard the barge
tours and entrance fees as specified
transfers from specified meeting point
to and from beginning and end points
and travel insurance
crew gratuities (suggested 5% of cruise price)
activities when available
items not specifically listed under "Included" above
6 staterooms that can be set up with two twin beds or one queen bed (12 passengers)
1 has a large bathroom with toilet and shower. Staterooms 2 through 6 each have
a separate toilet and shower. All staterooms have DVD players, screens and wireless
access and in-house blog to share your cruise experience with friends and family
128 ft. long
conditioning and central heating
coach for excursions
Sunday from Jul 14 to Aug 18
barge can be chartered for groups. Various themes and activities can be arranged
to fit the specific interests of each group.