- Visit Clos de Vougeot, home of the Chevaliers
- Sample the renowned Domaine Jafflin
at a wine tasting
- Visit Beaune, including
a tour of Hotel Dieu Hospice and Main Champy
- Enjoy a tour of Abbaye de la Bussiere
- A Lunch
ashore at a Michelin-starred restaurant
the 13th century Chateau de Commain
Dijon and Ducal Palace
Filet d'Agneau au Basilic, Magret de Canard,
Poulet à L'Estragon
Chateau de la Saule 2005, Domaine Corsin,
Pouilly Fuisse, Domaine Laroche,
Chablis Pr. Cru,
Domaine Bruo Clair, Marsannay,
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue, Musigny
Aisy Cendré, Bouton de Culotte,
Ami du Chambertin
Click here for Trans Europe 6 Weeks Cruise Itinerary
Transfers by Chauffeured Mercedes Mini bus between Hotel Westminster in Paris to the hotel barge, a luxury 6 night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef, an open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, the services of 6 crew and use of barge facilities, which includes bicycles and spa pool.
L'IMPRESSIONNISTE - CLASSIC BURGUNDY CRUISE
- Escommes to Fleurey Sur Ouche
Guests are met at the **designated meeting point and transferred to the elegant L' Impressionniste moored in Escommes for your cruise through Burgundy. A champagne reception welcomes you on board and provides you with a chance to meet the captain and crew. Enjoy a stroll into Escommes before dinner on board.
We begin our cruise this morning from the canal summit in Escommes, 1250 feet above sea level and cruise to Vandenesse-en-Auxois. This afternoon we visit Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin and see the portrait gallery created by the disgraced Louis XIV before strolling the French-style gardens and enjoying views of the Chateau surrounded by its moats. Dinner on board.
Morning cruise to Pont d' Ouche. After lunch, we embark on an excursion through the premier cru vineyards to Beaune, capital of Burgundy wine country with a history going back over 2000 years. We absorb the fascinating 15th century Hotel Dieu Hospice, before visiting another one of Burgundy's oldest winemakers, such as Bouchard Pere et Fils, renowned for its Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines and of course, enjoy a tasting. Dinner on board
Morning cruise to La Bussiere followed by an exclusive tour of the magnificent 12th century Abbaye de la Bussiere. The ornamental gardens and lake, wine press, crypt and cellars are interwoven with ancient colonnades, stone staircases and huge stained glass windows. After a Kir Royale aperitif we enjoy the gastronomic delights of Master Chef Emmanuel Hebrard in the Bistro or Garden Restaurant whilst enjoying a selection of local burgundies. In the afternoon a tour of the medieval village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, situated on top of a hill overlooking the Auxois plains and the village of Vandenesse. The original square keep of the Chateau, built in the 12th Century, is surrounded by structures built a few centuries later as updated living quarters in a flamboyant late Gothic style. Dinner on board.
After breakfast we cruise to Gissey-sur-Ouche. In the afternoon we visit Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Chevaliers du Tastevin, who annually award every year a prized special label to the finest Cote d'Or vintages. We enjoy a tasting of fine Burgundy wines in the cellars of a reputable domaine, such as Chateau Andre Ziltener, a family-run winery built on the foundations of an old Cistercian abbey. Dinner on board.
Transfer to Dijon after breakfast and enjoy the produce market and a walking tour of old Dijon including a visit to the vivid flower and produce markets, mustard shops and the impressive Notre-Dame de Dijon, or enjoy some excellent shopping time. After lunch we cruise to Fleurey-sur-Ouche for our final mooring. Captains Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to the **designated drop off point.
On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
**The designated meeting and drop off point is Paris. Other options are available for charter groups.
Burgundy Classic Cruise - Fleurey sur Ouche to Escommes
Sunday, Day 1 Fleurey sur Ouche
Guests are met at the **designated meeting point and transferred to the elegant L' Impressionniste moored in Fleurey-sur-Ouche for your cruise through Burgundy. A champagne reception welcomes you on board and provides you with a chance to meet the captain and crew. Dinner on board
Monday, Day 2 Fleurey sur Ouche to Gissey sur Ouche
This morning experience your first day's cruise along this enchanting canal, which also promises a walk or cycle along an ever-present towpath cruising past sleepy villages and pretty lock houses. After lunch we visit Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Chevaliers du Tastevin, who award every year a special prized label to the finest Cote d' Or vintages. On the way back to the barge visit one of the great cellars of Burgundy where we enjoy a private tasting of fine Burgundy wines. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Gissey sur Ouche to La Bussiere
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of old Dijon including a visit to the vivid produce markets, mustard shops and the impressive Notre Dame de Dijon, or enjoy some excellent shopping time. Return to the boat for lunch and leisurely afternoon cruise to La Bussiere. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 La Bussiere to Pont d' Ouche
After a morning cruise to Pont D' Ouche, an exclusive tour of the magnificent 12th Century Abbaye de la Bussiere. The ornamental gardens and lake, wine press, crypt and cellars are interwoven with ancient colonnades, stone staircases and huge stained glass windows. After a Kir Royale aperitif, we enjoy the gastronomic delights of Master Chef Emmanuel Hebrard in the Bistro or Garden Restaurant whilst enjoying a selection of local burgundies. Mid afternoon, we visit the medieval village, craft shops and castle of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, once an outpost of the Dukes of Burgundy and offering a fine overview of the feeder lakes, canal and surrounding countryside. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Pont d' Ouche to Vandenesse en Auxois
After breakfast we cruise to Vandenesse en Auxois, passing grazing white Charolais cattle, rolling hills and picturesque villages crossing the only canal bridge on the Burgundy Canal. In the afternoon we drive cross the premier cru vineyards into Beaune, capital of Burgundy wine country with a history going back over 2000 years. We absorb the fascinating 15th century Hotel Dieu Hospice and visit an excellent Burgundy winery and sample some of the local wines. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Vandenesse en Auxois to Escommes
Our last day's leisurely cruise takes us to the canal summit, 1250 feet above sea level, just before the Pouilly tunnel. This afternoon we visit the moat-encircled 13th century Chateau de Commarin. Going back 26 generations, the de Vogue family ownership portrays an insight into the glamorous lives of the French aristocracy as well as showing off the Chateau, stables and landscaped gardens.
Saturday Day 7 – Escommes
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to the designated drop off point.
On alternate weeks, the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
A TRANS EUROPE 6 WEEK CRUISE - Avignon to Amsterdam
, Sunday 2nd November 2014
You are met at the designated meeting point to start your "Journey of a Lifetime" commencing in Avignon. A Champagne Welcome on board and an introduction to fellow passengers, the Captain and crew.
Morning tour of Avignon,
which like most of Provence, takes its inspiration from Italy. It was the seat of the Papacy in the 14th Century. The city is surrounded by rugged city walls. During the afternoon we visit Chateauneuf du Pape and savour the region's most gracious wines. Our afternoon cruise starts our journey north.
Today is spent cruising, as we head for Montelimar, the delicious nougat capital.
The mighty Rhone River has been the main trading route for over 2000 years and the prealps over to the east create a fine setting. A visit to the market town of Montelimar has a medieval center and is full of shops selling the almond studded nougat that has been made there since almond trees were first imported from Asia in the 17th century. Cruise on towards Valence.
The delights of the Rhone Valley are yours to explore. Valence itself is a thriving town facing the Ardeche cliffs and great for shopping. The Cathedral of St Apollinaire was founded in 1095 and rebuilt during the 1700's. The museum of beaux arts contains a collection of late 18th century chalk drawings of Rome. The nearby Ardeche gorges have been carved out over thousands of years and are more reminiscent of the American southwest than the verdure commonly associated with French countryside. This cruise takes us through the vineyards that produce the grapes for the Cote du Rhone wines.
Our journey today takes us to Lyon, a city with a wealth of historic sights, roman monuments, medieval churches and renaissance houses. The town abounds with fine inns and restaurants and is justifiably titled the gastronomic center of France. For your touring, we start at Place Bellecour, and then a walk across the Saone leads to a most intriguing area, a showcase of renaissance architecture along ancient dark cobblestone streets. We show you the oldest theatre in France built in 15 BC by the Romans to seat some 10,000 spectators and still used today for Opera and Rock concerts. Lyon is France's second city.
We carry on up the River Saone towards the Beaujolais wine region and Macon, home of the poet Lamartine. Macon is the southern frontier of Burgundy and the Musee des Ursulines houses a fine collection of Flemish and French paintings and an exhibition of the prehistoric site of Solutre.
Today, there is an opportunity to see the great Romanesque Abbaye de Cluny and to sample the famous dry white wine from the Pinot Chardonnay grape. Cruise to Chalon-sur-Saone, the birthplace of photography. In 1822 Nicephore Niepce managed to capture an image on glass at nearby St-Loup-de-Varennes and Chalon has an interesting museum of pictures and photographic artifacts.
Today, the boat will cruise to Blanzy on the Canal du Centre. The canal winds through the scenic Charolais pasture land, home to the famous breed of all white cattle. This afternoon enjoy a visit to the Chateau Marguerite de Bourgogne.
After breakfast, drive through the countryside to La Clayette to visit the specialty chocolate shop of M. Bernard Dufoux. The master himself will demonstrate the art of making chocolate, followed by a private tasting. Car enthusiasts may tour the vintage car museum just around the corner where all the vehicles are for sale. Afternoon cruise to Palinges.
Blanzy to Digoin. Late morning, tour the city of Autun, founded by emperor Augustus and known as one of the leading cities of Roman Gaul, followed by a visit to the roman amphitheatre, one of the largest in France with a seating capacity of 17,000. Return to the barge for a late afternoon cruise to Digoin, a quiet place to walk or bicycle.
After breakfast, we take a short drive to Paray-le-Monial, with its famous Basilica of the Sacre Coeur and site of pilgrimage since 1873. After lunch, enjoy a leisurely cruise to the evening mooring in Nevers
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Nevers, the capital of the Nivernais, which has a strong Italian influence and a long-standing reputation for ceramics. Nevers is the third largest city in Burgundy and, until the Revolution was the seat of the Counts and Dukes of Nevers. Cruises on towards Pouilly sur Loire.
This morning we visit the vineyards and town of Chablis, dating back to Roman times. We enjoy a private wine tasting at the Domaine Billaud Simon renowned for its Premier and Grand Cru wines popularized by Alexis Lichine in the 1950's. This afternoon's cruise is to Cosne Cours sur Loire.
Today, the barge traverses the River Loire via the longest canal bridge in Europe, connecting the Canal du Briare to the Canal Lateral a la Loire to Briare. After lunch you'll visit the beautiful Chateau de Saint-Fargeau with a history spanning a thousand years.
Leaving the river today we cruise to one of the oldest villages in the region, Rogny-Les-Sept-Ecluses, where a staircase of seven locks (now adopted as a French National Monument) stand as a testimony to the 500 year history of the canal
This morning's cruise takes us through our first flight of locks to the village of Montbouy renowned as one of the prettiest villages on this stretch of the canal. We moor in the shadow of the splendid 12th century village church. After lunch we visit a privately owned Chateau de La Bussiere for a guided tour and a visit to the splendid vegetable gardens. Our visit to the chateau will be rounded off with a private tasting of some of the region's best known and most popular wines.
Today begins with a cruise to Montargis - regional capital of 'the Gatinais" with its flower bedecked bridges and a network of miniature canals which once fed the walled city with produce. We visit the bustling town to take in a little souvenir shopping and visit the world famed Mazet Pralines shop or simply sit and watch the locals going about their business. We then rejoin the barge for a further cruise to the pretty waterside village of Cepoy on the Canal de Loing where we moor with time for a pre-dinner stroll or cycle.
Our day begins with a morning excursion to the hill-top medieval town of Chateau Landon with its c10th-12th church and fortified battlements. The town is best seen from an open vehicle so today, so we ride into town by horse-drawn carriage before stopping in the town center to explore the narrow alleyways and reinforced battlements of the city. After lunch, our cruise continues to the quite hamlet of Nargis on the Canal du Loing, where we moor for the night.
An early start is in store for those who would like to see a traditional country market, since Chef will be off the barge early today to pick up freshly grown vegetables, herbs and local cheeses. A little later in the morning, we head for the town of Moret-sur-Loing - the medieval walled city famed as the home of the impressionist painter Sisley. Our local guide will help you explore the charming town where the River Loing flows into the River Seine. The church here inspired the style of the Cathedral de Notre Dame in Paris and the scenery of the many authentic town houses and narrow streets are an inspiration for painters to this day. We rejoin the barge at Beau Moulin for an afternoon cruise to the charming riverside town of Nemours.
Our cruise schedule continues this morning as we head for lunch at Episy. After lunch, our excursion is to the glorious Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte - setting for the film 'The Man In The Iron Mask'. The chateau has a fascinating history - which provided the inspiration for the film made there and the visit includes a chance to walk in the gardens which are widely regarded as some of the best formal gardens in France. When we return to the barge, we enjoy a final, early evening cruise, leaving the Canal de Loing and joining the River Seine. The cruise includes passage through one of the mighty river locks on the Seine - capable of holding up to twelve barges the size of our hotel barges. We moor in the colourful river-side village of Samois-sur-Seine
The hotel barge, with her deck chairs, will be your viewing spot to enjoy the delights of scenery today. We cruise the River Seine and the route allows opportunity to explore on foot or barge bicycle, the picturesque villages.
Today we visit Fontainebleau, with its famous forest covering more than 40,000 acres and the Renaissance Chateau that was a favourite residence of the Emperor Napoleon. To walk through this palace is to walk through the history of France and every French royal family has added its own architectural style and features when in residence. We cruise today towards Paris through the Base Regionale de Plein Air et de Loisirs de Bois-Le-Roiand. The Base is between Melun and Fontainebleau, 60 km south of Paris, on 73 wooded acres of parkland, with 8 hectares of lakes. It is bordered by the Seine on one side and has direct access to the forest of Fontainebleau on the other side
The hotel barge is moored in central Paris, allowing a wonderful opportunity to tour Paris by foot with the hotel barge close at hand.
We cruise through Paris and under the Eiffel Tower to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. We drive to Giverny to visit the home and gardens of the great Impressionist, Claude Monet where we visit the water lily pond and the Japanese bridge that inspired several of his paintings.
Cruise on the Oise River to Auvers sur Oise where we visit the old village. It was here that Vincent van Gogh spent the last part of his life and was buried at the local cemetery. Here and there, panels indicate the scenes portrayed by the painter. It is the district around the church, however, that constitutes the favourite 'place of pilgrimage' for art lovers.
Morning cruise to Pont Sainte Maxence on the River Oise. In the afternoon an unforgettable excursion to the elegant Renaissance Chateau-de-Chantilly. This superb example of 16th century architecture boasts an array of art treasures, gardens laid out by Andre le Notre (of Versailles fame) and the great stables. More than 3000 horses are stabled in and around Chantilly making it the thoroughbred capital of France. Chantilly has also an enjoyable golf course as an optional excursion.
A cruise to Compiegne, after which you have a free afternoon in the town either shopping or perhaps you may choose a museum or royal chateau or a walk in the beautiful Foret de Compiegne.
This morning we tour the Somme. There are many places to visit, including the train where the World War I Armistice was signed. The Royal Apartments, the second Empire museum, and the automobile and touring museum. An afternoons cruise to Peronne which was destroyed 3 times over 70 years in conflicts between 1870 and 1940, Peronne is linked forever with Australia after the costly liberation of the town in September 1918.
We leave Peronne and cruise through the 4.35km Ruyaulcourt Tunnel. We pass Roo de Kanga and visit the memorial to "Digger".
Visit to Cambrai, which has always been a producer of cambric, a fine plain weave cloth which takes its name from the town. Cambrai dates back to the Romans and is a vibrant Picardy town. In the 6th century church of Saint-Gery you will note the 16th Century marble Jibe and a huge painting by Rubens, "The Entombment". We cruise on the Canal du Nord, which has much WWI history and memorials to the fighting. Biking and walking possibilities.
Today we cruise all day in the direction of the picturesque 13thcentury Pont des Trous at Valenciennes. Lots of opportunity for shopping in Valenciennes during the afternoon.
Morning cruise to Tournai which has Belgium's oldest Belfry, circa 12th Century and Europe's oldest burgher houses also dating from the 12th Century. From now on we are in Belgium.
Belgium is famous for its various kinds of beer and today we visit the brewery from Liefmans, specialist in cherry beer. This is also a great place for shopping. Our cruise continues on the River Schelde to Oudenaarde.
Morning cruise to Ghent. The first and lasting impression of Ghent is of marvellous medieval structures, whose sturdy stone facades reflect beautifully in the canal waters. We visit the Castle of the Counts in the afternoon. This is a magnificent, almost unrivalled example, of a feudal fortress of the Counts of Flounders with its massive medieval shape rising from the reflective waters of its moat, which was built about 1180.
Bruges known as "Venice of the North", has an extensive and picturesque network of canals and bridges, as well as outstanding medieval architecture. A walking tour shows us many of the art treasures contained within its 13th Century fortifications. Highlights include the Gothic Town Hall, the medieval Cloth Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
We catch the flood tide up the winding "Sea Schelde" which takes us to the town of Antwerp the city of Rubens, where we take a tour of Rubens' house and a walk in the old quarter of this beautiful Flemish city. You will have plenty of time to visit this beautiful town in the afternoon.
Today we will leave Belgium and cross the border into Holland and travel to the charming old fortress town of Willemstad. This town is preserved in its original state, with windmill dykes, an old church and a 15th century arsenal. There will be an optional visit to the famous Delta Project which is one of the greatest feats of water engineering in the world involving the damming of the great estuaries.
A cruise out of Willemstad to Gouda to the River Ijssel and across the Hollands Diep, part of the Dutch estuaries. The afternoon visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where you can admire the permanent collection of some 75 important Van Gogh paintings, letters, drawings and objects, which allows you to follow Vincent on his personal quest to the heart of him being an artist as well as exploring the themes of his art.
This morning there will be time for a stroll around Gouda where you can see the most magnificent stained glass windows in Holland. In the afternoon we cruise along the canals to the town of Ouderkerk.
After breakfast depart the barge and transfer to the designated drop off point.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.