Luxury barge cruise vacations on the French hotel barge L'ART DE VIVRE cruising the Canal du Nivernais in the Burgundy / Bourgogne region of France

French Hotel Barge L' ART DE VIVRE
Nivernais Canal, Burgundy France
between Auxerre and Chevroches

Specifications, Amenities, Accommodations, Layout

The 8-passenger L'ART DE VIVRE started life as a Scottish lumber carrier and has been transformed by a team of skilled craftsmen into a floating celebration of the Burgundian "good life".

Your crew of four comprise Captain, Tour guide, Master Chef and Hostess, all with a love for the Nivernais canal and all secure in the knowledge that their vessel represents L'Art de Vivre itself...

French Hotel Barge L' ART DE VIVRE - Burgundy France - ParadiseConnections.com

4 CREW : Captain, Tour Guide/Deckhand, 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.


All staterooms are similar in size and are equally comfortable, measuring 16ft 7" x 6ft 6" (1.6m x 2m).

Each bathroom measures 5ft 2" x 6ft 6" (1.6m x 2m) which is included in the stateroom size detailed above.

BEDS: As singles they are 2ft 6" x 6ft 3"; (76cm wide x 190cm). As double beds they are 5ft 4" x 6ft 3" (152cm x 190cm)

BATHROOMS: Each stateroom has a stylish ensuite bathroom with hair dryer, 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 height is 6ft 5" (1.94m).

For relaxing there are two comfortable leather sofas and a coffee table, along with a fully stocked bar. The beautiful dining table seats all guests at a single sitting. The barge is wallpapered and panelled in teak with brass fittings and has wooden floors and carpets throughout.

There are 4 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) and for al fresco dining and relaxing there is a large table and 8 chairs. Large parasols provide shade. The heated hot tub (spa pool) seats 6 guests.



220 volt electricity (French two-pin plugs). 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 ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable to 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 individually controlled cooling and heating.


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

There are no passenger telephones on board the barge.


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 7 steps between the deck and the salon, 6 steps between the salon and the guest cabin level, 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.

Wheelchairs can be hired locally and the cost is about €100 for 1 week's hire. If you would like to hire a wheelchair so that it is available on your arrival, please notify us at least 8 weeks in advance. The hire charge should be paid directly to the barge captain on arrival.


All meals aboard 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 bread and pastries, cereals, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and hot beverages.

Lunch: Usually buffet style with colorful salads, pâtés 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: Captain's dinner on the last night of the cruise. Guests may choose to dress slightly more formal.

Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24-hours per day which include wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks. All wines are served with meals and there is a Champagne Welcome on arrival.

Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some brands of Champagne (with exception of the reception) and special vintage wines, however you may purchase bottles at cost price if you let us know in advance how many of each you require. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.

Water: Tap water in France and aboard l'Art de Vivre is potable and bottled water is also available.


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 everthing we can to arrange it. Please speak with us in advance of your cruise so we can pre-arrange with the Captain.

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 like. Most guests choose to disembark the barge at a lock and visit local villages. The barge travels at a slow speed therefore catching up is not a problem.

There are 8 all-terrain bikes on board. 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 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.


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.


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.


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 reasonably-sized suitcase per person. Soft-sided luggage is preferable. There is only enough space on the barge and minibuses for up to 8 suitcases and 8 pieces of hand luggage.

Practical comfort and casual clothing is the norm aboard 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:
  • Light clothing including T-shirts and shorts. A sweater or lightweight jacket is recommended for evenings and the air conditioned interiors.
  • During spring and autumn, you may need medium-weight clothing. A lightweight raincoat for showery times would be advisable.
  • For summer, a sun hat can be useful.
  • Comfortable walking shoes with textured, non-slip soles are recommended.
  • There is a hot tub on board, so don't forget your swim wear. Towels are provided.


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 guidance, our passengers on average tip approximately 5-7% of the cruise fare. All tips should be given to the Captain and are shared between the whole crew on board.

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


If you have a problem during your cruise, please give us the immediate opportunity to make things 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 usually unlocked.

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