LA BELLE EPOQUE
|Barging in France:
Luxury barge vacation cruises on the French hotel barge LA BELLE EPOQUE cruising the Canal de Bourgogne of Burgundy, France
French Hotel Barge LA BELLE EPOQUE
Canal de Bourgogne - Burgundy, France
Venarey-les-Laumes to Tanlay
Standard Classic Cruise Itinerary
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 lunch, we enjoy either a stroll around the hilltop village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, where the film "Chocolat" was set, or a tour of the medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois. On the way from the summit of Mount Auxois, we also look at Alesia, where the last battle between the Gauls and Romans took place in 52 B.C. and visit the impressive museum. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Montbard to
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 3 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 utterly exquisite vintages. After you've tasted an array of champagnes we'll take lunch in an elegant, private salon and sample some of the gastronomic delights of the region. Next 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 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 biggest 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 tour the vineyards and town of Chablis, dating back to Roman times, and enjoy a private wine tasting at a renowned winemaker such as the family-run Domaine Jean Marc Brocard, which makes the most of the region's wonderful local terroir to produce high quality wines. We then return to the barge for Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 - Tanlay
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris.
On alternative weeks the cruise is in reverse
direction. This itinerary is subject to change.
It's not how far nor how fast, it's the pleasure of the journey that keeps people coming back for more.
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