French Country Waterways: Through the Heart of Burgundy


7-Day Escorted Tour

Cruise

The Tour

Discover picturesque central Burgundy with French Country Waterways on the luxurious Nenuphar and pass through a region rich in history, wine, and art.

Situated in the heart of France, the tranquil Burgundy region is interlaced with a network of over 600 miles of waterways. A truly timeless place, Burgundy has been at the crossroads of France since the prehistoric age, and each subsequent culture has left behind its distinctive imprint.

The rich legacy of art, architecture, and commerce recalls an age when the Dukes of Burgundy were more powerful than the French kings. Today, Burgundy’s renowned vineyards produce some of the world’s most prized wines, and an abundance of superb ingredients makes it one of the great gastronomic centers.

The Society of International Railway Travelers highly recommends this Virtuoso partner. No, it’s not a train! But it’s the next best thing: a luxury barge that will take you back in time and steep you in relaxation and beauty.

Tours run April to October and departs every Sunday.  We will happily book your Paris stay pre- and post-tour at our favorite boutique hotel.

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“…Have definitely lost my heart to French Country Waterways. It was a wonderful trip; wonderful food, being looked after so well and a wonderful crew..”

— Robin Mathews, NSW, Australia

The Itinerary

Sunday
Our guide will meet you at the Paris hotel and escort the transfer from Paris to Tanlay, where the Nenuphar is moored. Welcome reception and dinner on board.

Monday
Cruise on the Burgundy Canal to the village of Lézinnes.  Afternoon drive to the vineyards of Chablis, where you will sample several vintages of these famous wines at the property of a private grower. Although widely imitated around the world, only the wines produced in this region can truly be labeled Chablis.

Tuesday
Morning visit to the medieval port of Auxerre. Join the Nenuphar‘s guide for a walking tour of the St. Etienne Cathedral and the historic quarter where the cobblestone streets fan out from a Renaissance clock tower. Return to Nenuphar for the afternoon cruise to Ancy-le-Franc.

Wednesday
Morning visit to the privately owned, 16th-century Château of Ancy-le-Franc, one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Burgundy. The interiors are furnished with a number of original period pieces. Late morning drive to Noyers, named one of the most beautiful villages in France, for a walking tour of the town center. Scenic afternoon cruise to Ravières.

Thursday
Tour the Forges de Buffon, built by the celebrated naturalist, Georges-Louis de Buffon.  After the tour, you will be greeted by the present owner who will be your host for a glass of wine in her home.  Afternoon cruise to Montbard. Dinner ashore at the renowned Michelin three-star restaurant, Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, in Saulieu.

Friday
Morning cruise to the final mooring in Venarey-les-Laumes.  Afternoon visit to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the 12th century Abbaye de Fontenay.  Founded in 1118 by the abbot of Clairvaux, St. Bernard, this remarkable abbaye is one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries in France.

Saturday
Depart after breakfast for the escorted transfer to Paris, arriving at the hotel by early afternoon.

The Prices

Prices are per-person, double occupancy, and depend on the season.

High: $6,695 (May 7-July 8; Aug. 13-Oct. 21)
Value: $6,395 (April 30-May 6; July 9-Aug. 12; Oct. 22-28)
Shoulder: $5,895 (April 2-29; Oct. 29-Nov. 4)

$1,000 Deposit per person.

Other

Included: accommodations for 6 nights with private stateroom and bath; all meals, with estate-bottled wines at lunch and dinner; alcoholic beverages; operating expenses of the barge with full services of the Captain and crew; all side tours and excursions; full use of facilities, including bicycles, games and library; transfers to and from the barge and designated meeting and return points.

Smoking: Not permitted within the interior spaces of the barge or aboard the motorcoach.

Luggage: Storage space in the staterooms is more than adequate to accommodate the standard amount of luggage allowed by the airlines for international travelers.

Electricity: The barge is equipped with both the European standard 220-volt and the 110-volt receptacles. However, the company strongly suggests bringing a plug and converter kit. Hand-held hair dryers are installed in every stateroom.

Bicycles: The barge is equipped with one-speed bicycles, which have regular handlebars, with hand brakes, and wide tires. Helmets are available upon advance request.

Other French barge cruises available through Burgundy-Côte d’Or, the upper Loire, Alsace-Lorraine and Champagne. Please call or e-mail us for details.

 

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The Highlights

  • Lazy elegance aboard your 6-cabin luxury barge Nenuphar, with attentive staff, fabulous meals and the unmatched charm of central Burgundy
  • Private wine tasting in Chablis
  • Visits to the 12th century Abbaye de Fontenay and the 16th century château of Ancy-le-Franc
  • An elegant dinner ashore at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau (3 Michelin stars)
  • Escorted, first-class, private transfers from the meeting point hotel to the barge, and return to the meeting point hotel
  • The finest wine list afloat, including many from Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards
  • Fully stocked open bar, turn-down service, plush robes, fresh flowers, thick cotten towels, Lanvin toiletries, custom-made Egyptian cotton linens
  • American-owned vessel operated to the highest level of quality, safety and passenger comfort
  • Fleet updated annually, always in mint condition
  • Rave reviews from past clients
The elegant Nenuphar carries 12 passengers on two decks.
The elegant Nenuphar carries 12 passengers on two decks.
The medieval port city of Auxerre, with its historic quarter and gothic cathedral of St. Stephen.
The medieval port city of Auxerre, with its historic quarter and gothic cathedral of St. Stephen.
The clock tower of Auxerre's St. Stephen cathedral. Built mostly between 1215 and 1233 above an 11th-century crypt, it is a stunning example of gothic architecture.
The clock tower of Auxerre's St. Stephen cathedral. Built mostly between 1215 and 1233 above an 11th-century crypt, it is a stunning example of gothic architecture.
The Nenuphar's intimate bar.
The Nenuphar's intimate bar.