We love France, as you probably can tell by the way we tout our popular Untour programs there in Paris, Provence, and Alsace. But we love all of France, and some areas are best explored by water.
That is why several years ago we started partnering with Savoir Vivre to offer barge cruises in France. The Burgundy Canal is perfect to explore at a slow pace, drifting along on a comfortable, well appointed luxury barge ship. It provides the ultimate in intimacy with the countryside and its culture.
Here is a taste of what makes our Burgundy canal cruises so special.
The Food and Wines
Of course the region is known for its superb local wines, and on a cruise in the region, you can take in its lush vineyards and savor its wines on board and in private tastings in local chalets.
Savoir Vivre also focuses on food, which is an essential part of the experience and a big reason to cruise. On board meals are artful, made from local ingredients and following local recipes.
Guests can also enjoy elegant meals in some of the best regional dining rooms, as the barge docks and shuttles guests to hand-selected restaurants for fine dining on land.
Of course the barge itself is set up to offer atmospheric dining. You will enjoy wonderful meals on board, as the verdant French countryside drifts by.
The Savoir Vivre itself is small and comfortable, elegantly appointed. While the ship is small and is normally chartered for small, private groups, we can also assist you with booking single cabins on select dates, often at a good savings.
Common areas provide a place to relax after a day of sightseeing. You can put your feet up, enjoy a drink from the bar, and share games or a conversation with your travel companions.
Bedrooms are small but well designed for comfort and privacy. You will sleep well on board, and rest easy knowing that the ship’s cleaning protocols are rigorous.
And you have gracious outdoor sitting spaces as well, affording you the best open air backdrops for meals, reading, or a happy hour toast. Savor those views.
The Views, Vineyards, and Villages
On the canal, you will wind your way through some of Southern France’s most beautiful countryside, experiencing the flora and fauna at all times of day and learning the rhythms of its nature.
You will have a chance to visit Dijon and explore its food hall and other sights. You will visit other towns like Chateauneuf-en-Auxois and Beaune with a guide.
You can explore local abbeys, visit the local markets, enjoy private wine tastings, and experience village life. See castles and abbeys with your barge hosts guiding you and your travel companions.
When the barge is in motion, you can also use the Savoir Vivre’s small fleet of bicycles to pedal the towpath alongside the boat, and get more intimate with your natural surroundings.
There is a real peace and tranquility to this type of travel. Barge cruising is a unique experience that provides the perfect way to get personal with rural France, and we are excited to have the Savoir Vivre on our roster of cruise options in France. We hope to see you on board.
Thank you to our friends at Savoir Vivre for sharing these beautiful photos.