Stay informed about the latest news and updates for the barging industry. We like to share fun facts about the countries you travel and advise about how to make your trip even better. We believe that travel should be fun, stress free and enjoyable, not just the travel part but the booking and planning as well. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” – St. Augustine
We are excited to let you know about a new luxury eight passenger barge called Finesse, which is debuting in the Spring of 2016. Finesse is being built by Roger & Louisa Gronow, the successful & experienced owners of Enchanté, and she will cruise in Southern Burgundy from St-Jean-de-Losne to Montchanin. This is a lovely area to cruise.
Over this last winter the lovely Bonheur has redecorated the lounge and dining area and it looks great! Don't just take our word for it...take a look at the pictures for yourself. If you want to book this charming barge give us a call. They are fully booked for 2015, so don't delay in booking for next year.
This brand new tour is the result of extensive research and planning Bill Higgs, who have worked in Burgundy tourism for over 20 years. The concept is quite simple: to add the magic of barging to road biking. By combining the very best bikes available with expert local knowledge and technical support plus the experience of the longest established barging company in France, we believe we have a winning formula. No more packing bags and moving on every day; instead, your own exclusive hotel, ʻLe Papillonʼ, will cruise with you for the entire trip.
Your guide - Tim is a life-long naturalist and bird enthusiast with an unparalleled knowledge of the cycle routes of Burgundy. He will bring alive the rich natural heritage of the region and help you explore parts of the Côte dʼOr that so many visitors would overlook. In order to show you the very best of this region, we must negotiate the undulating countryside as we hop valleys and climb hills. Each significant climb has been graded based on the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) criteria for road racing with category 5 the easiest and 1 the toughest. Youʼll have 27 gears on our hybrid bikes, so the plan is to choose a comfortable gear, adopt a relaxed cadence and enjoy the views! We wonʼt be racing anywhere. Each day, we aim to bike about 40 km (25 miles), but will also propose one challenging 100km day. The support vehicle will always be nearby providing refreshments en route, plus the chance to return and cruise with Le Papillon in the glorious Ouche valley west of Dijon.
Savoir Vivre 2014 Restaurant Guide
One of the core values of "The Savoir Vivre Way" is our all-inclusive on shore evening dining format. As we see it, if you come to France to experience its culture, wine and food then the best way is to explore its authentic local restaurants. The services of a private chef is very nice, in fact we use one for our lunch service. However you are missing a significant part of the French experience if you don't visit its restaurants.
All the while you enjoy comfortable surroundings, the services of a highly experienced and respected crew, world class guided tours and the magic of the Burgundy countryside.
To illustrate this subtle but very important difference, we invite you to find out more about our restaurants with our comprehensive 2014 Restaurant Guide.
A simple and very tasty recipe "Beef Bourguignon". Bon Appetit!
Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Ingredients (serves 8)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5kg beef chuck steak, trimmed, cut into 5cm pieces
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
200g shortcut rindless bacon, halved lengthways, cut into 1cm strips
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
16 small pickling onions, peeled (see tip)
400g small button mushrooms
Garlicky green beans and creamy mash, to serve (see related recipes)
Did you know? You can skip the crowds at the Louvre by entering through the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall!
The Louvre was not originally built to house a museum; in fact, the structure was built some 600 years prior to its conversion into the museum it is today. In 1190, Parisians were concerned about the potential of invasion of their city from the north, as they feared the Vikings would cross the sea from Scandinavia and raid Paris. The Louvre was built as a fortress to protect against these possible raids at the order of King Phillipe-Auguste. The Louvre was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace, and then, in 1793, it became a fine art museum. Author Lee Morgan - article in the USA Today.
The owner and friend of some of our lovely barges explained in detail the names and their meanings. We found this very interesting and we hope you do as well.
What’s in a Name? As Shakespeare once said, “what’s in a name?” - well, actually quite a lot as far as the names of our hotel barges are concerned. Some of our names hark back to the origins of the vessel whilst others evoke images of the essence of our cruises and the regions we pass through.
In March we had a wonderful chance to explore the Aquitaine region including Bordeaux, Dordogne and Gascony. I would highly recommend a visit to this diverse and beautiful area of France. You will find exceptional wines, quaint villages, wonderful food, friendly people and of course barging!
We started our journey in Bordeaux, which is an 18th Century city and the well renowned for their fabulous wines. It is a nice place to start your exploration of this region. It is very clean and a beautiful city with many things to do. We had an opportunity to visit some hotels in Bordeaux and all of them had their own charm and elegance. If you want luxury accommodations we would recommend The Grand Hotel de Bordeaux & Spa.
We have the perfect idea for a fun family vacation this summer. How about a barge cruise in France?! We can accommodate kids of all ages with activities that are fun for the whole family.
When you cruise on a hotel barge it quickly becomes "home away from home" with an added benefit-- all your meals and activities are arranged by the friendly crew. Daily excursions are catered to fit your family's interests, from specific children's activities to the many historical excursions Europe has to offer.
We have an eight passenger barge called the Savoir Vivre that is offering a great family charter rate this summer and has listed benefits to familis that cruise with them.
I know you have heard of April in Paris. How about April in Burgundy?! The charming fourteen passenger barge Luciole is offering a fantastic special for April 14th. You can book by cabin or charter up to ten or up to fourteen. All inclusive including transfers to and from Paris. Wonderful way to see spring come alive in Burgundy and experience barging.
We are excited to share a special cruise from Bruges to Paris on the deluxe six passenger Meanderer this spring. Family or frineds can charter this lovely barge and explore the wonders of Belgium and France. This cruise starts April 7th in Bruges and ends April 18 in Paris. Normally our barges only offer six nights, but now you can cruise for eleven nights and see two countries.
We have some fabulouse news about the Arc de Triomphe. You can have a private breakfast buffet for just your group at the Arc de Triomphe. You can have as few as 20 up to 100 in your group.
That's right! Just you and your friends can have breakfast at the Arc de Triomphe before it opens to the public. Now that would be something to write home about. It is best to make reservations very early. If you want us to check dates and rates, please contact us.
The recently renovated Elisabeth is changing it up for 2013. Explore new areas of Burgundy and Upper Loire with this outstanding barge and experienced owners. In July you can cruise along the Nivernais Canal between Auxerre and Clamecy. Or if you are ready to explore the Upper Loire we have dates available in August.
For those of you that have never been on the Elisabeth and are happy to explore the Canal du Bourgogne you are in for a treat with the Chocolate and Wine cruise. Whatever you decide, you are in great hands with Peter and Sheena your charming hosts. They have been in the barging industry for many years and really know how to make you feel welcome and love showing you the wonders of France.
For the early birds we have some great value season rates for March, April & May 2013.
One of the favorite parts of my job is visiting my friends on the all the barges. It is a tough job....but someones got to do it!
We started our journey in England and visited with Dominic the Captain of the Magna Carta.The barge was moored in Windsor, so of course we had to visit the Windsor Castle. The Queen definitely knows how to live. What a beautiful Castle. When you cruise on the Magna Carta this is one of the excursions included. Highly recommend this visit. We were fortunate enough to see the changing of the Guards. Pretty spectacular.
Prime September Date Available on the Charming Fandango for September 16, 2012. This date normally books up a year in advance. Great weather, wine harvest time, great time to go barging. If you are ready to pack your bags and come aboard, we have one King Bedded Cabin (Degas Cabin) waiting for you on the Fandango. Don't delay this will book quickly!
Castelnaudary to Carcassonne on the Historic Canal du Midi
An ever-changing scenery of vineyards, sunflower fields, and pretty villages are on each day's cruise route while tranquil moorings are the setting for each evening's enjoyment. On alternate weeks the cruise will run from Carcassonne to Castelnaudary. Every week will include an open air market, wine tasting and at least one lunch on shore to taste regional cuisine. Many destinations of interest from which to choose are within the cruise area, the historical Cathar castles of Saissac and Lastours, Cistercian Abbey de Fontfroide or the very scenic Montolieu village unique for book lovers and graphic art enthusiasts. Your personal chef will prepare all of your lunches and dinners on board from fresh produce acquired locally.
The Athos will now transfer passengers from Beziers instead of Montpellier. Now the drive time to this lovely barge will be much shorter.
There is a direct TGV train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Beziers arriving at 4:28 PM. An escort from the Athos can tranfer you from here the day of departure. If you prefer to stay a night or two before your cruise, the Athos recommends a chic Chateau just outside of Capestang and only 15 minutes from the train station.
Are you going to France this summer and want to incorporate a Barge Trip? We have the perfect solution for you! Three or four night barge cruises in Burgundy or Canal du Midi. The eight passenger Savoir Vivre is offering three night barge cruises in the beautiful Burgundy region of France. If you have a smaller group, why not try the charming six passenger Le Papillon in Burgundy, they can guarantee a short cruise with only four. Or if you really like the sun, let's go to the Canal du Midi on the Fandango. They have four night cruises for charters groups of four or six. This is the perfect way to experience barging and add it to your existing trip to France.
The lovely and charming Emma has a new accessory that is worth mentioning. She always had a beautiful deck with umbrellas and chairs but now she is a bit more modern. This year her deck had a facelift with new furniture and great remote powered awning. You go girl!! Take a look at this video of her new awning. Now you can enjoy the sunshine while cruising along the Canal du Midi or take in the view with some shade. Emma Video of Awning.
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