New Barge Apres Tout Cruising in Burgundy for 2012 - Barge Connection

New Barge Apres Tout Cruising in Burgundy for 2012

It’s a new year and a new opportunity for you to experience barge cruising at its finest. We at The Barge Connection are pleased to announce the addition of a new barge, the Apres Tout, to our 2012 line-up. The name means “about time.” Appropriate, wouldn't you say? After all, it is about time you treated yourself to a luxurious hotel barge cruise on the scenic waterways of France. The Barge Connection has been specializing in hotel barging since 1998, Its well informed, friendly staff would love to help you plan your perfect hotel barge vacation.

About Hotel Barging
Hotel barges are run very much like elite floating boutique hotels. Each has its own crew, complete with Captain, gourmet chef, steward and guide. An assigned guide and driver accompanies you on your voyage, providing transportation on arrival, departure and for the various excursions during your cruise. Hotel barging is an all inclusive experience, meaning all gourmet meals, beverages and planned excursions are included. The only extras you need to worry about are the flights to and from your cruise and crew gratuities.

Since barges have fewer passengers, in this case the Apres Tout is built to accommodate six, there is a more intimate, one-on-one interaction with the crew. Just imagine all that personal attention from people who want you to just enjoy yourselves. Unlike on a massive cruise ship, you have the time and space to get to know your fellow travelers. If your group has chartered the entire barge, which is possible, the vessel serves as your own private floating villa taking you from quaint village to quaint village with you smiling all the way.

The Apres Tout
This vintage 127-foot long vessel received a total makeover and is now one of the most luxurious barges plying the French waterways. Apres Tout offers three designer cabins, all with clean lined contemporary furnishings in warm earth tones. Each cabin offers a king bed, which can be made into two twins, and private bath.The comfortable salon serves as an open-concept dining/living area. Enjoy meals around a traditional dining table or relax on one of the sofas as you watch the scenery through oversized open-air windows. Satellite TV and an assortment of books and games are available for your enjoyment.

The sizable sundeck featured padded deck chairs and patio-style furniture, each sporting its own shade umbrella. Think of it as a posh French café, only instead of you sipping coffee and watching the people go by, you are the one that’s on the move. Even better, watch the scenery going by while relaxing in the sundeck’s hot tub. Add a glass of wine, a little bit of sun and you have pure vacation delight.

Sample Itineraries
The Apres Tout sails the Burgundy region of France. This rich agricultural area is where Burgundy wine was born. The transfer service delivers you to and from the barge from your Paris locale. Once aboard you will cruise through the center of Burgundy. Some of the areas visited include Dijon, famous for its mustard, the village of Gevrey Chambertin, home to the Grand Crus Winery and the fields and picture-postcard hamlets of the Ouche Valley. At any point you are welcome to use one of the onboard bicycles to ride alongside the barge while traveling or explore the local landscape when moored.

Cruise itineraries vary. If your group or family is chartering the entire barge, these trips can be tailored to your special interests and tastes. Three special cruise itineraries are offered during the cruising season. One is a cycling cruise, another focuses on food and wine, including cooking lessons and the last offers special activities for families and children.

Your Hosts
Rory and Caroline MaCrae have been in the barge cruising industry for over 20 years. They learned the ropes from the ground up, serving as crew members and then management staff for the barges of the Orient Express. Putting all that experience to good use, the pair bought their own vessel, Le Premier, renamed it Apres Tout and gave the barge an entirely new look. Now Apres Tout cruises the waterways of Burgundy, with Rory as the Captain and Caroline as the creative, gourmet chef. Together they share their love of the water and the cruising experience with their very special guests.

Delectable Delights
Caroline serves as your personal chef during your hotel barge cruise. Not only that, she welcomes passengers to visit her galley, or kitchen, while the magic is being created. Breakfast and lunch are casual, with the latter being served buffett style. Look forward to dishes such as thinly sliced cold beef fillet, fresh tarts made with caramelized onion and roast tomato and rice salad with walnut oil dressing. Dinner means candlelight and four course meals, perhaps serving seared scallops with risotto or roast rack of lamb. Meals are accompanied by local wines, coffee and assorted sweet treats.

In keeping with her generous nature, Caroline is sharing her recipe for Burgundy soup, one of the offerings on the cruise. It is made with locally grown root vegetables, white wine and Dijon mustard. The ingredients and instructions are below.

1 Potato
1 Onion
1 Garlic
1 Carrot
1 Leek
4 oz smoked Bacon
1/2 pint White Burgundy wine
1/2 pint Chicken Stock
1 tbs. grainy Mustard and 1 tbs. smooth Mustard
1/4 pint Cream
Chopped Parsley

Saute all vegetables and bacon for approximately 15 minutes until nicely softened. Add wine, stock, mustards and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on. Liquidize and check seasoning. Stir in the cream and add some chopped parsley and Enjoy!

Courtesy of Chef Caroline MaCrae aboard the Apres Tout.

The Barge Connection has been specializing in hotel barging since 1998, Its well informed, friendly staff would love to help you plan your perfect hotel barge vacation.

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