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Golf:
The Upper Loire region offers golfers the chance to play a number of immaculately presented, picturesque courses (including "Cely-en-Briere" and "Golf de Fontainebleau" - regularly listed as Europe's top courses.) We have fully researched all of the courses within easy reach of our cruise route and can accommodate both avid players who wish to play a different course each day or those who would like to include just one game in a week's trip. And, should there be non-golfers amongst the party, our regular excursion program can continue for them too.

Biking:
Guided biking tours of all levels (from laid back rides following the canal bike-paths to 80 miles plus daily trips) will be offered within our current itineraries. George will guide all biking tours. The rides will be designed to supplement current activities, allow for riding bikes (rather than the bus) to certain excursions by all or some of the guests, replace some excursions or even all of them with biking tours. 6 high quality bikes are available for the guests. Avid cyclists may bring their own bikes (we shall arrange to transport the cases to/from Meanderer and have plenty of storage). High-end road bikes will be available for rentals (estimated cost is $450.00 per week). The biking options are available to all or individual guests on any given day and custom designed in accordance with biking skills and level of comfort. Maps, GPS, water bottles, helmets and essential spare parts are available. Cyclists can also bring their own shoes and clip-on pedals.

Antiques:
The influence of French furniture and art has been evident throughout the world for centuries. One of the charms of scouring for antiques in France is that it takes so little time to find real gems. They seem to be everywhere. Our Antiques cruise includes an extra day touring with an expert guide in the heart of Paris, plus we arrange transport back to the US for any treasures you may have bought along the way. Ask your agent for further details.

Family Programs:
Whilst a barge holiday is not a place for younger children, we are happy to accommodate the over 12's and can suggest an alternative cruise schedule to keep young minds stimulated! Water parks, adventure playgrounds and EuroDisney are all within easy reach of our regular cruising route.

Winery Tours:
Although the standard cruise includes a visit to a winery, this theme is expanded to include additional visits, tastings, opportunities to view the wine-making process. We will customize the tours based upon guest preferences and will include classes on understanding different wines. This can be both for the connoisseur and the novice.


Note: All themes are subject to availability and local conditions and may be subject to a surcharge. We regret that Special Themes can only be included as part of a whole boat charter booking and not for the individual cabin bookings.

 

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Le Papillon Cycling Cruise Itinerary

Sunday-  Paris to Burgundy
You will be met at your hotel in Paris at 1pm for the 3 hour drive to Burgundy. On the way we will visit the fabulous château of Vaux-le-Vicomte -- a mini rival to Versailles. Board Papillon at about 6pm for a Champagne welcome and introduction to her crew - time to settle in before dinner.

Monday - First bike day - 22 miles with one category 3 climb (2½ miles)
After breakfast Papillon will start cruising along the Canal de Bourgogne. Tim will join us this morning for a chat about our biking program. Lunch will be on the early side, so that we can be in Beaune when shops re-open to get fitted out with our bikes. Pedaling out of town we will head straight into the vineyards of Savigny-les-Beaune before steadily climbing up the delightful valley of the river Rhone with its dramatic limestone cliffs, and on to the quiet village of Bouilland. Maybe take a drink in the café prior to attacking our main climb of the day, the meandering Combe de Nalt. Having conquered this hill, we can relax as the countryside opens out and treats us to some magnificent views; passing through St Jean de Boeuf we will then head down into the Ouche valley before rejoining Papillon moored near the village of Gissey-sur-Ouche.

Tuesday - Second bike day - 27 miles with one category 5 climb (1 mile) & one category 3 climb (2½ miles)
An early morning cruise before we step ashore at one of the locks and bike along the canal towing path to the village of La Bussière. We now part company with the canal and climb towards the village of Commarin, where we can refuel with the locals in the bar beside the château. Our next stop is the lake at Panthier, one of several reservoirs completed in the early 1840s to supply the canal with sufficient water for the then heavy commercial barge traffic; today it is an oasis for sailing and anglers. Time now to pull out all the stops and tackle our most challenging climb of the day up to the imposing hilltop village of Châteauneuf, rated as one of the most attractive villages in France. From here the views of the Auxois are splendid and there is the perfect spot to enjoy a gourmet picnic driven and delivered from the Papillon by Ollie. Having descended to yet another château, St.Sabine, we continue through several villages before rejoining the barge for a stretch of very beautiful and relaxing cruising. Cocktails and dinner on deck whilst the white Charolais munch their way across the adjacent green slopes.

Wednesday - Third bike day - AM: 29 miles with three category 5 climbs (each about 1 mile) - PM: 33 miles with one category 4 climb (3 miles) & two category 5 climbs (each 1 mile)
Today we offer "le Crunch", a 100 kilometre monster! It's your chance to cycle through virtually the entire wine cellar of the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits with all the famous names along the way. There is the option of biking just in the morning or the afternoon, or not at all if you prefer to use this middle day as a rest day since Papillon will be covering some interesting ground, climbing to the summit level of the canal and then passing through a 2 mile tunnel! This morning's ride starts in the charming little riverside village of Lussigny sur Ouche. We follow the route taken by the 2007 tour de France (Wiggins break away) to Ivry en Montagne, then onto Nolay and the fabulous views from the "montain des trois croix" before dropping down through the Maranges appelation vineyards of the Cote de Beaune. The rest of this ride reads like the wine list from one of the finest
cellars in the world: Santenay, Chassagne Montrachet, Puligny Montrachet, Auxey Duresses, Monthelie, Volnay; and in case that's not enough to wet the appetite, we have a bistro lunch waiting for us in Pommard. After lunch we circumvent Beaune by biking a lovely scenic route through Bouze les Beaune in the Haute Cote. There are two significant hills to negociate; after the first one, we drop down through Ladoix Serrigny and then to Pernand Vergelesses before approaching the gentle four mile category 5 climb up to Echevrone and Meuilly. The following descent to Nuits St Georges will put us en route for the very best of the Cotes de Nuits vineyards: Vosne- Romanée, Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-St-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Fixin and Marsannay. We'll complete our ride on the outskirts of Dijon, and with a suitable beverage or two, celebrate what is a magnificent achievement to be remembered! The minibus will transport us back to Papillon and civilized
living.

Thursday - Fourth bike day - 28 miles with one category 4 climb (2 miles)
This morning you can either take it easy and enjoy the cruising along the canal, or head out in the minibus to visit the inside of the château at Châteauneuf or Commarin or play a round of golf at the 18 hole course at the Château de Chailly. After lunch onboard and following the heroic exploits of yesterday, we embark on a gentle ride towards the Morvan National Park. We start with some delightful  villages, Chailly-sur-Armançon, Mont St Jean and La Motte Ternant before the landscape changes to the extensive conifer forests so typical of the Morvan; this is a slightly wild agricultural area which during the last couple of centuries has also provided Paris with all of its firewood and a convenient supply of wet nurses! As  we head back to Papillon we'll pass through Thorey-sous-Charny where a small but vivid revival of traditional wine making is underway. There are currently only 3 vineyards in the Auxois, and whilst the one at Thorey is the smallest, it's also the best -- and not many people know about it! We'll walk amongst the vines, help with the picking if it's harvest time and then enjoy a sample back in the village amongst the barrels. Papillon is nearby and dinner is in the oven.

Friday - Fifth bike day - 35 miles with two category 5 climbs (each 1¼ miles), one category 4 climb (2 miles) and one category 3 climb (2 miles)
Soon after breakfast Papillon will approach Pont Royal where we will take off for our final ride. Our first hill takes us to the picturesque village of Ste.Colombe before we descend to Marigny-le-Cahouet. Time now to skip valleys from the Armancon to the Brenne and then on up to Flavigny-sur- Ozerain, another one of "les plus beaux villages de France." "Chocolat" was filmed here and the village still produces the little oval tins of "Anis de Flavigny" now found the world over. One shouldn't leave without visiting the 8th century crypt, and if we're lucky we might catch a glimpse of the current monks in their black cassocks playing football! We'll pedal on to our picnic spot below the statue of the leader of the Gauls, Vercingetorix, defeated here in 52 bc by Caesar. After lunch and another climb, time to pause and visit the "potager"/vegetable garden at the chateau of Lantilly. And then a wonderful ride down to an undiscovered gem -- the walled medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois -- experience the cobbled streets as did the French road cycling championships in 2008. We'll leave town in style riding the same route that the horses take each year for the "Fête de la Bague", the second oldest horse race in Europe! The last few kilometres are along the canal towing path - just far enough to find Papillon and Celebrate!

Saturday- Return to Paris
After breakfast, transfer by minibus to Paris to your hotel, train station or airport arriving during the traditional French lunch hour of 12 to 2pm.

Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It may cruise in
the reverse direction depending on the cruise week.

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La Belle Epoque
Tanlay to Venarey les Laumes

Sunday- Tanlay
Guests are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the barge moored in Tanlay. A full crew Welcome Aboard with Champagne and canapés. After time to settle into your cabin you are invited to join us for a first dinner on board and introduction to Burgundy’s excellent cuisine and wines.

Monday- Tanlay to Lezinne
Wake to the aromas of ground coffee and French patisseries, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and your wine guide collects you for your visit to the Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis where you get a wonderful view of these world famous Chardonnay vineyards. A brief history of the region is given then on to a great local wine producer to taste a selection of wines including 1er Premier Cru and Grand Cru’s. Return to the barge and cruise this afternoon to Lezinne. Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Lezinne to Ancy le Franc
This morning we visit Les Riceys, the centre of Champagne producing region of the Aude. A visit and tasting at an excellent local Champagne producer followed by a wander around the old town centre. We return to the barge and enjoy a lazy cruise gently up to Ancy le Franc with plenty of opportunity to wander or cycle ahead as the vessel ascends through the locks towards the beautiful 16th century Renaissance palace and gardens of Chateau d’Ancy le Franc. Dinner on board.

Wednesday- Ancy le Franc to Ravieres
Morning visit to the medieval Noyers sur Serein to enjoy the vegetables, cheeses, colours and delights of the local market, or wander the town ramparts in one of the most beautiful villages of France. A lazy afternoon cruising past grazing white Charolais cattle and before dinner on board, cycle or wander around the village of Ravieres. Dinner on board.

Thursday- Ravieres to Montbard
Leaving the barge shortly after breakfast we drive south to some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world. In the town of Nuits St George, we visit a small family wine producer to visit their cellar and taste some of their world renowned Pinot Noirs from villages, including Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée. Lunch in the wine capital of Beaune during today. Return to the barge and, if time allows, cruise to Montbard passing the Forges de Buffon where later in the day we see various examples of early Industrial Revolution engineering on the banks of the tiny yet powerful Armancon River, whose power was harnessed to run the forge. Dinner on board.

Friday- Montbard to Venarey les Laumes
Morning cruise through woodlands and rolling fields with great towpath biking and walking opportunities past the tiny canal side villages of Nogent, Courcelles and Les Granges. During the cruise your wine guide joins the barge and while cruising he will give a wine talk whilst you taste samples of wines from different villages of Burgundy .This afternoon we escort you to the exquisite World Heritage Unesco site of Abbayé 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 early Cistercian life and industry with its peaceful gardens and ponds and fascinating cloisters, dormitories and scriptorium. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Venarey les Laumes
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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La Belle Epoque
Tanlay to Venarey Les Laumes

Sunday- Paris to Tanlay
We rendezvous in Paris and transfer to the barge, moored in Tanlay, in a private air-conditioned minibus. A full crew Welcome Aboard with champagne and canapés during which we hear about the week’s itinerary, its walks and its activities. After time to settle into your cabin we gather for our Welcome Dinner on board - a wonderful introduction to Burgundy’s excellent cuisine.

Monday- Tanlay to Lezinne
After a delicious breakfast which includes fresh croissants from a local boulangerie, we start our holiday with a morning cruise through the Burgundian countryside to Lezinnes with the option to take a leisurely walk along the towpath. After lunch on board we visit the 16th Century Renaissance-style Chateau de Tanlay for a guided tour of this beautiful castle. A very pastoral and woody walk then takes us to the ruined Abbey of Quincy before we return by minibus to the barge for dinner.

Tuesday- Lezinne to Ancy le Franc
We start the day with a canal-side walk passing ancient villages before we depart for the world-famous town and vineyards of Chablis. Before a gourmet lunch in Chablis, we enjoy a private wine-tasting at the Domaine Servan, renowned for its Premier and Grand Cru wines popularized by Alex Lichine in the 1950's. After lunch there is time to wander around the town before we take a late afternoon walk towards Tonnerre, nestled in a loop in the river, through forests and slopes covered in vineyards which are ablaze with gold, yellow and orange autumn colours. We visit the amazing Fosse Dionne and the 13th century Hotel Dieu and then return to the barge moored at Ancy le Franc.

Wednesday- Ancy le Franc to Ravieres
A morning visit to Noyers sur Serein, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, to enjoy the vegetables, cheeses, colours and delights of the local market. We are then guided around the medieval streets and ramparts before returning to the barge for lunch. In the afternoon we either enjoy a lazy cruise gently down Ravières or walk there by a ciruitous route through the Burgundian countryside. We start this in the ancient village of Chassignelles and end in Ravières where we join our barge again.

Thursday- Ravieres to Montbard
Starting at the tiny village of Cry, this morning’s walk takes us through a cacophony of woodland, rolling fields and a ruined castle. In the afternoon we drive to the exquisite World Heritage Unesco site of Abbey de Fontenay founded by St Bernard in 1118. Not only is it a wonderful example of early Cistercian architecture but it is virtually in tact. With its peaceful gardens and ponds and fascinating cloisters, dormitories and scriptorium, Fontenay gives an exceptional glimpse of Cistercian life and industry. A late afternoon walk from the Abbey, crossing woodland and the ancient town of Montbard, takes us back to the barge by sunset to enjoy an aperitif before dinner.

Friday- Montbard to Venarey les Laume
After climbing out of the valley, our final walk takes us past fields of Charollais cattle and through the hamlet of Benoisey before reaching Grignan where we descend to meet the barge. En route we have the best views of the week with stunning vistas across the valley of the Brenne and the Canal du Bourgogne. In the afternoon we first visit the fascinating walled hilltop village of Flavigny sur Ozerain, where the film Chocolat was made. This is followed by a visit Alesia, the site of the final battle between the Gauls and Romans that took place in 52 BC, before ending the afternoon in the medieval fortified town of Semur en Auxois. We return to the barge moored at Venarey les Laumes for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Saturday- Venarey les Laume to Paris
After breakfast, we disembark the barge and take a private transfer to Paris.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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L'Art de Vivre
Auxerre to Chevroches

Sunday- Auxerre
Guests are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the barge moored in Auxerre. Following a Champagne Welcome and outline of the week’s wine cruise you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre or take a stroll along the banks of the river Yonne before returning for dinner on board.

Monday- Auxerre to Vincelles
Our morning cruise takes us past vineyard-clad hillside to Vincelles where we moor in rural bliss. After lunch, accompanied by our wine guide, we drive to St Bris with its extraordinary network of medieval passages beneath the town. Following a tour of the Bersan family’s 12th century cellars we taste the unique selection of wines made in this little known Burgundian village.  Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Vincelles to Mailly la Ville
Morning cruise past gently rolling hills and vineyards interspersed with cherry orchards. Charolais cattle glance up as we pass them grazing in the lush fields alongside the river. Cruise through lunch. At St Pallaye our wine guide takes us over the nearby hills to the legendary vineyards surrounding the world famous town of Chablis.  A tour of the Grand Cru vineyards is followed by an exclusive visit to a state of the art winery, either Domaine Laroche or Domaine William Fevre.  The afternoon is completed with an extensive wine tasting including rare Premier and Grand cru wines from the 1980s. Return to barge awaiting us at Mailly la Ville.  Dinner on board.

Wednesday- Mailly la Ville to Chatel Censoir
In the morning we cruise past the prehistoric coral reefs, which now form the spectacular cliffs at Mailly le Chateau and Le Saussois, a favourite rendezvous for rock climbers. In the early afternoon we arrive at our mooring in the pretty village of Chatel Censoir. From here we enjoy an excursion to Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, craft shops and fine views of the surrounding countryside while sipping a glass of wine from the ancient monastic vineyard.  Dinner on board.

Thursday- Chatel Censoir to Lucy sur Yonne
An early start after breakfast for the drive to Beaune arriving late morning for a tasting in the Grand Cru vineyards at Puligny Montrachet which include Philippe Chavy or Philippe Duvernay (Chassagne). Lunch  in the centre of Beaune followed by a visit to the famous Hotel Dieu. Afternoon drive north through the Cote de Nuits vineyards passing Romanée Conti and Clos Vougeot. Arrive back on board for short evening cruise to Lucy and light dinner.

Friday- Lucy sur Yonne to Chevroches
A gentle cruise this morning through the pastoral Morvan countryside to Chevroches. In the afternoon, we visit the Chateau of Bazoches, whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart and which was later remodeled by Maréchal Vauban. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Chevroches
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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L'Art de Vivre
Auxerre to Chevroches

Sunday- Auxerre
Guests are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the barge moored in Auxerre, Burgundy. Following a Champagne Welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board.

Monday- Auxerre to Vincelles
Our morning cruise takes us past vineyard-clad hillside to Vincelles where we moor in rural bliss. During this morning tennis in Auxerre on Roland Garros Red Dirt Court (3 courts available) which of course is only found in France. The afternoon excursion is to St Bris with its extraordinary network of medieval passages beneath the town. A wine tasting introduces you to the outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the 12th century cellars of Monsieur Bersan. Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Vincelles to Mailly la Ville
Tennis during the morning in Vincelles (2 tarmac courts) Late morning we cruise through rich pasturelands and past grazing Charolais cattle and past dramatic steep cliffs to the market town of Mailly la Ville During the afternoon we visit the town of Auxerre allows us to discover the medieval town centre. Originally the capital of Lower Burgundy, Auxerre prides itself on a collection of fine churches. Dinner on board.

Wednesday- Mailly la Ville to Le Saussois
We take a morning cruise southwards to Le Saussois. During the morning we play tennis in Vermenton (2 tarmac courts) In the afternoon we enjoy an excursion to Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, craft shops and fine views of the surrounding countryside. Dinner on board.

Thursday- Le Saussois to Lucy sur Yonne
In the morning we cruise past the Saussois cliffs where an international climbing centre creates a spectacular setting to Lucy sur Yonne. During the morning we play tennis at Chatel Censoir (2 tarmac courts). Lunch out at a local auberge. In the afternoon we visit the Chateau of Bazoches, home of Maréchal Vauban, whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. Dinner on board.

Friday- Lucy sur Yonne to Chevroches
A morning cruise through beautiful countryside towards Chevroches. Tennis this morning at Coulange Sur Yonne (2 tarmac courts). In the afternoon, we visit the Chateau of Bazoches, whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart and which was later remodeled by Maréchal Vauban. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Chevroches
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

 

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L'Art de Vivre
Auxerre to Chevroches

Sunday- Auxerre
Guests are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the barge moored in Auxerre. Following a Champagne Welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board.

Monday- Auxerre to Bailly
After cruising out of Auxerre we leave the barge to walk through farmland to the village of Vaux. Continuing along the river we arrive at La Coeur Barrée where we meet the barge for lunch. In the afternoon we tour the Chablis vineyards ending at St Bris. Here we see the intricate network of medieval passages beneath the village before tasting the outstanding wines of the region in the 12th century cellars of Monsieur Bersan, the region’s foremost producer.  Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Bailly to Accolay
From Vincelottes we wander through the Auxerrois vineyards with superb views of the Yonne valley below us. En route to the ancient town of Cravant Donjon we pass through the picturesque village of Irancy, home of many well known wines. Our afternoon excursion is to the glorious gothic cathedral of Auxerre. Afterwards there is time to meander through the mediaeval streets at leisure before returning to our mooring in Accolay. In the evening we dine in a local restaurant that is well known for its Burgundian specialities and the standard of its cuisine.

Wednesday- Accolay to Mailly la Ville
From Accolay we walk the wooded valley of the River Cure, passing the ruins of Regny Abbey before a gentle traverse back to the Yonne at the tiny hamlet of Sere where we rejoin the barge. In the afternoon we visit Noyers sur Serein, one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy.

Thursday- Mailly la Ville to Lucy sur Yonne
From Mailly we leave the Yonne to walk through open fields to Merry sur Yonne. En route we stand on top of the dramatic Roches du Saussois, cliffs that tower dramatically 200 feet above the river. After lunch we visit the ancient Chateau de Bazoches, home of Sebastien Vauban, the Frenchman who revolutionised siege warfare in the late 17th century.  Dinner on board.

Friday- Lucy sur Yonne to Chevroches
This morning we visit Vezelay with its stunning romanesque Basilica, the scene of the “calling” of the Second Crusade in 1146, and its fine speciality shops. In the afternoon we walk along the canal into Chevroches. Aboard for our final evening, the Captain hosts our Farewell Dinner on board..

Saturday- Chevroches
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Impressionniste
Fleurey sur Ouche to Escommes

Sunday- Fleurey sur Ouche
You are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the elegant L’Impressionniste moored in Fleurey sur Ouche for your cruise through Burgundy. A Champagne reception welcomes you on board and provides you with a chance to meet the crew. Dinner on board.

Monday- Fleurey sur Ouche to Gissey sur Ouche
This morning, experience your first day’s cruise along this enchanting canal, which also promises a walk or cycle along an ever-present towpath cruising past sleepy villages and pretty lock houses. After lunch we transfer to Golf Blue Green in Quetigny, situated just 5 minutes from the centre of Dijon in the heart of wine producing Burgundy, where you will find a short but technical golf course that runs along the river Mirande. Designed by Chris Pittman, and opened in 1990, this course offers a challenge for all levels of player; so do not be fooled by its length. Dinner on board. (18 Holes, Par 71 625m).

Tuesday- Gissey sur Ouche to La Bussiere
After breakfast transfer to Golf de Beaune Levernois. The course was designed in the middle of the vineyards of Burgundy, within a framework of relaxation and greenery. It is a technical course with 9 lakes and its bunkers of white sand as well as many large trees. This course is reserved for all levels of player. Return to the barge for lunch and leisurely afternoon cruise to La Bussiere. Dinner on board. (18 holes, Par 72, 6473m).

Wednesday- La Bussiere to Pont d’Ouche
An exclusive tour of the magnificent 12th Century Abbaye de la Bussiere. The ornamental gardens and lake, wine press, crypt and cellars are interwoven with ancient colonnades, stone staircases and huge stained glass windows. After a Kir Royale aperitif, we enjoy the gastronomic delights of Master Chef Emmanuel Hebrard in the Bistro or Garden Restaurant whilst enjoying a selection of local burgundies. This afternoon we visit the moat-encircled 13th century Chateau de Commarin. Going back 26 generations, the de Vogue family ownership portrays an insight into the glamorous lives of the French aristocracy as well as showing off the Chateau, stables and landscaped gardens. Late afternoon cruise to Pont d’Ouche. Light dinner on board.

Thursday- Pont d’Ouche to La Repe
After breakfast we cruise to Vandenesse, passing grazing white Charolais cattle, rolling hills and picturesque villages crossing the only canal bridge on the Burgundy Canal. In the afternoon we drive to Chateau de Chailly golf course which was designed by Thierry Sprecher and Géry Watine, professional champion of France in 1989. Around its 16th century chateau, the Chailly golf course offers a magnificent course audaciously marrying the classicism of a formal garden and avant-garde golfing technology as regards the golfing construction. Dinner on board. (18 holes, Par 72, 6146m).

Friday- La Repe to Escommes
Our last day’s leisurely cruise takes us to the canal summit, 1250 feet above sea level, just before the Pouilly tunnel. We then transfer to Club de Pre Lamy, situated among the rolling pastures of the Auxois as they meet the forest of the Morvan. Under the calm but ever watchful eye of the château and the Collegial church of Thil, the course provides a real test for experienced players. At the same time, in a calm unhurried environment, with beautiful sights, beginners will be able to improve their skills on a course well suited to their needs. Captains Farewell Dinner on board. (9 Holes, Par 33, 2286m).

Saturday- Escommes
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Impressionniste
Fleurey sur Ouche to Escommes

Sunday- Fleurey sur Ouche
You are met at the designated meeting point and transferred to the elegant L’Impressionniste moored in Fleurey sur Ouche for your cruise through Burgundy. A Champagne reception welcomes you on board and provides you with a chance to meet the crew. Dinner on board.

Monday- Fleurey sur Ouche to Gissey sur Ouche
Morning cruise to Gissey sur Ouche. Late morning your wine guide joins the barge for an introductory talk on the vineyards of Burgundy and during an onboard wine-tasting, ensures that everyone has mastered wine tasting techniques. After lunch we drive to Dijon and enjoy a walking tour of the old Dijon. Visit the flamboyant 14th century Ducal Palace, in the centre, the palace is a fine example of early 17th-century classical French architecture. If you prefer you can enjoy some excellent shopping time. Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Gissey sur Ouche to La Bussiere.
After breakfast we cruise to La Bussiere. In the afternoon your guide takes you on a visit to Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Chevaliers du Tastevin, who award every year a prized special label to the finest Côte d‘Or vintages. Driving past legendary Grand Cru vineyards we pay homage at the field of Romanée Conti (the most expensive red wine in the world). Next, we stop at the Domaine Dufouleur in the heart of Nuits-St-Georges on the Route des Grands Crus. A tour of the ageing cellar is followed by a tasting of their exceptional Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Dinner on board.

Wednesday- La Bussiere to Pont d’Ouche.
Exclusive tour of the magnificent 12th century Abbaye de la Bussiere. The ornamental gardens and lake, wine press, crypt and cellars are interwoven with ancient colonnades, stone staircases and huge stained glass windows. After a Kir Royale aperitif, we enjoy the gastronomic delights of Master Chef Emmanuel Hebrard in the Bistro or Garden Restaurant whilst enjoying a selection of local burgundies. After lunch we visit the moat-encircled 13th century Chateau de Commarin. Going back 26 generations, the de Vogue family ownership portrays an insight into the glamorous lives of the French aristocracy as well as showing off the Chateau, stables and landscaped gardens. Late afternoon cruise to Pont d’Ouche. Light dinner on board.

Thursday- Pont d’Ouche to Repe
Morning drive from the barge through wooded hillsides then out into the world famous vineyards of the Cote de Beaune. Making a stop at the Grand Cru vineyard of Le Montrachet we visit a wine producing family in the village of Puligny-Montrachet. Private cellar tour concludes with a tasting of some of the worlds greatest white wines. In the afternoon we drive across the premier cru vineyards into Beaune, capital of Burgundy wine country with a history going back over 2000 years. We absorb the fascinating 15th century Hotel Dieu Hospice, and then enjoy some shopping time. Dinner on board.

Friday- Repe to Escommes
We begin our cruise this morning from Repe and cruise to the canal summit in Escommes, 1250 feet above sea level. This afternoon we visit the medieval village of Flavigny sur Oserain, classed amongst 100 prettiest villages in France the history of which runs back to the Roman era. It is renowned for its Benedictine abbey built in the 8th century, restored in the 15th and its production of Anis de Flavigny, made the same way since 1591.The village was also used by Lasse Hallstrom in 2000 as the setting for the American film “Le Chocolat”, staring Julliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Captains Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Escommes
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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La Bella Vita
Venice to Mantua

Saturday- Venice
Guests are met at 6pm at the **designated meeting point and transferred to La Bella Vita moored near St Marks Square in Venice. Captains welcome and introduction to Captain, crew and fellow passengers, before a walk before dinner. After dinner time to visit St Marks Square to take in the fabulous architecture, people watch and the highlight is listening to the live performers.

Sunday- San Giorgio Island
On Sunday we watch the Vogalonga Regatta from the barge moored in Riva San Biagio. Enjoy lunch on the sundeck as you watch the 1500 boats row past. Dinner on board.

Monday- Venice to San Pietro in Volta
Guided walking tour to Castello District, perhaps discovering some hidden parts of the city of Venice: the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Arts, Palladio’s Church of San Pietro in Castello, the Naval Museum with a model of the Bucintoro (Doge’s Boat) and the Pavilion of Gondolas housing Peggy Guggenheim’s own vessel. Late afternoon cruise to Pellestrina separating the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea, along the Canal of the Orphans passing lagoon islands with their brightly coloured houses, painted fishing boats and tiny churches. We moor in Alberoni for dinner on board.

Tuesday- San Pietro in Volta to Taglio Di Po
After a stroll or cycle along the 18thC Istrian sea wall in Pellestrina, we cruise to Chioggia, city of Goldoni’s plays. Here we visit the picturesque town centre and colourful fish market. We also see the Cathedral and the Piazzetta Vigo before cruising on to the River Po delta. Passing through a nature reserve with flamingos and occasional heron, snipe and other wetland wildfowl., we travel upriver to Taglio di Po for dinner ashore hosted by the owners at the beautiful 17thC Villa Ca’Zen, a private stately home by the river where Lord Byron courted the Countess Giuccioli and wrote some of his best poetry.

Wednesday- Taglio Di Po to Bosaro
After breakfast we transfer you to the Bagnoli Estate where we visit the magnificent Renaissance gardens and wine cellars of the17thC Villa Widmann Borletti for a private tasting of their renowned estate grown vintages. This winery has been supplying Venetian society for centuries. Afternoon cruise from Adria to Bosaro. Dinner on board.

Thursday- Bosaro to Trevenzuolo
Morning excursion with guided tour of the Renaissance city of Ferrara, including the14thC Estense Castle with its moat, drawbridges, marble balconies and sumptuous apartments, and the Schifanoia Palace with its fabulous 15thC frescoes. We also see the cathedral façade with its sculpted images described as an Illustrated Bible. Return to the barge for an afternoon canal cruise past villages and farmsteads to Trevenzuolo for dinner on board.

Friday- Trevenzuolo to Mantua
Our final cruise has a dramatic approach to Mantua, home of the poet Virgil, artists Mantegna and Donatello and captivating lakeside setting. Mantua displays extraordinary neo-classical and baroque architecture, portrayed in the 14thC Ducal Palace housing some 15 gardens and courtyards, a museum, basilica and theatre. The intricate frescoes, Gallery of Mirrors and exquisite Rivers Room and 12,000 paintings and sculptures all create a Grand Finale to our Italian Renaissance adventure. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Mantua
After breakfast, passengers disembark for transfers back to the **designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change

**The designated meeting and drop off point is Mestre Venice. Other options are available for charter groups.

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La Bella Vita
Mantua to Venice

Sunday- Mantua
Guests are met at the designated meeting point on Sunday afternoon and transferred to La Bella Vita, moored in front of the Castle of St George in Mantua. A Prosecco welcome gives you a chance to meet the crew followed by an early evening cruise around the lakes surrounding the city. Dinner on board, followed perhaps by an evening stroll through the historic city centre.

Monday- Mantua to Ferrara
Guided tour of Mantua a picturesque medieval town, famous as the home of both the painter Andrea Mantegna and the poet Virgil, but also as a centre of power of the Gonzaga family. After lunch transfer to Verona Golf Club for your first game. Return to the barge moored in Zelo for dinner on board.

Tuesday- Ferrara to Bosaro
Morning cruise from to Bosaro. After lunch and we have arranged a guided visit to Ferrara and its imposing Estense Castle. Plenty of time for shopping and a stroll around this delightful town. Late afternoon return to the barge for the dinner aboard

Wednesday- Bosaro to Taglio di Po
After an early breakfast we transfer to Frassanelle Golf Club. After golf we enjoy lunch in the golf club restaurant. We will transfer after lunch to Adria and for a visit of the very ancient Greek and Etruscan important archaeological museum. Return to the barge and navigate to Taglio di Po for dinner on board.

Thursday- Taglio di Po to Chioggia to Venice
This morning we enjoy a wonderful cruise from Taglio di Po to Albarella. After lunch on board we transfer to Albarella Golf Club for a round of golf. After lunch we cruise to Chioggia and visit this beautiful city, famous for Goldoni’s plays. Continue cruising to Alberoni Lido for dinner on board

Friday- Venice
After breakfast enjoy a morning round of golf at Circolo Golf Venezia. Return to the barge for lunch on board followed by our cruise into Venice, the only city built on water. Guided tour and visit to the Palazzo Ducale, which reveals the history of the Republic "La Serenissima". Time for shopping and enjoying the city. Return to the barge for your final elegant Captain Farewell Dinner.

Saturday- Venice
After breakfast, passengers are transferred to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Renaissance
Montargis to Chatillon sur Loire

Sunday- Montargis
Guests are met at designated meeting point and transferred to the spacious Renaissance where a Champagne Welcome awaits you. We enjoy an evening cruise through Little Venice, past flower-bedecked bridges and medieval watercourses joining France’s oldest canal, the Briare. Dinner on board.

Monday- Montargis to Montbouy
This morning we cruise through the Loiret countryside with towpath cycling to Montcresson. After an early lunch we transfer to Fontainebleau Golf Club (1h 15 mins drive), regarded by many as the best golf course within the southern Paris region. This all weather course is deep in the private forest of the Fontainebleau estate. Evening cruise to Montbouy. Dinner on board. (18 holes, par 72, 6074m )

Tuesday- Montbuoy to Rogny les-Sept-Ecluses
After breakfast we enjoy a gentle cruise to historic Rogny and its 350 year old floodlit 7 lock-flight. After an early lunch we transfer to Chateau Cely Golf Club. This recently refurbished course is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the foremost courses in the Parisian region. Set in the grounds of a former private Chateau, the course has received great reviews from former Renaissance guests Dinner on board (18 holes, 72 par, 6000m)

Wednesday- Rogny les-Sept-Ecluses to La Gazonne
After a leisurely breakfast of fresh croissants, baguettes and assorted pastries we visit Saint Fargeau. The Castle of Saint Fargeau is 1000 years old. In 980, Héribert, Auxerre's bishop and biological son of King Hugues Capet, built a fortified hunting meeting place. From 5th to 15th century, the castle was owned by some famous families. In the afternoon we climb the locks to reach the summit of the canal and arrive in La Gazonne. Dinner ashore at Auberge des Templiers in Les Bezards

Thursday- La Gazonne to Briare
Morning cruise to Briare and Gustave Eiffel’s magical aqueduct across the River Loire with walking and biking for those that wish to do so. We preview Friday’s crossing of this amazing 10,000 ton, 662 metre Pont Canal which was completed in September 1896. After lunch we drive for 1 hour for golf at Roncemay Golf & Country Club. This international standard course, designed by Jean GARAIALDE in 1991 has hosted many of France’s famous competitions. Overlooked by the Chateau in whose grounds the course has been developed, the length and technical nature of the course offer a challenge to even the most advanced player. Dinner on board.  (18 hole, par 72, 6401m)

Friday- Briare to Chatillon-sur-Loire
Morning wander around fruit and vegetable, seafood, cheese and French fashion stalls in the market in Briare. After lunch, we drive to Golf du Sanserrois. Located on the banks of the river Loire with Sancerre hills in the background, this course, in the midst of century-old trees, ornamented by natural water hazards is considered as one of the most attractive golf courses in the centre of France. The quality of the greens, the friendly atmosphere and the famous Sancerre vineyard around it: everything invites you to discover this splendid course. Evening cruise across the River Loire on Eiffel’s aqueduct and Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board. (18 hole, par 71, 5820m)

Saturday- Chatillon-sur-Loire
After breakfast we return you to the designated drop off point

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Scottish Highlander
Dochgarroch to Banavie

Sunday- Dochgarroch
We meet you at the designated meeting place and transfer to Scottish Highlander moored at Dochgarroch near Inverness. 'Champagne Welcome' followed by a short cruise along heather-lined canal finishing back in the sleepy village of Dochgarroch in time for dinner on board.

Monday- Dochgarroch to Fort Augustus
Depart at 8.30am for the Royal Dornoch Golf Course (2 hour drive) for a round on the Championship Golf Course, one of Scotland's famous links courses designed by Tom Morris. (Tee Time of 11.30am) Dornoch dates from 1616 and is internationally acclaimed. Return to the barge for a cruise to Fort Augustus anchoring for tea beneath Urquhart Castle on the way. Dinner on board. (18 holes, 6,514 yards Par 70: buggies and pull carts available) approx 2hr transfer from barge to golf club.

Tuesday- Fort Augustus
After breakfast we take a packed lunch and journey to Nairn Golf Club (1 hour drive) where we play on the Championship Golf Course. (Tee times of 11.30am). Nairn's reputation is well founded, hosting many professional and amateur events. Several holes border the North Sea and whilst Scotland's driest course, it is possibly the windiest! Dinner on board.  (18 holes, 6,705 yards, Par 72: buggies and pull carts available) approx 1 hour transfer from barge to golf club.

Wednesday- Fort Augustus to Cullochy Loch
Morning ascent of the 5 lock flight with time to wander the village and visit antique and craft shops. We also show you the Caledonian Canal Heritage Center and see an original '30's film of the Gondolier, one of the fastest passenger paddle steamers of its time. After lunch on board we have a round of golf at nearby Fort Augustus Golf Course, (tee time 2pm) probably the only course in the world kept manicured by a herd of sheep! Featuring 18 tees and 9 holes in a challenging canal side setting. On our return we cruise to our overnight mooring at Cullochy Lock. Dinner on board. (18 tees, 9 hole, 5,454 yards par 67: pull carts available)  10 minute transfer from barge to golf club.

Thursday- Cullochy Loch to Gairlochy
Morning cruise along the tree lined canal avenue and across Loch Lochy, past forest and mountain scenery, to the pretty hamlet of Gairlochy. During the afternoon we visit Spean Bridge Woollen Mill selling traditional knitwear and tweeds and the Glen Nevis Whisky Distillery where the elaboration of whisky is explained with a tasting. Dinner on board.

Friday- Gairlochy to Banavie
Morning cruise to Banavie and Neptune's Staircase of locks. After lunch onboard we transfer to Newtonmore Golf course (Tee time 2.00pm). Newtonmore (established 1893) is a comparatively flat, easy-walking, parkland course full of exciting and invigorating challenges. It nestles appealingly in the midst of the Monadhliath and Grampian Mountains and on the banks of the River Spey. Afterwards we return to the Scottish Highlander where we usually entertain the local piper with a wee dram before the Captain's Farewell Dinner on board. (18 holes, 6041 yards, Par 70, pull carts and buggies available) approx. 30 minute transfer from barge to golf club.

Saturday- Banavie
Passengers disembark after a hearty Scottish Breakfast for their transfer back to the designated drop off point by minibus

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Enchante
Puicheric to Salleles D'Aude

Sunday- Puichéric
You are met at the designated meeting point and escorted by minibus to Enchante moored at Aiguille lock near Puichéric. Champagne welcome followed by dinner on board.

Monday- Puichéric to La Redorte
Fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete mediaeval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. Enjoy Cassoulet in Carcassonne before golf at Golf de Carcassonne. Challenging water obstacles and bunkers make this a tactical golf course for players of all levels. Dinner on board.  (18 holes, 5,800m, Par 71).

Tuesday- La Redorte to Homps
Morning cruise under the shade of the plane trees which line the canal, we gently circle the contours of the land to reach the port of Homps once an important commandery for the Knights Hospitaller. After lunch we golf at Golf de St Thomas. This course offers various types of play: woods, hills, lakes and on some fairways a more classic approach. We continue cruising to a picturesque mooring under the trees, a perfect opportunity to try your hand at pétanque the local sport of boules followed by an alfresco dinner on board. (18 holes, par 72, 6130m).

Wednesday- Homps to Roubia
This morning we play golf at Lamalou-les-Bains Golf Course located at the foot of Mt Carooux by the River Orb, this course with its three small lakes, is flat, wooded, short, technical and most enjoyable. Afternoon cruise reaching Roubia situated on the “grand bief” another engineering prowess unique to the Canal du Midi. Dinner on board.  (9 holes, 2,600m, Par 35).

Thursday- Roubia to Le Somail
Morning cruise through vineyards and pine trees to the charming and historical village of the Le Somail, purpose built for the Canal du Midi. Take some time to explore the old bookstore of Le Somail. Afternoon excursion to a wine tasting in the Saint Chinian, the first village of the region to receive the much envied French mark of approval for wines known as A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Controlée), teamed with an excursion to “Oulibo”, Occitan for olive. This cooperative olive oil press is a great opportunity to sample the famous Lucques olive. Dinner on board.

Friday- Le Somail to Sallèles d’Aude
This morning we enjoy a round of golf at Cap d'Agde. This golf course is located in a colourful landscape created by one of the world's most renowned architects, Ronald Fream. An outstanding and inventive course whose greens are jealously protected by bunkers that you will never forget. Afternoon cruise through the series of locks and narrow bridges of the Robine Canal, built after the Canal du Midi to link Narbonne and the Mediterranean. Cycle ahead and explore the village of Sallèles d’Aude, our final mooring. Captains Farewell Dinner on board.(18 holes, 6,301m, Par 72).

Saturday- Sallèles d’Aude
After breakfast depart Sallèles d’Aude and return to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Athos
Argeliers to Marseillan

Sunday- Argeliers
You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to where the Athos awaits you at her moorings in Argeliers. A full-crew Welcome Aboard follows, with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, you will be invited to a 4-course dinner, prepared by our highly acclaimed on board Chef.

Monday- Argeliers to Capestang
Enjoy your first coffee of the day sitting in a comfortable chair on the upper deck of the barge. While coffee is available at any time from the bar, continental-style breakfast is served, at your leisure, beginning at 8:30am. The Argeliers Tennis Courts are a quick walk or bike-ride into the village from Argeliers port. Those who opt not to play may prefer a stroll around the village, or a cycle ride on this vineyard-surrounded part of the canal. Returning to the boat post-match, we enjoy a relaxing cruise to Capestang through the locks and winding waterways. We drive to the Oulibo - the local olive oil pressoir. After tasting those organic and wholesome olives (accompanied, bien sûr, by a small glass of rosé!!), a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve is in order. Where your guide tells you the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th C. The minibuses arrive back in Capestang for pre-dinner drinks and there ought to be enough time for a stroll into the village before dinner on board.

Tuesday- Capestang to Regismont le Haut
After breakfast, the proposed morning visit is the famous Medieval double-walled city of Carcassonne. Your knowledgeable on-board guide will offer the historical & guided visit -- making sure that you have time to browse those shops! A long lunch and an afternoon of relaxation await your return to the barge. We arrive early evening at Regismont le Haut. Only 5 minutes from this rural mooring is the village of Poilhes. Tennis courts are booked and available for a pre-dinner match. Dinner on board.

Wednesday- Regismont le Haut to Fonserannes
A morning visit to the quaint town of Pezenas. After a tour of the 14thC Hotel Particuliers (or medieval court mansions), you make your way back to the boat for lunch and cruising. The afternoon promises spectacular views of the Pyrenees across the sunny, clear plain as the barge makes her way to the evening's mooring: the breath-taking view-point of the St. Nazaire Cathedral from the Fonserannes. A short drive into Beziers Tennis Club Barthes and this afternoon’s Tennis matches are under way. Returning to the barge for cocktails and relaxation on deck, the hostess asks if you would prefer to dine al fresco this evening to take advantage of the scenery. A long gourmet dinner and wine in the fresh air finishes a perfect day.

Thursday- Fonserannes to Portiragnes
Why not take a side-trip to the weekly morning market in Narbonne? Even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers much entertainment on a Thursday morning! Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral, or simply take a moment to blend into the scene: sit and relax in one of the many cafés. Return to the barge for lunch and the barge begins her cruise. This 17thC feat of engineering, the "Neuf Ecluses" (or staircase locks), is sure to impress! The crew expertly tie her up in each lock and wait for the gates to close safely behind her before the water levels empty out and allow her to pass one locks into the next. But it's not over yet! Coming up next is the 18thC Canal Bridge that will carry the barge over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be in the country, just outside the small village of Portiragnes. The crew suggest a break from tennis for today, in exchange for cycling, walking or jogging on the paved towpath that follows the cruise route. Dinner on board.

Friday- Portiragnes to Marseillan
After breakfast, we cruise towards Marseillan. You pass by the “Petite Camargue”, watching Pink Flamingos in the estuaries, and keeping your eye out for the famous African Rollers and other wetland birds. A spectacular (and appropriate!) seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau. The Etang hosts Europe's largest mussel and oyster park. As the barge comes to moor in the port at Marseillan, you will notice the enclosure which makes up the Noilly Prat Vermouth distillery where you end a perfect day with a fascinating tour and tasting of Noilly Prat vermouth! Tennis enthusiasts will have a last opportunity for an end-of-week match on the well-maintained clay courts at Marseillan Tennis Club. Chef's efforts are sure to make this evening worth remembering! Captains Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Marseillan
After breakfast transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Athos
Marseillan to Argeliers

Sunday- Marseillan
You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to where the Athos awaits you at her moorings in Marseillan. You will be treated to a full-crew Welcome Aboard, whilst toasting with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, Dinner on board.

Monday- Marseillan to Portiragnes
After an early breakfast we transfer to the well-acclaimed "La Grande Motte". It is made up of two 18-hole courses and one 9-hole, designed by Robert Trent-Jones (Senior) in 1987. On your return, a spectacular seafood lunch awaits you, as you move from last evening's mooring and enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau. The Etang hosts Europe's largest mussel and oyster park. Having cruised across the Etang and on to the Canal du Midi itself, the barge comes to its evening's shady, pretty moorings at Agde. Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Portiragnes Fonserannes
After breakfast, transfer to Golf de Fontcaude. We suggest a slightly later start and golf through lunch. An 18-hole international course, par 72 and 6,881 yds long, it was designed by Chris Pitman in 1991. The Clubhouse is a modern complex where you can stop for lunch when you are ready. Athos begins moving through the famous round lock at Agde and heads towards Beziers. Golfers return to join the last leg of the cruise which is the exciting climb up the staircase locks to scenic Fonserannes. Dinner on board.

Wednesday- Fonserannes to Regismont le Haut
After breakfast, transfer to "St. Thomas". This course was designed in 1992 by Patrice Lambert. It is 6704 yds long and a par 72. Along with the beautiful views, it includes an interesting blend of groomed greens, and natural, open and wooded landscape. Athos begins cruising and you meet us at the Malpas Tunnel, and enjoy the traverse through the tunnel as well as a relaxing late-afternoon of cruising towards Regismont le Haut. Your Captain stops the barge momentarily, and we hop off for a short wine-tasting at one of the few remaining traditional-method 19th C wineries. Return to the barge and cruise to the charming village of Regismont le Haut. Dinner on board.

Thursday- Regismont le Haut to Capestang
After breakfast transfer to Oulibo - the local olive oil pressoir. After tasting the organic and wholesome olives (accompanied, by a small glass of rosé!!), a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve is in order. Your tour guide will regale you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th C. A long lunch and an afternoon of relaxation and by early evening we arrive in Capestang, There ought to be enough time for an invigorating game of pétanque (over cocktails!?) or a brisk stroll into the village before dinner on board.

Friday- Capestang to Argeliers
After breakfast transfer to Golfe de Carcassonne was designed by JP Bascuro and is 6297 yds long. If you are still feeling energetic after golfing, your guide suggests a quick stop-off at the Cité of Carcassonne and a quick look around the Medieval City where you are offered a guided historical visit by your knowledgeable on-board guide. After a look around the city together, there will still be time for browsing those shops, or a refreshing drink in the cafés while watching the busy crowds go by. A late lunch is waiting when you return for the final afternoon of cruising to Argeliers. Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Argeliers
After breakfast, transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Athos
Argeliers to Marseillan

Sunday- Argeliers
You will be met at the designated meeting point and transferred to where the Athos awaits you at her moorings in Argeliers. A full-crew Welcome aboard follows, with Champagne and Mediterranean canapés. Once you are settled into your cabin, you will be invited to a 4-course dinner, prepared by our on board Chef and your guide will speak about the acclaimed Languedoc wines chosen for each meal.

Monday- Ageliers to Pigasse
Enjoy your first breakfast sitting in a comfortable chair on the upper deck of ATHOS. The morning visit is a drive to the famous medieval double-walled city of Carcassonne. Your knowledgeable on-board guide will offer the historical & guided visit -- making sure that you have time to browse those shops! Finishing up the visit, your guide suggests a quick wine tasting at one of the Caves in the Medieval Cité. This will provide a starting point for browsing the region’s wine collections! While the Captain gets ATHOS underway for an afternoon's cruise to Argeliers, Chef will serve up a local 3-course gourmet meal (perhaps including the famous duck confit stew, Cassoulet?) By early evening you have arrived in Pigasse, where ATHOS' mooring is beside the picturesque Pont du Pigasse. A quick visit to the local wine co-operative where wine is served on tap! There is still time for a glass of the local rosé as an aperitif before al-fresco dining, under the shade of the Plain trees would be nice?

Tuesday- Pigasse to Capestang
After breakfast, this morning's suggested visit is a tasting at the Oulibo - the local olive oil pressoir. After tasting those organic and wholesome olives (accompanied, bien sûr by a small glass of rosé!!), a short drive up the Gorge de la Cesse and into the hilltop village of Minerve is in order. Your guide will regale you with the harrowing tale of the Cathar siege launched at Minerve during the 13th C. En route back to the Athos, your guide points out some of the many respectable Minervois wineries in the Gorge de la Cesse area, recommended by Wine Spectator is Chateau Coupe. Lunch on board and then the barge cruises to Capestang. ATHOS will be moored with a clear view of the flood lit St. Etienne cathedral. The village is a 5-minute walk. Dinner on board.

Wednesday- Capestang to Fonserannes
After breakfast, we stroll into the village square where the morning market is being held? Taste some of the local winemakers’ fare, the local cheese-makers’ cheese, and the local butchers’ sausage. From the market, your guide suggests a tasting at one of the acclaimed Saint Chinian wineries: Cave Laurent Miquel. Return to the barge for lunch on board and then cruise to Fonserannes. This section of canal offers spectacular views of the Pyrenees across the sunny, clear plain. This evening’s mooring is the breath-taking viewpoint at the Fonserannes. A short drive into Beziers before dinner, where enthusiastic wine tasters can enjoy a guided visit and tasting at Domaine de la Colombette. Vignerons Mr Pugibet and his son are nationally and internationally acclaimed for their successful use of new wine technology, along with their superb Sauvignon Blanc and Lledoner Pelut. Returning to the Athos for a game of Pétanque before dinner on board.

Thursday- Fonserannes to Portiragnes
Visit to weekly morning market in Narbonne? Even for non-shoppers, Narbonne offers much entertainment on a Thursday morning. Explore an excavated portion of the original Roman road, the Via Domitia, or, browse through the well-compiled Roman Museum, or, discover the beauty of St. Juste Cathedral, or, simply take a moment to blend into the scene. For wine enthusiasts who might like to purchase and ship certain bottles, Athos recommends our long-time Caviste at the Cave du Palais in Narbonne and offers to take those interested to look at this large collection. Although shipping is costly, it can be arranged from here for those who are interested. After lunch we begin cruising through the 17th Century feat of engineering, the "Neuf Ecluses" (or staircase locks). ATHOS crew expertly tie her up in each lock, and wait for the gates to close safely behind her before the water levels empty out and allow her to pass one locks into the next. Coming up next is the 18thC Canal Bridge, which will carry the ATHOS over the Orb River. The evening's mooring will be at the small village of Portiragnes. The paved towpath and the many locks leading to this village make it an ideal afternoon for walking or cycling alongside the ATHOS. Dinner on board

Friday- Portiragnes to Marseillan
From the scenic mooring at Portiragnes, we get underway earlier than usual, cruising through the Petit Camargue where bulls stand casually in fields, Pink Flamingos grace estuaries, and African Rollers fly overhead. A spectacular (and appropriate!) seafood lunch awaits you, as you enter the open-waters of the Etang de Thau. The Etang hosts Europe's largest Mussel and Oyster Park. Your hostess has made sure that plenty of the local specialties, Picpoul de Pinet, is available to accompany the seafood according to the local pairing. As the barge comes to moor in the port at Marseillan, you will notice the enclosure which makes up the Noillly Prat Vermouth distillery. End a perfect day with a private tour of the Distillery -- and, of course, a taste of Noilly Prat vermouth! Chef's efforts are sure to make this evening worth remembering! Your Captain will join your party for your final dinner on board this evening, and your crew will have chosen particularly special wines for your final meal on board. During the evening, he will invite the crew to make a farewell toast with you.

Saturday- Marseillan
After breakfast transfer to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Anjodi

Marseillan to Le Somail

Sunday- Marseillan
Guests are met at the designated meeting point and escorted by minibus to Anjodi moored in the lake side fishing village of Marseillan, enjoying a view over the oyster beds and home of Noilly Pratt Vermouth. Champagne welcome followed by time for a relaxing stroll around this lovely fishing village. Prior to dinner your wine guide will give you a brief introduction to the vineyards of the region before presenting your first wines.

Monday- Marseillan to Portiragnes
This morning we visit Pezenas, a delightful village, mostly known for its associations with the French playwright Moliere, who is said to have written many plays while staying there. Later we visit the acclaimed Pomerol wine co-operative, Gold Medal winners and leading lights in the Languedoc. This afternoon we cruise from Marseillan to Portiragnes through the nature reserve of Bagnas with potential sightings of flamingos and other birds. Dinner on board.

Tuesday- Portiragnes to Beziers
This morning we cruise to the bottom of the Fonserannes 7 lock flight at Beziers where we continue along the 300 year old tree lined Canal du Midi. After lunch enjoy an informative wine tasting in the 14th Century Chateau de Perdiguier, famed for its 15th century frescoes and Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines. Dinner at a local auberge.

Wednesday- Beziers to Poilhes
This morning we cross the aqueduct over the River Orb and then ascend the 7-lock flight of Fonserannes before reaching the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas. On arrival at the picturesque village of Poilhes we pay a visit to the Chateau de Pech Redon to taste the wonderfully complex velvety wines produced from the nearby Montagne de la Clape. Dinner on board.

Thursday- Poilhes to Argeliers
A morning visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishop’s Palace and Horreum. Explore the indoor market at the hub of this bustling town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the relaxed atmosphere. Return to the barge for a cruise along the shaded canal to Argeliers, stopping off en route at Chateau de Guery, a 500 year old canalside vineyard, for a pre-dinner wine tasting of the full-bodied Corbieres or a visit to the state of the art winery at Mas de Chevaliere, created by the Burgundian winemaker Michel Laroche, we taste a selection of their delicious wines. Dinner on board.

Friday- Argelier to Le Somail
Fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne, the most complete mediaeval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. In the nearby village of Boutenac, we sample Patrick Reverdy's internationally renowned Corbieres wine at the 17th Century Chateau LaVoulte Gasparets. Afternoon cruise along the 330 year old Midi Canal to Argeliers through vineyards and pine trees. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday- Le Somail
After breakfast, depart from Le Somail by minibus to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

** Designated meeting and drop off point is Narbonne. Other options are available for charter groups

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Anjodi
Marseillan to Le Somail

Sunday- Marseillan
Guests are met at the **designated meeting point and escorted by minibus to Anjodi moored in the lake side fishing village of Marseillan. Enjoy a view over the oyster beds and Noilly Prat vermouth. Champagne welcome followed by time for a relaxing stroll around this lovely fishing village before dinner on board.

Monday- Marseillan to Portiragnes
This morning we enjoy a round of golf at Cap d'Agde.  This golf course is located in a colourful landscape created by one of the world's most renowned architects, Ronald Fream. An outstanding and inventive course whose greens are jealously protected by bunkers that you will never forget.  Return to the barge and enjoy a late seafood lunch whilst cruising the lagoon and reach our mooring for the night in Portiragnes where there is an opportunity of a sea swim.  Light dinner on board..  (18 holes, 6,301m, Par 72)

Tuesday- Portiragnes to Beziers
We cruise this morning to the bottom of the Fonseranes 7 lock flight at Beziers where we continue along the 300 year old tree lined Canal du Midi.   After lunch we golf at Golf de St Thomas.  This course offers various types of play: woods, hills, lakes and on some fairways a more classic approach.  Return to the barge and enjoy an aperitif before dinner ashore in a local auberge.  (18 holes, par 72,  6130m).

Wednesday- Beziers to Poilhes
A morning visit to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy the Archbishops Palace and Horreum. Explore the indoor market at the hub of this bustling town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the relaxed atmosphere. After lunch we cross the aqueduct over the River Orb and then ascend the 7-lock flight of Fonseranes before reaching the world’s oldest canal tunnel at Malpas and then arrive at the picturesque village of Poilhes for our nights mooring. Dinner on board.

Thursday- Poilhes to Le Somail
This morning we play golf at Lamalou-les-Bains Golf Course located at the foot of Mt Carooux by the River Orb, this course with its three small lakes, is flat, wooded, short, technical and most enjoyable. Return to the barge for a cruise along the shaded canal to Argeliers, and then onto our final mooring in Le Somail. Dinner on board..  (9 holes, 2,600m, Par 35)

Friday- Le Somail
Fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete mediaeval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. Enjoy Cassoulet in Carcassonne before golf at Golf de Carcassonne. Challenging water obstacles and bunkers make this a tactical golf course for players of all levels. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board. (18 holes, 5,800m, Par 71)

Saturday- Le Somail
After breakfast disembark the barge and transfer by minibus to the **designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

** Designated meeting and drop off point is Narbonne. Other options are available for charter groups

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Shannon Princess
Killaloe to Quigley's Marina

Sunday- Killaloe
We meet you at the designated meeting place and transfer you by coach to the Shannon Princess moored in historic Killaloe. We are moored on the Tipperary side of these picturesque little Ecclesiastical towns. Killaloe was once home to the court of the last High King of Ireland - Brian Boru. “Cead Mile Failte,” Your Captain and his crew welcome you on board the elegant Shannon Princess with a Champagne Reception. Time enough to meet new friends. Relax on deck or explore this charming riverside town & local sites of interest. Watch the world float by, as you enjoy your first gourmet dinner on board.

Monday- Walk the Graves of the Leinstermmen
We take a hike into the Arra Mountains from our mooring in Killaloe. At the summit of Tountinna is the “GRAVES OF THE LEINSTERMEN”, today one stone is standing, the rest are covered in undergrowth. The site may have originally been a stone circle or a Neolithic Tomb. Keep a look out for evidence of the area’s great slate quarrying tradition. Magnificent views can be had from these parts, and blanket bog and several varieties of heather add to the allure of the landscape. This is an excellent walk and can take between 3 to 5 hours to walk. We are walking on natural terrain with moderate gradients. We slip our moorings at Killaloe, and start our journey up river. This afternoon we literately go with the flow, up through Lough Derg with its many Islands & Medieval strongholds. Here The Shannon Princess follows a dramatic route carved through the hills & valleys of Munster’s North Riding. The River sweeps past banks charmingly dotted with Wild Horses & Crumbling Castles. We moor at the lovely old estate village of Mountshannon, perched prettily above the Lough. Gourmet Dinner onboard and a moonlit ramble around Mountshannon.

Tuesday- Walk the East Clare Hills
The East Clare Way walk starts from overnight mooring in Mountshannon. This is a 127km route of marked Highways and Byways. You will be guided through what is considered the most beautiful section. A gentle climb up through riverside villages & into the Slieve Bernagh hills until we overlook some of the most spectacular scenery in the whole of Munster with Lough Derg and its many islands at our feet creating a landscape rich in beauty, colour and variety. This is a 3 to 4 hour walk on natural terrain and trails with moderate gradients. This afternoon the Shannon Princess meanders effortlessly north through Lough Derg. We moor waterside at the foot of a hill that slopes gently up to Terryglass village. At Terryglass take time to explore this rural Hamlet- walk, cycle, swim or make a wish in any of the villages’ ‘Holy (fairy) Wells’! Time to explore Portumna Castle Walled Kitchen Gardens with your Chef. Gourmet dinner on board.

Wednesday- Walk The Slieve Bloom Way, Cadens Town & Kinnity
We travel by luxury coach to the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains. Steeped in history and folklore, the Slieve Blooms dominate the landscape as it straddles the border of counties Offaly and Laois. Its highest peak, 529m Arderin, translates from Irish as the height of Ireland. Connections with the past are everywhere as the area is dusted with monuments dating back as far as 4,500 years. This is a three to 4 hour walk along riverside paths & bog tracks and through woodland trails. Refreshment at Leap Castle Hosted by Owner & Traditional Musician Sean Ryan. Return to “Shannon Princess II’ for Gourmet Dinner, and cruise an evocative stretch of the river Shannon. Onwards we head, in the wake of time, floating by dappled woodlands & ancient highways. The ever-changing landscape slipping by, pausing as Portumna Swing Bridge is opened to allow the Shannon Princess pass on by, upwards through Meelick Lock to moor over night at the village of Shannonbridge. Gourmet Dinner on board.

Thursday- Walk the Pilgrim Path
After a short Cruise, we moor at Clonmacnoise ruins - an atmospheric & spiritual 6th Century monastic settlement soaked in history & myth. Clonmacnoise was the ancient burial grounds of the High Kings of Tara & Connaught and quickly became a popular place of pilgrimage. Here on the Shannon Riverbanks we start our walking trail on THE PILGRIM'S PATH. This ancient walking route crossed early historic Ireland from east to west and was known in Gaelic as An tSlí Mór, the Great Road. The modern Pilgrim Path covers an intact stretch of that ancient route which winds along the Esker Riada and provides the walker with an elevated view of the bog and river Shannon rich in wildlife and flowers .We follow the trail for 3 to 4 hours, over gently undulating & natural terrain. The Shannon Princess continues its meander up the Shannon towards Athlone, cruising through lush grazing meadows & floodplains. These meadows are considered Ireland’s premier wildfowl & flora reserves, and excellent examples of “Callows" landscape. We moor in the heart of the bustling town of Athlone with time to visit some of the many charming craft, antiques shops or a visit to any of the town’s impromptu traditional music pub. Dinner on board

Friday- Walk The Tain Trail & Portlick Woods Taiin Co Culaine
This morning the Barge slips through countryside little changed through the centuries. Relax & unwind as we float along the Shannon’s beautiful “Lough Ree & its Inner Lakes”, passing stately riverside homes & some of its reputed 365 wooded islands. We moor at Quigleys Marina, Glasson is the legendary route taken across Ireland taken by Queen Maedbh of Connacht in her attempts at the theft of her husband's riches and his prized Brown Bull of Cooley. The Tain Trail is steeped in mythology & history as it retraces the journey & battles between Maeve & her armies & the Warrior hero Cúchulainn. We join the Tain Trail along the Shores of Lough Ree where Maeve met a bloody end. We follow the trail for 3 to 4 hours. This is a charming lakeshore byway on natural surfaces with only slight gradients. Farewell “Slainte” Gourmet Dinner.

Saturday- Glasson
After breakfast transfer by coach to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

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Shannon Princess
Killaloe to Glasson

Sunday- Killaloe
We meet you at the designated meeting place and transfer you by coach to the Shannon Princess moored in historic Killaloe. On arrival, enjoy a welcome Irish Coffee or a pint of Murphy's on tap. The afternoon is free to relax or stroll the picturesque town. Visit St Flannan's Cathedral, which was originally commenced in 1180 but destroyed by Donal Mor O'Brian and rebuilt some 200 years later in a Gothic style. Welcome dinner aboard.

Monday- Killaloe to Mountshannon
Enjoy an early morning cruise to the spectacular reaches of the lower Shannon to Mountshannon.  After a leisurely breakfast, you are transferred to Lahinch Golf Club - ranked in the World's top 100 and dating back to 1892, making it one of Ireland's oldest clubs! The golf course is a 70 minute drive each way, but well worth it! Enjoy 18 holes followed by lunch in the clubhouse. Dinner on board. (18 holes, 6115m, Par 72).

Tuesday- Mountshannon to Terryglass
Sunrise cruise to Dromineer and then transfer to Adare Manor Golf Resort, an exquisite 18-hole Championship course features 230 acres of lush Irish countryside with lakes and river meandering throughout.  The Adare course was designed by legendary Robert Trent Jones Senior.  Return to the barge moored in Dromineer and then dinner on board followed by a late evening cruise to Terryglass, three times winner of Ireland's tidiest town competition. (18 holes, 6815m, Par 71).

Wednesday- Terryglass to Banagher
After breakfast we depart to neighbouring Mossfield Organic Cheese Farm & then Leap Castle, reputed to be Ireland's most haunted house.  You will be hosted by Sean Ryan-a renowned musician and his family will invite you into their unusual home.  Return to the barge and enjoy a lovely lunch featuring local produce. We cruise through the ever-changing river flood plain bringing us to our overnight mooring at the lively little river town of Banagher.  After dinner, we enjoy music and banter at a local pub.  

Thursday- Banagher to Athlone
Cruise through the protected Callows, a wild life flora and fauna reserve, mooring at the ancient ruins of Clonmacnoise.  After a guided tour we enjoy lunch on board, whilst cruising to Athlone.  After lunch we transfer to K Golf Club, host golf club for the 2006 Ryder Cup.  The Arnold Palmer designed course is one of the premier parkland golf courses in Europe.  Return to the barge for dinner on board followed by golf lore and music at a waterside pub in Athlone.

Friday- Athlone to Glasson
After breakfast, cruise to Glasson through Shannon's beautiful Lough Ree & Inner Lakes and moor right next to the 17th tee at Glasson Golf and Country Club, a superb golf course with a variety of tees. A Christy O'Connor design quoted as "the best he has done so far". The course presents you with many challenges and treats, as well as spectacular views from all 18 holes. A grand finale to an Irish Golf Week! Afternoon visit for a tasting at a local Whiskey Distillery. Old Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licenced distillery in the world, dating back to 1757. Farewell Dinner Aboard. (18 holes, 6400m, Par 72).

Saturday- Glasson
After breakfast transfer by coach to the designated drop off point.

Note: On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

**The designated meeting and drop off point is Dublin.  Other options are available for charter groups.

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