DISCOVER the BEAUTY of FRANCE
as it was meant to be experienced...
Spend a week cruising centuries-old canals through the verdant fields and picturesque villages of provincial France. Savor the velvet texture of Camembert on a crusty baguette and the exquisite bouquet of a glass of vintage burgundy. Slowly and fully immerse yourself in a truly unique experience.
Sophisticated European travelers have long known the pleasures of touring France’s charming waterways by barge cruise. Now is your time to delight in this unequaled way of viewing the beauty of rural France.
BARGE TRAVEL IN BURGUNDY
Time seems to stand still as your barge slowly motors by quaint stone churches and well-kept houses, periodically pausing at moss-covered locks, as it makes its leisurely way from one town to the next. Catch up on your reading on deck, partake in a delicious gourmet meal from your private chef or simply relax to the gentle sounds of water lapping against the hull. Delight in the peaceful sensation that comes with unplugging yourself from the 24/7 world on your luxury barge cruise.
CANAL de BOURGOGNE
The Canal de Bourgogne connects the Yonne at Migennes with the Saône at Saint-Jean-de-Losne. The canal is 242 km (150 mi) long, with 189 locks. Construction began on the canal in 1775 and wasn’t fully completed until 1832. Its peak level is at Pouilly-en-Auxois, which lies 378 meters above sea level, where the canal passes through a tunnel 3.3 km long.
The canal is a quiet and narrow tree-lined route that gently winds through rolling wooded hills, scenic rural countryside, and fields full of chickpeas, wheat and mustard seed. The occasional cow or horse is easy to see while cruising along.
The canal’s 189 locks are run by the French Canal Authority, the VNF, and its lock keepers in much the same way as they have for the past 250 years. The locks are manually opened and closed and the time spent in the lock is a wonderful opportunity to jump off the barge to take a leisurely bike or stroll along the canal. Not to worry, if you walk ahead of the barge, you will find that it will catch up with you at the next lock. Once the lock keepers have finished closing the lock they will hop on their moped or scooter and buzz past you on their way to the next lock a mile or so ahead and the whole process will be repeated.
Each lock has a charming lock keeper’s house and perhaps a friendly dog or duck. In times past these buildings would be home to each lock’s keeper. Today they are privately occupied and some appear as works of art with delightful gardens, painted gnomes and the occasional quirky sculpture.
Come join us and step back in time along the Burgundy canal.