6-night all-inclusive cruise through the hills and villages of Northern Burgundy; enjoy gastronomy and adventure with our full crew at your service
Cruise from Vermenton to Chevroches on the Nivernais Canal in Northern Burgundy
River trip highlights
- Discover and visit one of the most beautiful regions of France
- Discover local food and wine
- Experience the unique sensation of barge cruising
- Discover French history and traditions
- Luxurious amenities & professional, dedicated crew
- Visit medieval and renaissance villages and towns
River trip summary
WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER;
- Our barge, Elisabeth, has a long history on the canals of France, Holland and Belgium. Today, we offer unique and luxurious all-inclusive cruising holidays through one of France’s most beautiful regions. Our chef will always be on hand to provide you with the best of locally sourced French ingredients, paired with specially selected local and regional wines.
- Recently updated using internationally sourced design elements, Elisabeth has been specifically redesigned for guest comfort, tranquility and enjoyment without sacrificing space and privacy.
- She offers a spacious and light environment with all the modern facilities you would expect from a top-class hotel. Each of our three guest rooms have ensuite facilities, air-conditioning, and separate access to the saloon.
- We invite our guests to treat the barge as their home from home; relax in our large and comfortable sofas, enjoy a cocktail from our bar, read a book while contemplating the scrolling landscapes, or enjoy the sun on our exclusive terrace. Our aim is for you to arrive as guests and leave as friends.
- Our modern entertainment system allows you to choose your evening entertainment whether that be a movie, catching up with international news, or just listening to some music. Amazon Echoes throughout the passenger areas allow you to listen to our carefully crafted Spotify playlists or your own choice of music; why not dance the night away after dinner?
WHAT WILL FOOD AND DRINKS BE LIKE ONBOARD;
- Our food philosophy is to provide you with regional and seasonal food cooked with fresh, local ingredients each day. We have found some of the best local producers and suppliers to ensure that we can offer you the very best our region has to offer during your time with us.
- Our experienced chef will create a delicious menu for you based on seasonally available local products, your likes/dislikes and any specific dietary requirements. Feel free to discuss them with our Bookarivertrip.com agent.
- Our fully stocked bar is available 24/7, offering a wide range of spirits, wines, liqueurs, beers and hot drinks. Throughout your cruise, our experienced crew will be on hand to provide you with unrivalled personal service. If you have particular requirements for specific spirits or wines please discuss them with our Bookarivertrip.com agent.
- Every day, our chef will provide a freshly prepared two-course lunch and five-course dinner.
- A typical lunch may be; a salad of smoked trout, apple, fennel, broad beans, pomegranate and frisée followed by either a selection of local cheeses or a sweet dessert such as a tarte au citron.
- A typical dinner may be; an amuse-bouche of wild mushroom tartine, herb tea-infused snails with lardons and peas, poached chicken breast with morels, truffle and cream sauce, a selection of local cheeses, and for dessert, freshly made Earl Grey madeleines with goat’s milk ice cream.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE PRICE ARE;
- Your journey to and from our barge upon arrival and departure
- Your travel insurance that we strongly recommend to book (ask our Bookarivertrip.com agent about the different options)
- Any meals, drinks and/or local products and handicrafts purchased ashore
- Specifically requested additional Activities, products, and services.
Click HERE to view the owner's Terms & Conditions relating to this river cruise.
River trip description
Day 1-Sunday: Arrival onboard at Vermenton and first mini cruise
- Here we are, it is the beginning of our cruise experience together! We will come and pick you up at a previously agreed meeting point (Auxerre, Dijon or even Paris). After being transferred onboard, you will enjoy a champagne welcome and get to know the crew and introduce you to the river with the first cruise to Accolay.
- You will then have all the time you need to discover your cozy cabins and relax, while the chef is preparing your first onboard feast to introduce you to our wonderful local cuisine. Specially selected wines are served with each course.
Day 2-Monday: Morning visit of Chablis and afternoon cruise to Mailly-la-Ville
- The first day of your cruise experience starts with a leisurely breakfast of your choice, as we offer full continental breakfasts including fresh local pastries and bread (still warm from the bakery), homemade jams, cereals, local yoghurts, and much more. After breakfast, we leave for our first visit – the famous wine town of Chablis.
- From its historic streets you can see some of the 17 000 acres of Chardonnay vines that surround the town. It’s the perfect occasion to taste a wide variety of different classifications of wine direct from local wineries.
- Upon your return to Elisabeth, lunch will be served. Our afternoon cruise will give you constantly changing views of the beautiful French countryside; changing slowly between vines, wheat fields and forests. It’s time for a gentle glide on the Canal du Nivernais to our next destination, Mailly-la-Ville.
- Our village mooring for the night will delight you. It’s the perfect spot for another fabulous dinner paired with delicious wines. The evening is all yours, how about a cocktail on the private deck with some relaxing music in the background whilst soaking up the atmosphere of this typical French village? You might discuss the day’s events watching the sunset and swans drifting by on the river. What ever you decide to do you can relax safe in the knowledge that everything is being taken care of by your crew.
Day 3-Tuesday: Visit one of the prettiest villages in France and cruise to Le Saussois.
- After another superb night onboard (you will see, sleeping on the river is one of the best night’s sleep you can have made possible by our unrivalled quality mattresses), a lazy wake-up, a delicious breakfast, we then depart for our next discovery, the village of Noyers.
- Noyers is one of the prettiest villages of France, famous for its narrow streets, medieval buildings, and its wonderful artisanal shops that offer a wide array of locally made products. Discuss the range of products with the artisans and learn about their techniques.
- We will then be back on board for lunch, before departing for our next destination, a short cruise to le Saussois. Time to enjoy the deck, observe the constantly changing landscape, and learn about the history of the river and canal with our captain. Perhaps a walk, a cycle or even a run up to the top of the famous rocks above Le Saussois?
- This evening, our chef will prepare another culinary discovery, fitting to the requests/preferences you will have expressed to our bookarivertrip.com agent. Don’t hesitate to ask for another delicious cocktail!
Day 4-Wednesday: Discover Auxerre and cruise from Le Saussois to Chatel Censoir
- This morning, after breakfast we depart for our tour of the city of Auxerre. You will be shown around its old streets surrounded by impressive buildings and monuments. Situated on the banks of the River Yonne, our guide will tell you all the little-known stories and tales.
- After our lunch onboard (and why not a nap), we glide at a sedate pace to our next mooring location, the town of Chatel Censoir, where another evening of fine wines, delicious food, and great ambiance awaits you.
- You always have the opportunity to spend your evenings discovering the surrounding areas, and even be driven to some places you would like to discover or know better. Also all of the tours can be changed to fit better with your requirements/interests; feel free to discuss the option with bookarivertrip.com agent.
Day 5-Thursday: Prehistoric Cave visit and cruise to Pousseaux
- A short drive away from our mooring are the caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, a fantastic archaeological site not to be missed! Carved out of the limestone landscape by subterranean river systems, the cave features some of the oldest paintings in Europe.
- We will then be back on board for lunch and some more time to relax. After the chef has surprised us with more perfectly prepared local dishes, get set for another afternoon of drifting past beautiful Chateaux and picturesque villages, with books, music, and cocktails always to hand.
- Pousseaux, a tiny village set in the middle of the French countryside is our port of call for this evening; the perfect place to host another evening of enjoyment, food, chat and stargazing.
Day 6-Friday: Morning cruise to our final destination, Chevroches
- For our final cruise, why not enjoy a walk or a cycle along the towpath running parallel to the canal? You will pass through beautiful ancient villages and towns, stunning landscapes, while the barge cruises on her way to the town of Chevroches.
- Our guide will then drive you to a must see UNESCO site, without doubt one of the best in Burgundy. Situated in the town of Vezelay, the 12th-century basilica that crowns the city, saw Saint Bernard of Clairveaux give the speech that launched the 2nd crusade in 1147.
- This evening, we celebrate the end of our incredible cruise experience together. After some cocktails and champagne, our chef will have prepared you a very special evening, with the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
Day 7-Saturday: Last morning onboard and day of departure
- You will have some time this morning to enjoy our barge’s amenities for a bit more! Relax in bed, enjoy the saloon, or take some last sunshine on deck. After breakfast, it will sadly be time to say goodbye – au revoir.
- We will take care of your private transfer to your prearranged departure point, either in Dijon, Auxerre, Paris, or other.
- We hope to see you and your friends back onboard very soon, why not ask us about tailoring a cruise specifically for you in a different area of Burgundy or France?
*For the 2020 season, our itinerary will be based on the Nivernais Canal as above. We will also be offering cruises on the Burgundy Canal. Please contact our Bookarivertrip.com agent for details.
*Please note that this itinerary runs two ways depending on the departure date; either from Vermenton to Chevroches or from Chevroches to Vermenton; the activities will take place at different times in the week.
Type of experience
Heating / cooling
Languages spoken onboard
TV / DVD / movies available
Music-sound system / CD player
Books and magazines
How to get there
- Auxerre is located halfway between Paris (170 km) and Dijon (150 km) on the A6 motorway, at the junction of the proposed A26 Troyes-Bourges motorway. The city is ideally situated to discover northern Burgundy.
- Auxerre is 15 km from Chablis, famous for its white wines, 20 km from Pontigny Abbey, 45 km from St Fargeau Castle, 60 km from Vezelay and 78 km from Troyes.
- Trains are a wonderfully cheap option if you are coming from Paris or Dijon. Trains usually run every hour. If you are coming from Paris, you might have to make a connection at Larroche-Migennes. You can easily walk from the station to the old part of town in 10 minutes.
- There are many connections between Auxerre and Dijon train stations to the rest of European countries, such as Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
- There are several international airports that we recommend to reach the destination (please note that pick up of your group at one of them can be arranged with our bookarivertrip.com agent).
- These airports are; Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) both in Paris, Lyon Saint Exupery Airport (LYS) or Geneva in Switzerland (GVA).
- There are also many smaller airports where seasonal flights are opened during the summer, or where you can land with your plane if you wish to.
About the area
- Auxerre is a beautiful village situated in the Yonne Valley, in the heart of the Bourgogne region. It was built on the banks of the River Yonne, which is itself linked to the Seine River that crosses Paris.
- The town has an impressive architectural heritage, with many beautiful Medieval and Renaissance buildings and sites. That led it to be classified as “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (village of arts and history), protecting almost the entire city center from alterations.
- All around it are villages, vineyards, castles, and hills that you will enjoy discover during our cruise together. Burgundy in itself can be considered as Northern (with Auxerre as its center) and Southern (with Dijon as its center).
River trip owner
David and Matthew began their barging journey on the River Thames in England. They ran a successful and unique hotel barge there before transferring their attention to France and the beautiful Hotel Barge.
Their intention is always for guests to take a step out of the rat race for as long as they are with them. Guests are expected to treat the hotel-barge as a home from home - put your feet up and relax! Their aim is for you to arrive as a guest but leave as a friend.
David and Matthew have brought their food philosophy with them from the Thames to Burgundy; providing as much local produce and using local small scale suppliers as much as possible. They believe that showcasing the amazing produce of their small part of France is one of the most important aspects of their product (aside from the amazing scenery and magnificent tours that also form part of the trip)!
All of their cruises are individually crafted for each group of guests. If you would prefer to change a tour (or all of them) for something else, or change the route offered they are more than willing to endeavour to fit with your requirements.
3 Reviews - 6-night all-inclusive cruise through the hills and villages of Northern Burgundy; enjoy gastronomy and adventure with our full crew at your service
Bill & Mimi - the United States
We enjoyed every minute of our time with you. You couldn’t have been more kind, thoughtful, and solicitous to our every anticipated need and desire. I am particularly grateful for your adaptations to our varied infirmities. You were helpful without condescending and cheerful right up to that 5 AM wake up call on our day of departure. A large part of enjoying such an intimate group comes from the good nature of the hosts. Your ability to share in our fun, while working so hard to provide us all the accouterments to the barge experience, contributed greatly to our vacation. Thank you. We will have no trouble heartily recommending the experience to our friends. I can’t let this note go without adding my praise for the food. I loved the emphasis on local, from the cheese to the creme fraiche, to the fruits and vegetables, to the pastries, and of course, to the wines. You really did make every effort to give Burgundy its due
Marsha & John - the United States
John and I had a wonderful time on our trip with you! Your elegantly appointed barge was cozy and comfy; the food and wine were delicious, as were its choices; the scenery and weather were ideal; and of course, we loved being with our group and with the two of you. We have no complaints or suggestions! Again, many thanks for your hospitality and excellent good cheer!
Betsy & George - the United States
"We're just getting back to reality here in Baltimore after our week with you in Burgundy. It was a perfect vacation aboard this beautiful barge. The food, the wines, the decor, the comfortable cabins and gathering spaces, the excursions and above all your constant caring for our well being all added up to a week we'll never forget. It was wonderful to meet both of you. Now we have wonderful memories to share with family and friends.” -