6-night all-inclusive cruise in the heart of the Ouch Valley in Burgundy lifestyle and landscapes
Enjoy vineyard tours, explore ancient châteaux, and browse authentic markets along the Ouche Valley
River trip highlights
- Enjoy a purpose built barge for your burgundy cruise
- Discover the wildlife of the Canal de Bourgogne
- Discover top of the basket local restaurants and food of our chef
- Visit vineyards, historic sites and pitoresque villages
- Enjoy the tips, insights and expertise of our Guide
- Discover the unforgettable city of Dijon with our help
River trip summary
WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER;
- Experience a more immersive way to barge with our all-inclusive 8-Passenger ship. Our unique format offers a more chic, relaxed, fun, authentic and ever-so-slightly adventurous gastronomic barge cruising experience. Find out how we do it!
- We cruise along one of France's most beautiful canals, the Canal du Bourgogne. When not enjoying the spectacular and charming scenery, you will explore hidden gems of French life, history, and culture via air-conditioned van and expert guidance of Laura, your private guide.
- Each evening you will enjoy 'real France' dining experiences at different authentic local restaurants. Lunch comes by way of a private chef. All meals including wine and a generous open bar are included in your cruise price.
- Our crew is amongst the most experienced in barging. Captain Richard has been involved in Barging his whole life and knows how to turn 'vacation' into a 'life long memory!'. His understated, relaxed, hilarious yet professional style epitomizes the cruise.
TWO CRUISE TYPES TO SUIT YOUR ENVIES;
- Our barge cruises along a stunning section of the Canal du Bourgogne. Each day's cruising takes in all manner of interesting villages, beautiful views, flower-laden lock-keepers cottages, all at the gentle pace that comes with rural French culture.
- We enjoy lunch aboard while we cruise or at a peaceful mooring. This will be preceded or followed by your private guided tour for the day. We have two tour sets for you to choose from. For all cruises, private return transfers from Dijon to the cruise route are included.
OUR BEST OF BURGUNDY PROGRAM;
- A skip across all that is beautiful in Burgundy. On a given day we may sample wine, visit local markets, explore historical and fascinating landmarks, visit ancient hilltop castles and even visit an authentic cheesemaker complete with goats.
- This is our most popular itinerary with something for everybody.
OUR WINE SPECIALIST PROGRAM;
- If your love of wine runs deep, then a trip to Burgundy should be focused on what you love! With these tours, we get really focused on tasting more wine and exploring every aspect of Burgundy vinification.
- These tours are normally for those who intend to buy lots of wine while in Burgundy and plenty of notice is required.
Click HERE to view the owner's Terms & Conditions relating to this river cruise.
River trip description
Your route along the Ouche Valley, from Fleury-Sur-ouche to Escommes
- The 'Canal du Bourgogne' (Burgundy canal) is fascinating. It was begun in the late 1600s and completed in 1832. It transformed the prosperity of the region from rural subsistence to trading route and partner too far off lands.
- In its 150 mile and 190 locks, the canal carves an elegant path through some of the most beautiful of all rural French countryside. The section we cruise, along the Ouche Valley, is arguably the most historic and interesting of the entire canal. It's also beautiful.
- Your cruise will start either from Escommes at the western end or Fleury-sur-Ouche at the eastern end! See here the route we will be doing, day by day;
Day 1-Sunday: We'll Meet You in Dijon - Welcome Aboard
- Our captain will meet your party in the late afternoon in central Dijon - at the Rail Station (there are frequent TGV trains from Paris) or a local hotel.
- From there, you'll be chauffeured to the barge at anchor in Fleury-sur-Ouche, a classic village nestled on the Canal de Bourgogne.
- There will be time to unpack and explore, helping you work up an appetite for your first on-shore dinner at ‘Le Lassey' at Chateau de Sainte Sabine, an elegant mansion, built in an old monastery.
- The Michelin-starred chef-driven cuisine focuses on the region’s abundance of fresh local produce, products, and ingredients.
Day 2-Monday: Cruise from Fleury-sur-Ouche to Gissey - Wine, wine, wine
- This morning begin your cruise back in time through the unhurried and authentic Valley of the Ouche. You'll float past limestone cliffs, wooded hills and enchanting villages.
- The barge ties up above the lock in Gissey, stroll into this ancient and charming village.
- After lunch on board (prepared by our private chef and delivered to the ship), we cruise for another hour and then enjoy the first of many excursions.
- You will be driven south to the famed Cote d'Or wine region.
- Your first visit today is to Chateau du Clos de Vougeot where wine was produced by Cistercian monks from the 12th century. Examine the ancient wine presses and learn more about winemaking and life in that long-ago era.
- Then it's back to present-day pleasures at a wine-tasting which introduces this area's vintages.
- In the evening, we visit Restaurant De La Porte Guillaume, located in the heart of Dijon. The rich, comforting flavors of Burgundian cuisine are at the forefront of this bistro’s regionally-inspired menu.
Day 3-Tuesday: Cruise from Gissey to La Bussiere - Market Day in Dijon
- After breakfast onboard featuring village-baked pastries still warm from the oven, we head to Dijon to mingle with locals at the famed outdoor market. There will be time to look around the well-preserved medieval old town and shop - think mustard!
- Then it's back to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise through gorgeous scenery to La Bussieresur-Ouche. Relax onboard or explore by bicycle - let's meet up with our barge at the next lock!
- Later, explore the exquisite Abbaye De La Bussiere and then enjoy dinner within this fabulous setting at the informal Le Bistrot des Moines.
Day 4-Wednesday: Cruise from La Bussiere to Pont D'Ouche – Beautiful Beaune
- Take a moment to reflect this morning as we cruise to Pont D'ouche.
- After lunch aboard, sightseeing takes center stage as you head to enchanting Beaune - the wine capital of the Cote d'Or. There's much to enjoy in Beaune; most important is the immaculately preserved Hospice de Beaune, a charity hospital built in the 15th century (and which treated patients until the early 20th century!).
- And there will be time to explore the shops or visit a cafe in the square. Return to the barge in the late afternoon, then relax until we drive you to the nearby delight of “Le Spuller”, your restaurant for this evening.
Day 5-Thursday: Cruise from Pont d’Ouche to La Repe - You've tasted wine, now it's time to taste cheese!
- After a peaceful start to your day, we visit Ferme de Poisset, an authentic cheesemaker. Yes, you'll learn and then you'll taste! After all, you are in France!
- Return on board and walk the towpath or bicycle into a nearby village - or just relax on board with a good book - as we continue our journey on the historic Canal de Bourgogne to La Repe.
- Tonight you will dine at “L'Oree du Bois”, an authentic creperie (which are a French dining
institution) located in the heart of Chateauneuf en Auxois. Before dinner enjoy a glass of wine at the stunning lookout point.
Day 6-Friday: Cruise from La Repe to Escommes - Hilltop Medieval Village
- After breakfast, we return to the lovely Medieval village and chateau of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois perched high on a hill overlooking the canal.
- Explore on cobblestoned streets, peek into private gardens, and then tour the haunting chateau.
- Back on board for lunch as we continue our cruise into the Valley of the Ouche.
- Dinner is at ‘Le Lassey' at Chateau de Sainte Sabine, an elegant mansion, built in an old monastery.
- The Michelin-starred chef-driven cuisine focuses on the region’s abundance of fresh local produce, products, and ingredients.
Day 7-Saturday: Transfer from Escommes to Dijon - last hours on board
- Depart between 8 and 9 am for your chauffeured transfer back to Dijon.
- After your final breakfast on board, it will be hard to leave our ship! There are mid-to-late morning TGV trains from Dijon back to Paris or perhaps you'll choose to rent a car for an onward journey.
- We hope to see you on board again!
Note: This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to changes to accommodate public holidays, closures and guest preferences!
Type of experience
Heating / cooling
Languages spoken onboard
TV / DVD / movies available
Music-sound system / CD player
Books and magazines
Binoculars for animal watching
How to get there
The train à grande Vitesse (TGV) speeds travelers from Paris (only 100 min) and other major French cities to Dijon. There are also regular train services to a variety of destinations, including, but not restricted to, Italy (Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome among them), Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
There is also a special return ticket on the TER from Paris (Train Express Régional) that is slow (3 h) but costs only €18, and lets you spend 24 hours in Dijon, including a Saturday night. You can buy this at station ticket offices in Paris Bercy train station or Paris Gare de Lyon only. Similar trains leave Dijon Saturday morning for Paris and return in the evening.
Dijon Bourgogne Airport ceased operations on 30 June 2016.
From Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (IATA: CDG) there are TGV high-speed train services from the railway station which is adjacent to Terminal 2 (station name: Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV or Paris Aéroport Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle when booking online) to Dijon Ville station. The journey time for the direct TGV train is around 2 hours. Alternatively, take bus number 4 operated by Le Bus Direct (one-way ticket: €17 as of 2017) from the airport to Paris Gare de Lyon from which there are frequent TGV trains to Dijon.
From EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (IATA: BSL) you can take bus number 11 (operated by Distribus) to Saint-Louis railway station, and then take the train to Dijon (via Mulhouse Ville station). Alternatively, take bus number 50 (departs approx every 10 mins, journey time 20 minutes) to Basel Bahnhof, from which there are TGV high-speed train services to Dijon (journey time around 1.5 hrs for the direct train).
Dole – Jura Airport (IATA: DLE) is served by low-cost carrier Ryanair (flights to/from Fes, Marrakesh, and Porto). Dole is around 30 minutes by train from Dijon. A taxi from Dole railway station to Dole Airport costs around €20 and the journey takes around 15 minutes.
Eurolines connects Dijon to some major European cities, mostly outside of France.
Dijon is well connected to the freeway and highway networks. Note that traffic is limited in the centre of the city, so you will probably want to park your car for the duration of your visit, except to access the Well of Moses, which is on the outskirts of the city.
About the area
The Burgundy region offers a voyage of discovery encompassing culture, architecture, history, and natural beauty. Enjoy vineyard tours, explore ancient châteaux, browse authentic markets. Cycle along the towpaths next to your private moving boutique hotel.
Its wine heritage is probably the most fascinating in the world. The monks of Clos de Vougeot developed (and later mastered) the delicate and intricate process of winemaking in the 12th Century. They learned to harness the perfect surroundings they found themselves in for producing the finest wines in the world. Today the wine produced in the region is still world leading. Burgundy and winemaking are a marriage made in heaven.
In truth though, Burgundy's charm runs deeper than all this. It is its quietly unassuming charm that tickles the soul. The quaintness of the villages, the elegance of the chateaux, the quietly proud and modest ways of life. These are the elements that grow on you with a cruise aboard the Savoir Vivre while you enjoy knock-out wines and gorgeous food. It's this less obvious side to Burgundy's character that we seek to share with our guests through our unique format and style.
River trip owner
The founder, James, developed his unique vision of a new more chic, casual and authentic gastronomic French barge cruising experience over several years while cruising these same waterways. The essence of James' 'barge way' is to pluck the finest elements of Ultra-Deluxe barge cruising (such as whole boat charter exclusivity), do away with superfluous elements and then layer in new enriching experiences (such as local restaurant dining). At the same time, he is able to offer industry-leading value for guests.
James' love of the cuisine and culture of France is what drives this concept. He's not shy when it comes to challenges. He is a serial adventurer encompassing extreme travel adventures, public speaking, social enterprise and, as he puts it, "getting stuck into the adventure that life is".
He reflects: "Our barge has earned herself an enviable reputation in this fabulous industry. The guest book quotes you see dotted around this site are our most treasured possessions - I'm very proud of what we've all created."