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Canal Barges with crew

BURGUNDY       Savoir Faire       12 Passengers

 
 

 

Click on photo above to see photo library and itinerary

 

The 12-passenger Savoir Faire was built in 1932 as a Belgian transport barge. She was converted into a hotel barge in 1979 and was substantially refurbished for the beginning of the 2005 season. The air conditioned interior is unique with five separate areas for passenger enjoyment, whether for a personal retreat, a gathering at the on board piano or all passengers together enjoying each others company. The saloon, dining area, and bar are finished in mahogany, teak and brass and decorated with antiques and paintings collected over the years. Two spacious sun decks offer magnificent views of the countryside and bikes are provided for those who wish to explore further.

Savoir Faire features six staterooms all of which are air conditioned and have en-suite facilities. Each can be configured with two twin beds or with one queen bed. All cabins offer good lighting, a large number of electrical outlets, and include 220v European standard and 110v U.S. standard power outlets. Internet access is also available.

You will be attentively catered for by six English-speaking crew including the captain, deck hand, master chef, tour guide and two housekeepers.
 

Cruise Highlights

Cuisine Aboard

  • Evening cruise through Paris beneath the floodlit Eiffel Tower

  • Visit to Reims and its magnificent cathedral Moet and Chandon for a tour and Champagne tasting

  • Visit the Keukenhof gardens and see the Dutch tulips

  • Visit the wine town of Chablis

  • Visit to Fontainebleau where every French monarch from Francois I to Napoleon III left his mark

  • Visit to Coulomniers, one of the centres of Brie Cheese

  • Tour the beautiful Belgian cities of Ghent and Bruges, the "Venice of the North"

Regional Specialities

Braised Beef Fillet in Juniper Berry and Red Wine Jus, Saddle of Lamb with Eggplant Caviar
Wine Cellar

St Emilion Grand Cru, Chasagne-Montrachet les Houilleres, Pomerol, Pouilly Fuisse
Cheese Board

Gouda, Leyden, Maasdam

 

Itinerary:   Ancy-le-Franc to Auxerre
 

SUNDAY, Day 1 Paris to Ancy-le-Franc
Your chauffeur collects you from your Paris hotel at 2.00pm for the drive to the "Savoir Faire", moored at Ancy-le-Franc on the Burgundy Canal. Your host and Captain, Chris, welcomes you aboard with a Champagne Reception and an introduction to your crew and ship. After a well deserved aperitif on deck you are served your first of many splendid dinners aboard, prepared by your very own master chef.

MONDAY. Day 2 Ancy-le-Franc to Tanlay
Fresh ground coffee and fluffy croissants and pastries straight from the local baker - a delicious breakfast sets us up for our gentle cruise past the beautiful 16th century Renaissance palace and gardens of Chateau d'Ancy le Franc, towards the picturesque village of Tanlay where we moor overnight. There's plenty of opportunity to wander or cycle ahead as the vessel descends through a series of quaint hand operated locks. After a leisurely lunch we stroll over to the 16th century Renaissance-style Chateau de Tanlay, nestling serenely within this picturesque village, which also boasts a challenging 9-hole golf course (advance bookings required). The interior is luxuriously furnished and decorated by some astonishing frescoes. Dinner on board.

TUESDAY, Day 3 Tanlay to Tonnerre
After breakfast we take a short ride to the Chateau of Ancy-le-Franc. This Renaissance jewel, set in the centre of a large park on the banks of the canal, houses the biggest collection of Renaissance murals in France making Ancy-le-Franc a direct contender of Fontainebleau Palace. The immense quadrilateral, which is a classified historic monument, holds a rich decor attributed to some of the most celebrated Italian, Flemish and Burgundy artists of the 16th and 17th century. After lunch we cruise past sleepy hamlets and cattle grazing by the canal banks. Our cruise today takes us to Tonnerre, one of the few places along the canal where you will find vineyards. This town is the centre of a small wine growing area of about 60 hectares producing excellent reds and roses under the name "Bourgogne Epineuil". Of particular interest is La Fosse Dionne. Situated in the centre of the old town this natural spring, the second deepest in France, has long mystified people and is well worth a visit. In 1758 it was converted into a "Lavoire". The most beautiful reminder of Tonnerre's past is the old hospital, built in 1293 by Margueritte of Burgundy. The chapel has a magnificent entombment, a masterpiece of 15th century Burgundian art. Dinner on board

WEDNESDAY, Day 4 Tonnerre to St Florentin
An opportunity to visit the morning market before your cruise along the Burgundy Canal. Today we visit one of the great Cistercian monasteries of France. The Abbey of Pontigny was founded in 1114. Charming and rather understated on the outside, the great spaces of the interior really are something special and not to be missed if you are in northern Burgundy. More recently Pontigny Abbey has also played an important role in French culture - from 1922 to 1939 there was an annual get together of the great European intellectuals of the time at the abbey, including TS Eliot, Thomas Mann and Jean Paul Sartre. Let's not forget the Cistercian monks of Pontigny Abbey, who first planted vines in the Chablis region. Dinner on board.

THURSDAY, Day 5 St Florentin to Gurgy
We begin our cruise along the final stretch of the Burgundy Canal before we join the river Yonne, which winds its way upstream to the riverside town of Auxerre. Locks with sloping walls and electric gates make for stark contrast to those quaint hand operated gates on the Burgundy Canal. Before lunch your tour guide drives you to the world famous town of Chablis where you'll take a tour of the ancient press and cellars of Domaine Laroche, followed by a wine tasting of their various fine vintages. After seeing Chablis we drive a short distance to a beautiful secluded spot where you can enjoy a panoramic vista of the Grand Cru vineyards and the surrounding countryside. Your chef has prepared a surprise picnic with offerings worthy of a King's table. Great wine, great food and the companionship of friends and loved ones make for the perfect setting. Fully replenished we return to the "Savoir Faire" to continue our cruise to the sleepy riverside hamlet of Gurgy, where we moor overnight. Dinner on board.

FRIDAY, Day 6 Gurgy to Auxerre
Our cruise this morning takes us to our final destination and what is undoubtedly one of the prettiest towns in France. Auxerre, the capital of lower Burgundy, is situated in the heart of a wine growing region most famous for its Chablis wine. The success of this thriving town is celebrated by architectural jewels such as the ornately painted 15th century Clock Tower, the soaring Gothic cathedrals of Saint Germain and Saint Stephen and an abundance of ornate Renaissance houses bordering tree lined squares. Every street offers a golden opportunity for the aspiring photographer. After lunch your tour guide is at hand to show you around this delightful town. Relax before dinner with a drink from the bar and enjoy the best view in town from the panoramic deck of the "Savoir Faire". Tonight your chef adorns your table with a special Farewell Dinner. Candlelit crystal and gleaming silverware add to the romantic ambiance of your celebration. Laughter, great times and the warmth of friendship contribute to those "Golden Memories" that last a lifetime.

SATURDAY, Day 7 Auxerre to Paris
Finally time to say farewell to the Savoir Faire and her Captain and crew, but not before a rather special breakfast. Leave the barge by 9.30am and transfer to Paris.

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

 

Click here to see deck plan and itinerary map

 

* Prices per person twin share in Australian Dollar

Accommodation Regular Rate

Stateroom per person

5,645 AUD

Single supplement

2,355 AUD

Charter 10 passengers whole boat

55,277 AUD

13 night cruise - Stateroom per person

10,020 AUD

13 night cruise -  Single supplement

4,676 AUD

Price includes: Transfer to the barge from the meeting point on Sunday, 6 night cruise, all meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef, open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, all wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary, use of barge facilities, which includes bicycles and spa pool, and transfer back to the drop off point the following Saturday morning.

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Departure Dates (Sunday)

Rate Cruise Route

April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Regular

Holland

May 6,

Regular Holland

May 13

Regular 3 country, 13 nights

May 27

Regular Burgundy

June 3, 10, 17, 24

Regular Burgundy

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Regular Burgundy

August 5, 12, 19, 26

Regular

Burgundy

September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Regular Burgundy

October 7

Regular Burgundy

October 14

Regular 3 country, 13 nights
 
 

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