France - Burgundy
The luxury barge, La Belle Epoque, is our home for seven days as we glide along the waterways of Burgundy. We cruise the upper Burgundy Canal in the North of Burgundy, between the two classic French towns of Tanlay and Venaray les Laume.
Tranquility and comfort accompany us on our journey, cruising peacefully through Burgundy. Every day we leave our barge to set off on foot to explore Renaissance châteaux, dramatic cliffs, wooded hills, medieval towns, lush valleys and ancient vineyards.
Fine French cuisine is prepared on board La Belle Epoque by our personal chef and every meal is accompanied by a different regional wine, making this trip a gourmet's delight.
Walk Rating: Easy. The soft landscape, low hills and level tow-paths skirting canals make for easy walking. 3 - 5 miles per day.
From US$4750.00 per person
Walk begins in Paris, with transport to the barge in Tanlay and ends in Venaray les Laume, with transport back to Paris.
Important note: Cruise direction may be reversed depending on barge scheduling.
We rendezvous in Paris and transfer to the barge, moored in Tonnerre, 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.
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 Tanlay 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.
We start the day with a canal-side walk passing ancient villages and then 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 colors. We visit the amazing Fosse Dionne and the 13th century Hotel Dieu and then return by minibus to the barge moored at Lezinnes.
A morning visit to Noyers sur Serein, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, gives us chance to enjoy the local produce, colors and delights of the wonderful 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 or a ciruitous walk through the Burgundian countryside.
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 brings us to the ancient town of Ravieres . Then back to the barge by sunset to enjoy an aperitif before dinner.
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 Montbard for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner .
After breakfast, we disembark the barge and take a private transfer to Paris.
**This itinerary may operate in reverse according to the barge scheduling.
This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.
To see the complete list of hotels, please login or register.
LA BELLE EPOQUE - THE BARGE AND HER CREW
FORMER PURPOSE: Ex Freight Barge carrying logs from Burgundy to Paris and Amsterdam
YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION: Built in 1930
LAST REFIT: 2011
DIMENSIONS: Length 126 ' (38.4m) and Width 16 ' 6" (5.0m)
YEAR CONVERTED INTO A HOTEL BARGE: 1995
GENERATORS: 3 x 220 volt generators (silent night) for air-conditioning and/or heating and a silent running inverter.
MAIN ENGINE: 150 HP M.A.N.
MAXIMUM SPEED: 10 knots
WATER AND FUEL CAPACITY: 20 tons of water, 3 tons of fuel
CREW: 5. Captain, Tour Guide, Chef, Housekeeper, Stewardess
Our crew is generally British and speak both English and French, while some speak other languages as well.
CAPACITY FOR ACCOMMODATION: Up to 12 passengers
NUMBER AND TYPES OF CABINS: 6 cabins + 1 single
2 Junior Suites, one at the BOW with a double bed only and one at the STERN which can be configured as 2 single beds or a double bed.
2 Staterooms which can be configured as 2 single beds or a double bed
2 Staterooms with 2 single beds only.
1 Single Cabin (mid-ship) with a single bed (occupied by The Wayfarers Walk Leader)
All cabins have en-suite facilities.
SIZES OF THE CABINS
Nuits St Georges (stern) Junior Suite 165sq feet (15.3m2) - including bathroom
Meursault (bow) Junior Suite 150sq feet (13.9m2) -including bathroom
Santenay and Vougeot (stern) Staterooms 130sq feet (12.0m2) -including bathroom
Chablis and Sancerre (bow) Stateroom 125sq feet (11.6m2) ) -including bathroom
Single Cabin 90sq feet (8.3sqm) including bathroom
Meursault cabin height from floor to ceiling is approximately 7ft (2.1m). The other cabins are approximately 6ft 2ins.
SIZES OF THE BEDS: Doubles are 6ft (1.83m) x 6ft (1.83m) and singles 6ft (1.83m) x 3ft (0.91m).
The exception is the Meursault Junior Suite (bow) which has a double bed only 6ft (1.83m) long x 5ft (1.52m) wide.
All bathrooms have showers in shower cubicles with tiled floors and walls, a W.C. and wash hand basin.
Each is supplied with washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, robes and slippers.
The Nuits St George Junior Suite shower size: base 2ft 6” x 3ft 3” (80 x 100cm), height from base to ceiling 6ft 2” (190cm), width of shower entrance 1ft 9” (60cm).
Meursault Junior Suite shower size: base2ft 6” x 3ft 3” (80 x 100cm), height from base to ceiling 7ft 5” (230cm), width of shower entrance 1ft 9” (60cm).
Staterooms shower size: base 2ft 4” x 2ft 3” (74cm x 73cm), height from base to ceiling 6ft 2” (190cms), width of shower entrance 2ft (62cm).
CLOSET SPACE: Yes
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY: Electric sockets supplying French 220 volt electricity. These take a two-pin French plug.
SAFES: Meursault Junior Suite has a safe built into the wardrobe.
CLIMATE CONTROL & ELECTRICITY
AIR CONDITIONING: Yes individually controlled
CENTRAL HEATING: Yes, throughout
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY: All our barges are wired for 220 and 240 volts but not 110 volts. We suggest you bring an adapter for your particular appliance, which corresponds, to the standard French (two pin plugs). If you wish to use an electrical appliance on board, please ask one of the crew when you arrive on board to ensure that it is suitable to the barge’s electrical system. European Waterways cannot be held responsible for unforeseen voltage fluctuations, which sometimes occur when swapping from one voltage system to another.
SALOON / DINING ROOM DIMENSIONS & DESCRIPTION
Room size13' x 25' (3.9m x 7.6m)
Ceiling height 6ft 8” (2.0m)
2 built in sofa areas with coffee table
Mahogany dining table seating up to 13 passengers.
Fully stocked bar built in Mahogany with 4 bar stools and an antique drinks cabinet.
The saloon is home to an antique barograph and gramophone and an antique interlock telephone exchange board stands in the passageway to the cabins and dates from 1913.
Teak paneling and wallpaper with hardwood ceiling.
Carpeting throughout and Art Nouveau paintings of La Belle Epoque.
SUNDECK: There are two sundecks. The first is 12' 6" (3.8m) x 9' 6" (2.9m) and the second is 12' 6" (3.8m) x 35' (10.6m). There is Iroko hard wood on the first sundeck and a sunken Jacuzzi (hot tub), 2 steamer chairs, 10 reclining chairs, 4 parasols, a large table and an Iroko African hardwood handrail.
There is no assigned seating for meals and the dining room on board La belle Epoque accommodates all guests at a single sitting. French regional cuisine is featured.
BREAKFAST: Continental-style buffet breakfast with fresh breads, fruit, cereals, fruit juices, decaffeinated and regular tea and coffee.
LUNCH: Luncheons are generally buffets of colourful salads, pates and cold meats that may be accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delectable desserts and a different selection of regional cheeses and wines daily.
DINNER: Always a gastronomic adventure by our talented chef. A taste of regional cuisine by candlelight, harmonising food and good wines from the best vineyards followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs served in the saloon.
CAPTAIN’S FAREWELL DINNER: Captain’s dinner on the last night. Dress slightly formal.
SPECIAL FOOD REQUIREMENTS: Special food requirements (such as vegetarian, vegan or allergies) are catered for if requested in advance. Please notify our Reservations Manager at least 10 weeks prior to cruise departure date.
DRINKS THAT ARE INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE PRICE: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee, whole or low fat milk, are offered with all meals. The well-stocked bar is open 24 hours a day and all wines are provided with meals and a there is a Champagne welcome on arrival.
DRINKS WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE PRICE: Champagne and Special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles of Champagne and Premier and Grand Cru wines on board at cost if you let us know in advance how many of each you require.
Tap water in and on board ‘La Belle Epoque’ is potable and bottled water is available on board.
LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT
In addition to the dedicated services of your Walk Leader who will guide you on your daily walks, there are various leisure facilities on board and available on request:
Jacuzzi (Hot Tub) for 6 passengers
10 Touring Bikes with 21 speed gears.
1 Tandem bicycle
Compact disc player and a selection of CD’s. Guests are welcome to bring their favourite compact discs from home.
Board games and a small library of books
Binoculars for watching the bird life and scenery
Passengers are welcome to cycle using the on board bicycles as often as they like. Most people choose to disembark the barge at a lock and then visit local villages and then return to the canal and meet the barge a little further along. The barge travels very slowly and therefore “catch up” will not be a problem.
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES
Once on board the Captain can arrange this directly with the hot air balloon company. Flights last about 1 hour and are weather dependent. The cost is about 180 - 230 Euros per person and this should be paid directly to the balloon company on the day of the flight and they do accept credit cards. Please let our Reservations Department know in advance if you are interested in ballooning. The Hot Air Balloon Company’s web site is www.franceballoons.com and they are called France Montgolfieres and this web site gives up to date pricing.
FOR THOSE NOT WISHING TO ATTEND EXCURSIONS OR JOIN WALKS
You are welcome to stay behind on the barge if you would like. You can use the bikes, go for a walk or just sit on the shaded sundeck or relax in the Jacuzzi.
MEDICAL ATTENTION AND MEDICINES
The crew is unable to administer medicines to you during the cruise but can accompany you to a chemist for you to purchase necessary medicines. Due to our cruises being in rural locations we highly recommend that you bring the necessary medication with you. Although we cruise mainly in rural areas doctors are usually not far away for an urgent consultation. We can also call the Emergency services.
CLOTHES & LUGGAGE
Practical comfort and relaxed is the norm aboard the ‘La Belle Epoque’ and for most shore excursions. Dress codes for dinner are relaxed and informal; however, for the Captain's Dinner, gentlemen may opt to wear a jacket and ladies a dress or coordinated outfit.
Suggested items to pack: A sweater or lightweight jacket for evenings and air-conditioned interiors. During spring and autumn cruises, you will need medium-weight clothing, and a warm fleece, gloves and scarf for the cooler start of the morning walks. A lightweight (preferably non-plastic) raincoat or poncho; an umbrella. In addition to your walking boots, comfortable walking shoes with low or no heel and textured non slip soles are suitable for sight-seeing and walking around on board. La Belle Epoque has a Jacuzzi (hot tub) so you may wish to pack your swimming suit.
Laundry facilities are limited. It is advisable to bring sufficient clean clothing for your cruise. We generally cruise through rural areas and launderettes are few and far between.
Once you have unpacked your suitcases will be safely stored. Please try and fit everything for your cruise into one reasonably sized suitcase per person. Soft bags are preferable as easier to store.
Our barges have a strict non-smoking policy. We ask smokers not to smoke inside the barge as this may give offence to your shipmates. We categorically do not permit smoking in the cabins for safety reasons. If you would like to smoke we request that you smoke outside on deck away from fellow passengers.
COMPUTER & TELEPHONE FACILITIES
There are no passenger telephones aboard La Belle Epoque.
For information about internet facilities onboard please contact our reservation staff.
The local currency in France is the Euro. We regret we cannot accept credit cards or debit cards on board or provide a foreign exchange service. However, credit cards and direct debit cards are widely accepted off the boat. Please note that some of the French banks in the smaller villages and towns are unable to handle large notes eg US$100.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Once on board your Captain will talk you through the Cruise Safety Procedures.
This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.
Before & After:
- Plan a pre-celebration to your walk with a visit to the nearby Champagne region
- Conclude your vacation with a visit to Lyon, known for its Musee des Beaux Arts and sumptuous food served at simple bistros and Michelin starred restaurants.
- Go sight-seeing in Paris before meeting the group. There are several lovely French markets held most Sunday mornings.
Autumn is a very pleasant, sunny season in Burgundy with average daytime temperature of 60°F (16°C) with mid-day peaks reaching 70°F (21°C) during October. You are likely to need a sweater or light jacket in the evenings. Burgundy is dominated by the variations of western weather that characterise the whole of Western Europe. Weather fronts usually approach from the west and can bring anything from light clouds to a steady downpour so you need to bring good quality rain gear.
To see more Travel Information and a list of our recommended tips please register or sign in. Once you confirm a booking for this walk, as a registered website member, you will be able to access detailed Joining Instructions including exact arrival and departure points and times as part of the Travel Information.
Are there any hidden costs?
Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
How large are the Groups?
Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
Can you accommodate special diets?
How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.
Ask a question
Please do not hesitate to ask us a question about this walk.
At this point we would like to thank you for looking at our website, we hope you will have seen a little of the places we walk to, hotels we stay in and that we have answered some of your questions.
For more information contact our team who are waiting for your questions. Alternatively we suggest you choose one of the following:
Join us on our no obligation, no hassle website. The benefits include viewing full Hotel lists, FAQ's, and Walk Reviews from previous walkers, offering a world of extra information about France - Burgundy.
Save this Walk
By registering you can 'save this walk' to your Wayfarers account, allowing you to share your vacation ideas with friends and family before making any commitments, you can also save walks to your favorite websites such as Facebook and Windows Live!
Ask a question
Take part in our online FAQ's, we are delighted to receive and share feedback about our walks and website with others. This is your website and we welcome your contribution to improving it.
As always with The Wayfarers, there is plenty to see and explore on this website, we love to hear from any Wayfarers and look forward to tempting you to join us on the trail!