In the fall of 2016 you can cruise through the very soul of France, as you enjoy the peace and quiet far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
To cruise along France’s canal network is to set off on an unexpected adventure. Here, life is simplicity itself as you sail peacefully alongside the shore.
Aboard your barge you will have a chance to appreciate a wide range of regional gastronomic dishes, accompanied by carefully chosen local wines. By foot or bicycle it is easy to set off on a discovery tour along the numerous hiking trails. (Bicycles are available on your barge). There are also excursions available from the boat itself.
These custom designed hotel barges have been equipped with maximum comfort in mind for an unforgettable and relaxing holiday. Passengers are well looked after if not pampered by the crew.
Experience life in France from a truly unique perspective.
Only 11 cabins are available on this cruise.
Early booking is your only guarantee for passage on this incredible journey.
Sales will be on a first come first served basis and cannot be held.
Day 1- Ottawa to Paris
Depart Ottawa International Airport for your overnight flight to Paris. Your flight will go through Toronto. A meal will be served aboard your flight.
Day 2- Paris
Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. The balance of your day will be at leisure to get acquainted with this, the city of lights. (B)
Day 3- Paris to Gray
This morning we will leave Paris and make our way to Dijon. Dijon is the historic capital of Burgundy. Its centre is packed with many excellent examples of medieval buildings and homes. From Dijon we will head to Besancon and Gray to board your ship. Upon boarding your ship, you will be met by the crew and enjoy a short presentation about your upcoming cruise through the canal system of Burgundy. (B, D)
Day 4- Gray- Auxonne
We will head out on foot for anoptional guided tour of Gray. You’ll get a chance to discover secret treasures scattered throughout town. You will admire the town hall (one of the most stunning structures from the Renaissance period in Franche-Comté), distinguished homes, and the Gothic style of Gray’s Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame). The visit will come to a close after enjoying a sampling of local products. Then, we’ll return on board. In the afternoon, the boat will take us along the Petite Saône and arrive in the evening at Auxonne. We’ll remain in port overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 5- Gray- Saint-Jean-de-Losne
During the morning, we will set out on foot on an optional guided tour of Auxonne. The town exhibits many symbols of its historic and military past. Napoleon Bonaparte resided here as a lieutenant from 1788 to 1791. You’ll be able to discover old buildings, including Gray’s Basilica made in a gothic style and still displaying traces of fresco. You will also see the last Arsenal for artillery in France. In the afternoon, the boat will depart for Saint-Jean-de-Losne. You’ll enjoy the beautiful landscapes that unfold before you. We’ll arrive late afternoon and remain in port overnight.(B,L,D)
Day 6- Saint-Jean-De-Losne to Dole
Saint-Jean-de-Losne is the capital of canal barging in France. This lovely village lies at the heart of the French waterways and canal system in southern Burgundy. Your morning will be free to explore or take an optional excursion through the town. Your afternoon will be spent cruising towards Dole. (B,L,D)
Day 7- Dole to Ranchot
Today you will have a unique opportunity to tour the ”trail of the Perched Cat” (optional). This trail refers to the famous tales of the Perched Cat written by Marcel Ayme who lived in Dole as a child. It also refers to Dole’s location, which is perched on a beautiful hillside. Back on board you will cruise to Ranchot. (B,L,D)
Day 8- Ranchot to Besancon
Your morning will be spent cruising. In the afternoon you will have the option to visit the Saline-Royale. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site this factory, built between 1775-1779 in the shape of a semi-circle, was where salt workers traditionally lived and worked. Tonight there will be a Gala dinner aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 9- Besancon to Paris
Enjoy breakfast before transferring to Paris. Upon your arrival in Paris you will be taken to your hotel. You might wish to experience Paris on a hop on hop off tour. Your tour manager will be happy to get you to the appropriate location for the tour.(B)
Day 10- Paris
A free day in Paris! There is so much to see and do. Your tour manager will be happy to help you with your plans for the day.(B)
Day 11- Paris to Ottawa
Your guide will advise you of your departure time from Paris for your return flight to Montreal and your connection to Ottawa. (B)