hotel barge holidays in france
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C'est la vie - burgundy & champagneCanal Barge in France
"We have enjoyed many barge cruises over the past 25 wonderful
C'est La Vie rates as among the very most outstanding!"
Stepping onboard C'est La Vie is entering a very luxury barge but meeting Deb and Olivier is getting a glimpse of the very small and proud barging community. Olivier belongs to one of those last barging French family: The Megret. When you were born Megret, you had no real choice but becoming a canal barge captain. Olivier' brother, Richard is captain on "Savoir Vivre". Deb and Olivier own and run C'est La Vie. They are obviously very fond of her, and enjoy sharing their immaculate barge with new guests. C'est La Vie was originally designed as the private floating home for an American family, her superb and very large 4 en-suite cabins are now waiting for you. Welcome aboard!
THE 8 PASSENGER BARGE c'est la vie
C'est La Vie was designed as a private floating getaway for an American family and as a result feels very welcoming! The window-lined salon-dining room is really a place to relax and watch the world go by! Decor is in warm shades of blue and cream, while the furniture is of the comfortable variety. Colorful table settings both in the dining room and on deck reflect the warmth and fun of C'est La Vie. The four extremely spacious cabins are paneled in ash and cherry wood and offer such amenities as individually controlled heating/air conditioning units and ample storage space. The en-suite baths have a full-size standing shower and enough counter space that you will be reminded of home.
itinerary - 3 different routes
Ravieres - Saint Florentin on the burgundy canal
Chablis, Château of Ancy-le Franc, Medieval town Noyers, Abbey of Fontenay, Auxerre. Restaurant : Hostellerie-des-Clos at Chablis.
UPPER LOIRE CRUISE: Sancerre to Montargis.
Sancerre winery, Faiencerie of Gien, Château of St Fargeau, Montargis, Château de la Bussière. Canal bridge of Briare.
CHAMPAGNE cruise - Meaux to Chalon en Champagne
Highlights : Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte,WW1 battlefield and cemetery of Belleau-wood and American monument, Moet & Chandon champagne house in Epernay, Haultevilliers- village of monk Dom Perignon, Champagne visit in small family run winery, Reims and its Gothic Cathedral.
Ravieres to St. Florentin on the Canal de Bourgogne
Sunday: Paris to Ravieres
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the "C'est la Vie" which is moored in the town of Ravières. A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the crew awaits you, before your first gourmet dinner aboard.
Monday: Ravieres to Ancy le Franc
Morning cruise to the village of Ancy le Franc, which will allow you time to walk off a breakfast of locally baked croissants and other pastries. After a buffet lunch you will be driven to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, pictured below, founded by St Bernard. Dating back to the 12th Century it is listed on the Unesco World Heritage site. Returning to the “C’est La Vie” for dinner.
Tuesday: Ancy le Franc to Lezinnes
You can walk or be driven for this morning's visit to the gorgeous Renaissance chateau of Ancy le Franc, pictured at right. Renowned for its 16th-century wall paintings and frescos (which are said to rival Fontainebleau), Ancy-le-Franc has been extensively and sensitively renovated. Return to the “C’est La Vie” for lunch and an afternoon cruise to the small town of Lézinnes from where you will be driven to the village of L’Isle sur Serein for your dinner ashore at the charming restaurant "Hostellerie des Clos at Chablis".
Wednesday: Lezinnes to Tanlay
Morning visit to the medieval town of Noyers, pictured at left. Where you can walk through the cobbled streets enjoying the local market and discover the old ramparts and half-timbered buildings from the 15th/16th centuries along the banks of the river Serein. Drive back to the “C’est La Vie” through fields of wheat and grazing animals for lunch and an afternoon cruise on the Burgundy Canal to Tanlay now lined by poplar trees, a perfect moment to put on your walking shoes and explore the towpath and small villages along the way. Dinner aboard
Thursday: Tanlay to Flogny la Chapelle
We take a morning cruise and pass through the old town of Tonnerre with buildings from many eras, including Roman and Medieval, before our afternoon visit to the town of Chablis, where you can taste some of the famous white wines of this region in one of their local cellars and enjoy a drive through vineyards which cover the hill sides for as far as the eye can see. Returning to the “C’est la Vie" for another gourmet dinner aboard.
Friday: Flogny la Chapelle to St Florentin
This morning’s cruise will take us past beautiful villages and countryside, see above, to the town of St Florentin by early afternoon. After lunch drive to the town of Auxerre. On the banks of the river Yonne this historic town, first settled by the Romans boasts a Cathedral, an Abbey and a Church. With buildings dating back to medieval times this is the ideal place to stroll along its narrow streets and window shop or just sit and relax with a coffee in one of its many cafés reflecting on Napoleon, Joan of Arc or Charles VII who all passed through this elegant town. Return to the “C’est La Vie” for the Captain’s Dinner, which ends your cruise in style.
Saturday: St Florentin to Paris
After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning. We hope to see you again on the C’est la Vie! Estimated arrival time in Paris is approximately noon. Please make all onward travel plans on the basis of this timing. We hope your cruise will live on in happy memories!
Please note that the itinerary can be in the opposite direction.
UPPER LOIRE CRUISE
Sancerre to Montargis
Sunday: Paris to the "C'est la Vie" moored near Sancerre
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the C'est La Vie moored in the hamlet of " Les Fouchards" situated 6 miles from Sancerre, and close to Cosne sur Loire, which is just the other side of the Loire river. With a glass of champagne to welcome you to the C'est La Vie, and after introductions to the crew, you have time to settle into your spacious cabins before your first gourmet dinner aboard.
Monday: Sightseeing to Sancerre - Cruise to Beaulieu
On our way, this morning we cruise to the village of Beaulieu, after lunch we take a short drive through the vineyards to visit to the fortified town of Sancerre, where you will have a private wine tasting of this famous Sauvignon Blanc. This hill top medieval site gives you panoramic views over the Loire River and of the neighboring vineyards of Pouilly Fumé. Returning to the "C'est la Vie" for dinner.
Tuesday: Sightseeing Chateau of St Fargeau - Cruise to Ouzouer sur Trézée
This morning's cruise takes us to the town of Ouzouer sur Trézée, crossing over the Loire river at Briare on the "Pont Canal", this aqueduct designed by Gustave Eiffel, construction of this canal bridge started in 1890. The Château of St Fargeau is this afternoon's destination, dating from the 10th century; it was built by the bishop of Auxerre and has undergone many additions and restorations over the following years.
Returning on board in time for cocktails and dinner
Wednesday: Sightseeing Faiencerie of Gien - Cruise to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
From Ouzouer sur Trézée we drive to the town of Gien, the world famous centre for French tableware after a visit to the pottery, take a walk through this market town and discover its remarkable history, on the banks of the Loire River there has been a settlement here since Romans times. Back on board for lunch and an afternoon cruise to the town of Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, there you will see 7 remarkable old locks, (hence its name Sept Ecluses) dating back to the reign of Henry IV, it was a major feat of engineering for its time.
Tonight we dine ashore at a local restaurant.
Thursday: Sightseeing Château of Sully sur Loire - Cruise to Montbouy
If you haven't already put on your walking shoes, now is the perfect time as we cruise to the village of Montbouy. After lunch you will be driven to the Château of Sully, it is a prime example of a medieval fortress built by the river Loire, from the latter part of the 14th Century with such royal visitors as Queen Anne of Austria (Louis XIV mother) and Cardinal Mazarin, it deserves its place in history.
We head back to the C'est La Vie with time to relax before dinner.
Friday: Sightseeing in Montargis - Cruise to Montargis
Meandering along the canal, Montargis is our last port of call, with its 131 bridges, you can see why its nick name is "little Venice", after lunch take a stroll around and discover the feudal castle, the half-timbered buildings, shops and cafes. Perhaps buying some Pralines for which Montargis is famous.
The C'est La Vie awaits your return for the Captains dinner, which ends your cruise in style.
Saturday: Return to Paris
After breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning.
We look forward to your company again on the "C'est la Vie"
Please note that the itinerary can be in the opposite direction.
Meaux to Chalon en Champagne
Sunday: Welcome to C’est La Vie.
Paris to the “C’est La Vie” Moored in Meaux…..You’ll be met at 3:00pm in the lobby of your Paris hotel and chauffeured to the C’est La Vie at anchor in the village of Meaux. After the traditional champagne welcome from Captain Oliver Mégret and the crew, there is time to unpack and take a stroll around town before enjoying the first of many gourmet dinners on board.
Monday: Sightsseeing: Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Cruise to St. Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux.
Begin the day with our breakfast buffet featuring village-baked pastries just warm from the oven! Then relax on deck while cruising on the River Marne to St. Jean-les-Doux-Jumeaux. C’est La Vie floats through heavily-wooded countryside. Adorable villages hug the shore and patient fisherman wave as we pass. After lunch (served on deck weather permitting) we’ll visit the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an enormous privately-owned property with grand gardens and an intriguing history. Built by Nicholas Fouquet, finance minister to Louis XIV, the chateau became a lightening rod for the jealous king. Fouquet landed in jail for the rest of his life and the king built Versailles in retaliation! Could Fouquet have been the man in the iron mask, some people certainly think so? Return to the C’est La Vie for dinner aboard.
Tuesday: Sightseeing: WW1 battlelfield and cemetery of Belleau-Wood.
Cruise to Chateau Thierry.
After another delicious breakfast, cruise to Chateau Thierry through a gorgeous landscape of villages, vineyards, pastures and forests. Nestled into the champagne-producing slopes, this ancient town is associated with the Frankish king Charles Martel whose castle here was built in the 8th century and Joan of Arc who entered through the town gates in 1421.
Afternoon excursion to nearby World War I sites. Belleau Wood was the scene of the second battle of the Marne in spring 1918, which ended the last German offensive of World War I. The cost was 8,000 American troops killed, missing or wounded. Overlooking Chateau Thierry is the massive French-American Friendship Monument and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.
Back on board for your gourmet dinner.
Wednesday, sightseeing Epernay, Moet & Chandon
Cruise to Damery.
Morning cruise on the River Marne, through scenery that could have been painted by the Impressionists. Vineyards, fields and farmhouses cling to distant hills, while villages and gardens line the river. After lunch take a short drive to visit famed champagne producer Moet & Chandon in Epernay. This elite company was founded in 1743 by Claude Moet and was characterized from the beginning by international markets and such high-level contacts as Madame Pompadour and Napoleon. Now it dominates Epernay with a complex of historic buildings and a billion bottles of bubbly stored in eighteen miles of tunnels! We’ll tour and then taste!
Next visit Haultevillers, a pretty champagne village perched high over the vineyards. Tour the unassuming church of monk Dom Perignon, credited with inventing the champagne-producing process
We return to the C’est La Vie in plenty of time to prepare for your dinner shore at the 2 star Michelin restaurant Les Crayeres.
Thursday: Sightseeing: Family champagne domaine
Cruise to Tours sur Marne.
This morning’s cruise we leave the river Marne for the canal Lateral a la Marne, perfect time to put your working shoes on or ride a bicycle along the tow path and catch the C’est la Vie at the next lock.
After lunch, driving through vineyards as far as the eye can see, we will pay a visit to a small family run vineyard, for the 2nd of your champagne tasting experiences.
Back to the C’est La Vie moored in Tour Sur Marne for drinks and dinner.
Friday : Sightseeing: Reims with the Cathedral
Cruise to Chalon en Champagne.
Cruise this morning to Chalon en Champagne. There is time to walk or bicycle on the towpath as C’est La Vie winds its way along the canal. After lunch, we drive to Reims, an important city from Roman times onwards. Visit the great Reims Cathedral, which is even larger than Notre Dame in Paris and where the many of the French kings were crowned. Visit the Archbishops place which has been turned into a museum and step back in time.
Walk along the pedestrian streets in this vibrant city, or take a coffee in many of the side walk cafes and watch the world go by.
Head back to the C’est La Vie for The Captain’s Dinner which ends your cruise in style!
Saturday: Return to ParisAfter breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris.
2020 - 2021
individual or charter
6 person charter
7 person charter
8 person charter
6 nights all inclusive
12 Apr/9 May - 12 Jul/8 Aug - 18/31 Oct
US$ 6695 per person
6 nights all inclusive
17 May/11 Jul - 9 Aug/24 Oct
US$ 7495 per person
Price for C'est La Vie includes:
6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, chauffeured transfers from Paris to the barge & return, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner, open bar, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.