le papillon - burgundy

canal cruising in france

hotel barge holidays in france

book now for 2019 & 2020

le papillon - burgundy

canal cruising in france

hotel barge in france

The good things in life should be taken slowly. You wouldn’t rush a glass of Chassagne Montrachet,
you’d sip it. Cut into a creamy Epoisse cheese you picked out in the fromagerie an hour or two earlier,
and the first thing you do is close your eyes, breathe in and take time to savour the aroma. And if you
ever dared try and hurry a five-course gourmet dinner the Chef would never speak to you again.

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le papillon - Burgundy

Canal Barge in France

"If you ever dreamed of a vacation..."

“If you ever dreamed of a vacation where you don’t have to worry about anything, with a perfect setting, just the right amount of activities, delicious food, great companionship and the most wonderful people to care for you – Le Papillon is for you!" - Cindy.

"one of the most relaxing ways to spend a summer European holiday..."

Read the article of Arlene Harris in the Irish Sunday Business Post

Le papillon video


‘Le Papillon’ or ‘The Butterfly’ is an authentic vintage barge launched over a century ago in 1902. During her commercial life she proudly steamed the waterways of northern Europe and carried cargo along the Rhine and Meuse rivers. In 1980 she was rescued by two designers from New York and skilfully converted into the elegant ‘péniche-hôtel’ that today graces the Burgundy canal. With her oak and teak furnishings, provincial handmade tiles, brass portholes and printed wall paper, Le Papillon has such character and charm that passengers find themselves wanting to return year after year. She sleeps only six, in three cabins – one double and two twins. Each cabin has en-suite facilities with air conditioning and central heating. Every one of the large portholes can be opened so your floating home is always filled with air and light.

Six Night Classic Burgundy

An unforgettable journey through the Burgundy countryside on the Canal de Bourgogne complete with historic castles, traditional wine making villages and fabulous food markets. Stroll or cycle through the rolling hills that surround the canal de Bourgogne and become enchanted by one of the most beautiful regions of France. Dijon, Beaune and the wines of the Côte D’Or are just a few of the highlights of the voyage. It’s a romance of medieval proportions.

5 day Intense Taste of Burgundy

A four night adventure on the Canal de Bourgogne that offers the chance to explore the Ouche valley with its quaint villages, fairy-tale views and exquisite boutique vineyards. Beginning at Pont de Pany and finishing at Escommes the itinerary is totally focussed on the food and wine passions of the region and includes farmers’ markets with the local cuisine, wines and cheeses that define the true taste of brilliant Burgundy. Read the detailed itinerary and we guarantee your mouth will start to water in anticipation.

on board

Itinerary - Pont de Pany to Pont royal

Sunday: Paris to Pont de Pany

Upon your arrival in Paris, the fastest way to reach the Papillon is to take the high-speed TGV train from Paris to Dijon and a Papillon crew member will meet you at the railway station in Dijon and transfer you to Le Papillon. Alternatively, we can arrange for one of our crew to meet you at your hotel in Paris and drive you to Dijon. The drive is approximately 4 hours and if time permits, you may want to visit the fabulous château and gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte – a mini rival to Versailles. Either way, upon your final arrival to the village of Pont de Pany in Dijon, you will be welcomed aboard Le Papillon with a Champagne reception and introduced to the crew with plenty of time to settle in before dinner.

Monday: Pont de pany to Gissey-sur-Ouche

During breakfast, we will begin our cruise along the canal de Bourgogne. Enjoy a morning coffee on the front deck and perhaps take a walk or bike ride along the canal towpath. By early afternoon, Papillon will be moored in the quiet village of Gissey-sur-Ouche. After a delicious buffet lunch, we will drive along the ‘Route des Grandes Crus’ and through the vineyards of the legendary Côte du Nuits. We stop at the Château of Clos de Vougeot, the perfect setting to learn about the importance that wine played in Burgundy’s history, then we’ll go on to one of our favorite vineyards for a private tasting before heading back to Papillon’s dining room.

Tuesday: Gissey-sur-Ouche to Veuvey-sur-Ouche

Food lovers can make an early start and accompany Papillon’s chef to the busy morning food market in Dijon for a chance to meet with our cheese, fish, meat and vegetable suppliers, of whom we are very proud. Perhaps you’ll want to take a coffee with the chef and discuss some of your favourite dishes. A short walking tour and orientation of Dijon’s centre and you’ll soon be free to explore on your own – the Rue Verrerie with its famous antique shops is nearby, so too is the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Lunch will be served back aboard and then we’ll cruise to the village of Veuvey-sur-Ouche. You can recline on the front deck with a book and as the sun sets over the ‘yardarm’ enjoy Dijon’s world famous apéritif, Kir Royal, a mixture of Crème de Cassis and champagne.

Wednesday: Veuvey-sur-Ouche to Pont d’Ouche

This morning’s journey takes us to the tiny port of Pont d’Ouche, where we cruise over the Ouche River. Before midday we drive through the rolling Burgundian hills and descend into the Côte d’Or vineyards and visit Beaune – a thriving little town and proud capital of the wine trade. After lunch in town we’ll hit the sights, including the world famous Hospice with its multi-coloured roof tiles built in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor to the dukes of Burgundy. If the Hospice is one of the Medieval World’s ‘must sees’, next door the spectacular cellars of the Marché aux Vins offer a ‘must taste’ experience with some of Burgundy’s finest wines to try. After the drive back to Papillon there will be time to take a stroll before dinner.

Thursday: Pont d’Ouche to Pouilly-en-Auxois

After a leisurely breakfast (and perhaps a morning bike ride?) we make the ten-minute drive to the hilltop village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, rated as one of ‘les plus beaux (most beautiful) villages de France’. Restored and picturesque, the village offers a fine aerial view of the canal and surrounding countryside. Back on board, we will climb the remaining locks before reaching the summit level, the highest point on this waterway connecting the Mediterranean to the English Channel and Atlantic Ocean. After lunch, we have the option to visit the château of Commarin with its fine tapestries or take a longer drive and visit the grand basilica of Vézelay. Then back to Papillon for an amazing cruise through one of the wonders of the canal sysyem – a two-mile tunnel leading to the town of Pouilly-en-Auxois. Nearby the château of Chailly has a fine golf course for anyone who’s interested!

Friday: Pouilly-en-Auxois to Pont Royal

Today’s cruise takes us through tranquil countryside to the sleepy village of Pont Royal. You’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing lunch on deck accompanied by some carefully selected wines. During the afternoon, a circular trip in the minibus could include visits to Flavigny where ‘Chocolat’ was filmed, the 12th century Cistercian abbey of Fontenay (a UNESCO world heritage site) and the undiscovered medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois. Be sure to return to Papillon in time for apéritifs with the crew and one last magnificent meal.

Saturday: Return to Paris

After a continental breakfast of fruits, cereals and pastries, our private mini bus transfer will take you to the Dijon train station or help you with alternate transportation to Paris or one of the Paris airports (Orly/ORY or Charles de Gaulle/CDG).

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

  • 2019 season
    le papillon

    price per cabin

    4 person charter

    5 person charter

    6 person charter

  • burgundy classic
    7 day / 6 night cruise

    April to October

    US$ 10700

    US$ 27000

    US$ 28400

    US$ 31500

Price for papillon includes:

Return door to door transfers with our private minibus from your hotel in Paris, six night accommodation and five days of cruising, all food and wine with an open bar, land based excursions and entrance fees.

These rates do not include:

• Insurance • Personal expenses • Green fees • Jeep rides • Hot air balloon flights
• Gratuities to the crew (between 7 and 10%)

To avoid currency exchange fees

• Australians can pay in Australian dollars by direct deposit or credit card. • New Zealanders can pay in New Zealand dollars by direct deposit or credit card. • US citizens will be charged in US dollars using credit card.


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Bon voyage!