Usually starting from the Cote d’Or village of Santenay, during five cruising days and six nights, we'll follow the meandering Canal du Centre through some beautiful scenery ending in the beautiful town of Paray le Monial. Forty six canal locks, three lifting bridges, great canal side eateries plus simply cruising through some of Burgundy’s most stunning waterways. On the Saturday afternoon at around 15.00, we’ll pick you up from Beaune and take a scenic vineyard route back to the barges mooring. If you like, we might even enjoy a flying visit to the nearby Chateau de Rochepot? In the evening, after a glass of Champagne on deck, you will be booked ahead for dinner ashore in either Chagny or Santenay at your own expense.
This morning, we'll depart Santenay and enjoy an early cruise into Chagny. Sunday is market day in Chagny and believe me, it's one of the best in France! We'll moor up and Izzy will escort you into town while I turn the barge around, start lunch preparations and await your return with fresh provisions from the huge number of farmers stalls. We’ll then enjoy a lovely afternoon cruise to St Leger sur Dheune where dinner will be enjoyed aboard in the evening. A healthy walk to the top of the 'mont de trois croix' or three cross mountain is an option. It's views back over the Burgundy wine village of Santenay and Cote d'Or are nothing short of spectacular!
After a mornings cruising, we arrive in St Julien sur Dheune. It's a tiny hamlet and short walk from an interesting tiled mansion, once home to one of France's most famous tile manufacturers. Villa Perrusson is still being restored, but worthy of a peer round its magnificent exterior. Outside also lies one of the original but now disused canal locks dating back to 1790, when the canal first opened for trade. Dinner will likely be ashore at either the quaint Auberge du Manoir which specialises in frogs legs, or back up a couple of the flight of locks at the 'Entre Terre et Mer' which specialises in fresh seafood. Always a guest favourite! We also have a longer circular walk if you're interested.
After a lovely breakfast we rise slowly up to the summit of the canal through a flight of seven locks before descending through lots and lots more on a beautifully meandering route to Montceau les Mines, an old industrial city, badly bombed in the war and rebuilt in a more modern style. There's a couple of simple eateries where many guests enjoy a light dinner ashore. The canal rises through some extremely deep locks in places and its easily possible to walk the flight of locks, jumping aboard when you see fit. Once we reach the top lock, the canals summit passes over the 'Partage d'Eaux' or water divide between Eastern and Western France.
Today we enjoy a gorgeous rural cruise with lots of very sharp bends through to the village of Palinges. A typical rural farming community where you can take a walk through the village and round its municipal lake or bike to nearby Chateau de Digoine. On the way, we pass through the small village of Genelard. This was once on the line of demarcation between Free France and Occupied France and as we exit the lock, we pass under a small bridge that formed the actual border! Dinner's aboard tonight, hopefully, weather permitting high up on our sundeck.
Our final cruising day, Thursday takes us from Palinges to Paray le Monial, which is a very pretty little town and the second most visited pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes. In the evening, dinner's ashore at your own expense and we book you ahead into the best spot in town! The Apostrophe, great food at a reasonable price! Once moored, after lunch on deck, Isabelle will drive you to the stunning Chateau de Dree. It's a beautiful house with exceptional gardens!
You are due to depart the barge after breakfast, usually by 10.00
We can drop you at the local train station or your hotel if staying in Paray. The place has good rail connections to Lyon, Dijon and Paris. We can help you book tickets if you'd like?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Unforeseen circumstances sometimes affect our cruising schedule. These can include, but are not limited to: illness, floods, weather, canal closures, canal maintenance, lack of moorings, bureaucracy, strikes, civil disturbance, acts of god, the engine, and whims and fancies of both skipper, guests and crew. All of these things might cause last minute changes to the above and cruise routes. Although rare, we reserve the right to alter any and all routes accordingly. Flexibility is the name of the game and any such changes cannot be considered grounds for cancellation of the cruise.