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Petite Saone


This glorious cruise from Franche-Comte through to Burgundy

takes in some wonderfully rural countryside. It's a fine mix
of small villages, small towns with some excellent
dining opportunities along the way

Day One - Join Nilaya in Corre at around 16.00

You'll be joining Barge Nilaya in the pleasant village of Corre. We'll pick you up from a larger railhead nearby but most guests arrive into Vesoul, Chaumont or Vittel. Tonight you'll enjoy a simple dinner ashore at the nearby Marina.

Day Two

'La Petite Saone' offers the contrast of broad pastureland and meadow. We'll pass by the ruined chateau of Conflandey sitting overgrown on an island in the river and in Port-sur-Saone, a pleasant little place, it's worth checking out the 18th Century St. Etienne church. Why not take the opportunity and dine out at the towns one simple restaurant or alternatively, at one of Frances's best (and most expensive) restaurants just a short drive away.

Day Three

Nilaya cruises a particularly lovely section of the Petite Saone bounded by deep woods and pastureland. An unusual feature on a river, we travel through not one but two river tunnels, namely those of St-Albin and Savoyeux and pass the sleepy hamlet of Rupt-sur-Saone with the dungeon tower of its ruined former chateau peering through trees over the village and river across the fields that separate us. One thing you'll notice during the week is the beautiful and typically Burgundian tiled church steeples. Each hamlet or town has its own distinctly different pattern. Some sections of this majestic river have been 'canalised' by short stretches of linking canal to cut corners on particularly wide, shallow or un-navigable bends.

I hope to moor in a rural setting near Charentenay or Soing to provide the opportunity for a bit of leg stretching and a cycle ride or walk to the small village of Ray-sur-Saone dominated by its amazing Chateau. Apparently, it dates back to 800 AD and was once one of the biggest fortresses in Franche-Comte?

Day Four

Shortly after leaving our mooring, we can glance back, up an arm of the river toward the magnificent panorama of Ray-sur-Saone and its typically Burgundian church and stunning chateau high on the hill behind.

Day Five

Gray is the first sizeable town we encounter. Steep streets climb from the Saone to its handsome old quarter containing beautiful buildings such as the Notre Dame Basilica started in the 15th century, tourist office and Hotel de Ville (town hall). It's another chance to dine ashore should you so desire and my recommendation, although not a budget choice, would be to take a taxi 6km out of town to the magnificent 18th century and 3 star hotel 'Chateau de Rigny'. It's set in parkland on the banks of a section of river too shallow for Barge Nilaya to navigate. It's interior offers all the trappings of the period and is through personal experience, a memorable choice for dinner.

Day Six

A little further downstream from Gray, the small village of Mantoche reveals its beautiful riverside chateau and we cruise through more pastoral scenery with white Charolais cattle grazing in the fields towards a late afternoon arrival and final night in the town of Auxonne. you're just 20 minutes from Dijon by train and this mooring opportunity offers a fabulous change to discover this wonderful city and its great restaurants.

Day Seven - Depart Nilaya in Auxonne at 10.00

You're due to leave the barge after breakfast today and the rail station is just across the river bridge. We can drop you at the station if you prefer.

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.