River Saone, Cote d'Or and Burgundy


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Guest Reviews

Auxonne to St Leger sur Dheune in Burgundy

Highlights: Dijon - River Saone - Chalon sur Saone - Cote d'Or vineyards to Beaune - Wine tasting dinner option in Pulligny-Montrachet - Chateau Couches or Cote Chalonnaise vineyards to Chateau Cormatin


You'll join Barge Nilaya moored on the banks of the River Saone near Auxonne. Why not relax on our teak sundeck and soak up the waterside location. After a 'Cremant de Bourgogne' reception, Isabelle and I will prepare our special home cooked 'welcome aboard dinner' which due to our being in Burgundy, might appropriately be a delightful, slow cooked 'Boeuf Bourguignon' and dish that previous guests have raved about. It will of course be cooked in and matched with the wines that make this region so famous.


After a wonderful breakfast we'll cruise toward today's destination, the self proclaimed waterways capital of France, St-Jean-de-Losne. Lying near the junction of no less than six major French navigations, its a pleasant enough place with a very 'boaty' feel, lovely town quay, marina and boatyards. After a light lunch aboard, you might like us to drop you in Dijon so that you can spend the afternoon discovering this wonderful city? In the evening, having enjoyed a cold beer or two in the quayside bars, I suggest you dine ashore at your own expense in one of the restaurants located throughout the town. Alternatively, if you wish to linger in Dijon, we're happy to pick you up from there.


After an early breakfast, we'll cast off and cruise downstream on a wide reach of the River Saone. Passing the pleasant port of Seurre along the way, we'll navigate through huge locks on a modern canalised section of the river followed by a more scenic wooded stretch before mooring inside the mouth of the River Doubs rather than on the Saone itself. Verdun-sur-le-Doubs was established by the Romans in the first century and there's a couple of interesting old buildings to discover such as the town's 17th Century Hotel-Dieu. There's an amazing flood marker on one of the riverside buildings which along with showing some historical flood levels also shows some pretty regular recent ones! We'll take a light lunch aboard before dropping you in the intimate Burgundian wine capital of Beaune. You'll have time to enjoy numerous caves offering degustation in this charming little town, maybe visiting the 15th century hospice or ‘Hotel Dieu’ with its magnificent tiled roof. You can choose to remain in Beaune for dinner at your own expense or return to Verdun, maybe sampling a specialty of the town known as 'Pochouse' at a riverside restaurant. It's a delicious river fish stew comprising a mixture of several types of freshwater fish in a delicious onion and wine sauce. 


After another early start, We'll leave the River Saone and join the Canal du Centre. By lunchtime we'll have hopefully left the 'big' river far behind and find ourselves meandering along some very scenic stretches of narrow canal to a mooring in the tranquil village of Fragnes. After a tasty lunch including more regional specialties, we might drop you for free time in nearby Chalon sur Saone. It's a lovely city and home to the inventor of photography, one Joseph Nicephore Niepce and you can visit the excellent museum in his honour. The island of Saint-Laurent in the middle of the Saone is full of narrow streets lined with old buildings and well worth the diversion away from Chalon's bustling city centre. While in town, you might also visit the town hall, Saint Vincent Cathedral and Ursulines Monastery. Alternatively why not simply relax and chill out on deck? Dinner tonight is at your own expense. In the evening, you might be in for a real treat? It's an option, but we're happy to drive you to the lovely village of Pulligny-Montrachet so you can enjoy an informative wine tasting dinner at the fabulous ‘Maison D’olivier Leflaive’. I can’t do justice to just how nice an experience this is! We'll need to book your places well in advance, so you'll need to pay in advance for this when you pay your cruise balance. Alternatively you might choose to remain and dine in Chalon or return to the simple eatery by the canal in Fragnes. One of us will pick you up and return you to Nilaya whatever you choose.


After a wonderful breakfast, we’ll enjoy a short cruise on to the bustling village of Chagny. It's a cracking little place with lots of wine caves and after lunch on deck you might like to visit the nearby Chateau de Rochepot. In the evening, there’s a great choice of restaurants a short walk away in Chagny including ‘Maison Lameloise’, one of Frances top gourmet 3 star Michelin eateries. You can choose whichever you like and dine ashore at your own expense. We're happy to make reservations or recommendations as you wish.


Today we’ll enjoy a beautiful meandering cruise along the Canal du Centre to the tidy village of St Leger sur Dheune. After another tasty lunch on board we’ll might head out in the car to visit either nearby Chateau Marguerite de Bourgogne, or drive south through the Cote Chalonnaise visiting the interesting medieval village of St. Gengeoux le National and a little further on, the beautiful chateau of Cormatin.  Tonight, there’s a couple of good restaurants right by the canal in St Leger sur Dheune, so again you’ve a great opportunity to dine ashore at your own expense.


You're due to leave Nilaya after breakfast. Isabelle or I can transfer you to Le Creusot TGV station if you are taking an onward train journey to Paris.


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.