HOTEL BARGES / NIAGARA
Dijon - Vandenesse en Auxois
Friday - Dijon
Your pre-cruise meeting point is at "Chateau la Chassagne ", Pont de Pany , near Dijon. At 5 pm transfer in air-conditioned Minibus to the barge. A warm welcome aboard from captain and crew with a Kir-Royal cocktail, the start to a unique and memorable stay in Burgundy. Tonight the Captain will invite you to the "Welcome Dinner".
The evening is brought to a pleasant close on the sun deck of the barge, by the pool and the calm setting of the Port of Dijon at night.
Saturday - Dijon to Fleurey
While we are having breakfast " M.S . Niagara" leaves Dijon and heads for the first of a total of 45 locks on the "Canal de Bourgogne ". We make our way along Lake Kir with its leisure facilities via Plombieres to Velars sur Ouche . The captain will explain how the locks function and principle of the canal, if you're looking for some exercise you can always help prepare the lock, most of them are still manually operated. Guests are free to leave the boat at anyone of the picturesque locks and to continue on foot or bicycle along the towpath to the next one. After a break for lunch, we continue on our leisurely way before reaching Fleurey sur Ouche , where we will moor for the night. Depending on your mood, take the visit to the old city centre of Dijon, a tour of the Ducal palace, the "Rue de la Liberté " and some of the old streets with timber houses beside the cathedral of "Notre Dame".
Sunday - Fleurey
The third day brings us into the heart of Burgundy, into the glorious Ouche Valley. Comfortably seated on the sundeck, we will travel back through time to an unhurried world, past the enchanting village of Pont de Pany and "Chateau la Chassagne ", and pass through Sainte Marie sur Ouche . Why not sit in the heated pool and watch the countryside go by ? We finally moor up in the charming village of Gissey with the oak and elm forest covered hills providing a panoramic background.
Monday - Beaune
After a copious breakfast, we set off on a day's excursion with the captain to Beaune and explore the wine country. Here we will visit the world famous Hospices de Beaune , built in 1443 and the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame. The Hospices is a voyage through the centuries of Burgundy history, with an insight into the daily life of the people through the ages. Another highlight offered is the painting The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden (1400-1464).
This is also a unique occasion for wine-tasting in a wine-grower's cellar, to discover the vineyards such as Corton , Pommard , Meursault and many other great Crus of the region. This is a great opportunity to walk through the vineyards and discover how wine is made. Perhaps we will be here during the wine harvest in September? Lunch could be in one of the most highly recommended restaurants of Beaune or perhaps the secret recipie of the Coq au Vin in the Cellier Volnaysian at Volnay . The afternoon is an excellent time to explore the center town, with the cobbled streets and boutiques of Beaune . The cafes and terraces are abundant, a time to relax and drink with friends. There are also small shops of all kinds, selling cheeses, wines and breads.
Tuesday - Gissey
to Pont d'Ouche
In the morning " M.S . Niagara" continues to cruise, through the village of Saint Victor with its feudal castle hidden in the hills, then on to La Bussiere where a visit to the Cistercian abbey is an absolute must to visit. The construction of Abbaye de la Bussiere is rich in history and dates back to the years 900 A.D , with splendid gardens and trees.
After lunch we continue our cruise past Veuvey sur Ouche , on our way to today's destination: the small port of Pont d'Ouche , the tow path offers wonderful cycling and walking during the afternoon's cruise.
Wednesday - Pont d'Ouche
Today's destination requires the barge to cruise through part of the "stair case" of locks near Vandenesse en Auxois . At this time the barge will be passing below the imposing medieval hillside village of Châteauneuf en Auxois , which dominants the landscape. Later in the afternoon, an excursion is always planned for the village of Châteauneuf , with a history dating back to 1030 A.D . There many tiny streets, antique shops and old houses, all with stories to tell. A splendid panoramic view of the Auxois valley will help you discover the secret of the Burgundy canal.
There is also plenty of time to explore the village of Vandenesse . Beside the barge moorings, there are key elements which make the whole canal system function. Your barge captain will enjoy showing and explaining the historical and technical achievements of the canal, such as the 3.3 kilometers long tunnel at the summit of the canal which connects Escommes to the market town of Pouilly en Auxois built in 1823.
For your final evening the Captain invites you to a "Farewell Diner", a final culinary delight with quality wines is a grand way to close your cruise.
Thursday - Vandenesse en Auxois
After a generous breakfast and sitting below the impressive 11th century castle of Chateauneuf, passengers leave the boat and are driven back to "Chateau la Chassagne", to the train station or Dijon airport depending on the arrangements made with the boats captain.
As this is a one-way cruise, the itinerary is also operated in the opposite direction according to starting date.
We reserve the right to alter the cruise program.