HOTEL BARGES / SAROCHE
France is world renowned for its gourmet cuisine and grand wines and a vacation aboard the Saroche allows you to experience the very best offered by two of its iconic regions, Burgundy and Champagne.
The Champagne Cruise
7 days / 6 Full board Champagne, Wine and Chocolate Tour from Vandierers to Beaumont sur Vesles
Sunday : Paris - Vandieres
Pick up in Paris, where your chauffeur driven mini bus will transport you to Vandierers on the Marne river, Champagne reception on deck with introductions to the crew. Plenty of time to settle into your stateroom before Dawn creates your first gourmet dinner on board Saroche .
Monday : Vandierers - Cummiers
After breakfast Jason will take you on a historic visit to the chateau of Conde en Brie. This 16th century hunting lodge has hosted Kings and Queens, murderers, Saints and sinners, Jason will guide you on a private visit through this wonderful building.
We return to Saroche for a lazy lunch with 360* views of the glorious Champagne vineyards before setting sail and heading up stream towards Cummiers . We moor up in the shadow of the abbey of Hautvillers , time for a gentle stroll along the towpath before Jason introduces you to "bubbles du jour" followed by another of Dawns fabulous meals on board?
Tuesday : Cummiers - Tour Sur Marne
After breakfast Jason will drive you through Epernay to visit chocolatier Thibault where you will spend the morning making artisanal chocolate with the master chocolatier , famous as the last chocolatier to make the alcohol filled chocolate champagne cork, this is a rare and exciting chance to get up close to one of the worlds favourite foods!
Return to the Saroche . After lunch we set sail for Tour sur Marne on the canal lateral a la Marne , we pass by hill covered vineyards owned by many famous Champagne houses like Mumm , Philiponat , Moët & Chandon and Heidesek to name but a few, with plenty of opportunity to walk and cycle along the well paved towpath, we slowly ascend the valley toward our mooring in the centre of the village of Tour, in time for "bubbles du jour" before dinner on board.
Wednesday : Reims
We leave the Saroche this morning to head into the historic city of Reims, our first stop is to the Eisenhower war rooms, an important yet undiscovered museum where the end of the Second World War was signed. From here Jason will take you to the world famous cathedral of Reims, having survived the revolution and two world wars it is a testament to the resilience of the people of Reims, with its amazing nave and wonderful architecture it deserves the world heritage status it has gained. Time to wander the shopping district of Reims before meeting up to go to lunch. Jason will take you to Lunch at Les Crayères bistro for a lazy yet tantalising Michelin dinning experience. Followed by time to enjoy the garden at this most magnificent Relais and Chateau, once home to the Pommery family and now one of the best small hotels in the world.
Leaving Reims behind we drive back to Saroche . On the way stop off in Bouzy for a small private tour and tasting before returning to the barge in time for a dip in the jacuzzi before Dawn serves a light dinner on deck.
Thursday: Tour sur Marne - Mont du Billy
After a lazy breakfast we take the mini bus to Mareuil sur Ay, home to many famous champagne houses but non more so than Billecart Salmon, enjoy a private tour of the last remaining independent large Champagne house followed by a delectable tasting.
Returning to Saroche for more of Dawns creations will leave you well suited to a relaxing afternoon on the deck or walking by the barge as we climb the 8 locks to the summit pound, where we moor in the shade of the trees in the middle of the French countryside, as we cruise those who are interested can join Dawn in the kitchen and watch her prepare her famous pates and terrines , whilst quizzing her about her menus and creations.
After Bubbles du Jour another delightful meal awaits for dinner.
Friday : Mont De Billy - Beaumont
This morning we set sail and head along the canal to the tunnel at Mont du Billy, Jason will prepare the barge to go through the tunnel, a marvel of French engineering this tunnel allowed commercial traffic to enter the heart of Reims and thus connected Paris and Reims in the 18th century. Having passed the tunnel we continue our lazy cruise down the canal to Beaumont sur Vesels.
After lunch Jason will drive you to the world war 1 trenches at the Mains de Messige. An archeological dig that is as authentic and sobering as it is mysterious. These trenches were discovered by a Parisian archeological student doing a summer dig, today they are the newest discovery of this grizzly episode in Champagnes torrid history. A walking tour of real trenches is a reminder of the other reason Champagne is world famous.
Return to the barge in time to get freshened up before captains dinner. Tonight the Captain, Jason, will host your dinner, starting with Bubbles du jour and cocktails on the deck before Dawn wows you with more delights from her kitchen.
Saturday : Paris
After breakfast your chauffeur driven minibus will take you back to Paris
Depending on starting point the itinerary may run in the opposite way
The Burgundy Tour
7 days / 6 nights Full board cruise from Escommes to Gissey-sur-ouche
Sunday: Paris to Escommes
Meet your chauffeur in a chosen place for your journey down to the Saroche at Escommes on the canal du Bourgogne . You will be welcomed with a champagne reception and have plenty of time to settle in before Dawn, your personal chef, presents you with the first of many gourmet meals.
Monday: Escommes - Chateauneuf
Today's cruise takes you down the flight of locks from the summit pound to the foot of beautiful Chateauneuf en Auxois . After lunch Jason will take you to visit a chocolatier for a delightful tasting and talk on this wonderful product.
With both lunch and dinner aboard today, relax and enjoy burgundy and canal life at its best.
Tuesday: Chateauneuf en Auxois - Pont D'Ouche
After breakfast Jason will drive you up the hill to the village of Chateauneuf en Auxois . This 11th century chateau is a famous landmark in the area and hides a quaint hamlet behind it. After a tour of the chateau there is plenty of time to enjoy exploring the village before returning to the barge for lunch.
In the afternoon we set sail and head down stream to Pont d'Ouche , our mooring for the night. There is a tow path all the way, and you can walk or cycle or perhaps enjoy the pace of life from the deck. Once moored up, Dawn will once again regale you with another gourmet feast.
Wednesday: Pont d'Ouche - Veuvey sur Ouche
Today we leave the Saroche and head over the hills to Beaune . In the morning Jason will do a guided tour of the Hospice du Beaune , as famous for its wines as it is for its tiled roof!
Today for lunch you will dine out in a gourmet restaurant in Beaune .
After lunch Jason will take you into the cote du Beaune , known for its soft reds and complex delectable white wines. You will walk in the vines and be given an explanation as to why Burgundy wines are so well renowned, before going for a comprehensive tasting in a private winery.
Returning to Saroche for a sundowner cruise before a light dinner on board.
Thursday: Veuvey sur Ouche - La Bussiere
After breakfast we set sail and cruise down to La Bussiere, with another gentle tow path for those who wish to walk or cycle. Lunch is on board the Saroche. In the afternoon Jason will drive you into the Cote du Nuits where first you will visit the Clos du Vougeot, the 11th century Cistercian monastic winery, now home to the Knights of the round table of wine tasting, before heading into one of the villages for a tasting. The cote du Nuits is famous for its red wines, and Jason will show you why the world raves about the Pinot Noir from this area.
Friday: La Bussiere - Gissey
Market Day. Dijon is the capital of Burgundy, once home to the Dukes of Burgundy and home to Gustaf Eiffel, who designed the market square. After a walking tour of the old town, you will have plenty of time to enjoy and explore the market and enjoy the classic French shops of Dijon.
We return to the Saroche for lunch before setting sail for Gissey our destination for the week. This beautiful village nestled in the heart of the Ouche valley is classically French and no trip would be complete without exploring the village.
Tonight Jason will be your host for Captains dinner where Dawn will round of your culinary experience with another gourmet delight.
Saturday: Gissey - Paris
Your chauffeur driven minibus will pick you up after breakfast and take you back to Paris with time to reflect on the fabulous week aboard the Saroche.