Delight your senses on an intimate barge cruise through the French countryside.
About the Tour
Indulge in the scenery and produce of the famous Burgundy wine region of France along its picturesque waterways. We travel along the Grands Crus Wine Circuit for an authentic flavor of wine-rich France.
- Rail travel on board the high-speed Eurostar
- 6-night cruise aboard the MS Jeanine
- 17 meals with all-inclusive selection of complimentary beers, wines and soft drinks
- Excursions to Dijon & Gray
- Cruise the Gironde Estuary
- Visit to the medieval castle at Champlitte
- Trip along the Grands Crus Wine Circuit
- Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 - London to Dijon
Meet your group and Tour Manager in St Pancras at our dedicated Departure Office ahead of our Eurostar journey to Paris. From here we continue to Dijon by rail where we board our hotel barge, the MS Jeanine, for a six night cruise along the Burgundy, Saône and Canal du Center. After a complimentary drink, we enjoy our first dinner on board. Overnight ship. (D)
Day 2 - Longecourt-en-Plaine
Dijon was first established as a settlement under the Romans, but was only ever of minor importance and had no established trading reputation. But in 1032, Robert the Old became the first Duke of Burgundy, and proclaimed Dijon as his capital. In this privileged position, the city enjoyed vast wealth and power and developed a rich cultural heritage. Dijon was then situated on the 'spice route', and became known for its popular gingerbread and eponymous mustard. As the gateway to a number of vineyards, Dijon was also famous for the many wines produced in the Burgundy region. We delve into the history of this delightful city on a guided tour that includes sights such as the Palace of the Dukes and Notre Dame church. Afterward we set sail for Longecourt-en-Plaine, our mooring point for the night. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - The Grands Crus Wine Circuit
We cast off this morning and the Jeanine picks up the Grands Crus Wine Circuit on an excursion to the six villages in the area that produce the finest Burgundy wines. The 'road of the great wines' runs from Dijon in the north to Santenay in the south, and the route is punctuated by a collection of vineyards and attractive towns that have become prosperous with the growth of the wine trade in this region. Many of the vineyards in this region are quite small, averaging around 10 hectares, producing a small quantity of very high quality wine. Some of the best vintages require between 10 and 20 years to mature, further restricting the volume of wine produced. Following our time along this captivating wine route we return to the ship and continue cruising to Auxonne. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Sailing to Gray
We continue sailing through verdant landscapes as our barge makes its way along the Petite Saône Canal to the town of Gray. From the sun deck, you can enjoy the passing scenery of overhanging trees, cheerful French villages, grand country houses, and flower-filled meadows. Why not enjoy a coffee, or something a little stronger, as you pass the time with your fellow passengers? Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Gray and on to Savoyeux
We disembark this morning for a guided tour of Gray, a riverside town with a history that dates back to the 7th century. The center is a jumble of period houses from across the decades; here 18th-century architecture sits happily alongside 12th-century fortifications and Baroque style chapels. The rest of the day is spent making the leisurely journey to Savoyeux, where we arrive early this evening. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Port-sur-Saône
Our day begins with a guided excursion to Champlitte's medieval castle. Occupying an important defensive position on the boundary line between both the Duchy and County of Burgundy, the castle has been a strategic stronghold as well as family home in its later years. The impressive external structure is complemented by the rustic décor, almost provincial in style. Tonight a special gala dinner is served, helping us celebrate such a memorable cruise. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Return to London
Disembark after breakfast today, meeting your Tour Manager for the return journey to Paris where we join Eurostar service back to London St Pancras International. (B)
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers traveling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris with Lyon, the new service revolutionized train travel and meant that traveling by air over medium and short distances was no longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.
The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France. Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV trains travel over specially-constructed high speed lines. The trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Basel. With the exception of shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light refreshments.
Renovated in 2013, this modern river barge has capacity for just 24 passengers, allowing for an intimate cruise experience through the French countryside. Jeanine's expert crew of five is dedicated to serving and inspiring all guests traveling on board. There are only twelve cabins, all of which are comfortable two-berths. The ship has air conditioning throughout but there are independent controls in each room as well as a window, a private en suite bathroom with a shower and plenty of storage space for your luggage. The modern design includes a television, telephone, radio and safe.
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