French Barge Trip in the Summer of 2016

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Our French Barge Cruise in Southern Burgundy

Up to 6 guests of 2 each in 3 cabins - 127 Ft. Long
Hosts: Chef Caroline & Captain Rory Macrae Plus English Speaking Crew of 4
Fully Air Conditioned - Large bedrooms and very large bathrooms

The barge cruise surpassed our expectations. If you are interested in taking a barge cruise in France, please contact me and I will share details with you. (239) 249-9894

No, I did not take the photo above. It is a stock photo off the internet of the barge that we were on in Burgundy.

The salon down below on the barge

A view down the canal

We are entering one of the many locks along the canal.

The women who operates the lock. She is opening the gate in the lock door to let the water out to lower the barge.

Opening the lock flood gates. There are two, one on each door of the lock.

The place setting before dinner

Hannah, serving us cheese at dinner

Cheers everyone. Having dinner on the upper deck of the barge.

The first course

The main course

The cheese course

The dessert

The barge staff

Our master Corden Bleu trained chef

The sun cover is lowered so that we can pass under a bridge.

We normally had lunch on the barge, but this one day we went to a nearby restaurant/hotel.

Inside the restaurant/hotel where we had lunch.

At one of the locks, there was a very small restaurant.

A wine cellar at a vineyard where we also had lunch

A wine tasting

Some cheese back on the barge

The first course back on the barge at dinner.

The old town in Dijon, France

One of the local vineyards.

Taking a jeep ride through one of the local vineyards.

We Americans always hear that pigs are used to find truffles. However, in France they use special dogs who are trained to find the truffles. The truffles are just a few inches below the surface of the ground. In the photo above, the dog has located a truffle.

This is a truffle that the dog found.

We saw a fascinating tunnel along a canal on which we did NOT travel.

This is that canal on which we did NOT travel.

Note the green traffic light letting the boat owner know that traffic is going his way as it is a one way tunnel. The tunnel is almost 2 miles long. Between 1822 and 1832 it was built BY HAND before we had tunnel building machines.

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Sunday: Paris to St Jean de Losne
Welcome Aboard!
Depart Paris at 2 pm in our luxury private chauffeured transfer direct to the barge moored in St Jean de Losne, where you board the Apres Tout for your cruise through Burgundy on the Canal du Bourgogne. A champagne reception gives you a chance to meet the crew. Once you have settled into your cabin, it will be time to return to the deck for a cocktail cruise on the River Saone. A delicious four course dinner will be served with wonderful wines to match, followed by after dinner drinks – weather permitting all served on the magnificent teak deck.

Monday: Cruise to Longecourt
Clos de Vougeot with a jeep drive through the vines!
Leaving the River Saône behind, we now enter onto the Canal de Bourgogne through the first of many locks! Spend the morning enjoying your first cruising day on the flat plain from the river toward Dijon. After lunch, your guide takes you to the area of the Cote d'Or ( In French meaning Gold Coast) planted with vines that produce some of the world's most famous wines. Here we visit the Clos de Vougeot, a medieval chateau surrounded by vineyards, pictured below. This is truly a magnificent Chateau and the headquarters of the Chevaliers du Tastevin, whose special label is awarded annually to the finest Cote d'Or vintages. We have arranged some fantastic World War II jeeps to take you through the vines to explore some of the small tracks that wind through this famous land for some exhilarating fun! For those who have a little more energy, we can stop at a truffle producer and learn how the black diamonds grow and then how to find them; We return to the Apres Tout for a well deserved refreshing cocktail!

Tuesday: Longecourt to Dijon
Market day in Dijon
This morning we visit Dijon, pictured at right, a wonderful town with a long and interesting history. As it is market day, the centre is thriving with traders selling their produce and shoppers meandering taking in the atmospheric feel of this magnificent city. There is plenty of time to shop in the city's many chic boutiques or sit in a pavement café and watch the world go by. Later, we will visit the Grey Poupon mustard shop for a tasting of this famous product and then take a walk through the historic area of the town which will captivate you with its historical past, including the Ducal Palace. We return to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise into Dijon, where we moor for the evening. Tonight, you must try a Kir Royale made with local Cassis, a liqueur invented here in Dijon made from blackcurrants and mixed with the Burgundy Champagne equivalent named Cremant.

Wednesday: Dijon to Fleurey
Lunch with a Vineyard Owner
Leaving Dijon behind we head to the valley of the Ouche. Enjoy a relaxing morning on board; there are many locks for dis-embarking to cycle or to walk. Late morning you transfer over the hillside and down through the vines to the charming village of Gevrey Chambertin. We are greeted by the owner of this prestigious Grand Crus wine makers, and here we have a splendid lunch on their terrace overlooking their vines! During lunch Madame Drouhin Laroze (the owner) will present her wines. This is truly a very unique experience. After lunch, we are given a very informative private tour of the cellars. We then take a scenic drive along the famous Route du Grand Crus, Passing through many of the famous wine villages.

Thursday: Fleurey to Gissey
Historic Beaune and dinner at Abbaye de la Bussiere
The morning is spent cruising through the lovely Ouche Valley, this is a truly spectacular part of the canal, small villages pass by, cows wander in the fields, and there is nature all around. There is a total feel of peace and tranquility as we slowly cruise this magnificent canal. After another wonderful lunch, you are transferred to the delightful town of Beaune, the capital of the wine region of Burgundy. Enjoy a visit to the famous Hotel-Dieu, Hospice de Beaune with its interesting history and magnificent tiled roof. After some free time for shopping or strolling in the pedestrian streets we have an optional appointment for a private wine tasting at the famous cellars of Joseph Drouhin, this tour is by invitation only. Later, we return to the barge for a refreshing cocktail and freshen up before one of the high lights of the week, a gourmet dinner at the stunning Abbaye de la Bussiere. This Relais & Chateaux property has been beautifully transformed from a Cistercian abbey into a fabulous hotel, set in architectural grounds where you will dine in style tonight.

Friday: Gissey to Pont d'Ouche
Private Artist Visit
Today enjoy the final stretch of this beautiful canal. We pass through several more locks until reaching our destination of the port at Pont D'Ouche. This afternoon we make a special private visit to an English artist of world renown, who has set up his gallery and workshop in a converted barn. His work is world class, and has been recently commissioned to create a piece of art to celebrate the Olympics in London. We are shown through the workshop, and explained how he makes his marvelous pieces of bronze sculptures many of which have been produced for the Queen of England, including the war memorial in London. We then drive up to Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, a medieval hill-top village steeped in History. This is a charming place with stunning views from all angles, of the surrounding countryside. Return to the Apres Tout for a gala dinner with wonderful wines to match and a fond farewell.

Saturday: Return to Paris
A Sad Farewell
You will depart at 9:00 am for the chauffeured transfer back to Paris to one location of your party's choice - a hotel in central Paris or Charles de Gaulle Airport. Expected arrival time is 1:00 pm. Please make all onward travel plans on the basis of this timing. We wish you Bon voyage and hope to see you back on Apres Tout.

The Typical Menu

Cold Sliced Fillet of Beef with Mustard & Tarragon Sauce

Roast Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart

Camargue Rice Salad with Walnut oil dressing

Roquette, Cherry Tomato and Parmesan Cheese Salad
Olive oil & Lemon dressing

Fresh Beetroot & Feta Salad

Cheese Platter
Comtè Cheese with Sliced Fruit Section of Breads & Crackers

Coffee, Tea with Biscuits

Quail egg & Caviar Tartlets
Seared Scallops with Risotto, Chestnuts & Dill
Roast Rack of Lamb with au jus
Puree of Potato, Garlic Baby Carrots & Green Beans

Cheese Platter
Brie du Meaux
St Maure
Fourme d’ambert
Selection of Breads & Crackers

Orange Panacotta with Caramelized Orange Salad

Coffee and Chocolates
After dinner drinks

White Wines
Pouilly Fuissé, 2011
Sancerre, Jadis, 2011
Pouilly Fumé, les demoiselles, 2011
Saint Aubin Ier Cru “aux charmois,” 2008
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, les vergers, 2006
Chablis Grand Cru, vaudesir, 2009

Red Wines
Chorey les Beaune, 2011
Givry 1er Cru, 2011
Nuits Saint Georges, 2009
Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru “aux Charmes,” 2010
Corton Renards Grand Cru, 2004
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, 2007


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