SIX NIGHT ITINERARY
We have paired with some dear friends and industry professionals in France to offer an exquisite barge cruise as an extension to one of our UK itineraries. Unpack twice and discover two diverse and beautiful pockets of France & UK. Saroche cruises through Burgundy, Alsace & Champagne. We have attached the Burgundy itinerary, but do get in touch if you are interested in exploring another region of France in style.
Completely refitted to an exceptionally high standard, the Saroche is the definition of a luxury hotel barge. It boasts three large en-suite cabins, a spacious and beautifully appointed salon and dining area along with a beautiful panoramic sundeck equipped with outside dining and lounging facilities.
Hosted by two of the most respected owner operators in the business. Captain Jason and Chef Dawn will share their love of all things French, whilst ensuring you relax and let your cares drift away. With over 30 years combined hotel barge experience owning and running barges, you are guaranteed the warmest of hospitality aboard Saroche barge.
Our two week itineraries can be organised in either order, and we will arrange a smooth transfer between locations to ensure a seamless travel day for your group.
BEAUTIFUL ACCOMMODATION FOR SIX GUESTS
The three Art Deco cabins with individual en suite bathrooms are a triumph, unique in the barging world they set a new standard for both comfort and luxury with their compliment of Birdseye maple panelling and rich velvet wall coverings. Add to this the thick soft pile carpets, individually controlled air conditioning and original 1930’s art work, your comfort is guaranteed and a good nights sleep is assured.
Met by your private chauffeur in Paris, Geneva, Lyon or Dijon for your groups transfer to the Saroche, moored at Escommes on the Canal de Bourgogne. This canal, a historical monument, was conceived in 1605, completed in 1774, is 150 miles long and has 189 locks. It’s a feat of amazing engineering that has survived The Revolution and two World Wars.
Upon arrival you will be welcomed by the owners, Jason and Dawn, together with their crew. Be introduced to Saroche 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.
Cruise Escommes - Chateauneuf
Today's cruise takes you down the flight of locks from the summit pound to our unique mooring at the foot of beautiful Chateauneuf en Auxois. Saroche is the largest vessel that cruises these waterways and squeezing her into the locks is an impressive experience to behold, with plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle as we cruise.
After lunch Jason will drive you to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Abbey of Fontenay founded in 1118 with its nearly intact Romanesque architecture, magnificent forge and serene gardens. Fontenay holds a special place in Dawn and Jason hearts as this is where Jason proposed to Dawn.
Arrive back at Saroche with time to freshen up before cocktails on the deck in the shadow of Chateauneuf en Auxois.
For those who are interested, Dawn will be doing a soufflé demonstration in the kitchen just before dinner, one can guess what the starter will be this evening? Finish the evening with a digestif on deck in full view of the elegantly lit chateau!
Cruise Chateauneuf en Auxois - Pont D'Ouche
This morning’s visit is to Chateauneuf en Auxois. This 11th century chateau is a famous landmark in the area and hides a quaint hamlet behind it. Classified as “one of France’s prettiest villages”, the views of the surrounding areas are breath taking.
On the way back to Saroche, Jason will stop off at a small artisanal chocolate maker for a visit and of course, a tasting! For those with energy to expend, you can enjoy a walk back to Saroche where lunch on deck awaits.
In the afternoon we set sail and head down stream to Pont d'Ouche, with more opportunity to enjoy the scenery from the deck, or by foot or bicycle, along the towpath, as we navigate downstream through 10 locks. In the early evening Dawn will demonstrate the art of pâté and terrine making before enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail on deck as the sun sets before dinner.
Cruise Pont d'Ouche - Veuvey sur Ouche
Today we leave the Saroche and head over the hills to Beaune. This is the Capital of wine production in Burgundy, however it all hinges around the Hospice du Beaune, which Jason will expertly guide you around. Famous for its wines as much as it is for the traditional tiled roofs, this bastion of Burgundian history was constructed in 1443, and whilst not the oldest monument you will see this week by far and away its most impressive. It was still a functioning hospital as late as 1973!
Today is also market day in Beaune and before lunch there is time to wander the stalls and lovely cobbled streets enjoying this very French of towns. Jason invites you to join him for lunch at L’Ecusson, a wonderful small fine dining establishment that puts a modern twist on classic French food. Plates arrive more like works of art which almost make it a shame to eat them, but eat you must and the rewards in flavours are stunning.
After lunch, Jason takes you on a comprehensive wine tasting at the house of Patriarche. Finish in a small private cellar surrounded by rare vintages which are normally reserved for the higher echelons of the wine world – this is a privilege which Jason enjoys sharing with guests. As a trained sommelier, he is on hand to guide, explain and advise.
Dinner tonight aboard Saroche is a simple rustic French affair of Dawn’s homemade pâtés, terrines and local cheese, ensuring a relaxed evening accompanied by a special treat of live music on our deck.
Cruise Veuvey sur Ouche - La Bussiere
This morning we set sail and cruise into the famous Ouche Valley, with the towpath running alongside. Moor up in the village of la Bussiere and enjoy lunch on deck overlooking the magnificent views.
In the afternoon Jason will drive you into the Côte de Nuits. First visit Clos du Vougeot, the 11th century Cistercian monastic winery, now home to the Knights of the Round Table of wine tasting. Next, set off to the vineyard for a wine tasting hosted by Jason, before returning to Saroche, we stop at a ‘truffle specialist’ and join the family dog for a truffle hunt, followed by a tasting of this mysterious fungi.
Tonight’s aperitif is enjoyed at the Abbey de la Bussiere, set in an immaculate parkland which is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of bubbles. This 11th century Cistercian Abbey is now home to a magnificent Relais and Chateau hotel. Meet the owner of this impressive building, who is delighted to show our Saroche guests his home. Busy on the barge, Dawn awaits to present you with another sumptuous dining experience.
Cruise La Bussiere - Gissey
Today is Market Day in Dijon. The capital of Burgundy, once home to the Dukes of Burgundy and birthplace to Gustave Eiffel, who designed the market square. After a walking tour of the old town, founded in the Roman era, you will have plenty of time to experience and explore one of the best markets in France and join Jason in selecting produce to accompany your lunch aboard Saroche. We will have time to enjoy the classic French shops or relax in one of Dijon’s many cafes.
We return to Saroche for lunch before setting sail for Gissey, our final destination for the week, and Jason and Dawns home for the last ten years. This beautiful village nestled in the heart of the Ouche valley is classically French and no trip would be complete without exploring it.
Before aperitifs, join Dawn in the galley for the final time as she demonstrates the art of canapés. Jason will join you for pre-dinner drinks on deck this evening and recount tales of barging folklore, many of which he and Dawn have been part of.
Tonight’s dinner is the pinnacle of culinary excellence where Dawn and Jason will round out your gastronomic wine experience with another gourmet delight and Grand Cru wines.
Your chauffeur driven minibus will pick you up after breakfast and transport you to your onward destination, with time to reflect on your memorable week aboard the Saroche and France as it should be seen!
We hope to welcome you back, perhaps in the springtime while we cruise the Champagne region!
Depending on starting point the itinerary may run in the opposite way