Cruise on a floating boutique along a peaceful, vineyardfringed canal. Get a taste of Burgundy’s wine-making heritage at Château du Clos de Vougeot. Discover the citadel of Besançon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 6 nights on board MS Jeanine, a boutique hotel barge. Experienced Back-Roads tour leader. Local captain and crew. Luxury mini-coach transportation. Local guide in Dijon. European breakfast daily (B). Six evening meals (D). Five lunches (L). Selected drinks during the cruise. Selected local taxes. Entrance fee included to: Château du Clos de Vougeot, Citadel of Besancon and Palace of Fontainebleau.

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DAY 1 PARIS – DIJON

Arriving from Paris, we greet Dijon with a city-wide walking tour, taking its Renaissance and medieval wonders in our stride. After we’ve stretched our legs, we step on to our private barge, with the crew waiting to welcome us. While it’s all hands on deck for them, there’s a cocktail and delicious dinner to make us feel at home. And with that, our cruise is underway. (D)

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DAY 2 DIJON – CHÂTEAU CLOS DE VOUGEOT – PETITOUGES

Back on dry land, this morning we enjoy a leisurely drive through a rural idyll, where row upon row of vines, punctuated by honey-stone villages, will have us thinking we’ve slipped inside a romantic landscape painting. This is Burgundy. And when in Burgundy, it’s only right that we visit a historical icon of wine production: Château Clos De Vougeot. Built by monks in the 12th century, it’s still home to medieval presses and vat house, a Cistercian cellar and original kitchens. For learning about the region’s wine heritage, there’s nowhere quite like it. On our barge once more, we depart for Petit-Ouges. On this tour, travelling to our destination is just as wonderful as arriving, especially with the green and pleasant landscape of the Saône Valley rippling around us. As we go, we’ll enjoy both lunch and dinner on board. (B, L, D)

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DAY 3 PETIT-OUGES – SAINTJEAN-DE-LOSNE

Swallows and Amazons. Wind in the Willows. Whatever your favourite waterside tale, it’ll come alive today with a whole day spent gently cruising along the canal. Simply sit back in luxurious surrounds and take in some of France’s most sublime wine country, relishing lunch in between. We arrive in Saint-Jean-de-Losne late in the afternoon – which is perfect timing as we have a reservation at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

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DAY 4 SAINT-JEAN-DE-LOSNE – DOLE

Waking on the water, we leave our barge moored alongside the riverboats lining the banks of Saint-Jean-de-Losne to saunter around its pretty streets. We soon discover its boating heritage and characteristic Saône Valley buildings. Then it’s onwards to Seurre, a nearby town that swells with historical charm. Lunch awaits back on MS Jeanine as we cruise to Dole, our afternoon destination. It’s an excellent spot for a bite to eat, so we have dinner together in a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

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DAY 5 DOLE – RANCHOT

Before setting sail once more, we take some time to explore Dole. The old town is heritagerich, topped off by the medieval and gothic medley that is the Collegiale-Notre-Dame. Its architecture is a sight to behold, as are the stained glass windows and 18th century organ. Back outside, we quickly understand how Dole got its nickname. With a hotchpotch of centuries-old houses set beside canals, it’s little wonder this town is known as Little Venice. It was also home to Louis Pasteur, with a museum dedicated to his work in his childhood house. Lunch brings us back to our barge, then it’s off to Ranchot. But you don’t have to cruise the whole way. With bicycles on board for our exclusive use, you could swap the decks for dry land and ride alongside the canal on the bike path. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dinner tonight will be served on MS Jeanine. (B, L, D)

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DAY 6 RANCHOT – BESANÇON

We’ve breakfast, lunch and dinner on board again today. There’s a leisurely morning in store first as we cruise further along the Canal de Bourgogne. After lunch, we depart for Besançon where a visit to the citadel is in store. This 17th century UNESCO World Heritage Site is an impressive fortress that rises up over the old town, promising incredible views from the ramparts. We may be able to make out the one-of-a-kind astronomical clock that shows sunrise, sunset and even tides. There are three museums within the site itself too, giving us plenty of food for thought. That brings us to our final evening on the water, and what better way to celebratethan with a gala evening dinner. (B, L, D)

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DAY 7 BESANÇON – PALACE OF FONTAINEBLEAU – PARIS

After a hearty breakfast leaves us shipshape, we bid farewell to MS Jeanine and look forward to our last treat. And it’s a real cherry-on-the-cake trip. On the road to Paris, we stop at Fontainebleau – the palace of palaces. A masterpiece of gilded, twinkling chandeliers and some of the most extravagant décor this side of the capital, it has played host to some of the world’s finest art – not to mention historical figures. We’ll marvel at the opulent Imperial Theatre and Marie Antoinette’s boudoirs, pause in the chapels and promenade along the lavish galleries, and see the apartments of Louis XVI to Napoleon. It’s a showstopping end to our Gallic adventure. (B)

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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 1 review
July 30, 2016

The hotel is clean, convenient and friendly

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