St Julien-sur-Dheune to Seurre
Guests are met at either the central train station at Le Creusot or a local hotel in the afternoon and driven in the air-conditioned bus to join La Vie en Rose, moored in the peaceful, pretty village of St Julien-sur Dheune on the Canal du Centre.
A Champagne welcome is the perfect moment to relax while the crew welcomes you.
This evening we will chat about the week to come while enjoying dinner on board.
Saint Julien-sur-Dheune to Saint Leger-sur-Dheune
After a hearty breakfast, the adventure begins with a cruise to the village of Saint Leger-sur-Dheune. Take time to admire the views from the deck, or perhaps walk or cycle along to build up an appetite for lunch on board.
In the afternoon, the first step back in time awaits as we visit the famous Chateau de Couches. This "monument historique" dates from the 12th century and is known as the Chateau de Marguerite de Bourgogne, who was the Queen of France, married to Louis X.
The architecture of the chateau varies as the building was constructed between the end of the 11th century, with all work finally completed in the 19th century.
Our return journey takes us through the three villages of Marange for a wine tasting, of course!
This evening, you will dine in a local auberge serving regional dishes (not included in the cruise price)
Saint Leger-sur-Dheune to Santenay
Today begins with a leisurely cruise towards the village of Santenay, which will be our evening mooring. This wine-producing village is part of the prestigious world-famous Southern Cote de Beaune. Our excursion today takes us along the Route des Grands Crus, from Santenay to Pommard, where you can admire the beautiful landscape and vineyards, which have served this region for hundreds of years.
Lunch will be taken in 'Le Cellier Volnaysien', a local restaurant much appreciated by the locals. As we say in France, if the locals eat here, it must be good! (not included in the cruise price)
In the afternoon, we'll enjoy a fascinating tour of the 12-century Chateau de Rully with its owner. This chateau has been in the same family since its construction! We end the visit with a wine tasting in the old kitchens.
We return to La Vie en Rose, our minds full of sights from the day, to a restful evening and dinner aboard.
Santenay to Chagny
The day begins with a short cruise to Chagny, a small market town. After breakfast, we take the minibus for a trip to Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy and a place full of history and exceptional architecture. We'll begin at the colourful market which awakens the senses before moving on to the 15th-century Hospice de Beaune. In addition to the beautiful tiled roof, you will see the old hospital wards with 'tiny' beds by our modern standards, the relatively humble chapel, a pharmacy complete with medicines and the kitchens too, all of which are a testament to the hard lives lived within the walls of this charitable hospital.
It's time for lunch: The Captain recommends 'Le Conty', where you'll discover a range of tasty dishes in a cellar atmosphere. (not included in the cruise price)
The afternoon is the perfect time for wine tasting, and today we visit the Patriarche Cellars, which are the longest in Burgundy with the oldest history.
We will then return driving amid the vineyards to La Vie en Rose. Enjoy a peaceful aperitif on the deck before dinner is served on board.
Chagny to Fragnes
After our morning cruise to Fragnes, which is ideally situated for the discovery of the Cote Chalonnaise, we continue the wine and culinary exploration. To the south of the Cote de Beaune, the Cote Chalonnaise produces ruby-coloured red wine and delicate white wine too, from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Aligote grapes.
Family connections come into play today as, after lunch on board, we join an old acquaintance of the Captain for a private wine tasting at the Chateau de Chamirey in Mercurey. The Devillard family have grown wine here for four generations and take pride in their beautiful domain. This visit promises to be an enjoyable experience!
After the tasting, we may take a short drive to discover the magnificent views here: Cameras at the ready.
To round off this fabulous day, the Captain recommends you enjoy a gastronomic dinner at Lameloise, the only 3* rated restaurant in Burgundy. (not included in the cruise price)
Fragnes - Seurre
For our last full day together, we begin with an excursion to nearby Chalon-sur-Saone, an elegant market town dating from Roman times. Birthplace of photography, Chalon is a lively town, and today it's market day, with a variety of stalls selling local produce as well as a vast range of goods. Take time to watch how the french do their shopping, admire the colours, the scents, the sing-song of the French language around you, so see french life at it's best.
We return to La Vie en Rose for lunch on board, followed by a change as we leave the quiet Canal behind us to join the majestic River Saone for our final cruise to Seurre, a small town.
Our Captain's Farewell dinner begins with cocktails and canapes on the deck overlooking the river, a time to reminisce over the unforgettable week spent afloat aboard La Vie en Rose.
After an excellent breakfast to see you on your way, transfers to Le Creusot TGV railway station are provided in good time for your return to Paris.
Au revoir et à bientôt!