Accommodating up to 6 passengers
Grand Victoria is rated 6 star
Crew members : 6
Length 126′4″ ft (38.5 metres)
Width 16′7″ ft (5.05 metres)
Number of bicycles : 6
Up to 6 guests
Suites : 3
Spa or pool
Apple TVs with 40" screen
Films & vinyls; light laundry service
Click on any photo to begin the slide show, with photos of the barge and cruise program
After nearly 19 years as CEO inspecting boats and barges througout Europe, it's rare for a boat to take my breath away, but the Grand Victoria certainly did that on our maiden voyage in October.
What a fabulous boat: Bright, vibrant, rejuvenating and welcoming!
Originally built for a liquor magnate as a gift to his wife and designed to be able to cruise throughout Europe, the Grand Victoria is the perfect choice for river and canal cruising in style.
Accommodating just 6 guests, the boat is incredibly spacious throughout and was completely refitted in 2015 and converted from 4 cabins to 3 suites for the most relaxing of stays for families or groups of friends alike.
As you step aboard, you enter the stunning saloon. A modern, bright interior delights everyone. Owners Edward & Cindy clearly have an eye for design, and have created a fabulous area in which to relax and have fun. "La Joie de Vivre" just shines so brightly here!
Whether you prefer an easy chair or the dining area, it's time to sit back and be pampered.
The huge panaoramic one-way windows allow the light to flood in, and offer exceptional views without being viewed from envious passers by.
For the more curious guest, the chef will be happy to welcome you to his domain... perhaps you will pick up some useful tips in the galley. All meals are prepared on board using the finest, freshest ingredients each day. Rest assured, special dietary needs can be catered for.
Just a few steps down from the saloon, the vibrant tones of upstairs are left behind in the suites, each of which is a haven for relaxation. Muted tones and spa-inspired bathroooms complete with walk in rain showers, double vanity units, babysoft towels, plush robes and of course hair-dryers and complimentary toiletries invite you to switch off completely! For those that need to be connected, there are USB points for charging, and free internet and WiFi on board.
And so to sleep, perchance to dream...Each king-sized bed hosts the legendary Simmons Beautyrest Recharge Signature Select Hartfield Luxury mattress, 800-thread count sheets sets featuring luxe Egyptian cotton and both soft and firm king size pillows.
And of course, beds can be configured as twins if preferred.
The nightly turn-down service, air-conditioning/central heating, 40" Apple TV with extensive film library, in-room safe and complimentary laundy service complete the cocooning.
The invitation to well-being continues on the huge top deck, measuring 13 meters long.
Not one but four areas to relax in; take your pick.
Will you choose the comfy area with enveloping chairs to admire the view, or anjoy an evening sun-downer, complete with sunshade for the day & heaters for the evening? Or the separate dining area for alfresco meals...
and of course, hidden away from sight of the main deck, a warm jacuzzi spa pool awaits. Enjoy your bubbly in the bubbles!
You may also join the Captain in the wheelhouse to 'have a go' or simply admire the skill of piloting such a wonderful boat.
There is plenty of comfortable seating so enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine while you chat.
Oh the tales you'll hear!
When I asked owners Edward and Cindy what they consider to be their USP, they immediately spoke of the deck, and it is surely beautiful!
They may well be right, but having spent a few hours in their company, I would say the overall experience of a cruise aboard Grand Victoria with your hosts, discovering the wines, the history and culture of Burgundy, coupled with their enthusiasm, will leave you with the most incredible memories to treasure forever.
Paris to Gray, we begin with Champagne
Your Grand Victoria experience begins here! A private chauffeur meets our guests in Paris for the journey to Gray, where we board the boat for a Champagne welcome by the cheerful crew. Sit and relax on board while the crew install your luggage and take in the beautiful views. This evening, our chef will delight you with one of many incredible dinners to come.
Gray to Pontailler including a walking tour of the medieval town of Dole
We continue our culinary adventure with a fabulous breakfast! Breaking free from the traditional Continental, the chef awakens your palate and other senses with an array of delicious and nutritious choices including freshly baked croissants, fresh fruit platters, yoghurts, cappuccino, coffee or tea, but also a signature hot dish! Perhaps today will be almond French toast... Each breakfast will be a surprise.
Our cruise begins during breakfast and continues until lunchtime. Join your Captain in the wheelhouse, relax on the deck or enjoy a spot of cycling as we meander along one of the prettiest stretches of the petit Saône, between Gray and Pontailler.
After a delicious lunch on board, it's time to head to the medieval town of Dole, once the capital of Burgundy Franche Comté. Our walking tour takes us along the picturesque Tanneurs Canal, known locally as Petite Venice, and into the historic centre, listed as a conservation area.
Louis Pasteur, the physician responsible for the development of the rabies vaccine, was born here in 1822: We visit his birth house, now an informative museum, before exploring the Gothic architecture of the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, which towers above the Canal. Dating from 1509, the church has undergone considerable renovation to preserve its beauty.
Dole has a wonderful, friendly atmosphere which we'll savour over a drink in a local café, before returning to the Grand Victoria for happy hour.
Pontailler to Auxonne, market day with lunch in Dijon
A visit to Burgundy is not complete without exploring Dijon, the Capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. We begin our day with a walking tour of the historic centre including the marketplace with its stunning buildings, designed by Gustav Eiffel. Take time to admire the ironwork reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Now is the time to watch the locals at work sourcing the best fresh, locally grown produce. With so much variety, no wonder French food is so delicious!
Dijon is full of beautiful architecture; Our historical tour of the Ducal Palace, the Cathedral of Notre Dame with its stunning gargoyles, and a typically narrow, 15th-century shopping street leads to the Place du Bareuzai, where lunch in local bistro beckons.
After lunch, you can enjoy some free time to explore the area. There are many shops, galleries and boutiques. We'll reconvene at the world-famous mustard store, the Maison Maille founded in 1747, to enjoy a tasting.
We return to the Grand Victoria for an afternoon of cruising on the scenic River Saône to medieval Auxonne, where our superb mooring spot is just a short walk or cycle ride to the canal path should you fancy an early evening stroll. When admiring the ancient walls and streets, it is easy to imagine the life of Napoleon, who was garrisoned here as a young soldier.
Auxonne to Seurre: Visiting the Hospice de Beaune & wine tasting
Our day begins with an early cruise to Seurre. There is an excellent towpath as we cruise along, so you may like to take a bike or walk along to the next lock before hopping back aboard. After lunch at our Seurre mooring, a short drive takes us to the town of Beaune, famous not only for wine but also for one of France's most prestigious monuments, the Hospice de Beaune, founded in 1443 to care for the poor and most disadvantaged after the ravages of the 100 years war and plague. Behind the flamboyant Gothic architect and polychrome roofs, discover the lives of patients and nurses alike in the various rooms including the hospital dormitory, apothecary, pharmacy and kitchens. A real treat for art lovers is the chance to view the polyptych of the Last Judgement, painted by Rogier van der Weyden.
After such a step back, it's onwards to the famous Château de Pommard to discover the true taste of Burgundy appellations, viticulture and the wine-making tradition for which this area is renowned. Enjoy a gourmet experience offered by the Chateau, which will include pairing with local cheeses from the region.
A wine-tasting will prepare us for Happy Hour which begins this evening on board with a selection of vinyl albums for a spot of nostalgia while the chef prepares another masterpiece.
Seurre to Chalon-sur-Saône: Majestic Chateau Rully
Another red-letter day! After breakfast, there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the view from the spacious sundeck this morning as we cruise down the scenic Saône river to Chalon sur Saone, which was used as a port by the Roman Emperor Constanius II.
Lunch will be taken ashore in a local Michelin Star restaurant, before we continue our historically enlightening adventure with a tour of the majestic 12th century Chateâu de Rully, perched high in the vineyards, where fine Chardonnays are produced. This chateâu has been in the same family since the 12th-century and boasts all the features associated with designs through the ages: an encircling path, battlements, crenellations, merlons, loopholes, a dry ditch and drawbridge.
We return to our mooring at Chalon-sur-Saone for cocktails and dinner and invite you to explore this magical town with its ancient and modern quarters, home to the creator of photography, Nicéphore Niepce, born in the town in 1765.
Chalon sur Saône to Tournus: Wine tasting the famous Pouilly-Fuisse
After breakfast, we wave goodbye to Chalôn sur Saône and enjoy a morning cruise to the Roman town of Tournus, noted for art and history. Often warmed by the winds of the Mediterranean sea to the south, the area enjoys a great climate throughout much of the year which lends itself to wine production.
We will visit the early 11th century of St Philibert de Tournus, built in the Romanesque style, the main surviving structure of the ancient Benedictine Abbey.
After lunch onboard the Grand Victoria, we go for a wine-tasting at the prestigious Pouilly-Fuisse an appellation (AOC) for white wine in the Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy.
We return to the Grand Victoria for a fabulous evening: There's time to kick back with a cocktail and to look back over the week during our final dinner together.
Tournus to Paris: Champagne breakfast and departure
Our final morning together, and what better way to celebrate these last moments than a Champagne breakfast before you depart the Grand Victoria at 9 am. Your private chauffeur will drive you back to Paris.
|2020 USD rates||Regular||Value|
|Whole boat charter for 6||44900 USD||38900 USD|
|Whole boat charter for 5||42900 USD||37900 USD|
|Whole boat charter for 4||40900 USD||34900 USD|
|Suite per person, based on double occupancy||7900 USD||7900 USD|
|Single supplement||3100 USD||3100 USD|
The price for 2020 includes:
Accommodation with ensuite bathrooms
All meals, sommelier-selected premier and grand cru wines and alcoholic beverages carried on board
All sightseeing tours and admittance fees as stipulated in the itinerary
Use of bicycles and other facilities including light laundry service
A selection of Pinto and Chardonnay Grand Cru wines
Round-trip transfers from the specified meeting point in Paris in a new Mercedes Viano
Air transportation, airport taxes, visas, health or accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance
Special Chateaux vintage wines
Optional activities not included in the itinerary
10% crew gratuity
Value dates: April 26th; July 5th through to August 8th, 2020
Regular dates: May 3rd to July 4th; August 9th to October 25th, 2020