Step aboard a comfortable canal barge, a floating country inn where you enjoy gourmet food and wine every day while only having to unpack once. Relax on deck as the lovely scenery flows by, or borrow a bicycle for a serene pedal along the towpath. Thanks to our European partners and extensive local connections, we can provide a truly comprehensive journey, with pre- and post-cruise stays in some of Europe's greatest cities and all transportation arranged for you.
The stylish canal barges we select each ply their own distinct routes through Europe's most popular cruising regions: Burgundy & the Upper Loire; Provence and the South of France; Alsace, Champagne & the Moselle; Ireland, Scotland & England; and Holland.
Beautiful 'L'Impressionniste' floats through the wine country of central Burgundy, cruising a tranquil stretch of the Canal de Bourgogne between Fleurey-sur-Ouche and Escommes. Along the way, you stop in Dijon to stroll the market, in Clos de Vougeot to sample award-winning wines and in Beaune to visit the 14th-century Hôtel-Dieu.
126 feet long, 16.5 feet wide with air conditioning throughout
Capacity for 12 in 1 double junior suite, 1 double/twin junior suite, 2 double/twin cabins and 2 twin cabins, each outward facing with en suite bathroom
Split sun deck, partially shaded for al fresco dining, with spa tub
DAY 1 SUNDAY Meet in Paris and transfer to ‘L’Impressionniste,’ moored in Fleury-sur-Ouche. A welcome reception awaits before dinner on board. 'L'Impressionniste' | Meals: Dinner
DAY 2 MONDAY This morning, cruise along the enchanting canal with opportunities for walking or cycling along the towpath. After lunch, visit Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of the esteemed Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, whose annual awards are prized by local Côte d’Or wineries. After a wine tasting, rejoin the barge at Sainte-Marie-sur-Ouche. 'L'Impressionniste' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3 TUESDAY Journey to Dijon on market day for a walking tour that includes the flamboyant Gothic-style Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, begun in the 14th century. Then set out on a leisurely afternoon cruise along the picturesque canal to La Bussière. 'L'Impressionniste' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4 WEDNESDAY This morning, visit the renowned vineyards of Bouchard Père & Fils for a tour of the cellars and a private tasting. Enjoy lunch ashore at the orangerie of Château de Beaune, owned by the winery since 1820. Then, visit the fascinating Hôtel-Dieu, a charity hospital dating from the 15th century, with time to explore the quaint shops of Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. 'L'Impressionniste' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5 THURSDAY Pass grazing white Charolais cattle on the morning cruise to Vandenesse-en-Auxois. After lunch, drive to Châteauneuf-en-Auxois to explore the medieval village with its hilltop castle and craft shops. 'L'Impressionniste' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6 FRIDAY Cruise to the canal summit today, 1,250 feet above sea level. At mid-afternoon, visit historic Château de Commarin, which has been owned by the same family for 26 generations. Return to the barge at Escommes and gather with fellow travellers for a gala farewell dinner this evening. 'L'Impressionniste' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 SATURDAY Disembark after breakfast and return to Paris, where your program ends. Route runs in reverse on alternate weeks and may differ on selected cruise dates.
Live graciously on 'Belmond Hirondelle' as you discover the essence of the Champagne region. Visit historic Reims, the centuries-old place of French coronations. Explore the sobering sites of World War I. Visit a fromagerie to sample delicious local cheese in the charming medieval town of Chézy-sur-Marne. And — of course! — tour Épernay with exclusive tastings of its most famous effervescent wines. Return to your cozy barge each evening for a gourmet dinner and perhaps a nightcap under the stars.
128 feet long and 16.5 feet wide with air conditioning throughout
Capacity for 8 guests in 2 double/twin cabins, 1 double cabin and 1 twin cabin, each outward facing with en suite bathroom
Sun deck, partially shaded for al fresco dining
DAY 1: SUNDAY Meet in Paris for a Private Driver Transfer to ‘Belmond Hirondelle,’ moored in Châlons-enChampagne. Enjoy a welcome reception as your crew welcomes you. Later that evening, enjoy a sumptuous gourmet dinner on board. 'Belmond Hirondelle' | Meals: Dinner
DAY 2: MONDAY This morning, tour Châlons-en-Champagne, visiting its gothic cathedral and the Cloister Museum at Notre-Dame-en-Vaux with its remarkable statuary. Return to the barge for lunch and an afternoon cruise, visiting a local family-run Champagne house for a tasting en route. 'Belmond Hirondelle' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3: TUESDAY Enjoy a relaxing cruise this morning, followed by an excursion to the historic city of Reims, an important center of Champagne production. Visit the Cathedral, where some 34 French kings were crowned, and the Musée des Beaux Arts. Return to the barge for a late afternoon cruise with cocktails on deck, followed by another gourmet dinner. 'Belmond Hirondelle' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 4: WEDNESDAY Visit Épernay to wander its Avenue de Champagne, an elegant street lined with pretigious houses and charming courtyards. Stop at Moét & Chandon for an exclusive tasting with lunch ashore at the celebrated restaurant, La Briqueterie. Back on board 'Belmond Hirondelle,' unwind during the afternoon cruise to Courcelles, the overnight mooring. 'Belmond Hirondelle' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5: THURSDAY Relax this morning as your barge cruises in style through scenic landscapes with opportunities to walk or cycle along the towpath lining the canal. After lunch on board, drive to the picturesque abbey in Hautvillers with its spectacular views over the local vineyards. It is here that Dom Pérignon, the Benedictine monk credited with inventing Champagne, is buried. Continue to the house of Champagne J. De Telmont for a unique and fascinating oenological workshop. 'Belmond Hirondelle' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6: FRIDAY Cruise at leisure to Château-Thierry for a picturesque drive to Belleau Wood, site of a famous World War I battle where American troops halted the German army's progression. Also visit Aisne-Marne Cemetery to view the graves of 2,288 American soldiers buried there. Then continue to the enchanting medieval town of Chézy-sur-Marne for a taste of the famous Brie de Meaux at a local fromagerie. Back on board the barge, your chef has prepared your gala farewell dinner, a fitting close to your wonderful week of cruising. 'Belmond Hirondelle' | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7: SATURDAY After breakfast, a Private Driver Transfer to Paris marks the end of your journey. Route runs in reverse on alternate weeks and may differ on selected cruise dates.