Enjoy luxury cruising life to the full on the Nivernais in Burgundy
L’Art de Vivre offers first-class cruising through the glorious countryside of northern Burgundy. Dotted with picturesque chateaux and pretty towns and villages amidst fertile fields and hillsides, the region mingles the events of history with all the culture and culinary delights of modern life.
With four spacious cabins for eight guests, a bright and airy salon, plus a sun-deck and a spa pool, L’Art de Vivre helps you discover the delights of fine dining and the luxurious art of living afloat – all in the beautiful surroundings of the Nivernais canal, one of the prettiest in France.
Style: The 'nature' of the hotel barge. Outline subjective guidance as to the quality or comfort level that might be expected on board.
Price Band: Per person. Outline guidance only, on a relative or comparative basis. The bands do not represent accurate low or high season rates.
Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre :: Key Features
- Premier class (3*)
- Canal de Nivernais, northern Burgundy
- Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, April to October
- 8 guests / 4 suites of 100 sq ft including ensuite bathroom
- Individually controlled air conditioning and heating
- Queen double or twin bed configuration
- Full board, on-board dining
- Spacious sun deck with spa pool
- 8 all-terrain bicycles
- Wifi (limited in some places)
- Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions
Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre: Cruise Highlights in Burgundy
- Explore enchanting Auxerre and its magnificent cathedral
- Wine tasting of Chablis and Petit Chablis in the cellars of a renowned Domaine
- Tour Noyers-sur-Serein, one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy
- Visit the picturesque village of Vezelay and its hilltop basilica
- Visit elegant Château de Bazoches
- Optional hot air ballooning
- Excellent towpath for walking and cycling
6 nights accommodation; transfers to and from Paris, all meals and drinks on board, excursion fees and associated transport
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (suggested 5-10% of the fee)
Hotel Barge L’art de Vivre: Classic Cruise in Upper Burgundy
Auxerre to Chevroches, Canal de Nivernais
Sunday, Day 1 Auxerre
Guests are met at the Hotel Westminster in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to L’Art de Vivre. Following a champagne welcome, stroll into the medieval town of Auxerre, or along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Auxerre to Vincelles
Cruise through some delightful locks and past vineyard-clad hillsides to a rural mooring at Vincelles. The afternoon excursion is to Chablis, home of one of the most famous white wines in the world. A tasting in one of the town’s aged cellars to discover some of the local Petit Chablis and Chablis wines. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Vincelles to Mailly-la-Ville
After breakfast, a guided tour of Auxerre, its Renaissance houses, fine churches and particularly its magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. We then return to the hotel barge for a cruise southwards through rich pasturelands and past grazing Charolais cattle to the village of Mailly-la-Ville. After lunch on board, an opportunity to enjoy a walk or bicycle ride along the towpath. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Mailly-la-Ville to Le Saussois
Visit the charming 14th century medieval market village of Noyers-sur-Surein, one of the most beautiful villages in France, on an excursion through delightful countryside. In the afternoon, cruise past the cliffs at Le Saussois, a stunning natural setting with an international climbing centre. A chance to walks or cycle ride along the towpath before dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Thursday, Day 5 Le Saussois to Lucy-sur-Yonne
Enjoy an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, craft shops and fine views of the surrounding countryside. After lunch on L’Art de Vivre, an afternoon cruise through the picturesque Yonne Valley to arrive at Lucy-sur-Yonne. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Lucy-sur-Yonne to Chevroches
A morning cruise through beautiful countryside takes to the final mooring at the canalside village of Chevroches and again this is a perfect time for a walk or a bicycle ride. In the afternoon, a visit the elegant Château de Bazoches, built in the 12th century and whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. The château was later remodelled by Maréchal Vauban and there are wonderful views from its elevated hillside setting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Chevroches
After breakfast, guests are transferred to the Hotel Westminster in Paris.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre cruises through Nivernais and Morvan, Central Burgundy
Barge Cruising – The Nivernais
Canal du Nivernais (north)
The Nivernais region is part of the modern department of Nievre and was originally a province centred around the town of Nevers in western Burgundy. It is most famous for its narrow squiggle of a canal – the Nivernais – which links the Loire and the Seine basins and crosses the remote and beautiful heathland forest of the Morvan. It was constructed in the 18th century to bring timber from the countryside to Paris and is one of the most characterful and unspoilt waterways in the whole country. It is often possible to buy local produce from some of the 110 locks along the way and many of them have exhibitions or beautifully planted gardens to ravish the eye.
Among the Nivernais’ natural wonders are the Rochers de Saussois, a towering limestone bluff that soars above the River Yonne which feeds the canal as it goes, while man-made highlights include the chateaux of Bazoches which was built in 1180 and has had forty owners including the brilliant military architect Vaubun; and Tanlay with its romantic moat and famous trompe l’oeil frescoes. Vezelay is the starting point for one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago di Compostella and it is easy to understand why pilgrims might be drawn to the pale and compelling beauty of the medieval abbey, particularly as it is said to house relics of Mary Magdalene.
Still on a religious theme, Auxerre is a historic city of such astounding loveliness that it boasts not just an 11th century cathedral, but a 12th century abbey too, and is where the unforgettable canal finally joins the river Yonne.
Hotel barges normally collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also TGV express train stations at Sens, Migennes, Montbard and Tours; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.
– [below] In the region: Auxerre, the Morvan, Noyers-sur-Serein, Saussois, the Canal du Nivernais, Tanlay, Vezelay, Bazoches –
Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 100ft (30.5m) x 16ft 6″ (5m)
- Four suites of approx 120 sq ft each, including bathrooms of approx 40 sq ft. Ceiling height of 6ft 5″
- All suites can have queen-size double or single bed configurations
- All cabins are centrally heated and have inverter air conditioning
- New hand-built banquette seating and bar area; new wood parquet flooring
- English and French speaking crew of 4 – captain/pilot, tour guide/ deckhand, chef, housekeeper
Other items on board:
- 6 person spa pool
- 8 bicycles
- A small library of books and maps
- A collection of board game
- Nordic walking sticks (on request)
- Hi-fi system with CD player. There is a selection of CDs on board and guests are welcome to bring their own from home.
- Guest iPods can be connected to the Hi-Fi system
Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre: Cuisine in Burgundy
All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). However, vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan dishes, and non-allergenic dishes, can be served given at least 8 weeks notice prior to your departure date.
Breakfast: Continental breakfast with fresh breads & pastries, freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot beverages.
Lunch: buffet style with salads, cold meats and regional cheeses, accompanied by a selection of quality wines.
Dinner: a candlelit four-course gourmet experience.
Captain’s farewell dinner is held on the last night. Guests may choose to dress slightly formal.
Your personal chef creates exciting menus, using the freshest locally grown produce, matched perfectly with a carefully chosen wine. You’ll be delighted by the range of delicious dishes served by candlelight, either in the saloon or under the stars.
Terrine de Pêcheur façon Maison; Tourte Chaude d’Escargots à la Ciboulette; Filet de Rouget au Safron
Domaine Ferrari, Irancy ‘Les Palottes’; Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils; Pouilly Fuissé; Domaine Borgnat; Coulanges la Vineuse
Brie; Maroilles; Pont L’Eveque; St Marcellin
Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
April 8, 15, 22
July 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19
October 7, 14, 21
6 guest charter: 31,300 USD / 20,900 GBP / 25,900 EUR
7 guest charter: 32,400 USD / 21,600 GBP / 26,700 EUR
8 guest charter: 33,500 USD / 22,300 GBP / 27,500 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Stateroom Double Cabin: 4,490 USD / 2,990 GBP / 3,960 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 1,700 USD / 1,150 GBP / 1,400 EUR
Regular rate weeks:
May 3, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
6 guest charter: 36,200 USD / 23,900 GBP / 30,200 EUR
7 guest charter: 37,500 USD / 24,700 GBP / 31,100 EUR
8 guest charter: 38,800 USD / 25,500 GBP / 32,000 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Stateroom Double Cabin: 5,250 USD / 3,450 GBP / 4,350 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 1,900 USD / 1,300 GBP / 1,600 EUR
All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us
We feature information about 50 wonderful hotel barges, of various sizes and price/style levels, more than 100 individual cruises to choose from every week of the season, in 8 regions across France. Some book flexibly by the cabin, others exclusively charter the entire hotel barge. Quite a choice!
Every one of our hotel barge information pages has been carefully crafted and written by us, from our own unique first hand-hand experience – but we also understand that there’s nothing like speaking to a friendly expert to help see the wood for the trees and make the best possible decision about the vacation cruise of a lifetime.
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We love France, we love the rivers and canals of France, we love hotel barging – and we love talking about all three!
+33 609 740 064 -or- +44 7590 287 178
We have been cruising and exploring France
aboard our own river boat since 2003.
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