Hotel Barge: C’est la Vie

Simply superb: exquisite cruising, fine wining and dining

C’est la Vie offers a fabulous chance to float serenely through the French countryside and escape the demands of everyday life. Drift past infinite landscapes, famous vineyards, historic towns and pretty villages and reflect on times past and present. Savour the fine wines of Chablis and dine at La Cote St Jacques, one of the best 2* Michelin restaurants in France.

Eight guests can enjoy absolute luxury aboard C’est la Vie; with exquisite furnishings and decor, fascinating excursions and superb cuisine and wine cellar. And with four routes to choose from you can return to marvel at the beauty of France at different times of the year.

At a Glance

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 C’est La Vie :: Key Features

  • Grand Luxe (5*)
  • Canal de Bourgogne, Burgundy; Canal de Briare, Upper Loire
  • Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, Mid April to October
  • 8 guests / 4 suites, each over 220 sq ft, king size
  • Ensuite bathrooms
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating
  • Full board, on board dining
  • Sun deck with with dining table and loungers
  • 8 bicycles
  • Wifi throughout (limited in some countryside areas)
  • Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions

Hotel Barge C’est la Vie: Cruise Highlights

  • Tours of major cities, medieval towns and country villages
  • Visits to glorious chateaux, such as Ancy le Franc
  • See the heritage sites – Fontenay Abbey, Auxerre cathedral
  • Shop in the local markets; walk and cycle
  • Wine tastings at Chablis and Sancerre
  • Dine out at Michelin starred restaurant

olivier-deborah-megret-300x2237Your Hosts
Olivier and Deborah Megret own and operate C’est la Vie to exceptionally high standards. Oliver is a trained chef as well as captain, and grew up in Burgundy where his parents owned a restaurant (other members of the Megret family also combine cuisine with boating hospitality). Deborah brings her own professional experience to the mix, providing the highly successful combination that makes C’est la Vie one of the top hotel barges in France.

What’s included:
6 nights accommodation, transfers to and from Paris, all meals and drinks on board, excursion and tour guide fees and associated transport

Not included:
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)

Guest Comments:

“A wonderful vacation. We would recommend it to anyone who wants to spend a week of relaxation, luxury, gourmet food & wine.”

“There are no words to express how perfect this cruise on board the C’est la Vie has been, Thank you all.”

Hotel Barge C’est la Vie cruises in Burgundy and the Upper Loire

With three gorgeous cruises to choose from C’est la Vie provides guests with the opportunity to return again and extend their knowledge and enjoyment of this delightful region.

hotel barge burgundy c'est la vieThe Burgundy Cruise
Ravieres to St. Florentin, Canal de Bourgogne

Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Pick up at a designated hotel in Paris for transfer to C’est la Vie in Ravieres, just 2 hours 30 minutes in a luxury air-conditioned mini-bus. Welcome aboard with a traditional Champagne reception and settle in before the first of many gourmet dinners on board.

Day 2 Monday: Ravieres to Ancy le Franc
Morning cruise to the village of Ancy le Franc, with time to walk or cycle along the way. After a buffet lunch on board a visit to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, a 12th Century Unesco World Heritage site. Dinner on board.

Day 3 Tuesday: Ancy le Franc to Lezinnes
Vist the Renaissance chateau of Ancy le Franc and its 16th century wall paintings and frescos. Lunch on board, then an afternoon cruise to the small town of Lézinnes for an excursion to the town of Chablis and dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4 Wednesday: Lezinnes to Tanlay
Excursion to Noyer, a medieval town with cobbled streets, ramparts, half-timbered building and a local market. Lunch on board and then an afternoon cruise to Tanlay, with opportunities to walk or cycle alongside the barge. Dinner  on board.

Day 5 Thursday: Tanlay to Flogny la Chapelle
Cruise to Tonnerre, lunch on board, and then an afternoon visit to the town of Chablis, to taste the famous white wines of this region. Drive through the extensive hillside vineyards with stunning views. Dinner on board.

Day 6 Friday: Flogny la Chapelle to St Florentin
Cruise to St Florentin with lunch on board and then drive to Auxerre on the river Yonne. With buildings dating back to medieval times this is the ideal place to stroll along its narrow streets or just sit and relax with a coffee in one of its many cafés. Time to reflect on Napoleon, Joan of Arc or Charles VII who all passed through the town. Return to C’est La Vie for the Captain’s Dinner.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
Depart after breakfast at 09:00 for transfer to Paris

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Upper Loire to Burgundy Cruise
Montargis to Saint Florentin – Canal du Loing, rivers Seine and Yonne, and Canal de Bourgogne

hotel barge burgundy c'est la vieDinner ashore at Michelin 2* restaurant

Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Pick-up in Paris at 15:00 for private chauffeur to C’est la Vie moored at Montargis. A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the crew, before your first gourmet dinner aboard.

Day 2 Monday: Montargis to Nemours
Cruise to Nemours and after lunch an extensive excursion to the famous Chateau Fontainebleau. Built by Francois 1st in the 16th century, this castle has been home to many French kings and Napoleon. Return to C’est la Vie for cocktails and dinner.

Day 3 Tuesday: Nemours to Moret sur Loing
A morning cruise and lunch on board ; plenty of time to walk or cycle the towpath before arrival mid-afternoon. Tour of the town to discover the house of Alfred Sisley, a 19th century English painter; born in Paris, he also lived in Moret and painted landscapes of this area, as well as the river Thames and Hampton Court in England. Dinner aboard C’est la Vie.

Day 4 Wednesday: Moret sur Loing to Sens
Leave the canal and join the river Seine, and cruise upstream to join the river Yonne, and on to the city of Sens. After lunch on board, a walk around the town and visit one of the first great Gothic Cathedrals, named after Saint-Etienne, circa 1140. Return to C’est la Vie moored on the banks of the city for aperatifs and dinner.

Day 5 Thursday: Sens to Joigny
Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the banks of the Yonne and arrive at Joigny. After lunch on board, an excursion to the abbey of Pontigny, a 12th century gem. Return to the C’est la Vie with time to relax before dinner ashore at 2* Michelin restaurant, La Cote Saint Jacques.

Day 6 Friday: Joigny to St Florentin
Leave the Yonne river to join the Canal du Bourgogne at Laroche–Migennes, then drive to the town of Chablis, famous the world over for its white wines. After a private wine tasting, rejoin C’est la Vie for lunch and an afternoon cruise to St Florentin. Relax before the Captains’ dinner tonight.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
After breakfast, private chauffeur transfer back to Paris by noon.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

The Upper Loire Cruise
Sancerre to Montargis, Canal de Briare and Canal Latéral a la Loire

hotel barge loire c'est la vieDay 1 Sunday: Arrival
Pick up in Paris for private chauffered transfer to C’est la Vie, moored in the hamlet of Les Fouchards, 6 miles from Sancerre and close to Cosne sur Loire. A C’est la Vie Champagne welcome and meet the crew before a gourmet dinner aboard.

Day 2 Monday: Cruise to Beaulieu
Morning cruise to the village of Beaulieu and after lunch on board, a short drive through the vineyards to visit to the fortified town of Sancerre, and a private wine tasting of this famous Sauvignon Blanc.This hill top medieval site affords  panoramic views over the Loire river and the neighbouring vineyards of Pouilly Fumé. Return to C’est la Vie for dinner aboard.

Day 3 Tuesday: Cruise to Ouzouer-sur-Trézé
Cruise to the town of Ouzouer sur Trézée, crossing over the Loire river at via the famous Pont Canal, an aqueduct designed by Gustave Eiffel, started in 1890 and still in use. After lunch, a visit to the Château of St Fargeau, dating from the 10th century; built by the bishop of Auxerre it has undergone many additions and restorations over subsequent centuries.

Day 4 Wednesday: Cruise to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
Excursion to the town of Gien, famed for iconic French table ware, and a visit to the pottery itself. Lunch on board and then cruise to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluse with its 7 lock staircase, dating back to the reign of Henry IV. Now superceded, it was a major feat of engineering for its time. Returning to C’est la Vie for cocktails and dinner.

Day 5 Thursday: Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses to Montbouy
During the morning cruise there’s time to walk or cycle beside the barge towards Montbouy. After lunch, an excursion to the Château de Sully, a prime example of a 14th century fortress by the river Loire, having royal visitors such as Queen Anne of Austria (Louis XIV mother) and Cardinal Mazarin. Dinner on board.

Day 6 Friday: Montbouy to Montargis
Cruise to Montargis and after lunch on board explore the town. It is called ‘little Venice’ because of its many waterways and 131 bridges. It is also famed for its feudal castle, half-timbered buildings, shops, cafes and decorative flowers adorning window ledges, bridges and lamposts throughout the town, and – Pralines chocolates. Return to C’est la Vie for the Captain’s dinner.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
Depart after breakfast for chauffeured transfer back to Paris by lunchtime.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

The Champagne Cruise
Meaux to Sillery, Marne river and Canal Lateral à la Marne

Highlights :
hotel barge burgundy c'est la vie

  • Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte
  • WW1 battlefield and cemetery of Belleau-wood and the American monument
  • Visit the Moet & Chandon champagne house in Epernay
  • Hautvillers- the village of wine-making monk Dom Perignon,
  • Champagne visit to small family-run winery
  • Reims and its Gothic Cathedral
  • Restaurant: L’Assiette Champenoise in Reims (3 Michelin Stars)

Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Meet at 15:00 in the lobby of your Paris hotel for private chauffeur to C’est La Vie in the village of Meaux. After the traditional champagne welcome from Captain Olivier Mégret and the crew, unpack and take a stroll around town before enjoying the first of many gourmet dinners on board.

Day 2 Monday: Meaux to St. Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux
After a breakfast buffet featuring village-baked pastries still warm from the oven relax on deck while cruising on the River Marne towards St. Jean-les-Doux-Jumeaux. Lunch on deck and then a visit the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an enormous privately-owned property with grand gardens and an intriguing history. Built by Nicholas Fouquet, finance minister to Louis XIV, he ended up in jail for the rest of his life. Could Fouquet have been the man in the iron mask? Some people certainly think so. Dinner aboard.

Day 3 Tuesday: St. Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux to Chateau-Thierry
After another delicious breakfast, cruise to Chateau Thierry through a gorgeous landscape of villages, vineyards, pastures and forests. Lunch on board.
Afternoon excursion to nearby World War I sites. Belleau Wood was the scene of the second battle of the Marrne in spring 1918, which ended the last German offensive of World War I at a cost of 8,000 American troops killed, missing or wounded. Overlooking Chateau Thierry is the massive French-American Friendship Monument and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. Back on board for gourmet dinner.

Day 4 Wednesday: Chateau-Thierry to Damery
Morning cruise on the River Marne, through the scenery painted by the Impressionists. Vineyards, fields and farmhouses cling to distant hills, while villages and gardens line the river. After lunch on board take a short drive to visit champagne producer Moet & Chandon in Epernay, with a complex of historic buildings and a billion bottles of bubbly stored in eighteen miles of tunnels. Tour and then taste.
Next, visit Hautvillers, a pretty champagne village perched high over the vineyards. Tour the unassuming church of monk Dom Perignon, credited with inventing the champagne-producing process. Back to C’est La Vie in time cocktails and dinner.

Day 5 Thursday: Damery to Tours sur Marne
Leave the river Marne for the canal Lateral a la Marne, perfect time to put your walking shoes on or ride a bicycle along the tow path and accompany C’est la Vie to the next lock. After lunch on board, a visit to a family vineyard for the 2nd of your champagne tasting experiences. Return to the C’est La Vie to prepare for dinner at the 3 star Michelin restaurant the L’Assiette Champenoise.

Day 6 Friday: Tours sur Marne to Sillery
Cruise this morning through a small tunnel and up a flight of locks, with time to walk or cycle again. After lunch on board an excursion to Reims, an important Roman city, to visit the great Cathedral, larger than Notre Dame in Paris and where the many of the French kings were crowned. Visit the Archbishops palace, now a museum. Explore this vibrant city on foot, take a coffee in a street cafe and watch the world go by. Head back to C’est La Vie for the Captain’s Dinner which ends your cruise in style!

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
Depart after breakfast for chauffeured transfer back to Paris by lunchtime.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Hotel Barge C’est la Vie cruises through North Burgundy and the ‘Gatinais’ Loing Valley

Barge Cruising Region – North Burgundy

map burgundy yonne► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal de Bourgogne (North) – River Yonne

A hundred miles or so south east of Paris, North Burgundy is a region steeped in culture and history and is considered by some to be the gastronomic heart of France, with its Boeuf Bourguignon, its buttery garlicky snails and its Coq au Vin, not to mention its stunning Chablis wine.
Founded in 1163, Villeneuve sur Yonne is one of a number of well-defended towns so characteristic of the area, harking back to a past full of conflict that included the Hundred Years War: even small farms and village churches had their own fortifications and the effect today is one of ancient charm.

It is a land of castles and abbeys: the impressive renaissance chateau at Ancy le France and the chateau at Tanlay with its romantic moat and famous trompe l’oeil frescoes are both a testament to former wealth and power, while the influence of the medieval church is more than evident in the abbey at Vezelay, which is the starting point for one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago di Compostella. Constructed in limestone as pale as a watermark, it is said to house relics of Mary Magdalene. Fontenay Abbey was built by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The lives of more ordinary folk are evident in the beautiful half-timbered town of Noyers-sur-Serein with its characteristic medieval arcades, where walnuts and truffles were traded and enjoyed as a complement to the fine local wine.

Getting There
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 Dijon; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Villeneuve sur Yonne, Ancy-le-Franc, Fontenay, Chablis, Tanlay, Vezelay, Noyers-sur-Serein –yonne-villeneuve-500x300  ancy-lefranc-500x300  ancy-lefranc2-500x300

abbaye-fontenay-500x300  c-de-bourgogne-500x300  chablis-500x300

tanlay-500x300  vezelay-500x300  noyers-sur-serein-500x300

Ancy ©Thierry Gromik | Vezelay ©Adrian Fletcher | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Barge Cruising – Loing Valley, Briare and Loire

map loing briare loire burgundy► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal de Loing – Canal de Briare – Canal Loire Lateral

South of Paris, where the western part of Burgundy blurs prettily with the Loire Valley, a cruise along the Canal de Loing, the Canal de Briare and the Canal Loire Lateral reveals a number of hidden treasures in a landscape that inspired the painter Alfred Sisley. He memorably captured numerous aspects of the ancient town of Moret-sur-Loing, which has associations not just with Thomas à Becket, but with the Three Musketeers as well.

There are engineering feats to marvel at along the way– when the elegant aqueduct at Briare was constructed in the 1890s to cross the wide span of the River Loire, at 662 metres it was the longest in the world, while at Rogny you can see a flight of seven locks – the fact that they are no longer in use gives them an atmospheric quality full of echoes of the past, but also provides the chance to take in the detail of their construction

The wooded forests of the region attracted royal hunting parties from as early as the 12th century and the Palace of Fontainebleau originally served as a hunting lodge. Its medieval fortifications were given a glorious renaissance makeover in the 16th century and of all royal palaces it is the only one to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. It was where Napoleon abdicated from the throne before he was exiled to Elbe. Thousand year old castles are plentiful – Saint Fargeau and Sully-sur-Loire boast breathtaking examples. Equally charming is the ancient town of Montargis, which with its network of narrow canals and bridges invites comparisons to Venice.

Getting There
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: Rogny, Briare, Moret-sur-Loing (Alfred Sisley), Montargis, Fontainebleau, Fargeau, Sully –rogny-7-500x300  loing-500x300  briare-500x300

moret-sisley-500x300  sancerre-500x300  montargis3-500x300

fontainebleau-500x300  chat-fargeau-500x300  chat-sully-500x300

Rogny ©Quietude | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Hotel Barge C’est la Vie: Details and Facilities

Hotel Barge C'est la Vie Burgundy and Loire

  • Dimensions: 38.77 m (128ft) x 5.05 m (16ft)
  • 4 staterooms with king size or twin beds
    2 bedside tables with reading lamps, large double wardrobe, full length mirror, single wardrobe with shelves, chest of drawers, writing desk and chair, armchair, under bed storage
  • Safes and luggage racks in all cabins
  • Air conditioning unit/heater
  • 220v & 110v sockets
  • Professional English-speaking crew of 6 : captain, tour guide, chef, two hostesses, deckhand

Other items on board
Books and games
iPod docking station
CD player
Internet facilities

Hotel Barge C’est la Vie: Cuisine

Your cruise aboard C’est la Vie includes all meals from Sunday dinner to Saturday breakfast, and all wines and other beverages (alcoholic and soft drinks). All are created from the freshest local produce on board by C’est la Vie’s own chef, and served in style with a full explanation of the origins of the regional dishes and their ingredients.

Buffet of cereals, breads and pastries, cold meats, cheese, fresh fruit, yogurts, tea, coffee and juices.
Buffet of a variety of salads, a hot dish and a selection of cheeses, fruit, coffee and biscuits.
A four course meal: an entrée, main course, a selection of cheeses and then dessert and coffee.

Both lunch and dinner are served with white and red wines from the best wine producing regions of France.

C’est la Vie’s Wine cellar

An impressive collection of selected years and crus from the finest French vineyards served with exquisite dishes are part of the perfect mix in discovering the regions of Burgundy and the Upper Loire.

Hotel Barge C'est la Vie Burgundy and Loire
C’est la Vie serves wines and champagne only when they are at their very best and from its private cellar – offering the finest choice of any barge cruising on the French canals and rivers. Selected and exclusive Crus accompany your dishes and meals throughout the week. Here are some of them:

White Wines

  • Auxerrois 2012 Domaine de Flavigny Alésia (Auxerrois) Burgundy
  • Pouilly-Fuissé 2012 Domaine Vincent Girardin (Chardonnay) Burgundy
  • Sauvignon de St Bris 2012 Domaine Goisot (Sauvignon blanc) Burgundy
  • Château Princé 2012 (Chenin blanc) Loire valley
  • Pouilly-Fumé 2013 Domaine Henri Bourgeois (Sauvignon blanc) Loire valley
  • Rully 1er cru 2013 Domaine de Suremain (Chardonnay) Burgundy
  • Nuits St George 1er cru 2012 Domaine Patrice Rion (Chardonnay) Burgundy
  • Pernand Vergelesses 1er cru 2011 Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine (Chardonnay) Burgundy
  • Chablis Grand cru les clos 2012 Domaine Geoffroy (Chardonnay) Burgundy
  • Corton Charlemagne Grand cru 2011 Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine (Chardonnay) Burgundy
  • Champagne Goutorbe (Pinot noire & Chardonnay)
  • Rosé de Provence Château St Marguerite 2014 Cru classé (Syrah,Cinsault,Grenache,Mourvedre)

Red Wines

    • Clos Moleons prestige 2012 Château de Teste Gold medal in 2014 (Merlot) Bordeaux
    • Irancy Palotte 2011 Domaine Benoît Cantin (Pinot noir) Burgundy
    • Chinon 2011 Domaine de la Dozonnerie (Cabernet Franc) Loire Valley
    • Gatefer 2012 Gold Medal in 2014 (Syriah & Grenache) Pays d’Oc
    • St Joseph Le Grand Pompé 2012 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Ainé (Syrah) Rhone Valley
    • Nuits St George 1er cru 2008 Domaine Richard Manière (Pinot noir) Burgundy
    • Beaune 1er cru 2011 Les Tuvilains (Pinot noir) Burgundy
    • Vougeot 1er cru 2008 Domaine Patrice Rion (Pinot noir) Burgundy
    • Mercurey 1er Cru Prestige 2012 Vielle vigne des Combins Domaine Menand (pinot noir) Burgundy
    • Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru 2007 Domaine Patrice Rion (Pinot noir) Burgundy
    • Margaux, Château Dauzac Grand cru classé 2008 (Merlot,Cabernet Sauvignon) Bordeaux
    • Corton Bressande Grand cru 2011 Domain Dubreuil-Fontaine (Pinot noir) Burgundy

^ click to enlarge images and open gallery ^

Hotel Barge C’est la Vie – 2018 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Value rate weeks:

April 15, 22, 29
May 6, 13
July 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12
October 14, 21

6 guest charter: 46,800 USD
7 guest charter: 49,000 USD
8 guest charter: 51,200 USD

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,695 USD per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 3,695 USD

Regular rate weeks:

May 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
August 19, 26
July 1
August 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
October 7

6 guest charter: 51,960 USD
7 guest charter: 53,900 USD
8 guest charter: 55,960 USD

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,995 USD per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 4,995 USD

All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us

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