Simply fabulous: high style cruising in Burgundy
Finesse: the name says it all. She is the perfect vessel on which to meander through the lush undulating countryside of southern Burgundy. Enjoy the double pleasure of winding canal and wide peaceful river as you travel through this world-famous region of France.
A 2016 purpose-built double-decker hotel barge for 8 lucky guests Finesse ensures that you relax in absolute comfort – in your suite, in the salon or on the sunny deck; she sets a spectacular standard for contemporary design in luxury cruising, with oodles of space in 265 sq ft cabins.
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 Finesse :: Key Features
- Grand Luxe class (5*)
- Saône river and Canal du Centre, southern Burgundy
- Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, March to October
- 8 guests / 4 double or twin cabins with en-suite bathrooms
- Individually controlled air-conditioning and heating throughout
- Full board, on-board dining
- Sun deck with Dimension One hot tub
- 8 adult-size 5 gear folding bikes and cycle helmets
- Wifi (limited in some places)
- Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions
Hotel Barge Finesse Cruise Highlights
- Tour of historic Dijon and its wonderful markets
- Visit to 14th century Château de Germolles
- Tour and tasting of fine wines at 17th century Château de Chamirey in Mercurey
- Gastronomic lunch ashore at a Michelin-starred restaurant
- Visit to Beaune, including Hôtel Dieu Hospice
- Tour of ancient Autun and its 12th century cathedral
- Excellent opportunities for walking and cycling
Hotel Barge Finesse is owned and operated by Roger and Louisa Gronow. Between them they have 20 years experience of working aboard various hotels barges and now provide the 5* service for which they are renowned, aboard Finesse and her sister ship, Enchanté on the Canal du Midi.
Read about Finesse’s first adventure on her Burgundy cruise route here.
Transfers to and from Dijon, all meals and drinks on board, excursion fees tour guide and transport
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)
Hotel Barge Finesse: Classic Cruise
St-Jean-de-Losne to St-Julien-sur-Dheune
Classic Cruise on the Saône river and Canal du Centre, Burgundy
Sunday, Day 1 Arrival
Guests are met in Dijon and transferred by air-conditioned minibus to Finesse moored in St Jean de Losne. First, a Champagne welcome, meet the crew and settle in, and then time to wander along the quay-sides before dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 St-Jean-de-Losne to Fragnes
Cruise the peaceful River Saône, passing delightful river ports such as Seurre and Verdun-sur-le-Doubs before joining the Canal du Centre at Chalon-sur-Saône to arrive at the mooring in Fragnes. After lunch on board, a visit to the 14th century Château de Germolles, the best preserved of the residences of the Dukes of Burgundy, with its ducal chapel, medieval wall paintings and romantic gardens. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Fragnes to Rully
This morning, take a walking tour of old Dijon, including the vivid flower and produce markets, mustard shops and the impressive Notre-Dame de Dijon, or enjoy some excellent shopping time. Return to Finesse for lunch and a leisurely afternoon cruise to the mooring near the village of Rully. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Rully to Remigny
After breakfast, a drive through the Côte de Beaune vineyards to the town of Beaune itself, capital of Burgundy wine country; visit the fascinating 15th century Hôtel-Dieu Hospice and explore the quaint shops of the town, before enjoying a gastronomic lunch at Michelin-starred restaurant Le Montrachet. After lunch, return to the barge for an afternoon cruise to Remigny, passing the charming little town of Chagny. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Remigny to St-Léger-sur-Dheune
Cruise past the famous wine-producing village of Santenay, with perfect opportunities to walk or cycle along the towpath en route before mooring at the pretty port of St-Léger-sur-Dheune. After lunch on board, a winery tour and private tasting to the delightful 17th century Château de Chamirey in Mercurey, owned by the Devillard family for five generations. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 St-Léger-sur-Dheune to St-Julien-sur-Dheune
Continue the cruise along the Canal du Centre through undulating countryside to moor at the village of St-Julien-sur-Dheune. Whilst ascending a series of locks there are plenty of opportunities to disembark and explore other villages along the way. After lunch, a visit to Autun, a town of ancient origins with Roman gates and a 17,000 seat amphitheatre. The 12th century cathedral is also renowned for its architecture and its position on the pilgrims’ route from Vezelay to Santiago de Compestela in Spain. Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Departure
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Dijon.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Hotel Barge Finesse cruises through Southern Burgundy
Barge Cruising – The Saone and South Burgundy
River Saone – Canal du Centre – Doubs/Canal Rhone-Rhine
The Saone is one of the most attractive rivers in France: wide, sleepy and unhurried, it wends its way from the mountains of the Vosges to the Rhone, linking up with the Burgundy Canal, the River Doubs and the Rhone au Rhine Canal and passing through delightful countryside replete with wildlife – herons, kites and the pale Charolais cattle that come down to the waterside to drink. Macon offers an ideal base for discovering the Beaujolais – a rolling crest of hills famous for the production of light red wine, or if you prefer fuller Burgundy reds then a rendezvous at Clos Vougeot will provide ample opportunity for tasting. Beaune is another major centre for viticulture and the town’s ancient hospital with its dazzling glazed tiled roof is an unmissable attraction.
Formerly an outpost on the border between the historic kingdoms of France and Burgundy, Verdun sur le Doubs is now better known for the delicious stew made from locally caught river fish – Pochouse. Also on the River Doubs, Dole retains much of its medieval character and Besancon, with its spectacular citadel designed by the French military architect Vaubun, is worth the journey further upstream.
Fans of photography will be keen to visit Chalon-sur-Saone, the home of Nicéphore Niepce and thus regarded as the birthplace of this popular art form: the colourful Sunday market offers perfect opportunities for taking vivid holiday snaps.
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris or Dijon hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and there are European-flight airports at Dole and Lyon. There are also TGV express train stations at Dijon, near Dole, Macon, Le Cruesot (near Montchanin) and Lyon; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.
– [below] In the region: Besancon, Dole, Verdun sur le Doubs, Chalon-sur-Saone, Macon, Clos Vougeot, Beaune, Germolles –
Hotel Barge Finesse: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 128ft (39m) x 16ft 6″ (5.03m)
- 4 x suites of 265ft² (24.6m² )
- The bathrooms are 58.13ft² (5.4m²), included in the suite sizes above
- All suites can be configured with 2 single beds or a double.
- All cabins have heating and air conditioning
- New sofa in each cabin for 2017 season
- Lounging area and two sun-loungers on deck
- Professional English-speaking crew of 5 – Captain, tour director, chef,
housekeeper and hostess
Other items on board Finesse:
- A small library of books and maps
- A collection of board games
- Computer with 3G internet connection
- Sound system iPod / MP3 / CD player
- 9-seater (including driver) silver-grey Volkswagon Transporter Caravelle with 3 zone air-conditioning
Hotel Barge Finesse: Cuisine
All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef. Vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan dishes and non-allergenic dishes, can be served given at least 8 weeks notice prior to departure.
Breakfast: Usually continental with fresh breads, pastries, jams, fruit, cereals, yoghurts, freshly squeezed orange juice, teas and coffee. A hot option is usually offered from the galley.
Lunch: A casual three course affair comprising of a hot soup, or entrée, patés and cold meats accompanied by colourful salads, or a hot main course followed by delectable desserts. A selection of wines are served daily.
Dinner: Candlelit, harmonising food and good wines, followed by a selection of regional cheeses, coffee and liqueurs. Farewell Dinner on the last night; guests may choose to dress slightly formal.
Drinks included in the cruise price: Non-alcoholic beverages and regular or decaffeinated tea and coffee. 24 hr open bar serving beers, wines and spirits. Wines are served with meals; Champagne welcome on arrival.
Drinks not included in the cruise price: Some champagne and special vintage wines are not included although you may purchase bottles at cost price, if you let us know in advance how many of each you require. We do not recommend special ordering unless you are chartering the whole barge.
Tournedos of Charolais beef served with glazed carrots and asparagus, shallot tarte tatin and red wine sauce; Duo of pan-roasted and confit quail on wild mushroom and sautéed watercress with a cassis syrup; Montgolfier of Escargots with a garlic crème; Oeufs en Meurette served on toasted pain d’épices
Meursault; Pouilly-Fuissé; Nuits-St-Georges; Santenay; Chenas; Chablis; Gevrey-Chambertin; Sancerre
Chaource; Brillat-Savarin; Reblochon; Abondance
Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
March 18, 25
April 1, 8, 15, 22
July 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19
October 7, 14, 21
6 guest charter: 47,500 USD / 31,500 GBP / 39,600 EUR
7 guest charter: 49,000 USD / 32,500 GBP / 40,800 EUR
8 guest charter: 50,500 USD / 33,500 GBP / 42,000 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,750 USD / 4,490 GBP / 5,690 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,450 USD / 1,650 GBP / 2,050 EUR
Regular rate weeks:
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
6 guest charter: 54,000 USD / 36,500 GBP / 45,500 EUR
7 guest charter: 56,200 USD / 37,700 GBP / 47,000 EUR
8 guest charter: 58,400 USD / 38,900 GBP / 48,500 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 7,850 USD / 5,250 GBP / 6,550 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,850 USD / 1,900 GBP / 2,350 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.
So please, send us a Booking Enquiry form (click on the red tab above) or just pick up the phone and give us a call.
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.
– we also have expert colleagues in North America and Australia –