Crème de la crème for the discerning traveller in Burgundy

Although cruising deep within Burgundy’s lush landscapes and ancient canals, Grand Cru’s modern design provides the clean lines and open spaces of contemporary living. Four generous and beautifully appointed staterooms and its social areas offer relaxed and luxurious cruising comfort, whilst more active passengers are encouraged to explore the route’s charming canal side villages by bicycle or on foot.

Grand Cru features the ‘best of Burgundy’s best’, in local cuisine, wines and liqueurs, excursions to châteaux and gourmet food markets, and guided tours in the towns of Dijon and Beaune.

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 Grand Cru :: Key Features

  • Supreme class (6*)
  • Rivers Doubs and Saône, southern Burgundy
  • Charter bookings only, 6 nights, 7 days, April to October
  • Golf Cruise
  • 8 guests / 4 double or twin staterooms with vanity rooms and ensuite bathrooms
  • Air conditioning and heating throughout
  • Full board, on-board dining
  • Sun deck with dining area, loungers and hot tub
  • 8 adult-size bicycles
  • Wifi (limited in some places)
  • Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions

Hotel Barge Grand Cru: Cruise Highlights

  • Delightful river cruising between Pontailler-sur-Saône and Saint Léger sur Dheune, river Saône
  • Walking tour of Dijon; the covered market of Les Halles and boutique shops
  • Route des Grands Crus Burgundy vineyards tour with Clos de Vougeot wine tasting
  • 3 star Michelin lunch at Maison Lameloise
  • Expore Beaune, centre of the Cote d’Or wines
  • Walk and cycle alongside Grand Cru

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy french waterways

Your hosts:
Grand Cru is the latest in hotel barge innovations from Spencer and Rejane Hayes and Earl and Candy Robertson. Both couples have years of experience in operating the hotel barges Rendez-Vous and Prospérité and bring their priceless experience to bear in the selection of top class crew and the flawless running of Grand Cru barge.

What’s included:
6 nights accommodation; transfers by private chauffeured minibus to and from the meeting point in Paris; all meals and drinks on board; guided excursions, fees and associated transport

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

Hotel Barge Grand Cru: cruises between Pontailler-sur-Saône to St Léger sur Dheune in southern Burgundy

Day 1 Sunday – Arrival

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy

Meet in Paris, Dijon or Geneva for private chauffeured transfer to Grand Cru, moored in the town of Pontailler-sur-Saône. Time for a traditional champagne welcome and introduction to all the crew, before settling in and your first gourmet dinner aboard. Enjoy a glass of Grand Cru Burgundy wine after dinner and perhaps a dip in the hot tub under the stars.

Day 2 Monday – Pontailler to St Jean de Losne

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy Dole

This morning, your Tour Guide presents an insider’s visit to Chateau d’Arcelot, the first neo-classical castle in Burgundy, where you will be welcomed by the castle’s owner, Madame la Comtesse de Loisy. Freshly made ginger-breads and cakes, and a cocktail will be served after your tour. Then, return to Grand Cru for an afternoon cruise, admiring the rustic scenery gliding by. Relax on deck with a glass of wine and a good book or explore the towpath on foot or by bicycle. Tonight, enjoy socialising over cocktails and canapés before Chef serves a grand dinner.

Day 3 Tuesday – St Jean de Losne to Verdun sur le Doubs

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy beaune

The journey continues with another cruise through pastoral countryside. Upon mooring, your Tour Guide escorts you to the charming town of Beaune, the region’s wine capital, for a guided visit to the Hospice de Beaune, a preserved Medieval hospital built in the 15th century, and still in use through the 1970s. Afterwards, browse the shops and galleries lining the pedestrian area, or enjoy a coffee in the town square. Return to Grand Cru and explore the tow-path’s flora and fauna by bicycle or on foot before Chef presents tonight’s dinner.

Day 4 Wednesday – Verdun sur le Doubs to Fragnes

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Chalons Burgundy Saone

Relax in the hot tub, or explore the towpath as a lazy morning cruise reveals the bucolic countryside. This afternoon, your tour guide chauffeurs you to the historic riverside town of Chalon-sur-Saône, where the bustling Place Saint-Vincent is lined with boutiques, galleries, and cafes. Awaken your senses during a visit to an artisanal chocolate shop and watch the chocolatiers master their craft. Sample and savour the creative and premium chocolates before returning to the barge where canapés and cocktails await, followed by another gourmet dinner.

Day 5 Thursday – Fragnes to Rully

Today’s adventures begin with a morning cruise towards Chagny, the home of Michelin 3* rated Maison Lameloise. A highlight of the Grand Cru’s gastronomy, luncheon is enjoyed ashore in this luxurious venue, recently voted by discerning diners as one of the best restaurants in the world. Then, your tour guide accompanies you to the prestigious vineyards of the Chateau de Chassagne Montrachet for a private tasting of their boutique wines. Back on board, sip craft cocktails and socialise before Chef presents tonight’s dinner.

Day 6 Friday – Rully to Saint Léger sur Dheune

Hotel barge grand cru burgundy france

Experience your last cruise this morning with a cup of coffee on deck while soaking in the ambience of the tranquil countryside. This afternoon, your tour guide escorts you to the hilltop fortress of Château de la Rochepot, where turrets galore and a rooftop covered with colourful Burgundian tiles beckon for a closer exploration. Destroyed in the French Revolution, the château was restored to its former glory in the late 19th century. Return to Grand Cru in time for cocktails, and then finish your cruise in style at the Captain’s Dinner.

Day 7 Saturday – Departure

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy french-waterways

After breakfast, chauffeured transport to the designated drop off point in Paris, Dijon or Geneva.

Please note: This route is subject to change and runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Hotel Barge Grand Cru GOLF CRUISE: between Dole on the river Doubs to St Léger sur Dheune on the river Saône in southern Burgundy

Hotel barge grand cru burgundy golf

SUNDAY: Private Chauffeured Transfer to the Barge
Travel: Arrival at Dole Meals: Dinner on board
In the afternoon, you will be met by a crew member of the Grand Cru at one location of the group’s choice in either Paris, Dijon or Geneva. From here, relax as you are chauffeured to the barge, moored in the delightful town of Dole. A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the crew awaits you, before your first gourmet dinner aboard. Perhaps enjoy a glass of Grand Cru wine after dinner while lounging under the stars in the hot tub.

MONDAY: Wine-tasting and Golf at Val D’Amour
Travel: Dole to St. Jean de Losne Meals: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner on board

Hotel barge Grand Cru Burgundy

A morning cruise is the perfect time to explore by bicycle or on foot. After lunch, golfers play 9 holes at Val D’Amour, with its unique setting at the confluence of two rivers. The non-golfers visit Clos de Vougeot, where Cistercian monks made wine in the 12th century. The ancient Clos now serves as the headquarters of the revered wine society Chevaliers du Tastevin. Explore the presses from which these iconic wines were first produced; a tasting of local vintages follows. Everyone is reunited on board for cocktails and dinner.

TUESDAY: Destination Dijon
Travel: St. Jean de Losne to Verdun sur le Doubs Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board.

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Dijon Burgundy

The town of Dijon offers a pleasurable assault of the senses. ‘Les Halles’, the covered food market, presents colourful produce; jars of mustard are displayed in boutiques; and public spaces beckon with greenery and scenery. Shop, sip and stroll through this charming town brimming with authentic French life. Your tour guide returns you to the barge in time for a relaxing afternoon of cocktails and cruising. Complete the day with a gourmet dinner — paired, of course, with Grand Cru wines.

WEDNESDAY: Medieval Fortress + Michelin 3-star Lunch!
Travel: Verdun sur le Doubs to Fragnes Breakfast & dinner on board, lunch ashore

Hotel barge Grand Cru Burgundy France

A leisurely cruise begins the day. Upon arrival, you are escorted to the Château de Rully, a preserved medieval fortress. Complete the tour with samples of the estate’s boutique wines. Then it is on to a special lunch ashore at Lameloise, a Michelin 3-star rated restaurant, recently voted as one of the world’s best. Return to the barge and enjoy an afternoon cycling, walking, or lazing in the hot tub. Tonight, Chef serves another gourmet dinner.

THURSDAY: Best of Beaune and Golf de Levernois Beaune
Travel: Fragnes to Chagny Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner aboard

Hotel barge grand cru burgundy golf

Enjoy a scenic cruise this morning to our beautiful riverside mooring. After lunch, the golfers will head to Golf de Levernois Beaune for an 18-hole round in the heart of the wine country. The non-golfers will explore the charming town of Beaune, the region’s wine capital, for a guided visit to the Hospice de Beaune, a preserved Medieval hospital built in the 15th century. Afterwards, browse the shops and galleries in the pedestrian area, or enjoy a coffee in the town square. Everyone returns to Grand Cru for another gourmet dinner on board.

FRIDAY: Vines and Wines, Golf at Chateau D’Avoise Montchanin
Travel: Chagny to St. Leger-sur-Dheune Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner aboard

Hotel barge Grand Cru Burgundy France

Relax on the deck with a cup of coffee during this morning’s final cruise or traverse the towpath by bicycle or on foot. After lunch, golfers will enjoy an 18-hole round at Château D’Avoise, set in a pristine landscape of greenery and lakes. Meanwhile, the non-golfers have a private wine tasting at Chassagne Montrachet and Puligny Montrachet, which are among the most recognised and prestigious appellations in Burgundy. Back on board, enjoy canapes, Grand Cru wines, and a celebratory Captain’s Dinner, culminating the cruise in style.

SATURDAY: Departure
Travel: Departure from St. Leger-sur-Dheune.

Please note: Tee times will be pre-booked and transfers between the barge and the courses provided. Golfers will pay directly to the courses for greens fees, club rental, and golf cart rental, as well as all personal expenses incurred.

This is a sample itinerary which may change depending on the availability of the individual courses and will run in the opposite direction every other week.

Hotel Barge Grand Cru cruises through Southern Burgundy

Barge Cruising – The Saone and South Burgundy

map saone burgundy► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

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.

Getting There
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 –

besancon-500x300  dole-500x300  verdun-doubs-500x300

chalon2-500x300  saone-500x300  macon-500x300

clos-vougeot-500x300  beaune-museum2-500x300  chat-germolles2-500x300

Besancon ©M Akpovi | Dole ©sosni | Verdun ©B Bonin | Chalon ©M Chanaud | Clos ©markjone | Beaune ©Michael Evans | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Hotel Barge Grand Cru: Details and Facilities

Hotel barge Grand Cru Burgundy

  • Dimensions: 128 ft (39m) long x 16 ft (4.9m) wide
  • Four cabins with ensuite bathroom, each 260 sq ft with 6’8″ ceiling height
  • Choice of King size bed or two oversized twin beds
  • Individually controlled AC and heating
  • Shower and separate tub in bathroom, with heated floor and towel rack, bathrobes
  • Vanity dressing area
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Safe
  • IPhone/Ipad/Ipod chargers

Other items on board Grand Cru:

  • Professional English-speaking crew of 6 – captain, tour guide, chef, matelot, and 2 hostesses
  • 6’9″-7′ ceiling height in social areas
  • Salon, separate dining room and open demonstration kitchen
  • Top quality furnishings and picture windows throughout
  • Main deck powder room
  • WIFI (limited availability), i-pad and docking stations for i-phones
  • On deck dining area, hot tub and loungers
  • 8 hybrid bicycles and helmets
  • Mercedes executive minibus

Hotel Barge Grand Cru: Cuisine from Burgundy

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy french-waterways

Breakfast selections consist of freshly baked breads and pastries from a local boulangerie, along with fruit, cereal, yogurt, cheese, coffee, tea, and juice. For lunches and dinners, your private chef creates regionally and seasonally inspired dishes.

Lunch is typically a light buffet featuring hearty salads and savoury entrées, and your multi-course gourmet dinner is served with grand table settings and fine crockery, all in a festive setting. Wine pairings feature a red and a white from the local Burgundy vineyards, along with a cheese platter of artisanal favourites.

Sample Menus

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy


Whole Baked Salmon in Salt, Buerre Blanc Sauce
Salad of Carrot & Coriander
Haricot Vert
Blueberry and Pistachio Clafoutis, Vanilla bean ice cream
Cheeses: Emmental, Morbier, and Valencay
A Selection of Coffees, Teas, and Biscuits

And one 3* Michelin lunch is included in the cruise rate


Confit quail on Aubergine Caviar with Orange Saffron Réduction and Toasted Walnuts
Aged Charolais Beef Filet in Rosemary Green Pepper Croûte Rossini style, Foie Gras & Port Sauce
Cheeses: Tomme de Savoie, Saint-Felicien and Langres
Pistachio Grand Marnier soufflé
A Selection of After Dinner Drinks

Hotel Barge Grand Cru Burgundy


Bâtard Montrachet, Grand Cru, 2014
Meursault Charme 1er Cru, 2013
Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru, 2014
Corton Grand Cru, 2013
Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er Cru, 2012
Nuits Saint Georges Les Damodes 1er Cru, 2011

Hotel Barge Grand Cru – 2019 Rates  ➤ 2020 Rates

Charter only bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Value rate weeks:

March 31
April 7, 14
October 20, 27

8 guest charter: 58,000 USD

Regular rate weeks:

April 21, 28
May 5, 12, 19, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
July 7, 14, 21, 28
August 4, 11, 18, 25
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13

8 guest charter: 64,000 USD

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

Hotel Barge Grand Cru – 2020 Rates

Charter only bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Value rate weeks:

March 29
April 5, 12
October 18, 25

8 guest charter: 58,000 USD

Regular rate weeks:

April 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
June 7, 14, 21, 28
July 5, 12, 19, 26
August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
September 6, 13, 20, 27
October 4, 11

8 guest charter: 64,000 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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advice-350x217We 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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