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 chateaux and gourmet food markets, and guided tours in the towns of Dijon and Beaune.
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
- 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 from Dole, river Doubs to 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 Lameloise
- Expore Beaune, centre of the Cote d’Or wines
- Walk and cycle alongside Grand Cru
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.
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
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)
Hotel Barge Grand Cru: cruises between Dole on the river Doubs to St Léger sur Dheune on the river Saône in southern Burgundy
Day 1 Sunday – Arrival
Meet in Paris for private chauffeured transfer to Grand Cru, moored in the town of Dole. 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 – Dole to St Jean de Losne
A leisurely first morning’s cruise with time to try out the tow-path by bike or a stroll too, before joing the Saone at St Jean de Losne. Lunch on board and then an excursion to 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, who annually award special labels to the finest Burgundy Côte d’Or vintages. Explore the presses from which these iconic wines were first produced; a tasting of local vintages follows. Chef serves dinner on board.
Day 3 Tuesday – St Jean de Losne to Verdun sur le Doubs (also upon the Saône)
An excursion to Dijon this morning to visit the famous covered market, Les Halles, and savour the authentic street-life as your guide introduces you to other famous and historic sights of the city. Lunch on board and then a relaxing afternoon of cruising and enjoying life on deck. Complete the day with a gourmet dinner, paired, of course, with Grand Cru wines.
Day 4 Wednesday – Verdun sur le Doubs to Fragnes
A leisurely cruise to Fragnes and then an excursion to the Chateau de Rully, a preserved medieval fortress followed by a tasting of the estate’s boutique wines. Then, 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.
Day 5 Thursday – Fragnes to Rully
Enjoy a scenic cruise this morning to today’s beautiful riverside mooring where the tour guide will escort you to Beaune, the region’s wine capital. After the guided visit to the famous Hospice de Beaune, a preserved Medieval hospital built in the 15th century, there’s time to browse the shops and galleries or rest at a cafe in the town square. Return to Grand Cru in time for a leisurely stroll or gentle pedal along the tow-path. Cocktail hour precedes another gourmet dinner.
Day 6 Friday – Rully to Saint Léger sur Dheune
Relax on the deck during this morning’s final cruise, or explore a new section of the tow-path by bicycle or on foot. At Saint Léger a supberb excursion to Chassagne and Puligny Montrachet, two villages famous for the production high-quality, complex Burgundian white wines – a private sampling awaits. Back on board, enjoy canapes, Grand Cru wines, and a celebratory Captain’s Dinner.
Day 7 Saturday – Departure
After breakfast, chauffeured transport to the designated drop off point in Paris.
Please note: This route is subject to change and runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.
Hotel Barge Grand Cru 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 Grand Cru: Details and Facilities
- 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
- 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
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.
Whole Baked Salmon in Salt, Buerre Blanc Sauce
Salad of Carrot & Coriander
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
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 – 2018 Rates
Charter only bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
April 1, 8, 15
October 14, 21
8 guest charter: 58,000 USD
Regular rate weeks:
April 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
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 (rn©french-waterways,com)
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 –