Luxury Hotel Barge: Hirondelle

Luxurious cruising through Burgundy's rich countryside

The Belmond Hirondelle offers elegance and luxury whilst cruising the most beautiful parts of central France. Simply sit back and infuse the scents and gentle sounds as you glide through the delightful waterways of Burgundy and Franche-Comté. She sets a high standards for wine lovers, too, with many private tastings at prestigious chateaux throughout the week.

Walk or cycle sometimes alongside Hirondelle and enjoy discovering the many villages and ancient buildings along her routes. With accommodation for up to eight passengers in four delightful guest cabins she’s perfect for romantic couples, families or a special charter for small groups.

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 Hirondelle :: Key Features

  • Excellence class (4*)
  • Canal du Centre, river Saone and river Doubs, central Burgundy/Franche Comte
  • Part of the Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) luxury fleet
  • Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, March to October
  • 8 guests / 4 generous cabins with ensuite bathrooms
  • Air conditioning and heating throughout
  • Full board, on-board dining
  • Sun deck with loungers
  • 8 all-terrain bicycles
  • Wifi (limited in some places)
  • Air-conditioned minibuses for transfers and excursions

Hotel Barge Hirondelle Cruise Highlights
Itinerary 1 – St Leger sur Dheune to Dole

  • Visit to Clos de Vougeot, home of the Chevaliers du Tastevin
  • Walking tour of historic Dole, birthplace of Louis Pasteur.
  • Explore Beaune, including the famous Hôtel-Dieu Hospice
  • Tours of Château de Chamirey, a family-run wine estate and Château de Germolles, the last remaining residence of the Dukes of Burgundy
  • Explore Chalon sur Saone, its architecture, its shops and street cafes
  • Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Verdun sur le Doubs
  • Excursion to Beaune, the 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu and a private wine-tasting

Itinerary 2 – Dole to Gissey sur Ouche

  • Visit to Clos de Vougeot, home of the Chevaliers du Tastevin
  • Walking tour of historic Dole, birthplace of Louis Pasteur.
  • Explore Beaune, including the famous Hôtel-Dieu Hospice
  • Tour of Châteauneuf en Auxois, a wine-tasting and truffle farm visit
  • Explore Chalon sur Saone, its architecture, its shops and street cafes
  • Lunch at the Michelin-starred restaurant, La Bussiere
  • Excursion to Beaune, the 15C Hôtel-Dieu and private wine-tasting
  • Guided tour of Dijon, the Ducal Palace and the Maille mustard shop
  • Drive to the Côte de Nuits and along the Route des Grand Crus

What’s included:
6 nights accommodation, transfers to and from 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 Belmond Hirondelle: Two Cruises

hotel barge burgundy hirondelleItinerary 1. St Leger sur Dheune to Dole, Canal du Centre, river Saone and Canal Rhone a Rhin
Savour the inspiring scenery as you travel from the Franche-Comte region into Burgundy.

Day 1 Sunday: Arrival at Hirondelle
Pick up in Paris for private chauffeured transfer by executive mini-bus to Hirondelle. Board the barge at St Léger sur Dheune and meet your crew over a Champagne reception. Unpack and relax until dinner on board.

Day 2 Monday
Cruise along the Canal du Centre and then after lunch a guided tour of Château de Chamirey, a family-run wine estate, complete with a tasting session. Then take a scenic drive back to the barge in time for cocktails and dinner.

Day 3 Tuesday Cruise to Chalon sur Saone
Continue the cruise and moor in the village of Fragnes for lunch. Then a tour of Château de Germolles, the last surviving residence of the Dukes of Burgundy. There’s time to explore Chalon-sur-Saône at leisure, admiring the beautiful architecture, visiting the quaint antique shops or people-watching in the many pavement cafes.

Day 4 Wednesday, Cruise to  Verdun sur le Doubs
Excursion to Beaune and the magnificent 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu, a charity hospital and museum that reveals Burgundy’s history. Enjoy a private wine tasting before exploring the charming old town. Moor for the night at Verdun-sur-le-Doubs and dine out at a beautiful, Michelin-rated restaurant.

Day 5 Thursday, Cruise to Saint Jean de Losne
Continue cruising to Saint-Jean-de-Losne, the barging capital of France, on the river Saone.
Visit Clos de Vougeot, a medieval château and headquarters of the Chevaliers du Tastevin society. Rejoin the barge after a local wine-tasting.

Day 6 St Jean de Losne to Dole
Join the Canal de Rhone a Rhin on leisurely morning cruise and take lunch on board. Then a walking tour of historic Dole, birthplace of Louis Pasteur. Visit a number of sites, including a hidden fromagerie where you can sample some local Jura cheeses. Moor in the port of Dole for a spectacular farewell gala dinner.

Day 7 Departure
After breakfast, disembark for chauffeured transfer to Paris and onward travel.

Please note: this itinerary is subject to availability, runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks and is for guidance only

Itinerary 2. Dole to Gissey sur Ouche, Canal Rhone a Rhin, river Saone and Canal de Bourgogne
Discover picturesque villages and acclaimed vineyards as you cruise along the Canal de Bourgogne and river Saone.

hotel barge burgundy hirondelleDay 1 Sunday Arrival
Pick up in Paris for private chauffeured transfer by executive mini-bus to Belmond Hirondelle, and meet your crew over a champagne reception. Settle in before enjoying dinner on board and in the evening take a guided walking tour of the pretty town of Dole.

Day 2 Dole to St Jean de Losne
Cruise from the Canal Rhone a Rhin and join the river Saone to moor up at St Jean de Losne and have lunch on board. Then an excursion to Beane, the capital onf Burgundy wines, and take a guided tour the magnificent 15th-century charity hospital and museum, the Hôtel-Dieu. Time to explore this important town at leisure before returning to Hirondelle for dinner on board.

Day 3 St Jean de Losne to Longecourt-en-Plaine
Join the Canal de Bourgogne and cruise on to Longecourt-en-Plaine, the night’s mooring. After lunch on board, an excursion through the Route des Grands Crus and a visit to the famous Clos de Vougeot vineyard where the ancient wine presses first used by Cistercian monks in the 12th century are still on show. The vineyard is now the headquarters of the renowned Burgundian wine society, the Confrerie de Chevaliers de Tastevin.
Return for a private guided tour by the owner of the 13th century Château de Longecourt-en-Plaine before dinner on board.

Day 4 Longecourt-en-Plaine to Dijon
Cruise to Dijon, with plenty of time to walk or cycle along the towpath beside Hirondelle. Take a delicious lunch on board whilst moving through the delightful countryside. Disembark in Dijon for a guided tour of the Ducal Palace and the world-famous Maille mustard shop. Dinner on board.

Day 5 Dijon to Fleurey-sur-Ouche
Continue to Fleurey-sur-Ouche, looking forward to lunch at the 12th Century Abbaye de la Bussiere, a former Cistercian abbey and now a Michelin starred restaurant. After lunch, a guided tour of the Abbaye before visiting Chateauneuf en Auxois, listed as one of France’s most beautiful medieval villages.

Day 6 Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Gissey-sur-Ouche
An excursion to the Cote de Nuits to visit the ‘truffes de Bourgogne’, a local secret. Not far from the truffle farm enjoy a private wine-tasting at a local vineyard and enjoy taste some fine examples of Burgundy wines. Retrun to Hirondelle for the gala dinner.

Day 7 Departure
After breakfast, disembark for chauffeured transfer to Paris and onward travel.

Please note: This itinerary is subject to availability and is for guidance only. It runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Hotel Barge Belmond Hirondelle cruises through 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 Belmond Hirondelle: Details and facilities

Hotel Barge Belmond Hirondelle, Burgundy

      • Dimensions: 128ft (39m) x 16.5ft (5m)
      • 4 cabins with tiled ensuite bathrooms:
        1 fixed queen-size 138 sq ft
        2 queen-size or twin-bedded 123 and 141 sq ft
        1 fixed twin-bedded in L-shape 123 sq ft
      • Hairdryer and L’Occitane toiletries
      • Expert and professional English-speaking crew of 5

Other items on board:

  • 8 bicycles
  • Sundeck with dining area
  • Selection of books and board games
  • Computer for guest use and Wifi (may be limited in some areas)
  • Music system and CDs
  • Tennis racquets, balls, fishing equipment
  • TV, DVD player and DVDs

Hotel Barge Belmond Hirondelle: Cuisine

belmond-cuisine1-600x400 belmond-cuisine1-600x400 belmond-cuisine1-600x400
belmond-cuisine1-600x400 belmond-cuisine1-600x400
Wining and dining is a highlight of every cruise and the five-course candlelit dinners are a special treat. The table d’hôte menus are of the very highest quality and include many regional specialities and wines picked to complement the dinner. You will enjoy a buffet style continental breakfast, large lunch including pâtés, cheeses, cold meats, tarts, terrines and salad. Dinners are always plated with at least four courses and complementary wines. You will also enjoy a buffet style continental breakfast, large lunch including pâtés, cheeses, cold meats, tarts, terrines and salad.

– click to enlarge images and open gallery –

Hotel Barge Hirondelle – 2018 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Value rate weeks:

March 25
April 1, 8, 15, 22
October 7, 14, 21

6 guest charter: 26,418 EUR
7 guest charter: 28,273 EUR
8 guest charter: 30,128 EUR

Per cabin bookings
Double cabin: 3,741 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,245 EUR

Regular rate weeks:

April 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

6 guest charter: 33,966 EUR
7 guest charter: 36,351 EUR
8 guest charter: 38,736 EUR

Per cabin bookings
Double cabin: 4,810 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,886 EUR


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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