Classic, traditional luxury river boat for four in Upper Burgundy
Varnished mahogany and sparkling glass and brass are the hallmarks of style aboard the very pretty Randle. She is classic River Boat style, more of a yacht than a hotel barge, in the Burgundy region, catering beautifully for up to four guests in two gorgeous cabins.
Randle’s regular cruise is along the quiet and picturesque Canal du Nivernais, between Auxerre, Clamecy, and Clamecy and Baye. But other charter cruises can be arranged, including Auxerre to Moret-sur-Loing, and to Paris along the river Yonne and the river Seine itself.
Cruising aboard the Randle is superbly relaxed and informal, with high value placed on service, comfort and guests special requirements since every cruise is private charter only.
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 Randle :: Key Features
- Excellence class (4*)
- A variety of routes in the upper Loire/Burgundy region
- Charter bookings only, 13, 6 or 3 night cruises, March to October
- 4 guests / 2 cabins with en-suite bathrooms
- Pick up from any location is Paris and return
- Air conditioning and heating throughout
- 5 evening meals taken ashore (at guests expense)
- Cordon Bleu chef
- Sun deck with steamer loungers
- Wifi (limited in some places), TV/DVD and audio
- Air-conditioned private chauffeured Mercedes V Class Avant-Garde limousine for transfers and excursions
- Electric bikes and an electric launch
Hotel Barge Randle: Cruise Highlights along the Nivernais Canal, Burgundy
- Excursion to the important 1,000 year old Basilica at Vezelay
- Visit the 28,000 year old Paleolithic cave paintings at Arcy
- Dine in locat restaurant for the authentic gastronomic experience
- Tour of Auxerre, its winding cobbled streets, cafe culture and Cathedral
- Savour the wines of the famous Chablis vineyards
- See the turreted Chateau de Bazoches and its views over the region
Randle has been owned and operated as a river yacht by Tim Harrold since 2005; his knowledge of the region is thus superb and Gael Robertson, his chef, is a superb long-standing member of the crew. Randle has provided countless guests with unforgettable memories over the years.
13, 6 or 3 nights accommodation; pick-up and transfer from agreed meeting point in Paris to the barge; breakfasts, lunches and one dinner on board; all excursion fees and associated transport
Air fares to and within France; meals taken on shore; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)
Hotel Barge Randle: Guest Comments
“We want to thank you again for a wonderful trip . You and Gael made our Anniversary so special and we loved every minute of the trip and were sorry when it came to an end . Randle is the most beautiful boat and the whole experience was exceptional . Tim was the perfect Captain / host / chauffeur and tour guide and Gael’s cooking was out of this world “
Terry & Hazel, Australia (two week cruise)
“We have arrived back in the USA and Norma and I Can Honestly say that we truly miss the Randle. But, more importantly we miss you and the crew and the hospitality that you, Allen and Gael showed us, everything was just perfect. We could not have asked for a better boat or crew.”
Mr & Mrs Dowling, USA.
Hotel Barge Randle: Cruises in the Burgundy region
The Canal du Nivernais is a less travelled waterway, intermingling with the River Yonne and passing through rolling wooded landscapes, with charming villages, water meadows and ancient towns. It is one of the most picturesque cruise routes in France.
1. The Chevroches to Auxerre Cruise
Day 1, Sunday: Paris to Chevroches
Meet at 2pm at the Paris rendezvous for a 2 1/2 hour private car transfer to the Randle.
Arrive at Chevroches (population 146!) where paving stones were once loaded aboard barges destined for the streets of London. Welcome aboard with Champagne and homemade gougère pastries.
Visit nearby Clamecy (population 4,500), an old town nestled in the rolling landscape of the Nièvre region from where the Nivernais canal gets its name. Take a walk through the meandering cobbled streets to the magnificent 16 century church of St Martin. Clamecy was the seat of the bishop of Bethlehem for 600 years, and a centre of logging for 400 years, delivering rafts of wood down to Paris.
Evening dining: Hostellerie de la Poste
In olden times, the town’s post was delivered to this building by carriage. It’s now a classic French restaurant hotel with relaxed surroundings and an extensive wine list.
Day 2, Monday: Clamecy to Lucy sur Yonne
After breakfast, cruise onto the river Yonne and then the Nivernais canal, past the limestone cliffs and the 14th century fortified farm, Chartreuse de Basseville. After lunch on board continue to Lucy-sur-Yonne (population 151) with its 11th century church and nearby millpond.
Later in the afternoon, take a guided to Vezelay, a UNESCO world heritage site and a fortified town with an important Romanesque Basilica dedicated to Mary Magdalene, part of the pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostela. Stroll the picturesque streets with many boutiques, art galleries, cafés, and restaurants.
Evening dining: Aboard the Randle
Gourmet chef Gael prepares a four course dinner from fresh local produce complemented with a selected Premier-Cru wine of the region.
Day 3, Tuesday: Lucy sur Yonne to Mailly le Chateau
At 9 am set off along the meandering canal past hilltop villages and the magnificent white cliffs of Rochers-du-Saussois.
After lunch on board arrive at Mailly-la-Ville (population 605) with a delightful river mooring and then take a guided tour to the limestone caves of the Grottes d’Arcy. This is a fascinating cave system which runs for over 500m underground and contains 28,000 year old Palaeolithic paintings representing bear, rhino and mammoth.
Evening dining : l’Étape-des-Gourmets or Chateau Vault-de-Lugny
Dine at the Étape-des-Gourmets for dinner with local flavour, or for a grand night out at the Chateau Vault-de-Lugny with evening chauffeur service included. Your choice.
Day 4, Wednesday: Mailly le Chateau to Accolay
Today is morning market at the village of Noyers-sur-Serein. A very picturesque fortified village with 15 century timber-framed buildings with intricate carvings (listed as one of the 156 prettiest villages of France) and home to many artists, including a potter, a jeweller and a leather maker. Stroll the cobbled streets and market stalls and buy a little something for friends back home.
After lunch aboard the Randle, make an afternoon cruise along the canal and river Yonne to the pretty village of Accolay (population 467).
Evening dining : Hostellerie de la Fontaine
A very good restaurant just a short walk from the mooring. Elegant under-croft seating or al fresco dining on balmy evenings.
Day 5, Thursday: Accolay to Vincelles
Depart from the mooring at 9 am and cruise through the Yonne valley with vineyards coming into view on the hills above. After lunch on board, moor on the river at Vincelles overlooking a watermill.
Take an afternoon tour to the wine villages of Irancy, Chitry, and Chablis. Discover Burgundy’s famous Pinot Noir. view the famous Chablis grand-cru vineyards and take a wine tasting in the town.
Evening Dining : Auberge-de-les-Tilleuls
With a riverside setting close to the mooring, chef Alain Renaudin prepares gastronomic dishes from fresh local ingredients.
Day 6, Friday: Vincelles to Auxerre
The final day’s cruise along the river Yonne, with open vistas and pretty riverside villages. After lunch on board, arrive at Auxerre (population 45,000), an historic cobble-stoned town and a prosperous commercial hub since roman times. It is still dominated by the 11-16 century St Étienne cathedral built on the high ground overlooking the river.
Visited by Joan of Arc and Napoleon it has a fascinating history and variety of architectural styles. This is the perfect place to shop for that last-minute souvenir and then enjoy a wide choice of dining choices for your last night on the Canal du Nivernais.
Evening dining : La P’Tite Beursaude
A small and charming restaurant where Jérôme and Sylvie Carpentier focus on traditional Burgundy cuisine.
Day 7, Saturday: Auxerre to Paris
Depart at 09:00 for your chauffeured transfer back to Paris, arriving at 12:00 to 13:00.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks.
2. The Morvan cruise, Lake Baye to Clamecy – 6 day full-board
Peaceful country scenes, rolling landscape and wooded hills, grazing cattle on water meadows, quiet and rural evening moorings, flora and fauna in abundance…
Day 1, Sunday Arrival
Pick up from the agreed meeting point and transfer to the Randle, moored at the summit of the Nivernais at the tranquil lake Etang de Baye bordering the National park of The Morvan. Champagne reception and meet the crew before an evening stroll around the shores before a sumptuous dinner at Chatillon en Bazois. Night 1, Lake Baye
Day 2, Monday Baye to Sardy
Cruise through the three tunnels – Colloancelle, Mouas and Breuilles – and emerge at Port Brule to descend the Sardy staircase, a flight of 16 consecutive locks and a masterpiece of canal engineering. After lunch, an excursion to Chateau Lantilly and its estate, and then return to Randle to get ready for evening dining in the historic town of Corbigny. Night 2, Sardy
Day 3, Tuesday Sardy to Chitry les Mines
Cruise to Chitry-les-Mines, named after the small silver mines that were worked here during the Renaissance period, and now a quiet village with a fortified chateau adjacent to the canal. After lunch on board, an afternoon excursion to Chateau Bazoches, once belonging to the famous Marshal de Vauban, the military architect and strategist to king Louis XIV, and designer of the great zig-zag fortification employed throughout France. Night 3, Chitry-les-Mines.
Day 4, Wednesday Chitry Les Mines to Dirol
Cruise to the picturesque village of Monceaux-le-Comte with an excellent restaurant, the Auberge-de-Centre, for lunch. In the afternoon, a visit to the Vignones du Tanney to view wine production and sample their excellent Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Melon wines. Night 4, Dirol
Day 5, Thursday Dirol to Asnois
Continue to cruise along the tranquil Nivernais and then take a tour of the
UNESCO world heritage site Abbaye Sainte-Marie-Madeleine de Vézelay. View the many shops and galleries and the basilica itself, which was a place of pilgrimage for over a millennium, the meeting place of Richard the Lionheart and King Philippe-Auguste of France and the starting point of the third crusade. Night 5, Asnois
Day 6, Friday Asnois to Clamecy
Cruise to Clamecy, which was for over four centuries a prosperous logging town. The ancient centre has a wealth of architecture, a fascinating logging museum, charming cobbled streets, and many restaurants to choose from for the final dining experience in true French style. NIght 6 Clamecy.
Day 7 Saturday Departure
After a leisurely breakfast aboard the Randle depart for Paris by private chauffered car.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The itinerary is in reverse direction on alternate weeks
Randle offers a choice of cruise routes; please enquire about alternatives, such as:
Paris to Auxerre cruise – available on request
Taking in the historic towns along the way it is a voyage through the history of France, from the Roman conquest to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Explore the romantic heart of Paris aboard your very own chartered vessel.
Auxerre to Moret-sur-Loing
Enjoy cruising along the Rivers Yonne and Seine. For guests with a love of river boating, historic towns and chateaux, this cruise traces the footsteps of impressionist artists Alfred Sisley and JMW Turner
- A Balloon trip over the magnificent countryside and possibly over the hilltop
Basilica of Vézelay, from USD 270 per person.
- Popular melodies by our very own songstress USD 200
- Many outdoor pursuits, sailing, fishing, horse riding, painting – and new in 2018, GOLF. See Special Option tab.
Hotel Barge Randle – Golf & Gourmet Cruise
Combine the joys of cruising with the pleasures of golf and fine dining with this most leisurely and relaxing of cruises.
Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Pick up in Paris at 14:00 for a transfer by private executive car to the Randle, moored in Chevroches, arriving at around 16:30 for a evening cruise. Welcome drinks on board and then dinner ashore at the Hostellerie de la post on arrival in Clamecy.
Day 2 Monday:
After breakfast, a whole day cruise to Mailly-la-Ville stopping along the way at Lucy-sur-Yonne for lunch, with the cliffs at le-Roches-Saussois to explore.
Evening dinner at the wonderful Chateau Vault-de-Lugny, (20 minutes by car)
Day 3 Tuesday:
After breakfast on board Randle depart by car for a day of golf at the magnificent Chateau de Chailly, with 18 Holes amidst the rolling Burgundy landscape of the Armancon valley.
The golf course was built in 1990, a 6,036m (6601yd) par 72 course its overall design was the vision of Mr Sata who commissioned Thierry Sprecher and Géry Watine, who have since designed over 50 golf courses in 14 countries.
The golf course design has incorporated the natural streams which are in play on three holes and preserved the century old trees throughout. The Château de Chailly is a parkland golf course with raised greens, which are well protected by bunkers and water hazards. The 11th semi-island par three hole is the signature hole on the golf course with the Château in the background.
Evening return to the Randle for dinner on board prepared by our gourmet chef Gael Robertson, complemented by a premier cru wine of the region.
Day 4 Wednesday:
Morning visit to the wonderfully preserved medieval village of Noyers-sur-Serein, then return for lunch aboard the Randle and an afternoon cruise to Accolay. Dinner at Hostellerie de la Poste, a short stroll from the mooring.
Day 5 Thursday:
A morning cruise to Vincelles and then depart by car to Roncemay, a 6,801m (7,437 yd) par 72 course created in 1989 on an area of land between an oak forest, lakes and a lush plateau. After lunch at the club house, play the 18 holes of this magnificent course. Evening return to the Randle for another delightful prepared by chef Gael.
Day 6 Friday:
A morning tour of the Grand-Cru vineyards of Chablis with wine tasting in the village; then return for lunch aboard the Randle
Afternoon cruise to Auxerre, a wonderfully preserved medieval town, and what better way to cap the week than evening dinner at the Michelin Starred L’Aspérule, just a short stroll from our mooring in Auxerre.
Day 7 Saturday:
After breakfast, private car transfer back to Paris for onward journey.
The Region: Hotel Barge Randle cruises cruises through Nivernais and Morvan, Central Burgundy – also Northern Burgundy
Barge Cruising – The Nivernais
Canal du Nivernais (north)
The Nivernais region is part of the modern department of Nievre and was originally a province centred around the town of Nevers in western Burgundy. It is most famous for its narrow squiggle of a canal – the Nivernais – which links the Loire and the Seine basins and crosses the remote and beautiful heathland forest of the Morvan. It was constructed in the 18th century to bring timber from the countryside to Paris and is one of the most characterful and unspoilt waterways in the whole country. It is often possible to buy local produce from some of the 110 locks along the way and many of them have exhibitions or beautifully planted gardens to ravish the eye.
Among the Nivernais’ natural wonders are the Rochers de Saussois, a towering limestone bluff that soars above the River Yonne which feeds the canal as it goes, while man-made highlights include the chateaux of Bazoches which was built in 1180 and has had forty owners including the brilliant military architect Vaubun; and Tanlay with its romantic moat and famous trompe l’oeil frescoes. Vezelay is the starting point for one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago di Compostella and it is easy to understand why pilgrims might be drawn to the pale and compelling beauty of the medieval abbey, particularly as it is said to house relics of Mary Magdalene.
Still on a religious theme, Auxerre is a historic city of such astounding loveliness that it boasts not just an 11th century cathedral, but a 12th century abbey too, and is where the unforgettable canal finally joins the river Yonne.
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: Auxerre, the Morvan, Noyers-sur-Serein, Saussois, the Canal du Nivernais, Tanlay, Vezelay, Bazoches –
Barge Cruising Region – North Burgundy
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.
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 –
Hotel Barge Randle: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 82ft (25m) x 12ft (4m)
- The Master Cabin (king size fixed double bed) has a wardrobe, drawers, desk and en-suite bathroom.
The Guest Cabin (upper and lower bunk beds) also has wardrobe, drawers, desk and en-suite shower-room.
- Each bathroom has shower, hand basin and WC, toiletries, towels, bathrobes and hair-dryer. Opening porthole.
- Both cabins have air-conditioning.
- The crew has completely separate quarters in the bows.
- There is a lower-deck salon has seating for six, and an outstanding feature of Randle is the upper wheelhouse with comfortable dining seating for six and great views of the surrounding Burgundy countryside.
- The exterior sun deck has hardwood ‘steamer’ chairs and tables
- Steps up to the sun-deck and down to the lower deck are traditional in character and probably less suited for those of restricted mobility
- English speaking crew of three for four guests! Captain, Cordon Bleu Chef and tour guide
Other items on board:
- Reclining chairs on the sun deck
- Bicycles for exploring the tow-paths and villages
- Traditional rowing boat
- Lower Saloon:
Open plan with leather sofa seating for six guests
Air conditioning and heating
1.9m headroom throughout the lower deck level
- Wheelhouse Saloon:
Leather seating for six guests with panoramic views of the countryside
Dining table, teak flooring
WiFi (may be restricted in some areas)
Air-conditioned, with drop down sides for cool summer cruising
Hotel Barge Randle: Cuisine
Enjoy gourmet cuisine aboard the Randle
- One evening meal is included on board. 5 dinners are fine-dining experiences taken at selected local restaurants and are not included in the cruise price
- Randle’s own gourmet chef prepares the delicious lunches and Captain’s dinner on board, made from fresh local ingredients. Watch and learn how to cook French style! A Premier Cru wine is also selected to complement every lunch.
- From the Menu
Goats cheese and chive soufflé, warm puy lentil salad with walnuts and shallots, mixed salad leaves with balsamic vinaigrette, terrine forestière.Asparagus forestière with lemon butter, roasted red peppers with tomatoes and anchovies, bulgour wheat with confit of lemon and fresh herbs, plâteau de fromage.Baked trout on a bed of roasted fennel, new potatoes and chive salad with moutarde de meaux, sauté radishes, and julienne glazed carrots.Caramelised red onion tart, red cabbage salad with Roquefort & walnuts, marinated aubergines with peppers capers and olives, plateau de fromage.Moules marinière, sauté squid, pan fried scallops, plateau de fruit de mer, freshly cooked crab, prawns oysters, whelks.
- Evening dining at a Michelin restaurant or charming auberge – your choice
Burgundy is renowned for its cuisine, whether Michelin or more traditional style; dine at the very best local restaurants, some of which have their own private moorings. Premier Cru and other delicious labels will be available every evening. Menu translation and evening chauffeur service is included for your dining pleasure.
- Wine and cheese are the region’s specialities
Lovers of French wine will revel in the region’s specialities. Pinot Noir, Caesar, Melon, and Chardonnay grapes give Burgundy wines their exquisite nose and evocative flavour. Enjoy private tours to family run village vineyards, try Époisses cheese, Charolais beef, mustard sauces, blackcurrants and escargot.
- Randle’s own wine cellar remains open throughout the voyage, stocked with local Burgundy Pinot Noir, Caesar, Melon and Chardonnay wines from the vineyards passed along the route.
Hotel Barge Randle – 2018 Rates ➤ 2019 Rates
Charter only bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
April 1, 8, 15
October 7, 14, 21
3 nights full board: 6,949 USD / 5,315 GBP / 6,155 EUR
– half board not available
6 nights full board: 13,495 USD / 9,570 GBP / 11,255 EUR
– half board 11,550 USD / 8,224 GBP / 9,555 EUR
13 nights full board: 24,480 USD / 19,570 GBP / 22,860 EUR
– half board 20,625 USD / 16,514 GBP / 19,155 EUR
Mid rate weeks:
April 22, 29
May 6, 13
3 nights full board: 7,807 USD / 6,815 GBP / 7,810 EUR
– half board not available
6 nights full board: 15,195 USD / 10,944 GBP / 12,555 EUR
– half board 12,840 USD / 9,568 GBP / 10,555 EUR
13 nights full board: 27,950 USD / 22,520 GBP / 28,960 EUR
– half board 23,415 USD / 18,810 GBP / 21,855 EUR
Regular rate weeks:
May 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23
3 nights full board: 8,644 USD / 6,715 GBP / 7,810 EUR
– half board not available
6 nights full board: 16,885 USD / 12,202 GBP / 14,155 EUR
– half board 14,465 USD / 10,400 GBP / 12,055 EUR
13 nights full board: 39,970 USD / 24,995 GBP / 28,960 EUR
– half board 26,206 USD / 21,000 GBP / 24,515 EUR
Charter only bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
March 10, 17, 24, 31
April 7, 14
October 6, 13, 20, 27
3 nights: 8,330 USD
6 nights: 12,589 USD
13 nights: 24,728 USD
Mid rate weeks:
April 21, 28
May 5, 12
3 nights: 9,360 USD
6 nights: 13,995 USD
13 nights: 28,075 USD
Regular rate weeks:
May 19, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 23
July 14, 21, 28
August 4, 11, 18, 25
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
3 nights: 10,388 USD
6 nights: 15,766 USD
13 nights: 31,421 USD
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 orange 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.