Hotel Barge: Saroche

Luxurious and spacious gourmet cruising in Champagne and Burgundy

Saroche is a classic barge with those graceful lines that make hotel barge cruising superbly elegant and stylish. As one on the largest hotel barges in France, she offers space in abundance, with beautifully designed, light and airy staterooms and rich fabrics in warm Provençal colours throughout.

Saroche cruises with just 4 to 6 lucky guests, in the Champagne region in the early part of the season, moving through to southern Burgundy for the remainder of the season. Unwind in the hot tub, relax on the partly shaded sundeck and watch the beautiful countryside roll gently by,

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 Saroche :: Key Features

  • Excellence class (4*)
  • Charter, and cabin bookings on selected weeks, 6 nights, 7 days.
  • Four routes:
    Champagne region – Vandieres to Beaumont-sur-Vesle: May to Mid July
    Bubbles & Burgundy  – Langres to Maxilly Sur Saone
    Heart of Burgundy – Maxilly Sur Saone to Gissey Sur Ouche: Mid July to early August
    Burgundy region – Escommes to Gissey sur Ouche: mid August to October
  • Three double or twin ensuite cabins
  • Spacious living and dining area
  • Large sundeck with a shady awning and hot tub
  • Full board and three-quarter board
  • Bicycles for exploring

Hotel Barge Saroche: Cruise Highlights
Champagne cruise

  • Visit to chateau of Conde en Brie, 16th century royal hunting lodge
  • View the glorious vineyards of Epernay and Champagne
  • Explore the city of Reims, its world famous cathedral and the shopping district
  • Private tour of Billecart Salmon Champagne house, followed by wine tasting
  • Navigate the tunnel at Mont du Billy, through the heart of Reims

jason-dawn-450x231Your Hosts
Jason Ashcroft, captain, graduated from the famous “Ecole du Hotelier” in Switzerland, and Dawn Coles, chef, is a graduate of the prestigious Concord Hotel and Restaurant Management Scheme. Together with a crew of two they bring years of experience and expertise to the management of Saroche, delighting guests with gourmet cruising every year.

What’s included
6 nights/7 days accommodation; transfers to and from the barge; all meals and wines; daily excursions, tour guide and associated transport

Not included
Air fares and travel to and from the meeting point; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; personal expenses; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)

Hotel Barge Saroche: Guest Comments

“We planned this trip for a year and will remember it for a life time. It was an incredible trip and an outstanding week, we will return.”
Mr and Mrs Z, USA

“Thank you for spoiling us, so thoroughly, amazing food, interesting excursions, beautiful scenery and time to relax with friends. A great week.”
Mr and Mrs Sutton, Australia

Hotel Barge Saroche offers 4 different cruises during the season


1. Champagne cruise: Vandieres to Beaumont sur Vesle
(River Marne and Canal Lateral à la Marne)

hotel barge saroche champagne
Day 1 Sunday: Arrival Paris to Vandieres
Pick up at 15:00 at a designated meeting point* for chauffeured transfer to Saroche, moored at Vandieres on the Marne. Meet the crew over a Champagne reception and settle in before dinner aboard.

Day 2 Monday: Vandieres to Cummiers
Visit to the chateau of Conde en Brie, a 16th century hunting lodge, then lunch back on board with views over the Champagne vineyards. Cruise on through the Marne valley to the Abbey of Hautvillers and the mooring at Cummiers. A towpath stroll is available before dinner on board.

Day 3 Tuesday: Cummiers to Tour-sur-Marne
A visit to Epernay and chocolatier Thibaut to try out creating artisanal chocolate with the master chocolate maker. Lunch on board and then cruise to Tour-sur-Marne, joining the Canal Lateral a la Marne and passing the vineyards of many famous Champagne houses, such as Mumm, Moët & Chandon and Heidseick. Walk and cycle along the towpath as Saroche slowly ascends the valley toward the evening’s mooring at Tour sur Marne and dinner on board.

Saroche hotel barge french-waterways.com

Day 4 Wednesday: Moored in Tour-sur-Marne
Visit in the historic city of Reims, its famous cathedral, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Eisenhower War Rooms. Time to explore the town before lunch in the Jardin Brasserie at Domaine Les Crayeres, a superb Relais and Chateau property, once home to the Pommery family and now one of the best small hotels in the world. Then a visit to Bouzy for a small private tour and wine tasting before returning to the barge for supper on board.

Reims Saroche hotel barge french-waterways.com

Day 5 Thursday: Tour-sur-Marne to Mont-du-Billy
Excursion to Meruil-sur-Ay, home to many famous champagne makers, but none more so than Billecart Salmon, one of the last remaining independent large champagne houses. Wine-tasting and tour before returning to Saroche for lunch. Gentle afternoon cruise for relaxing on deck or cookery demonstration in the galley. Dinner on board.

Day 6 Friday: Mont-du-Billy to Beaumont-sur-Vesle
Cruise to the tunnel at Mont-du-Billy, a marvel of 18th-century French engineering providing commercial traffic from Paris access Reims and beyond. After lunch a visit to the WW1 trenches at the Mains de Massiges, an archaeological dig and the latest discovery involving Champagne’s part in the war. Return to the barge in time for the Captain’s Dinner.

Day 7 Saturday Departure
After breakfast, depart at 09:30 for return transfer to agreed destination.

*Brussels international airport, Vatry international airport near Chalon en Champagne, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris city hotels.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Alternate weeks the cruise runs in the reverse direction.


2. Bubbles to Burgundy Cruise: Langres to Maxilly Sur Saone

Join Saroche on the border between Champagne and Burgundy, France’s two iconic wine regions, and cruise the canal through unspoilt idyllic countryside.

hotel barge saroche franche comteDay 1 Sunday Arrival
Minibus transfer from an agreed meeting point in Paris to Saroche, moored on the canal Marne a la Saone at Langres. Champagne welcome and time to settle in before dinner on board.

Day 2 Monday: Langres to Cusey
A gentle cruise down to Cusey and after lunch on board an excursion to the citadel of Langres, famous for its cheese and its views across the countryside. Explore the ancient ramparts and cobbled streets. Return to Saroche for evening aperitifs before dinner on board.

Day 3 Tuesday: Cusey to Saint Seine sur Vingeanne
Cruise to Saint Seine Sur Vingeanne passing through many locks when there is plenty of opportunity to accompany the barge on foot or cycle along the paved towpath. After lunch,visit a craft Cassis maker, a majestic liquor best known when added to white wine or Champagne to make Kir or Kir Royal. Dinner on board.

Beaune Hospice Saroche french-waterways.com

Day 4 Wednesday: Saint Seine and Beaune
An excursion to Beaune and the famous Hospice du Beaune. Then lunch in this beautiful town before an extensive wine tasting to discover the best Burgundy has to offer. Back to Saroche through the vineyards in time for a light meal on deck.

Day 5 Thursday: Saint Seine to Oissily
Excursion to the chateau of Fontaine Française, a renaissance chateau, where the current owner will describe its fascinating history. Lunch on board Saroche and then a gentle meander down to the hamlet of Oissily for a stroll   before dinner on board.

Dijon hotel barge saroche french-waterways.com

Day 6 Friday: Oissily and Dijon to Maxilly sur Saone
Market Day. Dijon is the capital of Burgundy, once home to the Dukes of Burgundy and home to Gustaf Eiffel, who designed the market square. After a walking tour of the old town, plenty of time to enjoy and explore the market and enjoy the classic French shops of Dijon. Return to the boat for lunch on deck before setting sail and our last gentle cruise down the canal to Maxilly Sur Saone. Enjoy the ‘Captains dinner’ on board.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
After breakfast, leave at 09:30 for minibus transfer back to Paris


3. The Heart of Burgundy Cruise: Maxilly Sur Saone to Gissey Sur Ouche

hotel barge saroche burgundy
Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Pick up at the designated meeting point in Paris for private mini-bus transfer to Saroche, moored in Maxilly Sur Saone.  Champagne welcome and time to settle in before the first gourmet dinner aboard.

Day 2 Monday: Maxilly Sur Saone to St Jean de Losne
After breakfast, set sail into the Saone river, gently cruising down one of the prettiest stretches of river in Europe. Lunch on board. In the afternoon, continue down river to St Jean de Losne, the mooring for the night. Arriving mid afternoon there is plenty of time to cycle and wander around the town before dinner.

Day 3 Tuesday: St Jean de Losne to Longcourt
Enter the canal du Bourgogne and gently cruise up the staircase of locks to the village of Longecourt. After a lazy lunch on board a tour of the 11th century abbey of the Clos du Vougeot, followed by a wine tasting In a family run domain. Return to Saroche to freshen up before another fabulous dinner is served.

Day 4 Wednesday: Beaune
Excursion to Beaune, capital of wine in Burgundy, and the famous Hospice du Beaune for a tour; then plenty of time to explore the town before lunch in a local restaurant. Then a visit to the cellars of Patriarch Pere et Fils for a lavish and comprehensive wine-tasting. Gentle drive back to the Saroche in time for a light dinner and a relaxing evening.

Dijon Saroche french-waterways.com

Day 5 Thursday: Longecourt to Dijon
Cruise into Dijon to moor up close to the town centre. After lunch on board take a tour of this ancient and important city, founded in Roman times. Enjoy the shops, cafes and bars before returning to the Saroche for dinner.

Day 6 Friday: Dijon to Gissey
Leave Dijon and head out past Lac Kir and into the countryside for a glorious cruise amidst nature. Time to walk and cycle and enjoy the essence of rural France.  Arrive and moor at Gissey Sur Ouche, a quaint, peaceful and typically French village for a stroll before dinner on board.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
After breakfast, leave at 09:30 for minibus transfer back to Paris


4. Burgundy cruise: Escommes to Gissey sur Ouche

Burgundy chateau Vandenesse

hotel barge saroche burgundy
Day 1 Sunday: Arrival
Transfer by executive mini-bus at 15:00 from the meeting point* to Saroche moored at Escommes for a champagne reception. Meet the crew and settle in before dinner on board.

Day 2 Monday: Escommes to Chateauneuf
Cruise and descend the flight of locks from the summit pound to the beautiful village of Chateauneuf en Auxois. After lunch, visit a chocolatier for a delightful tasting. With both lunch and dinner aboard today, relax and enjoy Burgundy and canal life at its best.

Day 3 Tuesday: Chateauneuf en Auxois to Pont D’Ouche
After breakfast, visit Chateauneuf en Auxois and Its 11th century chateau, a famous landmark in the area. Then, plenty of time to enjoy exploring the village before lunch back on board.
In the afternoon, head down stream to Pont d’Ouche, the mooring for the night. Walk or cycle the excellent tow-path or enjoy the pace of life from the deck. Relax before dinner on board.

Day 4 Wednesday: Pont d’Ouche to Veuvey sur Ouche
Excursion to the historic town of Beaune for a guided tour of the Hospice du Beaune, as famous for its wines as it is for its tiled roof. Lunch is at a gourmet restaurant in Beaune. After lunch, visit the cote du Beaune, known for its soft red wines and complex and delectable white wines. The tour takes you into into the vineyards themselves as well as including a comprehensive tasting in a private winery. Return to Saroche for a sun-downer cruise before a light dinner on board.

Day 5 Thursday: Veuvey sur Ouche to La Bussiere
Cruise down to La Bussière, with another opportunity to walk or cycle the tow-path. Lunch on board the Saroche before an excursion to the Cote du Nuits region, famous for its red wines. Visit the Clos du Vougeot, the 11th century Cistercian monastic winery, now home to the Knights of the Round Table of wine tasting, before heading into one of the villages for another tasting. Dinner on board.

Dijon street life Saroche hotel barge french-waterways.com

Day 6 Friday: La Bussiere to Gissey
Market Day. Dijon is the capital of Burgundy, once home to the Dukes of Burgundy and home to Gustaf Eiffel, who designed the market square. After a walking tour of the old town, plenty of time to enjoy and explore the market and enjoy the classic French shops of Dijon.
Return to the Saroche for lunch before cruising to Gissey. This beautiful village nestled in the heart of the Ouche valley is classically French.
Captain’s dinner and gourmet delight on board.

Day 7 Saturday: Departure
After breakfast at 09:30, transfer from Saroche at Gissey to the agreed destination.

*Lyon international airport or city hotel, Geneva international airport or city hotel, Paris Charles de Gaulle or city hotel.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Alternate weeks the cruise runs in the reverse direction.

Hotel Barge Saroche cruises through Champagne and Burgundy


Barge Cruising – Champagne and Marne

map marne champagne► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

River Marne – Marne Lateral Canal

Cruising up the river Marne from Paris then along the Aisne à la Marne to Reims follows a route whose rural simplicity belies the elegance of its associations. Starting in France’s glamorous capital where the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre are among the irresistible magnets that attract the visitor, the hustle and bustle of the City of Light is quickly left behind.

The drowsy beauty of the landscape fringing the Marne has inspired artists from Cezanne to Corot and from Dufy to Pissaro. The river is the longest in France and meanders through golden fields of grain before it reaches the undulating vineyards of the most famous wine growing region in the world – Champagne, and part of the pleasure of the journey is to spot the names of famous producers on marker posts at the end of every row of vines. Epernay is certainly the place to learn about the world’s favourite drink and well-known brands from Moet to Mercier offer cellar tours and tastings. Reims is also a byword for champagne and for more than a thousand years French monarchs were crowned in its ancient cathedral.

There’s more to the region than its sparkling wine: both a succulent brie and a zesty mustard can be found in Meaux and further upstream La Ferte-sous-Jouarre is associated with the production of millstones – there is a different kind of grit to be found here too, at the imposing memorial to British soldiers who died during the Battle of Mons in the First World War.

Getting There
Hotel barges usually 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 Champagne-Ardenne (near Reims) and Chalons; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Paris, Reims, Epernay, La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, Meaux, the Marne –

louvre-pyramid-500x300  paris-eiffel-500x300  reims-cathedral-500x300

champagne-500x300  mercier-poster-500x300  champagne-vineyards-500x300

laferte-500x300  meaux-brie-500x300  marne-500x300

Reims ©Cezar Suceveanu | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a


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 Saroche: Details and Facilities

Hotel Barge Saroche, Champagne and Burgundy

  • Dimensions: 129.5 ft x 16.8 ft, the largest barge in the region
  • Three cabins, all 190 sq ft, with queen size double or twin beds and individually controlled heating and air-conditioning and an opening window
    Please note that all cabins are exceptionally spacious also having 6ft 8” ceiling height
  • All cabins have an en-suite bathroom (included in the size above) with large walk-in shower and toiletries provided
  • Professional crew of 4: Jason Ashcroft, captain and pilot, is also a chef and qualified Somelier, trained at the Ecole de Hotelerie in Switzerland and has worked at the Connaught in London and Bar au Lac in Zurich; Dawn Coles, trained chef and hotel housekeeper, Ailsa, the hostess and John, the matelot.

Other items on board:

  • Central skylight and opening picture windows
  • Split level lounge and dining area
  • Wood burning stove
  • Open bar
  • Satellite TV, video and DVD player
  • Stereo/CD player
  • Wifi with limited access
  • Spacious deck with hydraulic sun canopy
  • Hot tub
  • 6 x 12-speed Gitane bicycles (helmets not included)
  • Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions

Hotel Barge Saroche: Cuisine

Hotel Barge Saroche Champagne & Burgundy

France is world renowned for its gourmet cuisine and grand wines and a vacation aboard the Saroche allows you to experience the very best offered by two of its iconic regions, Burgundy and Champagne.

A highlight of each day and part of Saroche’s great success has been the deliciously prepared meals prepared on board. Saroche will cater for all culinary needs and you will be delighted by the meals produced from the galley. As part of your week aboard Saroche you will also dine out in a renowned local gastronomic restaurant.

Hotel Barge Saroche Champagne & Burgundy

Any special dietary needs or concerns must be made known at the time of booking.

Wine cellar Saroche hotel barge french-waterways.com

^ click to enlarge images and open gallery ^

Hotel Barge Saroche – 2017 Rates   ➤ 2018 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Regular rate weeks:

May 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
August 6, 13, 20, 27
September 3, 10, 17, 24
October 1, 8, 15, 22

4 guest charter: 26,000 USD
5 guest charter: 29,000 USD
6 guest charter: 32,000 USD

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,000 USD per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,500 USD


Hotel Barge Saroche – 2018 Rates

Regular rate weeks:

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
October 7, 14, 21

4 guest charter: 30,000 USD
5 guest charter: 34,000 USD
6 guest charter: 38,000 USD

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,500 USD per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 3,000 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!

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