Stylish cruising for 6 guests in southern Burgundy
La Vie en Rose, a classic cargo barge from the 1930’s, has recently been operating as a hotel barge under the name of Who Knows. Now under new owner/management, she is re-born, completely refitted with a clever mix of contemporary decor and classic yacht mahogany panelling – and a new and gorgeous route to seduce her clientèle.
Previously lived aboard by the famous American actor, Sterling Hayden, La Vie en Rose is now dedicated to another star, French singer Edith Piaf. The barge has three well appointed en-suite and air-conditioned cabins and two fabulous outside decks to take full advantage of the magnificent French scenery that slowly drifts by.
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 La Vie en Rose :: Key Features
- Excellence class (4*)
- Charter, and cabin bookings on selected weeks, 6 nights, 7 days.
- St Julien-sur-Dheune on the Canal du Centre to Verdun sur-le-Doubs on the river Saône
- One double and two twin bedded en-suite cabins
- Upper saloon, and dining area with sky-light and open galley
- Two decks with sun and shade and further dining area
- Full board, with 4 meals offshore – 2 dinners and 2 lunches
- 6 bicycles for exploring
Hotel Barge La Vie en Rose: Cruise Highlights
- Visits to Chateaux de Couches and de la Rochepot
- Wine-tastings at the Maranges villages
- Explore the famed towns of Beaune and Chalons-sur-Saone
- Savour the Route des Grands Crus
- Cruise canal and river vistas, and cycle too
Previously an executive manager within the oil and gas industry, Alexandre Arsié, whose family is from Murcurey in Burgundy, is now following and sharing his first passion, for cuisine and hospitality afloat in his favourite region.
6 nights/7 days accommodation; transfers between barge and the meeting point; all meals and wines on board; daily excursions, tour guide and associated transport
Air fares to and travel within France; wines with dinners off-board; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; personal expenses; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)
Hotel Barge La Vie en Rose
Saint Julien-sur-Dheune, Canal du Centre to Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, river Saône
Day 1 Sunday – Saint Julien-sur-Dheune
Guests are met at Le Creusot TGV railway station at 16:00 for transfer by private minibus to La Vie en Rose, moored in the pretty village of Dennevy, close by Saint-Julien-sur-Dheune on the tranquil Canal du Centre. Meet the crew over a champagne welcome and relax before dinner while you gently unwind from your journey.
Day 2 Monday – Saint Julien-sur-Dheune to Saint Leger-sur-Dheune
After breakfast, cruise to the village of Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune, the mooring for the evening. After a lunch aboard La Vie en Rose, an excursion to the famous Château de Couches, also known as the Château de Marguerite de Bourgogne. This magnificent 12th century fortress is classified as a Monument Historique, including many phases of its construction from the 11th to 19th centuries.
The route back to La Vie en Rose drives through the three charming villages of Maranges, where wine is produced in the communes of Cheilly-lès-Maranges, Dezize-lès-Maranges and Sampigny-lès-Maranges in the Côte de Beaune of Burgundy. Naturally, we stop for a delicious wine-tasting.
Day 3 Tuesday – Saint Leger-sur-Dheune to Santenay
Leave Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune after breakfast for a leisurely cruise to the village of Santenay, which nestles amongst the famous vineyards and preserved landscape of the southern Côte de Beaune. Then an excursion along the Route des Grands Crus to the charming village of Pommard.
After lunch at the local auberge depart for the wonderful Château de la Rochepot. This fairy-tale chateau was restored after being ransacked during the French revolution and is now one of the finest example of the period. Return to La Vie en Rose for aperos and dinner on board.
Day 4 – Wednesday Santenay to Chagny
Start the day with a short cruise to the town of Chagny, the mooring for the night. After a relaxing breakfast, depart for the historic town of Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. If it’s market day the visit will include the historic Hospice de Beaune and the Hotel Dieu, built in the 15th century. Lunch is at the restaurant Le Conty, an authentic building with a pleasant cellar atmosphere. The afternoon is dedicated to a wine tasting at the famous Patriarche Cellars, the longest in Burgundy and one of the oldest. Return to La Vie en Rose through the vineyards for a restful evening and dinner on board.
Day 5 – Thursday Chagny to Fragnes
Continue to cruise towards Fragnes, the night’s mooring, from where we’ll explore the Côte Chalonnaise in the southern part of the Côte de Beaune. The Côte Chalonnaise offers ruby-coloured red wine and delicate white wine of great renown, from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Aligoté grapes. After lunch on board, there’s a private tasting at the Château de Chamirey in Mercurey, where the owners, the De Villard family, will give you a warm welcome. You may also wish to take a short drive to enjoy the magnificent views from the Chateau. Then, complete a wonderful day with a gastronomic dinner at Lameloise, the only Michelin 3-starred restaurant in Burgundy.
Day 6 – Friday Fragnes to Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
This morning, take a short minibus ride to the town of Chalon-sur-Saone and the birthplace of the photography. Chalon has a Cathedral with a lovely square surrounded by medieval buildings. It’s market day today and the square will be filled with fruit and vegetables stalls and the other streets lined with all sorts of market traders selling a plethora of goods – real insight into the French way of life. We return to La Vie en Rose for lunch and a leisurely cruise to the village of Verdun-sur-le-Doubs. This evening your farewell dinner starts with cocktails and canapés on the deck overlooking the Saône river.
Day 7 – Saturday Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
After breakfast, guests leave at 09:30 by private chauffeur to Le Creusot TGV railway station in good time to catch a train for their onward journey.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Alternate weeks the cruise runs in the reverse direction.
Hotel Barge La Vie en Rose 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 La Vie en Rose: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 103 ft (31.5m) x 15.8 ft (4.79m), the largest barge in the region
- Draft : 3 ft 7 in (1.10m). air draft : 9 ft 2 in (2.80m)
- Three steps down into the saloon; 4 steps down to the galley/dining area
- Open galley for demonstrations
- Three cabins – one queen size double – 83.5 ft², two twin-bedded – 60 ft² each
Individually controlled heating and air-conditioning and opening window
- All cabins have an en-suite bathroom with shower cubicle; toiletries provided
- Professional crew of 3: Captain, chef and hostess
Other items on board:
- Opening picture windows in the saloon
- DVD and CD player
- Wifi with limited access
- Spacious decks with sun canopy
- 6 x bicycles (helmets not included)
- Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions
Hotel Barge La Vie en Rose: Cuisine
Two lunches and two dinners during the week will be taken off-board – included in the cruise fee. A selection of restaurants will be suggested for guests to choose from.
Meals on board will include traditional Burgundian dishes and regional products will be highlighted during the week, but will also include dishes from Lyon, the gastronomic food capital of France, just for the pleasure of a Saucisson brioché, an Andouillette or a Tarte à la praline…
- Amuses Bouches
- Tarte tatin d’aubergines aux pignons de pin
(Eggplant tart tatin with pine nuts)
- Filet de Charolais en croute de sel aux herbes
(Fillet of Charolais in salt crust with herbs)
- Trou Bourguignon
(Apple lemon sorbet with Marc de Bourgogne : Burgundian tradition)
- Plateau de fromages Régionaux
(Local cheese plate)
- Crème brulée à l’anis de Flavigny
(Crème brulée with anise of Flavigny)
- Mesclun de salade
- Saucisson de LYON truffé à cuire et ses pommes vapeurs
(LYON truffled sausage cooked with steamed potatoes)
- Salade de fraises au poivre noir et huile d’olive
(Strawberry salad with black pear and olive oil)
Wines are carefully selected according to the dishes served during the week and to inspire guests with a tasting for each course. Your choice includes the best of the Côte Chalonaise and other famous Bourgogne wines of the Côte de Beaune.
La Vie en Rose is keen to share its knowledge of the region, offering expert advice to help guests develop the ability to distinguish and identify the key characteristics of various wines and improve flavor and taste memory.
Tasting takes practice:
Look : colour, clarity, viscosity…
Smell : aromas identification, flaws…
Taste : sweetness, acidity, tannin, alcohol, body…
…and there’s plenty of opportunity aboard La Vie en Rose
Charter only (occasional Cabin bookings)
Sunday to Saturday
Regular rate weeks:
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23
4 guest charter: 17,500 USD
5 guest charter: 19,000 USD
6 guest charter: 20,700 USD
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 3,450 USD per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 1,500 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.