Luciole is the original hotel barge in France. When Penny and John Lilley bought the barge in 1985 it was named Palinurus and had been since its inception as a hotel barge nearly 20 years prior.

As modernised and refurbished as Luciole now is, Penny has maintained a continual programme of renovation to keep the barge in tip top condition, befitting the needs and expectations of her guests. The level of service and quality of accommodation, food, wine, and itineraries are impeccable. Knowledge of Burgundy and the little-known Canal du Nivernais is first hand and expert. The hospitality is unfailingly warm and welcoming.

Penny also does a wonderful job of keeping Luciole ahead of the curve and always of appeal to new and returning guests.

Themed cruises aboard Luciole

Throughout 2017, Luciole has dotted a selection of themed cruises. These are open to individual cabin bookings. It also invites you to theme your own week. If you haven’t yet watched the Luciole video above, Penny talks you through some of the special itineraries and themed cruises available.

These cruises also incorporate Luciole’s favourite moorings and on-shore excursions for those not all-consumed by the day’s activity. So don’t be put off if you can’t paint but your other half can – there’s something for everyone.

Art cruise

28 May – 3 June 2017

With the watchful eye and experienced hand of art teacher Charles Hickson, indulge yourself in a week of art, complete with drawing and painting tuition.

Wine appreciation cruise

24 – 30 September 2017

Taking in Beaune, Chablis, Sancerre and Poully-Fumé, this week’s cruise guides guests towards tasting and appreciating some of France’s most iconic wine varieties.

Activity cruise

Any week

From the apparently simple art of larking around in trees to cave climbing and canoeing the River Yonne, an activity cruise week can be tailored to the ages in your family or party and their activity ambitions!

Ladies luxury cruise

One of the most popular itineraries, available to book when chartering the whole barge, is the Ladies Luxury Cruise. Getaway with your girlfriends and relax. Unwind with a series of pampering treatments, well-being sessions, culinary treats and plenty of shopping! Not forgetting the occasional slice of patisserie and plentiful wine. Just choose your week and check availability.

Beyond the boat

Luciole also offers a bike and barge cruise in association with France à Vélo enabling guests to safely and fully explore Burgundy by bike.

For those looking to charter a hotel barge in Burgundy, Luciole will tailor bespoke itineraries according to what you and your party most want to see and experience in France. Nothing is too much trouble.

This selection of itineraries reflects Penny’s understanding of her clientele and her knowledge of the region. The crew’s service is superb and that reputation goes before them thanks to delighted previous and repeat customers.

NEW for 2017

Luciole is offering, when possible, 4 cabins available for solo travellers. If you travel alone and want a cabin to yourself at the solo traveller price – with no single supplement – check availability.

Further reading

An interview with Penny Lilley

Cruising with hotel barge Luciole 

How the rivers and canals of France inspired an arts movement