Barging and Walking

For walkers and non-walkers alike, this is one of the perfect ways to explore a region. A morning's walk takes you to meet the barge further up to be greeted back on board with an aperitif and an excellent lunch. Excursions are offered in the afternoon and bicycles are on board for peddlers. Gentle cruising fits in imbetween. This week is also ideal for family parties. Dates 2019: 23rd - 29th June

Starting in Auxerre on the quayside in the shadow of the town’s impressive cathedral our luxurious hotel barge cruises south for Clamecy on the peaceful Canal du Nivernais. It is a slow easy journey that will take all week.

Each day means a new locale and new countryside to explore without the need to pack up and move on. It also means that you can opt not to walk and travel on the barge instead.

In France, Burgundy is a byword for good living and it is a sentiment that is reflected in the gently rolling hills where cows graze on deep green grass and where vines thrive producing some of the world’s finest wines. It is a land of butter, cream, cheese and beef and the beauty of the barge is that we get to experience it all effortlessly.

On board is a top-class chef, a knowledgeable local guide and driver, and a skipper so that all we need to do is walk, eat and drink. Each day neatly divides itself into a morning walk and an afternoon of cruising and cultural visits to local sites.

Having walked from the basilica at Vézelay, negotiated the cliffs at Saussoir or navigated between butter-stone villages on woodland paths or tracks between the vines, you will always return to a gourmet meal of the highest quality and perhaps a bottle of excellent pinot noir.

As Ratty said "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." 'All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.' "Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!" It seems Kenneth Grahame must have been with us on board.

James and the crew host this trip on the hotel barge. All meals and drinks are included. The cruise may start in Clamecy and end in Auxerre.


Cruising the Nivernais canal in Burgundy, south of Auxerre, our beautiful barge dates back to the 1920s when she was a mule-drawn barge later becoming France’s very first hotel-barge.  3 double, 3 twin and 2 single en-suite cabins are located on the lower deck.  The saloon on the upper deck has large windows allowing lovely views across the countryside. The sun deck is raised, offering the perfect vantage point to sit, glass in hand and watch beautiful Burgundy slip by.

Grade Of Walking

The paths and lanes that run between the Yonne river, Nivernais canal and the smaller Cure river take you to the timeless villages of the old Burgundy. This is easy walking taking you through woods, fields, vineyards and villages and over river bridges into cafés and onto drinks by the riverside. We will offer morning walks only which will allow you to cruise and do the voluntary excursions too.

For those feeling less like walking there is always the possibility to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of being on board or you can always do a little walk along the tow path. It is very scenic. Bicycles are available too for those preferring to pedal.


On board is an excellent chef and each meal back on board is met with huge anticipation! Burgundy happens to be one of the great culinary centres of France and the chef does not let you down. You are regaled with exquisitely cooked and beautifully presented dishes accompanied by pungent, hard or runny cheeses from all over France.

Burgundy is renowned for its wine and the pinot noir grape. We will be enjoying wines from lower Burgundy like Irancy and Chablis and these will be complemented by south west France wines from our hosts' cellar the likes of Cahors, Madiran and Jurancon as well as some delicious sweet whites from Monbazillac or Saussignac.




7 Days


36 miles






23 Jun - 29 Jun