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L’Art de Vivre - Burgundy Cruise

L’Art de Vivre is a first class, 8-passenger hotel barge that cruises the beautiful Canal du Nivernais which meanders along River Yonne, through the largely undiscovered region near the Morvan Hills, passing charming sleepy villages, tranquil pastoral scenery, and lush vineyards.


Visit the underground quarry of Aubigny, one of the major attractions in Burgundy.

Explore the medieval town of Auxerre with its beautiful waterfront promenade and rich history.

Wander around the cellars of Bailly-Lapierre and get a taste of the sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne.

Discover the wine village of Chablis and enjoy wine tasting at the prestigious Domaine Laroche.

Visit the elegant Château de Bazoches and the pilgrimage town of Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures.

Experience the beauty of the countryside with optional 'Biking Plus' activity and hot air ballooning.

L’Art de Vivre takes you across the gorgeous highlights of Burgundy on a week-long scenic cruise with ample chance to disembark for exciting shore excursions and wine tastings. Set along the fascinating Canal du Nivernais, your cruise is a magical journey back in time with the lush rolling hills, pastoral scenery, vineyards, grand chateaux and medieval villages creating a backdrop for your holiday.

L’Art de Vivre is a first class, 8-passenger hotel barge boasting orginal wood and brass design. The barge whisks you through the heart of rural France in comfort with its inviting interior, modern en suite facilities, charming saloon, sun deck, and spa pool. This holiday offers a Biking Plus option for guests who want to do more than just cycling along nearby towpaths. With this option, you will follow an interesting, but not too challenging route and explore the surrounding countryside and villages. Hot air ballooning is also a great add-on. The 1-hour balloon ride takes place in the early hours just after dawn or before sunset, when the air is still and the light is perfect for you to gaze down at the stunning countryside.

2020 Departure Dates

  • 5, 12, 19 & 26 April
  • 3, 10 17, 24 & 31 May
  • 7, 14, 21 & 28 June
  • 5, 12, 19 & 26 July
  • 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 August
  • 6, 13 20 & 27 September
  • 4, 11, 18 & 25 October
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6-night luxury cruise
All meals as per itinerary (All meals on board catered for by the on board Master Chef)
Open bar 24/7 with a large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. All wines served throughout the cruise.
Transfers by chauffeured minibus between Paris and the hotel barge
Excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary
Services of 4 crew members
Use of barge facilities, which includes bicycles and spa pool

On-Board Facilities

  • Maximum of 8 passengers
  • 4 twin/double state rooms with en-suite facilities
  • 3 portholes in each cabin and 1 in each bathroom
  • Binoculars and bicycles
  • 4 crew
  • Air-conditioned / centrally heated
  • Spa pool (hot-tub)
  • Sun deck - Bimini (sun canopy)
  • Small library of books and maps
  • Boules and board games
  • Nordic walking sticks (on request)
  • Hi-Fi system with CD player
  • Selection of CDs on-board
  • WiFi (Subject to local reception)


Expand Collapse  all days
Day 1

You are met at the meeting point in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the pretty L’Art de Vivre. Following a champagne welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre, or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board.

L'Art de Vivre cruising past Auxerre Cathedral in France.
Day 2
Auxerre to Vincelles

Your morning cruise starts early and takes you through some delightful locks and past vineyard-clad hillsides to your rural mooring at Vincelles. Following lunch on board, you'll head to the quarry of Aubigny, a subterranean wonderland of stonework which is famous for the limestone used on buildings such as the Paris Opera House. Here you will explore the uniquely atmospheric underground space. Afterwards, you will visit the cellars of Bailly-Lapierre, also carved out of the rock, to taste some of their sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Auxerre to Vincelles
L'Art de Vivre cruising the gorgeous scenery of Burgundy region.
Day 3
Vincelles to Mailly-la-Ville

Following an early breakfast, you'll head to the medieval town of Auxerre to wander around the morning produce market. Later, you will tour the centre of what was originally the capital of Lower Burgundy, with its lavish Renaissance houses, fine churches and particularly its magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. Return to the hotel barge for a cruise southward through rich pasturelands and past grazing Charolais cattle, to the sleepy village of Mailly-la-Ville. After your relaxed lunch on board, perhaps this is a good time to enjoy a walk or bicycle ride along the towpath.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Vincelles to Mailly-la-Ville
The stunning Auxerre Cathedral.
Day 4
Mailly-la-Ville to Le Saussois

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, you'll head to the celebrated wine village of Chablis. After viewing the vineyards, you'll make a private visit to the prestigious Domaine Laroche for a wine-tasting, followed by a tour of the 1000 years old Obédiencerie; originally part of the monastery of St. Martin, this is where the monks developed the craft of winemaking in the Middle Ages and to this day it remains the location for aging the wines. Lunch will be served by a private chef in the Domaine’s dining hall. Later in the afternoon you will return to the barge to cruise past the cliffs at Le Saussois, a stunning natural setting with an international climbing centre. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy delightful walks or bicycle rides along the towpath.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mailly-la-Ville to Le Saussois
L'Art de Vivre cruising Nivernais Canal
Day 5
Le Saussois to Lucy-sur-Yonne

Your morning cruise is through the picturesque Yonne Valley to your mooring at Lucy-sur-Yonne. After lunch on board, you will enjoy an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, craft shops, and fine views of the surrounding countryside.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Le Saussois to Lucy-sur-Yonne
L'Art de Vivre's charming saloon
Day 6
Lucy-sur-Yonne to Chevroches

A morning cruise through beautiful countryside takes you to your final mooring at the pretty canalside village of Chevroches and, again, this is a perfect time for a walk or a bicycle ride. In the afternoon, you will visit the elegant Château de Bazoches, built in the 12th century and whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. The château was later remodelled by Maréchal Vauban and there are wonderful views from its elevated hillside setting.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lucy-sur-Yonne to Chevroches
The elegant Château de Bazoches built in the 12th century.
Day 7

After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris.


Additional information

Official language
6 nights
from AUD7,780
per person, twin share
05 April - 25 October 2020

Optional Extras

  • “Biking Plus” option - Includes pre – packed backpacks and pre – planned cycle routes that will allow you to fully experience the sprawling countryside.
  • Hot air ballooning - Once on board, the captain can arrange this directly with the hot air balloon company. Flights last about 1 hour and are weather dependent.

Important notes

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks, the cruise is in the reverse direction.

Approximate transfer duration between Paris & L’Art de Vivre is 2.5 hours.

This barge is available for charter bookings and theme cruises. Contact us for more details.

Pick-up Point

  • Cabin bookings - The Hotel Westminster, Paris at 2:00 pm
  • Charter bookings - One location of the group's choice in Paris at 2:00 pm OR a TGV train station close to the barge after 4:00 pm

Drop-off Point

  • Cabin bookings - The Hotel Westminster by 12:00 noon
  • Charter bookings - One location of the group's choice in Paris by 12noon OR at a local TGV train station by 10:00 am

Accommodation on board

Each stateroom can be configured with either 2 single beds or a double bed.
All cabins have en-suite shower & WC, a fitted closet with hanging space and a small bedside table. There is also storage space in drawers under each bed.

There are 3 portholes in each cabin and one in each bathroom. The portholes can be opened, but not while cruising.

Washing gel, hand soap, shampoo, towels, bathrobes and slippers are provided.

There are no laundry facilities on board.


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