CANAL CRUISING IN BURGUNDY – WHAT’S NEW FOR SUMMER 2020?

Most people tend to drive straight through Burgundy without stopping – such a shame as this is the very middle of France, full of the richest of French culture, food and wine. For years now we’ve delighted people, wandering to-and-fro along the Burgundy Canal – it’s simply wonderful.  However for summer 2020 we have decided to wander a little bit further afield at the start of the season and so we’re introducing a new itinerary cruising on the Nivernias Canal, between Auxerre and Chevroches, to the north of Burgundy. This is what even the locals call ‘France profond’ – deepest France – so rest assured that, as ever, we’ll be avoiding the highways and rely on the byways and backwaters. In every way this secret France delivered up-close and personal with  a uniquely medieval French flavour.

However we simply cannot resist cruising the lower reaches of the Burgundy canal as the night grow longer – after all, who wouldn’t want to be in the Côte d’Or with the ‘vendange’ or wine harvest approaching. So, at the end of August, Le Papillon will be returning to her spiritual home to offer you a choice of Burgundian experiences.

Moving Le Papillon from the Nivernais to our cruising grounds in the south towards Beaune takes is a journey of two weeks – we call these weeks our ‘Moveable Feasts’ – we eat and drink every bit as well, but the itinerary and stopping points may vary a little. This voyage takes us through some really off the beaten track rural backwaters of France, interspersed with medieval gems.

Whichever week you choose to cruise, these is quite simply there is no better way to get an insider’s view of these perfectly hidden aspects of this intriguing province than a cruise on board Le Papillon, a lovingly conserved 115-year-old Dutch barge. Le Papillon translates as ‘the butterfly’. Really, she should be called L’Escargot as this really is France at a snail’s pace, chugging slowly from lock to lock between tiny ports and historic moorings. The only way you can see it faster is to borrow one of the bicycles we keep on board and pedal on ahead along the towpath.

ALSO NEW FOR 2020: LE PAPILLON NOW SLEEPS 4 IN REFITTED BIGGER CABINS

Papillon dek plan

Le Papillon will enjoy a major face-lift during the early months of 2020. Most importantly we are taking out one cabin altogether and creating two much larger cabins. As every one of the portholes can be opened, your floating home is always light and airy. We will be installing European king-sized beds (which can alternatively be split into twin beds), which are a little smaller than similar US beds at 71 inches wide by 79 inches long (180cm x 200cms). We are refurbishing the en suite facilities and introducing seats into the shower area. Cabins will have ample storage space, with a hanging closet, drawers and shelves. There will also be a small desk space.

Originally designed for 6 passengers the saloon and dining room will be even more spacious for 4. The traditional dining room provides the perfect ambience to sample all the essential flavours of Burgundy from the chef’s galley. The comfortable saloon is complete with an eclectic library and stereo system. Naturally the bar is stocked with the finest vintage wines the Burgundian vineyards have to offer.

Your crew will provide an impeccable and attentive service and make your stay  on board Le Papillon the trip of a lifetime. Together, they are a wealth of information about France and are passionate about sharing its culture, cuisine and wine.

If you really want to discover Burgundy on a canal vacation Le Papillon really is the only way to travel.

The Burgundy Experience

YOUR CHOICE OF TWO ITINERARIES AND TWO MOVEABLE FEASTS FOR SUMMER 2020

New for 2020 we are offering a choice of two different Burgundy canal cruising experiences. We will be cruising the Nivernais at the start of the season during May thru’ early July then moving to cruise the Burgundy canal for the rest of the season, finishing in October. In between we have two weeks when we reposition Le Papillon between cruising areas – our ‘moveable feasts’. Whichever you choose you’ll be in off the beaten track medieval France.

THE NIVERNAIS – READ MORE BURGUNDY CANAL – READ MOREMOVEABLE FEASTS – READ MORE

THE GLORIES OF BURGUNDIAN FOOD AND WINE

Food and wine is at the heart of Burgundy and every Burgundian. Le Papillon is legendary throughout the Burgundian  waterways for the excellence of her gourmet cuisine and exceptional quality of her cellar. Our Chef takes enormous pride in creating both classic French dishes and shopping in the local markets for the best seasonal produce. We offer a choice of wine and cheese at lunch and dinner and guarantee you never have the same cheese or wine twice.

For a more in depth appreciation of our gourmet cuisine, cheese and wines, take the time to watch our food and wine videos below.

Chardonnay & Friends – the white wines of Burgundy

Pinot Noir and the Cote D’Or

Curds for Nerds

Burgundy in under 2 minutes set to music

Papillon hidden France

HOT AIR BALLOONING IN BURGUNDY

The skies in Burgundy burn brilliant blue all summer long and, in the cool of the mornings and evenings, are perfect for hot air ballooning. We have established a great rapport with ‘France Mongolfiers’ who have become our very own balloon buddies and most weeks he has a slot reserved for our guests. It’s one of the highlights of the vacation and a completely different perspective on this land we love.

Papillon ballooning

STOP PRESS: NEW 4 PERSON CHARTER PRICES FOR SUMMER 2020

SEE INDIVIDUAL ITINERARY PAGES FOR RATES.

Prices include:

  • Collection from, and return to Paris, France – chauffered services from Paris to your departure point can be arranged at $1,000 per group of four people
  • Accommodation in a double or twin cabin with private facilities
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all cooked by our gourmet chef with local seasonal delicacies
  • Restaurant meals where taken on shore
  • Wine pairings of finest Burgundian vintages at lunch and dinner
  • Open bar 24/7 stocked with French champagne, fine wines and spirits
  • Use of the on-board library and stereo system
  • All ground transport in air-conditioned mini-bus for local sightseeing visits
  • Entry costs for sightseeing
  • Use of on-board bicycles