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.
The Burgundy Experience
Curds for Nerds
Burgundy in under 2 minutes set to music