Travel: Paris to Gray
Our private driver meets you in Paris or Geneva to drive you to the Grand Victoria, moored in Auxonne to enjoy your French river cruise. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our cheerful crew and experience our Grand Victoria welcome. While we get you checked in and the crew take your luggage to your stateroom, you’ll have the chance to sit and relax with our signature champagne welcome before your first of many incredible dinners on board.
Travel: Gray to Pontailler
We start our week with breakfast on board while you enjoy your first barge cruise in France down one of the prettiest stretches of the petit Saône. After a delightful lunch on board, we depart for a walk of the historic town of Dole. The particularly well-preserved historic centre of Dole is listed as conservation area. The short walk along the Tanneurs canal is the perfect place for a stroll. It is in this district that Louis Pasteur, the inventor of the rabies vaccine was born in 1822. Today, Pasteur's birth house is a museum, which describes the life and scientific work of the famous scholar. Guests can also visit the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, which was built between 1509 and 1590, its watchtower has become the symbol for Dole. Finally, we’ll stop for drinks at a local café before returning to the Grand Victoria for happy hour.
Travel: Pontailler - Auxonne
We depart the Grand Victoria in the morning by mini-van for a walking tour of Dijon’s historic marketplace, designed by Gustav Eiffel himself. Mingle amongst the local shoppers and experience this traditional French market day. A historical tour of the
Ducal Palace, Notre Dame, and a 15th century medieval shopping street will bring us to
the Place du Bareuzai, where we’ll enjoy lunch with the locals at a French bistro. After lunch, guests are welcome to explore Dijon’s shops before enjoying a mustard tasting at the historic Maison Maille founded in 1747. We’ll return to the Grand Victoria for an afternoon of cruising down the scenic Saône River to the medieval village of Auxonne. This is a fantastic mooring to take a short walk or bike ride down the canal path.
Travel: Auxonne to Seurre
We start our morning with an early cruise to Seurre. This is a fantastic opportunity to take a short walk or bike ride down the canal path and get back on board in the first lock, before continuing on to Seurre. After lunch, guests embark on a tour of a hospital from the Middle Ages, the Hospices de Beaune is one of France’s most prestigious historic monuments. Its flamboyant Gothic architecture and its polychrome roofs make this museum one of Burgundy’s gems. We visit the famous Château de Pommard, a historic Château near Beaune dating back centuries. At Pommard, we’ll discover the true taste of Burgundy’s appellations, viticulture, and winemaking. Happy hour starts tonight with a selection of vinyl albums to take you back in time, while the chef prepares another culinary masterpiece.
Travel: Seurre to Chalon-sur-Saône
We start our morning with an early cruise to Chalon-sur-Saône. Guests can kick back and relax on our spacious deck as we spend the morning cruising down the scenic Saône River. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local Michelin Star restaurant before we venture off to tour the majestic Château de Rully. A medieval fortress built in the 12th century. Visiting the castle will take you on a journey through French history. From there, it’s back to our mooring in Chalon-sur-Saone for cocktails and dinner. Feel free to bike or take a stroll through the streets of the city, which once served as a port for Roman Emperor Constantius II. Chalon is a great city to explore by night.
Travel: Chalon-sur-Saône to Tournus
After breakfast, we’ll depart on a morning cruise to Tournus. Tournus is located in the heart of an area whose hills and the River Saône, lend an incomparable mildness to the lifestyle of its inhabitants. We’ll take a tour of Saint-Philibert de Tournus a medieval church, the main surviving building of a former Benedictine abbey. After lunch, guests go for a wine tasting at Pouilly-Fuissé an appellation (AOC) for white wine in the Mâconnais sub-region Burgundy in central France. We return to the Grand Victoria, where guests have the opportunity to kick back with a cocktail before our final dinner together.
Travel: Chagny to Paris
It’s our final morning together. Enjoy a delicious breakfast as you get ready to depart the Grand Victoria. Your private chauffeur arrives at 9:00 am to take you back to Paris or Geneva.
Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It runs in reverse on alternate weeks.