New Hotel Barges in France
Last fall, Don and Sally Dillin, two of the owners of Special Places Travel, took their annual trek to France where they were greeted by the gracious owners of some wonderful new barges. After their visits, we are pleased to announce that we have added some terrific barges to the outstanding fleet of barges we offer. These owners and crew will warmly welcome you on board and share their extensive knowledge of the region and its traditions, with daily visits to historic sites, cuisine that is locally sourced and exquisitely prepared and then carefully paired with up to 20 different wines during the week, often wines unique to the region.
Cruise the Cote d'Or wine region of Southern Burgundy!
8-passenger Ultra Deluxe FINESSE
Launched in May 2016, the luxurious Finesse is the second barge built and managed by the Roger and Louisa Gronow, the owners of the successful Ultra Deluxe barge Enchante on the Canal du Midi. Like the Enchante, it has a modern salon with comfortable sofas, dining area and open demonstration kitchen. There are four large twin or queen-bedded suites on the lower deck, all with an ensuite bathroom. Outside there is a spacious sun deck with a spa pool, dining table and comfortable seating. The Finesse cruises on a unique route on the Canal du Centre and Saone River in Southern Burgundy and includes excursions to Dijon and Beaune as well as a private wine tasting and lunch at a top winery. The barge accepts both individual cabin bookings as well as charters. One meal on shore plus transfers from Lyon to the barge and return are included.
For more information, see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/finesse.htm
6-passenger Deluxe MAGNOLIA
The Magnolia is operated by its French owners Magali and Nicolas Rancelot, barging veterans of over 15 years, who offer full board or half board charter cruises on the Burgundy Canal between Dijon and Escommes. For half board cruises five meals are at passenger's expense at selected local restaurants and at a private home. When we were on board the owners took us to one of these restaurants for dinner, a converted canal lockhouse that now has a small restaurant. The barge has two double-bedded cabins plus a suite with twin beds or a queen bed, each with an ensuite bathroom, as well as a large salon with sofas, arm chairs and a dining area. On deck is a spa pool, lounge chairs and an outdoor kitchen for al fresco meals. The tour guide provides a daily excursion to some of the most famous sites in the area. Transfers from Dijon to the barge and return are included.
For more information see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/magnolia.htm
6-passenger Deluxe RENDEZ-VOUS
The brand new Rendez-Vous was launched in the summer of 2015. The owners also own the very successful Ultra Deluxe 8-passenger barge Prosperite. The Rendez-Vous offers full board charter cruises for up to 6 passengers on the Burgundy Canal south of Dijon. The barge has an open concept salon with a comfortable sofa and arm chair, dining area and demonstration kitchen. There are three cabins with a queen bed or twin beds, each with an ensuite bathroom. On deck there is a hot tub, lounge chairs, dining table and two loveseats with large umbrellas. Excursions with the barge tour guide include visits to Dijon and Beaune as well as winetasting at nearby vineyards. Two lunches on shore and transfers from Paris to the barge and return are included.
For more information see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/rendezvous.htm
Cruise on the historic Canal du Midi!
6-passenger Deluxe MIRAGE
The Mirage is offering full board cruises for three or six nights for charters of 2-6 passengers as well as individual cabin bookings on the Canal du Midi, between Carcassonne and Castelnaudary. The barge is owned and operated by a delightful French couple, Pascal and Mimi Chauvin. A unique feature of this cruise is that Pascal will offer charter passengers an optional flight in his classic Comet biplane over Carcassonne. They have decorated the salon in the style of a 1940's aviator lounge, with comfortable seating, TV, dining area and an open galley. The barge has two cabins with a queen bed or two twins and one cabin with a fixed queen bed, each with an ensuite bathroom. On deck is a spa pool, dining table and lounger chairs. Breakfast and dinner are served on board while lunch is taken at some of the owners' favorite local restaurants. When we were aboard last September the owners took us to one of these restaurants in the old city of Carcassonne, Daily excursions include visits to Carcassonne and Narbonne as well as wine tasting. Transfers from Narbonne, Carcassonne or Toulouse airport to the barge and return are included.
For more information see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/mirage.htm
4-passenger First Class LOUISA
The British owners of the Louisa, David and Jenny Tremain, offer 3 or 4-night full board charter cruises on the Canal du Midi in the Carcassonne area. Their cruises are perfect for those who want to experience a barge cruise but don't have time for a 6-night cruise. David is the pilot as well as tour guide for your daily excursion while Jenny is the chef. There is one cabin with king bed and one with twin beds, both including an ensuite bathroom . The open plan salon has comfortable seating, a dining area, TV and open galley. All meals are on board, usually on deck, weather permitting. Transfers from Carcassonne or Toulouse to the barge and return are included.
For more information see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/louisa.htm
Explore the vineyards of the world renowned Bordeaux Region!
24-passenger First Class MIRABELLE
The Mirabelle is the only barge we offer that cruises in the Bordeaux wine region. It offers both individual cabin bookings ( for a minimum of 12 passengers) and private charters. All meals, wines and open bar are included on board, along with a daily excursion to each of the five wine regions guided by their wine expert. When we were on board last September we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with accompanying wines prepared by their French chef. There are 11 twin-bedded cabins and one cabin with double bed, each with an ensuite bathroom. There is a deck at the bow with tables and chairs plus a large upper deck with lounge chairs. Transfers from Bordeaux to the barge and return are included.
For more information see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/mirabelle.htm
Champagne Cruises in the Spring, and Southern Burgundy in the Summer and Fall!
6-passenger Deluxe SAROCHE
The Saroche is not a new barge for us but has new owners for 2016, Jason Ashcroft and Dawn Coles, who previously owned and operated the popular 6-passenger Who Knows in Burgundy and Champagne. Jason and Dawn are offering full board cruises on the Saroche for both individual cabin bookings and charters in Champagne on the Marne River and a nearby canal until July and then on the southern Burgundy Canal for the rest of the season. Jason will lead the daily excursions which include a day in Reims while in Champagne and a day in Beaune while in Burgundy. The Saroche has three large cabins with queen bed or two twins and ensuite bathrooms. There is a split level salon/dining room with wood burning fireplace and a large sundeck with hot tub, dining table, lounge chairs and an awning over part of the deck. One meal on shore and transfers from Paris to the barge and return are included.
For more information see: https://www.bargesinfrance.com/saroche.htm