Barge Meanderer cruising on the Canal de Briare
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Grand Cru "Wine Academy" Cruise For The Wine Connoisseur

Clos de Vougeot, home to one of the 33 Grand Cru's of Burgundy

Dining room aboard the Amaryllis,
host of the Grand Cru "Wine Academy" Cruise

The 8-passenger Ultra Deluxe Barge Amaryllis
Unlike larger ocean liners with thousands of tourists, or river cruises with hundreds of passengers, intimate barge cruises with 12 or fewer guests allow for a more relaxed experience. Cruise through rural and historic villages along the French countryside for an up close and personal travel experience that most clients describe as the most relaxing, rejuvenating and pampered week of their lives.

A barge cruise can be anything you want it to be, and many people join other like minded travelers for a week of pure rest and relaxation as you visit and learn about quaint and historic towns, or focus on  specific itineraries that more closely reflect your interests.

European barges offer guests exceptional cuisine and wines that display the creativity and artistry of the on board master chef and the best of local markets and growers – all for the delight of just a handful of guests. The chef introduces his or her creations to the guests at dinners aboard, and can handily accommodate special dietary requirements. The experience is personal and intimate, just like the excursions and the special attention that guests receive. 

The Grand Cru "Wine Academy" Cruise aboard the 8-passenger Ultra Deluxe barge Amaryllis, is just that – unique, informative, relaxing and intimate for a handful of guests who are true wine aficionados. This is one of the few times that the Amaryllis has been available for individual cabin bookings rather than a charter. The 2018 rate is
€11,192 per person, double occupancy, which includes all meals, wines and excursions, as well as round trip transfers from Paris.  

This once in a lifetime opportunity involves a full week of daily classes, lectures and vintner visits hosted by an on board resident expert, vineyard host or vintner.

Amaryllis cruises on some of the most picturesque waterways in France, including the Canal de Bourgogne, the River Saone and the Canal du Centre, as it travels through the heart of Burgundy. It is one of the most luxurious barges afloat, and offers the perfect venue for a cruise of this kind.

The itinerary will include informative excursions to historic sites and visits to specially selected Chateaux and vineyards in the region. Your personal chef will create a special menu designed around  the Grand Cru selections that have been chosen for you, and your personal crew of 6 will ensure that your every need is met. Below is the sample itinerary, which you can also see at:

Burgundy: Canal du Centre, Saone River
St Leger sur Dheune to Dijon
Wine Academy Cruise, 
July 8 thru July 14, 2018 

The Wine Academy includes an immersive program of talks to inspire the exploration of Burgundy and its most precious asset.  Wine master and resident expert, Pascal Wagner, leads the Wine Academy and is often referred to as a walking encyclopedia of oenology. Pascal has over 30 years of experience and grew up footsteps from the special Grand Cru vines of the region. The Wine Academy is available for charters or for a minimum of 4 passengers. 

Sunday - Arrival St. Leger sur Dheune - Welcome  
Board the barge at St Leger sur Dheune for the beginning of your cruise through the heart of Burgundy. A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you a chance to meet your crew for the week ahead. Your dedicated local wine expert Pascal Wagner will give an introductory overview of Burgundy wines and associated appellations.  Later, enjoy your first dining experience on board.

Monday - Cruise to Chagny. Grand Cru Lunch Puligny Montrachet & Vineyard tour 
A leisurely cruise on the Canal du Centre gives you a chance to savor the beauty of the French countryside, with plenty of opportunities at the many locks to get off the barge and walk or cycle along the dedicated tow path. Late morning Pascal will accompany you for a 'Cote de Beaune Grand Cru tasting' & lunch in the King of white wine villages - Puligny Montrachet. After lunch enjoy a cellar tour and visit into the surrounding vineyards with Pascal.

Tuesday - Cruise to Fragnes. Visit Chateau de Pommard & Degustation 
After breakfast, Pascal will accompany you to the magnificent Chateau de Pommard and surrounding domaine – one of the largest privately-owned estates in Burgundy. There will be a special Oenological presentation based on 'senses and aromas' followed of course by a tasting of the Domaine's prestigious wines. This afternoon, relax on board while the barge cruises the final section of the Canal du Centre towards the delightful village of Fragnes. Early evening Pascal will unveil the secrets of the local Cremant de Bourgogne & Champagne with a private tasting held on board. 

Wednesday - Cruise to St Jean de Losne. Visit Beaune
A somewhat different cruising experience today, through the lovely valley of the River Saone to the town of Seurre. After lunch on board we visit the charming old town of Beaune to see the famous cafes, a magnificent 15th century charity hospital, followed by a private cellar tour & wine tasting. There is time to stroll through the old town taking in the wonderful architecture and fine shopping. Tonight's mooring is at St Jean de Losne, the barging capital of France.  Take some time to stroll around the ports and see the many working barges and house boats that are moored here.

Thursday - Cruise to Longecourt. 'Grand Cru' Lunch Gevrey Chambertin & Visit to Clos de Vougeot 
This morning the barge leaves the river and enters the Burgundy Canal. Enjoy the chance to walk or cycle along the tow path. Late morning your guide will take you on a picturesque drive towards the world renowned village of Gevrey Chambertin, home of the great Reds. Enjoy a 'Cote de Nuits Grand Cru' tasting & lunch at one of the reputed local Domaine's. After lunch drive through the Cote and visit the historic Clos de Vougeot where the Cistercian monks first began making wine in the 12th century. The ancient chateau is now the headquarters of the celebrated Burgundian wine society the Confrerie des Chevaliers de Tastevin, and contains the ancient cellar and wine presses from medieval times. Return to the barge at Longecourt, your overnight mooring.

Friday - Cruise to Dijon. Visit Dijon
Today your guide takes you on a walking tour of historic Dijon, capital of the great dukes of Burgundy, to visit the market, Ducal Palace, the Grey Poupon mustard shop and enjoy some shopping at the covered food market. Tonight, the barge moors in the port of Dijon. As the chef prepares for your Farewell gala dinner on board, perhaps try a Kir aperitif, a cocktail which mixes the locally produced Cassis blackcurrant liqueur with the area's Aligote white wine.

Saturday - Dijon
After breakfast the crew bids a sad farewell before you disembark the barge for your onward travel arrangements.

Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. With thousands of satisfied customers, we can help you select the best option for your barge cruise in France or the rest of Europe.

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