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Southern Burgundy, France
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Barging in Burgundy
|Passengers: 4||Your Hosts: Paul and Annie Roberts|
|Size: 110 feet long||English Speaking Crew of: 2|
|Last Visited: 2012||Bicycles: 4|
|Rating: Charming Class||Air Conditioned: Yes|
Cruise Rate Includes: 6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, transfers to and from the barge from Dijon, all meals from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, except three dinners which will taken off the barge at your expense(Captain Roberts will make reservations and provide transportation), all wines with lunches & dinners served on board, wines/beers and soft drinks on board, daily escorted excursions and use of onboard bicycles.
Cruise Rate Does NOT Include: Airfare to and from France, transportation to the cruise route (we will assist you with this), three dinners off the barge at your expense, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)
2013 RatesWhole Boat Charter of 2, 3 or 4 guests: $14,000
2013 date aVAILABLE AS OF 4/04/13Sunday June 30 - July 6, 2013
2014 RatesWhole Boat Charter of 2, 3 or 4 guests: $14,500
2014 Sunday Start dates
|May 4 - 10||July 27 - August 2||September 7 - 13|
|June 15 - 21 ||August 17 - 23||September 28 - October 4|
|July 6 - 12|
2014 Wednesday Start dates
|April 23 - 29||June 25 - July 1||August 27 - September 7|
|May 14 - 20||July 16 - 22||September 17- 23|
|June 4 - 10||August 6 - 12||October 8 - 14|
"Bonheur" in French means "happiness," and oh, boy, is this the right name! Created and operated by one of the most attractive young couples in barging, Captain Paul Roberts and Chef Annie Roberts, Bonheur is a top choice for Charming Class cruising with charm, flair and an especially warm welcome. The Roberts bring interesting professional backgrounds: Paul in tourism and historic architectural preservation, Annie in retail management, most notably with Laura Ashley for many years.
We are always pleased when we visit this marvelous barge! The latest to see Bonheur was Caroline Sack Klein (Director of Sales & Marketing) in 2011. She said: “Bonheur was delightfully charming and comfortable. Over the winter, the entire vessel was air-conditioned and the two cabins re-decorated. They both are now blue and white with a Provencal-inspired theme. We were happy to be among the first in barging to see these new cabins! Annie’s “eye” and attention to detail are evident the moment one boards. Never have I seen such extensive and beautiful on-deck floral displays! Paul has announced some new programming, including a Tasting Lunch at Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet, at which 14 vintages will be tasted, and also a second lunch off the barge in the village of Volnay on the way to Beaune. Our guests love Bonheur – and so do I!”
Ellen Sack, the Barge Lady, spent the night on Bonheur in 2009. Ellen said: "Going onto the barge, one then encounters the salon, a warm and comfortable room with several sink-in couches, and partially open to the green and white tiled kitchen. Thoughtful touches abound. In one corner is a writing desk, complete with postcards and stamps; in another, a help-yourself fridge; there is an extensive library and even art supplies at the ready for those inspired to paint or draw! Entertainment is provided by a DVD with movie selection as well as an IPOD with at least 150 albums.
The cabins continue Bonheur’s theme of comfort married to charm. They ARE petite, but beautiful – with King size beds that can also be configured to Twin beds, ingenious storage, and gorgeous tiled baths (In the cabin where I stayed, there is a separate shower-sink room and toilet room.)
Paul approaches sightseeing in an informed and personal way. For instance he makes sure that guests will attend a weekly outdoor market. And he has found a vineyard presided over by a wonderful winemaker, who gives the tour in English.
Annie's cuisine is fresh, light and delicious! Please go to the Menu section for a writeup of the dinner I and our Barge Lady guests enjoyed on board. For a change of pace, three dinners are scheduled off the barge at the expense of the guests. Paul can recommend authentic, local auberges and will make reservations and provide transportation. Bonhuer has turned out to be a very successful addition to our fleet."
Bonheur Plombiers-les-Dijon to Pont ‘Ouche
Burgundy Cruise Itinerary
on the Canal de Bourgongne
Day 1: Paris to Plombieres-les-Dijon
You will arrive to the Dijon Train Station in the late afternoon. We will assign the train itinerary for you closer to your departure. (The cost of rail tickets or any transfer to and from the cruise route is additional to the price and must be booked separately.) Guests will be met on the train platform and be chauffeured to Bonheur,which is moored on the Canal de Bourgogne in the Port of Plombieres-les-Dijon just 15 minutes drive from the railway station. Welcome drinks and dinner in the evening gives us the opportunity to chat about the coming weeks’ itinerary, while you gently unwind from your journey.
Day 2: Cruise to Pont de Pany
Relax and Watch the Countryside Float By
This morning we leave Dijon behind us as we cruise out into the countryside towards the picturesque valley of the Ouche. This is a day of cruising where you can relax on board, watching the world go by, but should you wish there are plenty of opportunities to disembark at one of the many locks to either walk or cycle, see above. We moor at the quiet village of Pont de Pany for this evening. Tonight you eat ashore at Auberge Gourmand.
Day 3: Cruise to Gissey-sur-Ouches
Mingle with the Locals at the Dijon Market
This morning we take a drive into the historic town of Dijon, the capital of Burgundy. After a pleasant stroll around the medieval quarter, including the Ducal Palace and the famous Dijon mustard shop, you will have the opportunity to experience Dijon market day with the atmosphere of a French market at its best. We return to Bonheur for lunch and then this afternoon we take a leisurely cruise through unspoiled countryside, see below, to the village Gissey sur Ouche. This evening you eat ashore at O P'tit Repere du Gout.
Day 4: Beaune
Sample 12 Wines at Puligny Montrachet
We have put today aside to explore a little further afield from the canal by car. In the morning we drive to the delightful town of Beaune, the historic wine capital of Burgundy. You will enjoy a visit to the famous Hospice de Beaune, an immaculately preserved hospital built in the 15th century, which was still accepting patients in 1912! For lunch we have arranged for you to experience (the cost is included in you charter price) the hospitality of Olivier LeFlaive, see picture at right, in the beautiful village of Puligny Montrachet. The sommelier will present 12 wines for your tasting pleasure! After lunch we take a scenic route back to Bonheur. Dinner will be taken aboard.
Day 5: Cruise to La Bussiere
Dinner at a Michelin Starred Restaurant
This morning we gently cruise to the village of La Bussiere. After lunch aboard we take a drive to the hilltop village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois. This medieval village has a magnificent chateau come fortress which was used by one of the Dukes of Burgundy with its high vantage point giving stunning views over the surrounding countryside and the canal far below. This evening we have made a reservation for our guests to eat at the Michelin starred restaurant of the Abbaye de la Bussiere, one of the highlights of the week. This beautiful estate has been transformed from a Cistercian abbey into a wonderful hotel where you will dine in style.
Day 6: Cruise to Pont d'Ouche
A Day Devoted to Wine
This morning we gently cruise to Pont d’Ouche. On this part of the canal we pass through small villages and stunning countryside. This afternoon, after lunch, we take a drive to the medieval chateau of Clos de Vougeot which is surrounded by vineyards. It is the headquarters of the Chevalier de Tastevin whose special label is awarded annually to the finest Cote d’Or vintages. We will drive through the famous wine village of Nuits St George as we return to Bonheur and guests will have the opportunity for a wine tasting. This evening guests eat aboard.onboard.
Day 7: Return to Dijon
A Sad Farewell
After a leisurely breakfast guests are taken to Dijon Train Station for a morning departure between 9:00 - 10:00 am. We hope to see you again on the Bonheur!
Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions. The route will run in reverse on alternate weeks. Contact The Barge Lady for reservations and more information about Barge cruises on the Waterways of France - Or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.
Bonheur Guest Book"The cruise was beyond our expectations. Paul and Annie were the perfect host and hostess. We cannot say enough about the wine—we learned so very much!! Paul was better than some of our sommeliers we had had earlier. Also, he was a great guide during the daily exursions—he was a wealth of knowledge about the places we visited. We loved learning about the Burgundy wines and cheese as well as the historical points of interest. Annie’s dishes were 5 star and then some. The four of us feel that Annie has a cook book in the making!! Every meal was delicious and presented beautifully!! We loved visiting the little French villages—so darling—so quaint—seeing ordinary small-town people doing ordinary small-town tasks. I can still hear the church bells ringing in each village. I can still see the children playing on the way home from school. And the bonus was that we got to see the autumn leaves along the canal.
The cabins were Better than we expected—really, king size beds!! How wonderful. The cabin was designed with a lot of care taken to place all of our personal items. We never felt that we were even on a boat. It was very comfortable and tidy. They appeared to make us comfortable, then disappeared. I think they were genies in a bottle granting our every wish then fading away in smoke! It was a pleasure and our good fortune to get to know Paul and Annie. We came to be so very fond of them, that leaving them was akin to leaving family. They were most interesting, and very talented couple. We loved their British accent—their voices were so easy on the ears!! The leisure atmosphere—not having to plan or do anything. We loved all the information and helpful tips from The Barge Lady—it was a great check list for us. The train information was great—since it had been a few years since we traveled via train in France. The worst part was LEAVING! Everything was perfect!!"
- Linda and Bill Stevens, Cruised October, 2012
"Bonheur definitely EXCEEDED our expectations. Paul was a wonderful guide and provided an incredible amount of information on all the sights he took us to. The cuisine was fantastique!!! My husband (who is rather picky about such things!) says he can't think of one thing that he would change, and that's the highest compliment possible. We really had "a slice of life" in Burgundy. The hardest thing was leaving the comfort of the boat! We thank The Barge Lady for introducing us to the Bonheur."
- Wayne Safka and Debbie Gallaway, cruised September, 2012
"Annie's cuisine was sensational - we have been on withdrawal since our departure. We loved Paul's passion for architecture. We felt we saw the highlights and he provided great insight into the history of the areas and sights we visited. Our teenagers felt it was the best part of the trip. Our vacation was amazing and we only have the fondest memories on Bonheur and have recommended you and this cruise to anyone who will listen."
-Lorrie Liang and Family, cruised July, 2012
"We are most grateful for Ellen's advice, steering us to the Bonheur, where our experience exceeded our expectations. Paul and Annie were remarkable hosts; we've never felt so well taken care-of. While I assumed that my favorite meals would be the 3 dinners off the barge (including a lovely Michelin-starred restaurant), it was the meals on the boat that stood-out for both their presentation and deliciousness. Paul served us lovely wines and explained each of their origins, while Annie's food was beautiful and scrumptious. Everything that we could possibly need or want was available either in our cabin or in the common areas of the barge.
The barge itself was gorgeous, having been lovingly restored and decorated. The trip down the Canal du Bourgogne was scenic and serene. We passed a few other barges that also cruise on the Canal, including the most luxurious. We were always pleased that we were on the Bonheur instead, where the four of us were treated like royalty, had luxurious space, cuisine and a most knowledgeable Captain who both ably helmed the barge, and knowledgeably led us to and through the local excursions. Paul's command of both the history of the region and architecture in the towns that we visited enhanced the excursions, which never felt like "tours.". In short, it was a most perfect excursion, a trip of a lifetime. I would describe the Bonheur as casually elegant, and my only post-trip concern is that I will never find another boat or crew that measures-up to the Bonheur."
- Robin Atlas, cruised June 2012
"We had a marvelous time on the Bonheur with Annie and Paul. Your information was excellent, the barge was beautifully done with many great features and amenities, the food delicious, and the weather cooperated. The daily excursions were well led by Paul who clearly knows his way around those parts of France, and we had some fine meals ashore. Paul has done an amazing job of restoration of the original barge with renovations. The cabins were great, with very nice showers and full flush toilets (unlike some other boats). We did not need the A/C ,although it is installed as well as heated towel racks in the bathrooms. He also has a very nice wine selection that were paired with sumptuous meals that Annie prepared. Fresh breads were daily brought aboard. They were great fun to talk with and made us feel at home. All in all, it was a great experience and our travel companions were enchanted. Thanks so much for all your efforts on our behalf."
- Audrey and Tom Witschi, cruised May, 2012
"Our pre-trip information was very complete and helpful and the cruised exceeded our expectations. Everything was done in a classy way by Paul and Annie...while informal...perfect! The cuisine was truly outstanding in quality and presentation! Wine choices were perfect for the food. Paul and Annie are great and a real joy to be with. I can't imagine any better "crew". Big hugs all around! We loved Paul's knowledge of the region, the sights and definitely the wine. We highly recommend this barge.
Bob and Diane Jenkins, cruised October 2011
"This was the perfect barge for the four of us, the Barge Lady knew exactly what would work best for us. Our hosts always went the extra mile for us to make sure we were comfortable. The Barge Lady, Paul and Annie were very thorough in every detail and really made this a delightful and memorable week for us. The cuisine, crew and comfort on the barge were excellent. Also, Paul always had some great sights for us to visit and good restaurants for our dining pleasure. We would highly recommend this trip and this barge."
-Marsha and Bill Shaw, cruised September 2011
"This was a great trip through the French countryside. This barge is OUTSTANDING! It was very clean and adequate. Annie is a wonderful host and person and makes a great team with Paul in leaving "no stone unturned" in making our experience fun, pleasurable and relaxing. Our trips to Beaune and other Burgundy region towns were fun, informative and relaxing. We especially enjoyed our lunch at Puligny Montrachet."
-Fred and Pat Smith, cruised September 2011
Captain Paul Roberts says:
“We carry almost 200 bottles of Burgundy vintages in our
floating cellar and do not repeat a wine during the week."
Here is a small sample of what Bonheur guests will taste:
~ White Wines ~
Rully 1er Cru
Montagny 1er Cru
Mercury 1er Cru
Maranges 1er Cru
~ Red Wines ~
Cotes de Nuits
Aloxe Corton 1er Cru
Rully 1er cru
Santannay 1er Cru
Cotes de Beaune
Maranges 1er Cru Volnay
* * * * *
Bonheur Floor Plan110 feet long
WILSON CABIN is situated at the bow
-Approx 100 square feet
-King size bed or 2 twin beds
-2 picture windows and 2 portholes
-Separate tiled shower-sink and toilet rooms
-Lots of shelving for storage
BENNETT CABIN is situated mid-ship
-Approx 90 square feet
-King size bed or 2 twin beds
-1 picture window
-Built-in tiled sink-vanity in the cabin
-Separate tiled shower-toilet room
-Built- in wardrobe closet
*Hair dryer in both cabins
In the Public Areas
Comfortable couches, fireplace, dining area, library and entertainment
With flower and herb gardens
Plus dining table and chairs, loungers
and a barbeque
Lightweight aluminum frames with 21 gears and fully adjustable for saddle height or handlebar height