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(8 Guests, Charming Class)
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(4-6 Guests, Charming Class)
- Canal Du Midi
- Provence - Camargue
- Paris to Burgundy
- Loire Valley
- Upper Loire
- Gourmet Land Tours
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Southern Burgundy, France
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Barging in Burgundy
|Passengers: Up to 6||Your Hosts: Jason Ashcroft and Dawn Coles|
|Size: 94 feet long||English Speaking Crew of: 2|
|Last Visited: 2012||Bicycles: 6|
|Rating: Charming Class||Air Conditioned: Yes|
Cruise Rate Does NOT Include: Airfare to and from France, transportation to the cruise route (we will assist you with this), five meals off the barge at your expense ( a combination of restaurants for lunch and dinner will be arranged), cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)
2014 Rates In Burgundy
|Half Board Rates -||5 meals off the barge at the guests expense|
|2 Guests - $10,625 ||5 Guests - $15,000|
|3 Guests - $11,875||6 Guests - $17,500|
|4 Guests - $13,500|
2014 dates in Burgundy
|April 20 - 26||May 11 - 17||June 1 - 7|
|April 27 - May 3||May 18 - 24||June 8 - 14|
|May 4 - 10||May 25 - 31||June 15 - 21|
In 2004, Who Knows was purchased by Jason Ashcroft and Dawn Coles, both of whom have a background in the hotel, restaurant and barging industries. Dawn is a trained chef and earned a catering and hotel degree in the U.K. Jason is also a chef and trained at the prestigious Ecole du Hotelerie in Switzerland. He worked at the hotels Connought in London and the Bar au Lac in Zurich. Besides bringing experience, Jason and Dawn bring enthusiasm. They offer a personalized welcome and a casual cruise style on this unpretentious yet comfortable barge.
We boarded WHO KNOWS moored in the busy port of Vandenesse-en-Auxois. Not having visited this barge for many years, we were thrilled with Jason and Dawn's extensive interior renovations. All three cabins have been rebuilt and modern bathrooms added. These bathrooms were very well arranged and packed a nice amount of storage into a small space. In 2009, the cabins were air-conditioned, and in 2010, the kitchen-dining area was re-built. On our latest visit, Jason and Dawn proudly introduced this new room - which in addition to doubling the cooking space has a "great fridge" and fireplace. A great improvement to WHO KNOWS!
The Who Knows has the feel of a classic yacht with dark wood paneling, teak hardwood flooring and windows with brass portholes and finishings. Guests can spread out onto two decks. The very large deck is set off beautifully with geraniums and Dawn's herb garden. A smaller and charming deck area can be found near the wheelhouse.
The Canal de Bourgogne between Gissey sur Ouche and Pont Royal is one of the most beautiful routes in French canal barging. About their program, Jason says: "Our guests come to cruise. Our route is longer than most and we offer two full days of floating - which means lots of time to relax, walk or bicycle in the deep countryside." There is one full-day excursion - to Beaune - and two half-day excursions, which may encompass wine tasting and a local chateau.
We had a lovely lunch on board! Please see the Menu Section for our divine al fresco meal and conversation with family and friends.
Who Knows Photos
Choose a photo below to view larger:
Who Knows Itinerary
Burgundy Barge Cruise
Gissey sur Ouche to Pont Royal
On the Canal de Bourgogne
Welcome to the Canal!
You will arrive by train to Dijon between 3-4 pm. As you alight, Captain Jason Ashcroft will be waiting on the platform. (Train transfers to and from Dijon are not included in the cruise fare, and we can assist you with prior to your departure.) Jason will chauffeur you to the Who Knows moored at Gissey sur Ouche for a Champagne welcome. Time to settle into your cabins before dinner on the barge.
Monday: Gissey sur Ouche to Pont d'Ouche
A Full Day of Cruising in Paradise
After breakfast we set sail to head upstream towards Pont d'Ouche. Today is all about cruising with plenty of opportunity to cycle and walk along the tow-path, exploring small villages along the route or just sitting on the deck and watching the world glide by. The Ouche Valley in known for its dense deciduous forest, wild boar, deer and birds of prey. The sedate pace continues through the afternoon as we climb through several locks to our destination of Pont d'Ouche. Its name comes from the canal's aquaduct that crosses over the River Ouche. The valley opens out into a wide pastoral scene that France is so famous for.
Tuesday: Pont d'Ouche to Vandenesse-en-Auxois
Winetasting in the Cote d'Or
After breakfast Jason will take you into the wine district of the Cotes du Nuits. First there is a historical visit to the Clos du Vougeot, home to the "Knight of the round table of winetasting". We then venture into the vineyards, pictured at left, for a discussion on the vines, grapes and growing techniques followed by a winetasting. In the afternoon cast off for Vandenesse-en-Auxois. This relaxing cruise takes the barge through several locks, giving you plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle along the tow-path. Our mooring at Vandenesse is in the shadow of Chateauneuf-en-Auxoise, classified as one of the prettiest villages in France. You can not help but be impressed by the view, truly memorable.
Wednesday: Moor in Vandenesse-en-Auxois - Visit Beaune
A Day Out in Beaune - 14th Century Hospice
After breakfast, drive to the historic town of Beaune, the capital of wine production in Burgundy. Jason will do a guided tour of the world famous Hospice du Beaune built in 1443, see picture at right. In the afternoon Jason takes you to Patriarche Pere et Fils, the famous wine cellars in Beaune where his extensive knowledge of wines comes into play to guide you through the cellars and tastings. With over 4 million bottles in their underground caves, this is an extensive tasting ranging from the simple to the illustrious. A leisurely drive back through the countryside returns you to the barge.
Thursday: Vandenesse-en-Auxois to Pouilly-en-Auxois
Romantic Hilltop Chateau
This morning Jason drives you the short distance up to Chateauneuf for a guided visit of this impressive fortified castle with its commanding views of the canal and surrounding area. Behind the chateau is a fantastic village, surprisingly small considering the obvious importance of the chateau. In the afternoon we set sail for the Pouilly tunnel, an impressive feat of engineering, built by British prisoners of war during the Napoleonic wars. Our transit takes us around 45 minutes and brings us out at Pouilly-en-Auxois, our mooring for the night.
Friday: Pouilly-en-Auxois to Pont Royal
Floating, Relaxing, Bicycling, Walking!
On your final day aboard we revert back to the utter sublime joy of pure barging. From the summit pound at Pouilly, we descend 12 locks in quick succession as we once again head into the Burgundian countryside, with ample opportunities to walk and cycle by the barge. In the afternoon we spend several relaxing hours lazily gliding through the valley floor, see picture to left, to our destination of Pont Royal.
Saturday: Return to Dijon
A Sad Farewell
At 9:00 am, you will be chauffeured to the Dijon Train Station for a morning train, or we can drop you off at another destination within Dijon. Breakfast is your last on board meal. We hope to see you back on Who Knows!
Please note: The cruise is run in reverse on alternative weeks and excursion days and moorings will therefore change. Cruise itineraries may be subject to change. Contact The Barge Lady for reservations and more information about Barging in Burgundy on the canals and waterways of France or call us toll free at (800) 880-0071.
"When I think back over the entire time that we spent on the Who Knows, my group and I share the same opinion - we are certain that we have never enjoyed anything more than those six days on board. The food was marvelous, the hospitality was unbeatable. If Dawn and Jason had not been the ones to own and operate the vessel, our trip would not have been the same. I was amazed at how much history Jason knew and how perfectly he presented it. Jason is also so well versed in wine – I feel like we know much more about it than before the cruise thanks to Jason. I can’t image a better travel experience with every detail covered so thoroughly in such a a friendly, caring way. Also, The Barge Lady takes a personal interest in all guests. The arrangements were flawless and added to our overall extremely pleasant experience. We plan to book the Who Knows again for another “trip of a lifetime”.
- Charles and Cathy Wikle, cruised May, 2012
"The cuisine and crew were excellent. Who Knows surpassed expectations - Dawn and Jason were the best! Jason was a great guide - very knowledgeable, great communicator - it is wonderful when you are a group of 4 and can ask questions. The barge cruise was terrific and magnificent, and the services from The Barge Lady were very thorough, informative and helpful."
- "Monty" and Mary K. Monteith, cruised May, 2012
"This trip was a wonderful way to see France. Jason and Dawn accommodated every need or want - even before we knew we had a need or want."
-Laurie and Bob Fugate, 2010
"It was like a dream trip, floating through idyllic countryside, with just enough information and sightseeing to enrich our views of the landscape. We were blessed with beautiful late summer weather. Jason and Dawn were ideal hosts - thoughtful, courteous, funny and utterly competent. The food was a delight and Dawn gracefully accommodated my dietary needs so that I didn't feel I was missing anything. We thoroughly enjoyed the wine and learning more about why the Burgundy vintages are so highly regarded. I honestly wouldn't have changed a thing!"
-Paula and Frank Jamison, 2010
"Our cruise exceeded our expectations. The description on the website is just a snippet of what is truly a lovely experience. We were delighted! Jason's tours were informative and provided just enough structure to our free time aboard the Who Knows. We loved it all!"
- Julie Roper, 2010
-Robert and Warren Moe, 2009
"Jason and Dawn of the WHO KNOWS provided us with an exceptional level of care and concern. They were so attentive but not intrusive. This was one of the best valued experiences of our traveling."
-David and Janice Garvis, 2009
"Everything about the WHO KNOWS was awesome. The ability to relax while enjoying the picturesque countryside, the great meals and fine wine. Jason and Dawn were the perfect pair to enhance all aspects of the barge experience."
-Anne Madow, 2009
Roasted Red Peppers
Dawn explained that her mother was a professional chef; she grew up cooking alongside. "Mum didn't use cookbooks. She had natural talent and just tasted and altered," said Dawn. Interest in cuisine is reflected in the sightseeing options of a cheese farm or a truffle farm. The talk turned to wine. Jason loves wine and can offer a special tasting of 17 wines! "In fall we like to take guests to see the grape-picking, too," he added. We were happy to be at Jason and Dawn's table - and hope to return soon for more delicious cuisine and spirited conversation
* * *
Roasted leg of
Garlic and Rosemary
Port Jus and
* * *
Delice de Pommard
Regal du Bougogne
* * * * *
~ Wine ~
1999 Santany ler cru
Domain Bachey legros
~ Wine ~
Who Knows Floor Plan94 Feet long
One cabin at 166 sq feet
-One double bed
-Ensuite bathroom with shower
Two cabins at 71 sq feet
-Two twin beds
-Ensuite bathroom with shower
In the Public Areas
-The kitchen-dining room was gutted and entirely re-built for the 2010 Season, and it looks gorgeous!
-Sundeck with large chairs and canopy
-Salon and dining area with large windows
Four single speed bikes, two men’s and two women’s. Equipped with brakes, a light and a bell: easy to use and perfect for the towpath! Also: One women’s 21- speed mountain bike and one men’s 18-speed mountain bike.