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Cruise Destinations

-France, Southern Burgundy on Barge Savoir Vivre-

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 8 guests
  • 80 Ft. Long
  • Rating: Boutique Class
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Last Visited: 2017
  • Host: Captain Richard Megret
  • English Speaking Crew of 3
  • 8 Bicycles
  • Air Conditioned

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner, open bar, transportation to and from dine -around in Burgundy restaurants, 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), upgraded wine selection at onshore dinners, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)


Savoir Vivre

Breakfast and lunch are served on-board. Breakfast consists of local pastries, fruits, cereals, yogurt, coffee, tea and juices. The sumptuous lunch buffets are prepared by a barge Chef OFF the barge and catered to the the barge. Lunch consists of quiches, salads, main courses, and a cheese platter, local breads and fresh fruit. At dinner, you'll dine around in Burgundy - all covered in the cruise price! Your Captain will make reservations and provide transportation. See under Menus for our luncheon buffets and restaurant selections.


Boutique french Hotel barge Savoir Vivre crewWe are thrilled to announce the promotion of popular crew member Richard Megret to Captain-Guide aboard Savoir Vivre. Captain Megret hails from a prominent French “barging family,” members of which have been crewing in our industry for generations. He has worked on the canals since 1989, serving as pilot or chef on such top vessels as Fleur de Lys, Hirondelle, Horizon II and Princess. Attractive, strategic and fun – Captain Megret has done a great job with Savoir Vivre guests and is ready to showcase his knowledge of area's history and wines. Captain Megret will be assisted by two in crew,pictured at right, a guide and hostess who live locally. Guests get a peek inside the life and culture of the locals from this dynamic crew.


Savoir Vivre is the inspired creation of young entrepreneur and adventurer James Waggott. He is the son of one of the principal partners of Prosperite, a popular and Ultra-Deluxe vessel based in Burgundy. Wonderful cruises aboard Prosperite have led James to create a new experience based on his most lasting impressions. As he says:

"The memories you take away are about the good times spent together, the epic scenery, the quietly cultured and proud ways of rural France, the wine, the food, and of lazily cycling beside the ship as she quietly plies along."

Boutique french Hotel barge Savoir Vivre salonThe shift in emphasis begins with the barge itself. It is modern, chic, and flexible-to-use. Not a square foot is wasted - although everything one needs is available. The lounge converts to a dining room in minutes, while the kitchen is "hidden" until needed! The cabins are ingenious. Although not large, they are chic - and with lots of things done right, such as excellent storage, efficient reading lights, deluxe bedding and bathrobes hanging ready-to-use. There are two decks - again, designed for flexible use with a selection of recliners, chairs and pillows - Lounging is decidedly casual but comfortable.


Sightseeing is extensive but emphasizes the villages, the markets, and the wine and food producers. The high point is the half-day spent in Beaune. Tour the immaculately-preserved Medieval hospice and browse in the colorful pedestrian shopping street. Beaune is the wine capital of the Cote d'Or and is the best place to ship wine, too.


Guest feedback has been amazing! Please click on the guest book tab to see what our guests are saying about Savoir Vivre. For travelers looking to experience the authentic French countryside and lifestyle up close, this is the barge!


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2017 Value Season Rates

Whole-Boat Charter of 6: $26,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 7: $27,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 8: $28,000
Individuals: $3,500 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $3,500

2017 Value Season dates
 April 2 - 8 October 15 - 21
April 9 - 15 October 22 - 28
April 16 - 22

 

2017 Regular Season Rates

Whole-Boat Charter of 6: $28,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 7: $29,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 8: $30,000
Individuals: $3,750 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $3,750

2017 Regular Season dates
April 23 - 29 June 11 - 17 July 30 - August 5 September 17 - 23
April 30 - May 6 June 18 - 24 August 6 - 12 September 24 - 30
May 7 - 13 June 25 - July 1 August 13 - 19  October 1 - 7
May 14 - 20 July 2 - 8 August 20 - 26 October 8 - 14
May 21 - 27 July 9 - 15 August 27 - September 2  
May 28 - June 3 July 16 - 22 September 3 - 9
June 4 - 10 July 23 - 29 September 10 - 16
Barge Cruise

Savoir Vivre Accommodations and Amenities

  • 80 Feet Long, 16 Feet 
  • Four cabins with ensuite tiled shower bath
  • All with choice of one queen or two twin beds
  • All 110 square feet
  • Also in each cabin
  • Deluxe bedding
  • Storage
  • Reading Lamps
  • Dressing table/chair
  • Bathrobes
  • In the Public Areas
  • 6'6" - 7' ceiling height
  • "Hidden" kitchen with Seimens appliances & cherry cabinets
  • Open refrigerator and bar
  • Flat-screen TV & DVD
  • Laoptop with 3G Internet access
  • Deck 
  • 2 decks, fore and aft
  • Loung chairs and sit-up chairs
  • 8 Dutch cruiser bicycles
  • 1 gear









 

 

 

  savoir vivre salon

Savoir Vivre Burgundy Barge Cruise Itinerary

FleurEy-sur-Ouche to Escommes On the Canal de Bourgogne

hotel barge Savoir Vivre moored on the Burgundy canal in France
Sunday: Meet in Dijon
Welcome Aboard - Meet your Crew!
Your party will be met at the Dijon Train station or your local Dijon hotel at 4:00 pm. (The cost of transfers to/from Dijon is in addition to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.)  From there, you will be chauffeured to the Savoir Vivre moored in Fleurey-sur-Ouche, a classic village nestled on the Canal de Bourgogne. Enjoy a champagne welcome as you are introduced to your top crew for the week, pictured below. There will be time to unpack and explore, helping you work up an appetite for your first on-shore dinner. Now is the time to begin your authentic your gastronomic journey with us, as we chauffeur you to the first on shore dinner venue of the week. 

french savoir vivre barge cruise crew

Monday:
Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Gissey-sur-Ouche
Wine, Wine, Wine!
This morning begin your cruise back in time through the unhurried and authentic Valley of the Ouche. You'll float past limestone cliffs, wooded hills and enchanting villages. After lunch on board, enjoy the first of many excursions during which you are introduced to the sights and history of Burgundy. You will be driven south to the famed Cote d'Or wine region, which producers some of Old World’s best vintages. First visit Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, where wine was produced by Cistercian monks from the 12th century on. Examine the ancient wine presses and learn more wine-making and life in that long ago era. Then it's back to present-day pleasures at a winetasting which introduces area vintages. Return to the barge in late afternoon, then relax until your visit to tonight’s bistro.



Tuesday: Gissey-sur-Ouche to La Bussiere-sur-Ouche
Market day in Dijon
After breakfast on board featuring village-baked pastries just warm from the oven, head back to Dijon to mingle with locals at the famed outdoor market. There will be time to look around the well-preserved Medieval town core and shop - think mustard! Then it's back to Savoir Vivre with lunch on board and an afternoon cruise through gorgeous scenery to La Bussiere-sur-Ouche. Relax on deck or explore by bicycle- let's meet the barge at the next lock! Explore the subtle charms of La Bussiere before being taken to tonight's dinner venue.



Wednesday: La Bussiere-sur-Ouche to Pont d'Ouche
Authentic Cheesemaker
After another decadent breakfast of pastries, fruit, and cheeses, we visit Hautes Cotes de Beaune with a visit to a local goat farm and cheese maker. Farm owner and goat expert Laure Plait introduces you to her small herd of lively goats, and then escorts you to her gourmet boutique for tastings of the many types of small batch goat cheeses, also known as “chevre”. Yes, you'll learn and then you'll taste! After all, you are in France! Return to Savoir Vivre and walk the towpath or bicycle into a nearby village - or just relax on deck with a good book - as Savoir Vivre continues its journey on the historic Canal de Bourgogne to La Repe. Later you'll be escorted to dinner at a local venue.


Thursday:
Pont d'Ouche to La Repe
Hilltop Medieval Village
After breakfast on board, we visit the lovely Medieval village and chateau of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois perched high on a hill overlooking the canal. Explore the small hillside village on cobblestoned streets, peek into private gardens, and then tour the haunting chateau. Its fascinating history spans centuries of European history, both ancient and modern. Return to Savoir Vivre for a drink on deck and then continue your cruise through the Valley of the Ouche, where charming lockhouses and sweeping landscapes await. Once docked, perhaps enjoy a game of petanque with Captain Richard, or just relax in the cozy salon. Dinnertime means another delicious visit to a locally owned auberge.



Friday: La Repe to Escommes
An Afternoon in Delightful Beaune
Take a moment to reflect this morning as we cruise to Pont d'ouche. After lunch aboard, sightseeing takes center stage as you head to enchanting Beaune, the wine capital of the Cote d'Or. There's much to enjoy in Beaune; most important is the immaculately preserved Hospice de Beaune, pictured above, a charity hospital built in the 15th century (and which treated patients until the early 20th century!). There will be time to explore the shops or visit a cafe in the square. Return to the barge in late afternoon. Dinner time means another memorable meal off the barge, and Captain Richard will join you for the Farewell Dinner.

Saturday: Escommes to Dijon
A Sad Farewell
At 9:00 am, you will be chauffeured to the Dijon Train for a departing morning train.  Or perhaps you’ll pick up a rental car in Dijon and continue your adventure.  After your final breakfast on board, it will be hard to leave Savoir Vivre!  We hope that your cruise on Savoir Vivre has created memories to last a lifetime!


Please note: This cruise will be offered in the opposite direction on alternate weeks. Sightseeing and restaurant suggestions are based on availability and are subject to change. Your cruise fare does not include travel to and from Dijon, the pickup/return city. There are several TGV trains (fast, non-stop service between the two cities in under two hours) daily from Paris. We can help to organize your train schedule and then pre-purchase tickets before your departure to France. 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.

The Savoir Vivre Dining Experience: On Board & On Shore!

savoir vivre foodie cruise burgundy franceA lovely breakfast buffet is served every morning including village-baked croissants and breads, cereals, fruit, meats, cheese etc., with fresh ground coffee, tea and fruit juices.
Lunch is also served on board. It will be catered by local chefs, who have cooked on top barges in Burgundy. These buffets will be laid out easily and elegantly in the "Open Kitchen". Bon appetit!

Sample Lunch Menu 1
Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Pie
*
Roast Quail
Celeriac with Grain Mustard, Tarragon and Olive Oil
*
Potato Salad
*
Salad with Walnuts & Smoked Bacon, Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
*
William Pear Poached in Cassis
***

Sample Lunch Menu 2
Ratatouille Tart
*
Poached Salmon with an Herb Crust
*
Cucumber with Crème Fraîche & Mint
*
Roasted Red Onion & Tomato Salad
*
Frisée with Roquefort, Apple & Walnut Walnut Dressing
*
Platter of Local Cheeses
***

Dine Around In Burgundy!
Burgundy abounds in authentic, independently-owned auberges where locals out number tourists! For your dinners off Savoir Vivre, we have selected six such venues, each differing slightly in setting and menu.
THE COST OF DINNER AND WINE IS INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE PRICE.
Your Captain makes the reservation, chauffeurs you to the restaurant, and once there, introduces your party to the proprietor, reviews the menu and orders your wine. Our guests are well looked-after whether on the barge, sightseeing in the area or dining on shore!


Below is a list of our restaurants, which is subject to change due to closure or other factors.
An experience of similar quality may be substituted.

"Auberge Les Gourmands"
A friendly and warm welcome awaits you by Delphine and Christophe Faivre at the L'Auberge Gourmande. Situated in on a quiet street in Velars-sur- Ouche, the restaurant has two rooms with elegant décor, air conditioning and a pleasant terrace outside. Head Chef Christophe learned his craft at the Moulin de Saint Remy Martorey, Guy Savoy, Negresco, Girardet in Switzerland as well as spending seven years abroad (Tel Aviv, Israel, Rio, London, and on a private yacht for a billionaire Englishman). So his credentials speak volumes! Its no surprise that this restaurant is tipped for big things, we've caught it during its ascendency, we think this is the “Savoir Vivre” time to visit.

“Le Bistrot des Moines at Abbaye De La Bussiere"
From its founding in 1131 to its present re-incarnation as a luxury hotel, the Abbaye de la Bussiere has occupied a beautiful, canal-side location. New owners bought the site in 2005 and have restored the historic buildings and parkland to the highest standards. Now a Relais et Chateau property, this fabulous setting offers our guests a dining opportunity (on Monday and Tuesday nights only) at the informal Le Bistrot des Moines. Local ingredients play off of classic Burgundian recipes in this delightful restaurant. Barge Lady Stephanie had dinner here in May, 2015 and enjoyed the best escargots she has ever tasted, as well as a lovely selection of local vintages and a warm welcome.

"Hotel du Nord - Restaurant De La Porte Guillaume"
Located in the heart of Dijon, the Restaurant de la Porte Guillaume
serves up French fare with lots of local flair. The rich, comforting flavors of Burgundian cuisine are at the forefront of this bistro’s regionally-inspired menu. A casual ambiance awaits patrons as they linger over rustic dishes such as butter-drizzled escargot, duck with mushroom soufflé, and, of course, Boeuf Bourguignon. Cheese fiends will adore the after-dinner cheese menu, which is presented on a portable platter and highlights a dozen of the area’s artisanal selections, including the region’s signature Epoisse.

"Le Spuller"
'Le Spuller' is set within the 'Hotel le Spuller'. It is located in Sombernon, a village of approximately 800 residents nestled in a location equidistant from Dijon, the Côte-d'Or vineyards, Chateauneuf and Beaune, talk about location location location! The food is of an excellent standard with charming staff and a menu which offers something for everybody. Our guests have universally adored Le Spuller. The combination of quality, setting and exceptionally friendly and amiable service hits all the marks.

"L'Oree du Bois"
Chateauneuf en Auxois is a beautiful hilltop medieval village. From the 14th-17th centuries wealthy Burgundian merchants built houses at Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. One such house is now home to “l'Oree du Bois”! Rather than focus on traditional Burgundian cuisine, “l'Oree du Bois” (roughly translated 'Edge of the Woods') has chosen to focus on another French culinary bastion, the 'crêperie'. Those unfamiliar with this type of restaurant need not worry, we're not just talking about Nutella and Grand Marnier pancakes here! Authentic creperies offer a wide range of savoury (and sweet) crepes each made with skill care and attention using locally sourced ingredients.

"Le Lassey at Chateau de Sainte Sabine"
This elegant mansion, built in an old monastery, offers panoramic and picturesque views of the medieval village of Chateauneuf en Auxois for hotel guests and restaurant patrons alike. Upon entering the grand structure, the dramatic lighting and professional service are evident, while the dining room’s elegant décor sets the tone for an all-around gourmet experience. The Michelin-starred chef-driven cuisine, meanwhile, features traditional dishes with a modern twist, focusing on the region’s abundance of fresh local produce, products, and ingredients. A foodie’s dream come true, the exquisite plating and presentation is matched only by the inventive yet classic menu full of flavor and finesse.

savoir vivre cruise guests dine at le lassey at chateau de saint sabine in burgundy

~ Back on Board Savoir Vivre ~
It's all "open" 24 hours a day. In the fridge are snacks, local wine and beer, bottled water and soft drinks.
On the bar are whiskey, bourbon, vodka and gin.
(We do not confirm specific brands, nor do we have the capability to special order.)

Picture a Barge Cruise on Savoir Vivre

barge cruise week in France on barge Savoir Vivre

Savoir Vivre Guest Book

wine tasting in France barge cruise Savoir Vivre

"Our cruise on the Savoir Vivre was absolutely WONDERFUL! Captain Richard, Tour Guide Laura and Hostess Marie were incredible and gave us memories that we shall cherish all of our lives! They added such personal warmth to the experience and are all impeccable at their positions. Working so well together they are very much a seamless team. I would also like to thank you for the recommendation to book at the Hotel De L'Empereur, it was perfect and we truly now understand why Paris is the City of Light! I cannot thank you enough for your help and support in creating such beautiful memories. Fantastic trip! Merci beaucoup!!!

- Michael Finney, cruised September, 2016

"My wife and I were quite pleased with our interactions with Ellen Sack and her Barge Lady team. Because we were new to barge cruising (having only done ocean and river cruising before), Ellen helped us narrow down options and select what we consider an ideal barge cruise for us. We selected the Savoir Vivre. It carries eight passengers. What we especially liked is that we got to dine at a different place, in a new town, each night.

The cruise surpassed our expectations. The three-person crew of Captain Richard, Hostess Marie, and Tour Guide Laura were awesome. We felt pampered. We were impressed with Marie fixing a delicious breakfast and lunch for us, while still tidying up our cabins. We wanted to take her home with us. Laura was vivacious and engaging, and made history come alive for us on our tours. Richard was friendly, helpful, and low-key.

We liked the casual atmosphere of barge cruising. It was more relaxed than river cruising. We enjoyed one escorted excursion a day, which lasted only a few hours. That gave us time to relax on the barge, chat with our new friends, walk along the Burgundy canals, or bike along the canal and into the towns. We also got to help open and close the gates at the numerous locks along the canal. Before or after an excursion, we would socialize in the boat's comfortable salon, while the front deck was a good place for looking at the stars at night.

I enjoyed the variety of wines that were served on the boat, both at lunch and during our pre-dinner social time. While most were from Burgundy, we had some from other areas of France as well. And there was champagne and Kir Royale. A variety of after dinner drinks, soda, and bottled water were also available.

wine tasting in Grand Cru vineyards on France barge cruise Savoir Vivre My wife and I were a little concerned that with such a small number of passengers, that there might be cliques, and we would be left out of conversations. On our cruise, there were two couples from Yakima, Washington; one couple from Atlanta, Georgia; and us from the Denver, Colorado, area. Our worries were misplaced. All the couples were friendly, courteous, and love to travel. We made instant friends. We bonded at the meals and on the excursions. It was a very inclusive atmosphere.

Ellen and her team communicated well and kept us informed in a timely manner. Her website and the travel documents sent prior to the cruise provided helpful information.We would consider doing another barge cruise in a different area. Barge cruising is a great way to chill out—and make new friends—after doing lots of (hectic) sightseeing in another part of the country. We were a little sad to depart our new little family at the end of the cruise. Contact Ellen and her staff if you’re interested in trying out a barge cruise. They will help you find something that fits your needs and travel style."

- Jerry Huller, cruised September, 2016

"Caroline, I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know what a wonderful time we had on our Savoir Vivre cruise. I know you've heard it before, but that crew is fantastic! Captain Richard is so easy-going and fun. He has a generous personality, which the guests automatically feel, but can be seen in his day-to-day interactions (I saw him offer water/soda to many lock keepers -- and even saw him warm-up one lock-keeper's coffee in the microwave while we rose in the lock). Hostess Marie is sweet and caring. Her attention to all the little details is amazing (soft music playing when you return to the boat after touring, flowers in the cabins, beautiful table settings, etc...). She is also a true 'french country' gal and her pride in the area is infectious. Sightseeing with Tour Guide Laura is a dream. We learned so much -- all the while having so much fun!

Our 'down time' was every bit as wonderful as the planned excursions. My husband really wanted some R&R from this vacation, so he spent much of the actual barging reading and watching the world go by (sometimes from the roof of the barge!). I wanted a little more activity, so I often set off on foot or bicycle -- I think I went in to most of the small villages that we passed! It was absolutely perfect for both of us.

The Savoir Vivre's dining program was amazing. My vegetarian options were every bit as good as the 'omnivore' options. Have you ever tried the ouefs en meurette (eggs poached in red wine)? Seriously. I'd go back to Burgundy just to eat those again. We took the cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and the crew surprised us with cake and champagne on the day. It was incredibly thoughtful.

We got along well with our fellow passengers. We all loved exploring our evening restaurants together -- sometimes unsure of exactly what we'd ordered, we adopted the 'buckle in and enjoy the ride' strategy (and we were well rewarded for it). We were strangers at the beginning, but friends at the end. Basically, we had an amazing time. This was the trip of lifetime! Thank you for all your assistance and for the initial recommendation!"

- Heather Addison, cruised August, 2016

"The barge cruise on the Savoir Vivre was one of the best trips we have ever taken! I must say that the crew on our barge was quite possibly the best thing about the whole trip. Richard, our Captain, was extremely gracious and always helpful. Hostess Marie was wonderful and lovely and took such great care of us at breakfast and lunch. Tour Guide Laura was fabulous, just a wealth of interesting historical information, and we loved every one of the excursions. Cuisine was fabulous!!!! The breakfasts were lovely, the lunches divine, and the dinners AMAZING. We loved going off the barge every evening to a different restaurant for dinner. Our cabin was wonderful -- well organized and comfortable. Barge Lady Stephanie was amazing! We really appreciated everything she did for us. From recommending and booking the hotel in Paris to securing tickets for the the train to Dijon, you made it all so easy! We couldn’t have asked for better pre-trip information. Everything you sent was very helpful and very well organized. We have already recommended this cruise to many of our friends!"

- Lori Holt, cruised July, 2016

"Our group is well traveled and to a person said that this cruise was one of their best travel experiences, starting with Captain Richard picking us up at the Dijon train station to chauffeur us to the Savoir Vivre. Throughout the trip he went out of his way to insure everything was perfect and all our needs were met. His twenty-plus years working canal barges was evident in his handling of the barge and the stories he shared with us. His constant smile and quick sense of humor just enhanced our enjoyment.

Marie personified her title as Hostess -- things were done and wine produced before we asked. By the second day she knew each of our likes and preferences. One of our party is a beer drinker and after learning the type of French beer he prefers she went ashore and brought back two six packs for him -- all without being asked! Laura, our Tour Guide, lived up to everything that had been written about her by past passengers. She is extremely knowledgeable on even the smallest detail, and the excursions she led were diverse and interesting. Her fifteen years living in the region and her commitment to its history made each day a new adventure for our group.

Now for the food. The format of 'dinner ashore every night' should be the standard for canal cruising. The chef who catered the breakfast and lunch selections won our highest praises. We especially enjoyed the meal at his restaurant as well. The other dinners we had ashore were outstanding, well presented and had enough variety to keep everyone happy! We want to thank the Barge Ladies for making this trip a memorable vacation for all of us." 

- Lee Mccown, cruised June, 2016

Savoir Vivre Blog Posts, Recipes, Articles and Videos

Ask any Barge Lady, and she’ll tell you: when it comes to travel, more is better! Explore below for more of everything we love – videos, articles, blog posts, recipes and MORE!

Culture & Cuisine Celebration – Stephanie’s Savoir Vivre Cruise
Join Barge Lady's Stephanie as she relives her Burgundy barge cruise aboard Savoir Vivre - filled with culture, cuisine and fun along the canals!

 

 

Happy Crew Year!
Barge Lady guests adore ever charming Captain Richard Megret! A spotlight on the hardworking and personable crew who help make barge cruises extraordinary experiences with happy memories.

 

5 Cruises for Francophile Foodies
Feast your eyes on five of our favorite barge cruises for foodies. Experience the best of both worlds with meals on board and ashore in local bistros as The Barge Ladies talk half-board barging.   

+ - Overview

Cruise Details:

  • Up to 8 guests
  • 80 Ft. Long
  • Rating: Boutique Class
  • Charter & Cabin bookings
  • Last Visited: 2017
  • Host: Captain Richard Megret
  • English Speaking Crew of 3
  • 8 Bicycles
  • Air Conditioned

Cruise Rate Includes:

6 nights/7 days in a cabin with a private bath, all meals, from dinner the first night to breakfast the last morning, all wines with lunch & dinner, open bar, transportation to and from dine -around in Burgundy restaurants, 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), upgraded wine selection at onshore dinners, cancellation insurance and crew gratuity (suggested minimum amount is 5% of the cruise price)


Savoir Vivre

Breakfast and lunch are served on-board. Breakfast consists of local pastries, fruits, cereals, yogurt, coffee, tea and juices. The sumptuous lunch buffets are prepared by a barge Chef OFF the barge and catered to the the barge. Lunch consists of quiches, salads, main courses, and a cheese platter, local breads and fresh fruit. At dinner, you'll dine around in Burgundy - all covered in the cruise price! Your Captain will make reservations and provide transportation. See under Menus for our luncheon buffets and restaurant selections.


Boutique french Hotel barge Savoir Vivre crewWe are thrilled to announce the promotion of popular crew member Richard Megret to Captain-Guide aboard Savoir Vivre. Captain Megret hails from a prominent French “barging family,” members of which have been crewing in our industry for generations. He has worked on the canals since 1989, serving as pilot or chef on such top vessels as Fleur de Lys, Hirondelle, Horizon II and Princess. Attractive, strategic and fun – Captain Megret has done a great job with Savoir Vivre guests and is ready to showcase his knowledge of area's history and wines. Captain Megret will be assisted by two in crew,pictured at right, a guide and hostess who live locally. Guests get a peek inside the life and culture of the locals from this dynamic crew.


Savoir Vivre is the inspired creation of young entrepreneur and adventurer James Waggott. He is the son of one of the principal partners of Prosperite, a popular and Ultra-Deluxe vessel based in Burgundy. Wonderful cruises aboard Prosperite have led James to create a new experience based on his most lasting impressions. As he says:

"The memories you take away are about the good times spent together, the epic scenery, the quietly cultured and proud ways of rural France, the wine, the food, and of lazily cycling beside the ship as she quietly plies along."

Boutique french Hotel barge Savoir Vivre salonThe shift in emphasis begins with the barge itself. It is modern, chic, and flexible-to-use. Not a square foot is wasted - although everything one needs is available. The lounge converts to a dining room in minutes, while the kitchen is "hidden" until needed! The cabins are ingenious. Although not large, they are chic - and with lots of things done right, such as excellent storage, efficient reading lights, deluxe bedding and bathrobes hanging ready-to-use. There are two decks - again, designed for flexible use with a selection of recliners, chairs and pillows - Lounging is decidedly casual but comfortable.


Sightseeing is extensive but emphasizes the villages, the markets, and the wine and food producers. The high point is the half-day spent in Beaune. Tour the immaculately-preserved Medieval hospice and browse in the colorful pedestrian shopping street. Beaune is the wine capital of the Cote d'Or and is the best place to ship wine, too.


Guest feedback has been amazing! Please click on the guest book tab to see what our guests are saying about Savoir Vivre. For travelers looking to experience the authentic French countryside and lifestyle up close, this is the barge!


Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise
2017 Value Season Rates

Whole-Boat Charter of 6: $26,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 7: $27,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 8: $28,000
Individuals: $3,500 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $3,500

2017 Value Season dates
 April 2 - 8 October 15 - 21
April 9 - 15 October 22 - 28
April 16 - 22

 

2017 Regular Season Rates

Whole-Boat Charter of 6: $28,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 7: $29,000
Whole-Boat Charter of 8: $30,000
Individuals: $3,750 per person double occupancy
Single Supplement: $3,750

2017 Regular Season dates
April 23 - 29 June 11 - 17 July 30 - August 5 September 17 - 23
April 30 - May 6 June 18 - 24 August 6 - 12 September 24 - 30
May 7 - 13 June 25 - July 1 August 13 - 19  October 1 - 7
May 14 - 20 July 2 - 8 August 20 - 26 October 8 - 14
May 21 - 27 July 9 - 15 August 27 - September 2  
May 28 - June 3 July 16 - 22 September 3 - 9
June 4 - 10 July 23 - 29 September 10 - 16

Floor Plan:

Barge Cruise

Savoir Vivre Accommodations and Amenities

  • 80 Feet Long, 16 Feet 
  • Four cabins with ensuite tiled shower bath
  • All with choice of one queen or two twin beds
  • All 110 square feet
  • Also in each cabin
  • Deluxe bedding
  • Storage
  • Reading Lamps
  • Dressing table/chair
  • Bathrobes
  • In the Public Areas
  • 6'6" - 7' ceiling height
  • "Hidden" kitchen with Seimens appliances & cherry cabinets
  • Open refrigerator and bar
  • Flat-screen TV & DVD
  • Laoptop with 3G Internet access
  • Deck 
  • 2 decks, fore and aft
  • Loung chairs and sit-up chairs
  • 8 Dutch cruiser bicycles
  • 1 gear









 

 

 

  savoir vivre salon

Savoir Vivre Burgundy Barge Cruise Itinerary

FleurEy-sur-Ouche to Escommes On the Canal de Bourgogne

hotel barge Savoir Vivre moored on the Burgundy canal in France
Sunday: Meet in Dijon
Welcome Aboard - Meet your Crew!
Your party will be met at the Dijon Train station or your local Dijon hotel at 4:00 pm. (The cost of transfers to/from Dijon is in addition to the cruise fare and must be booked separately.)  From there, you will be chauffeured to the Savoir Vivre moored in Fleurey-sur-Ouche, a classic village nestled on the Canal de Bourgogne. Enjoy a champagne welcome as you are introduced to your top crew for the week, pictured below. There will be time to unpack and explore, helping you work up an appetite for your first on-shore dinner. Now is the time to begin your authentic your gastronomic journey with us, as we chauffeur you to the first on shore dinner venue of the week. 

french savoir vivre barge cruise crew

Monday:
Fleurey-sur-Ouche to Gissey-sur-Ouche
Wine, Wine, Wine!
This morning begin your cruise back in time through the unhurried and authentic Valley of the Ouche. You'll float past limestone cliffs, wooded hills and enchanting villages. After lunch on board, enjoy the first of many excursions during which you are introduced to the sights and history of Burgundy. You will be driven south to the famed Cote d'Or wine region, which producers some of Old World’s best vintages. First visit Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, where wine was produced by Cistercian monks from the 12th century on. Examine the ancient wine presses and learn more wine-making and life in that long ago era. Then it's back to present-day pleasures at a winetasting which introduces area vintages. Return to the barge in late afternoon, then relax until your visit to tonight’s bistro.



Tuesday: Gissey-sur-Ouche to La Bussiere-sur-Ouche
Market day in Dijon
After breakfast on board featuring village-baked pastries just warm from the oven, head back to Dijon to mingle with locals at the famed outdoor market. There will be time to look around the well-preserved Medieval town core and shop - think mustard! Then it's back to Savoir Vivre with lunch on board and an afternoon cruise through gorgeous scenery to La Bussiere-sur-Ouche. Relax on deck or explore by bicycle- let's meet the barge at the next lock! Explore the subtle charms of La Bussiere before being taken to tonight's dinner venue.



Wednesday: La Bussiere-sur-Ouche to Pont d'Ouche
Authentic Cheesemaker
After another decadent breakfast of pastries, fruit, and cheeses, we visit Hautes Cotes de Beaune with a visit to a local goat farm and cheese maker. Farm owner and goat expert Laure Plait introduces you to her small herd of lively goats, and then escorts you to her gourmet boutique for tastings of the many types of small batch goat cheeses, also known as “chevre”. Yes, you'll learn and then you'll taste! After all, you are in France! Return to Savoir Vivre and walk the towpath or bicycle into a nearby village - or just relax on deck with a good book - as Savoir Vivre continues its journey on the historic Canal de Bourgogne to La Repe. Later you'll be escorted to dinner at a local venue.


Thursday:
Pont d'Ouche to La Repe
Hilltop Medieval Village
After breakfast on board, we visit the lovely Medieval village and chateau of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois perched high on a hill overlooking the canal. Explore the small hillside village on cobblestoned streets, peek into private gardens, and then tour the haunting chateau. Its fascinating history spans centuries of European history, both ancient and modern. Return to Savoir Vivre for a drink on deck and then continue your cruise through the Valley of the Ouche, where charming lockhouses and sweeping landscapes await. Once docked, perhaps enjoy a game of petanque with Captain Richard, or just relax in the cozy salon. Dinnertime means another delicious visit to a locally owned auberge.



Friday: La Repe to Escommes
An Afternoon in Delightful Beaune
Take a moment to reflect this morning as we cruise to Pont d'ouche. After lunch aboard, sightseeing takes center stage as you head to enchanting Beaune, the wine capital of the Cote d'Or. There's much to enjoy in Beaune; most important is the immaculately preserved Hospice de Beaune, pictured above, a charity hospital built in the 15th century (and which treated patients until the early 20th century!). There will be time to explore the shops or visit a cafe in the square. Return to the barge in late afternoon. Dinner time means another memorable meal off the barge, and Captain Richard will join you for the Farewell Dinner.

Saturday: Escommes to Dijon
A Sad Farewell
At 9:00 am, you will be chauffeured to the Dijon Train for a departing morning train.  Or perhaps you’ll pick up a rental car in Dijon and continue your adventure.  After your final breakfast on board, it will be hard to leave Savoir Vivre!  We hope that your cruise on Savoir Vivre has created memories to last a lifetime!


Please note: This cruise will be offered in the opposite direction on alternate weeks. Sightseeing and restaurant suggestions are based on availability and are subject to change. Your cruise fare does not include travel to and from Dijon, the pickup/return city. There are several TGV trains (fast, non-stop service between the two cities in under two hours) daily from Paris. We can help to organize your train schedule and then pre-purchase tickets before your departure to France. 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.

+ - Menu

The Savoir Vivre Dining Experience: On Board & On Shore!

savoir vivre foodie cruise burgundy franceA lovely breakfast buffet is served every morning including village-baked croissants and breads, cereals, fruit, meats, cheese etc., with fresh ground coffee, tea and fruit juices.
Lunch is also served on board. It will be catered by local chefs, who have cooked on top barges in Burgundy. These buffets will be laid out easily and elegantly in the "Open Kitchen". Bon appetit!

Sample Lunch Menu 1
Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Pie
*
Roast Quail
Celeriac with Grain Mustard, Tarragon and Olive Oil
*
Potato Salad
*
Salad with Walnuts & Smoked Bacon, Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
*
William Pear Poached in Cassis
***

Sample Lunch Menu 2
Ratatouille Tart
*
Poached Salmon with an Herb Crust
*
Cucumber with Crème Fraîche & Mint
*
Roasted Red Onion & Tomato Salad
*
Frisée with Roquefort, Apple & Walnut Walnut Dressing
*
Platter of Local Cheeses
***

Dine Around In Burgundy!
Burgundy abounds in authentic, independently-owned auberges where locals out number tourists! For your dinners off Savoir Vivre, we have selected six such venues, each differing slightly in setting and menu.
THE COST OF DINNER AND WINE IS INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE PRICE.
Your Captain makes the reservation, chauffeurs you to the restaurant, and once there, introduces your party to the proprietor, reviews the menu and orders your wine. Our guests are well looked-after whether on the barge, sightseeing in the area or dining on shore!


Below is a list of our restaurants, which is subject to change due to closure or other factors.
An experience of similar quality may be substituted.

"Auberge Les Gourmands"
A friendly and warm welcome awaits you by Delphine and Christophe Faivre at the L'Auberge Gourmande. Situated in on a quiet street in Velars-sur- Ouche, the restaurant has two rooms with elegant décor, air conditioning and a pleasant terrace outside. Head Chef Christophe learned his craft at the Moulin de Saint Remy Martorey, Guy Savoy, Negresco, Girardet in Switzerland as well as spending seven years abroad (Tel Aviv, Israel, Rio, London, and on a private yacht for a billionaire Englishman). So his credentials speak volumes! Its no surprise that this restaurant is tipped for big things, we've caught it during its ascendency, we think this is the “Savoir Vivre” time to visit.

“Le Bistrot des Moines at Abbaye De La Bussiere"
From its founding in 1131 to its present re-incarnation as a luxury hotel, the Abbaye de la Bussiere has occupied a beautiful, canal-side location. New owners bought the site in 2005 and have restored the historic buildings and parkland to the highest standards. Now a Relais et Chateau property, this fabulous setting offers our guests a dining opportunity (on Monday and Tuesday nights only) at the informal Le Bistrot des Moines. Local ingredients play off of classic Burgundian recipes in this delightful restaurant. Barge Lady Stephanie had dinner here in May, 2015 and enjoyed the best escargots she has ever tasted, as well as a lovely selection of local vintages and a warm welcome.

"Hotel du Nord - Restaurant De La Porte Guillaume"
Located in the heart of Dijon, the Restaurant de la Porte Guillaume
serves up French fare with lots of local flair. The rich, comforting flavors of Burgundian cuisine are at the forefront of this bistro’s regionally-inspired menu. A casual ambiance awaits patrons as they linger over rustic dishes such as butter-drizzled escargot, duck with mushroom soufflé, and, of course, Boeuf Bourguignon. Cheese fiends will adore the after-dinner cheese menu, which is presented on a portable platter and highlights a dozen of the area’s artisanal selections, including the region’s signature Epoisse.

"Le Spuller"
'Le Spuller' is set within the 'Hotel le Spuller'. It is located in Sombernon, a village of approximately 800 residents nestled in a location equidistant from Dijon, the Côte-d'Or vineyards, Chateauneuf and Beaune, talk about location location location! The food is of an excellent standard with charming staff and a menu which offers something for everybody. Our guests have universally adored Le Spuller. The combination of quality, setting and exceptionally friendly and amiable service hits all the marks.

"L'Oree du Bois"
Chateauneuf en Auxois is a beautiful hilltop medieval village. From the 14th-17th centuries wealthy Burgundian merchants built houses at Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. One such house is now home to “l'Oree du Bois”! Rather than focus on traditional Burgundian cuisine, “l'Oree du Bois” (roughly translated 'Edge of the Woods') has chosen to focus on another French culinary bastion, the 'crêperie'. Those unfamiliar with this type of restaurant need not worry, we're not just talking about Nutella and Grand Marnier pancakes here! Authentic creperies offer a wide range of savoury (and sweet) crepes each made with skill care and attention using locally sourced ingredients.

"Le Lassey at Chateau de Sainte Sabine"
This elegant mansion, built in an old monastery, offers panoramic and picturesque views of the medieval village of Chateauneuf en Auxois for hotel guests and restaurant patrons alike. Upon entering the grand structure, the dramatic lighting and professional service are evident, while the dining room’s elegant décor sets the tone for an all-around gourmet experience. The Michelin-starred chef-driven cuisine, meanwhile, features traditional dishes with a modern twist, focusing on the region’s abundance of fresh local produce, products, and ingredients. A foodie’s dream come true, the exquisite plating and presentation is matched only by the inventive yet classic menu full of flavor and finesse.

savoir vivre cruise guests dine at le lassey at chateau de saint sabine in burgundy

~ Back on Board Savoir Vivre ~
It's all "open" 24 hours a day. In the fridge are snacks, local wine and beer, bottled water and soft drinks.
On the bar are whiskey, bourbon, vodka and gin.
(We do not confirm specific brands, nor do we have the capability to special order.)

Picture a Barge Cruise on Savoir Vivre

barge cruise week in France on barge Savoir Vivre

Savoir Vivre Guest Book

wine tasting in France barge cruise Savoir Vivre

"Our cruise on the Savoir Vivre was absolutely WONDERFUL! Captain Richard, Tour Guide Laura and Hostess Marie were incredible and gave us memories that we shall cherish all of our lives! They added such personal warmth to the experience and are all impeccable at their positions. Working so well together they are very much a seamless team. I would also like to thank you for the recommendation to book at the Hotel De L'Empereur, it was perfect and we truly now understand why Paris is the City of Light! I cannot thank you enough for your help and support in creating such beautiful memories. Fantastic trip! Merci beaucoup!!!

- Michael Finney, cruised September, 2016

"My wife and I were quite pleased with our interactions with Ellen Sack and her Barge Lady team. Because we were new to barge cruising (having only done ocean and river cruising before), Ellen helped us narrow down options and select what we consider an ideal barge cruise for us. We selected the Savoir Vivre. It carries eight passengers. What we especially liked is that we got to dine at a different place, in a new town, each night.

The cruise surpassed our expectations. The three-person crew of Captain Richard, Hostess Marie, and Tour Guide Laura were awesome. We felt pampered. We were impressed with Marie fixing a delicious breakfast and lunch for us, while still tidying up our cabins. We wanted to take her home with us. Laura was vivacious and engaging, and made history come alive for us on our tours. Richard was friendly, helpful, and low-key.

We liked the casual atmosphere of barge cruising. It was more relaxed than river cruising. We enjoyed one escorted excursion a day, which lasted only a few hours. That gave us time to relax on the barge, chat with our new friends, walk along the Burgundy canals, or bike along the canal and into the towns. We also got to help open and close the gates at the numerous locks along the canal. Before or after an excursion, we would socialize in the boat's comfortable salon, while the front deck was a good place for looking at the stars at night.

I enjoyed the variety of wines that were served on the boat, both at lunch and during our pre-dinner social time. While most were from Burgundy, we had some from other areas of France as well. And there was champagne and Kir Royale. A variety of after dinner drinks, soda, and bottled water were also available.

wine tasting in Grand Cru vineyards on France barge cruise Savoir Vivre My wife and I were a little concerned that with such a small number of passengers, that there might be cliques, and we would be left out of conversations. On our cruise, there were two couples from Yakima, Washington; one couple from Atlanta, Georgia; and us from the Denver, Colorado, area. Our worries were misplaced. All the couples were friendly, courteous, and love to travel. We made instant friends. We bonded at the meals and on the excursions. It was a very inclusive atmosphere.

Ellen and her team communicated well and kept us informed in a timely manner. Her website and the travel documents sent prior to the cruise provided helpful information.We would consider doing another barge cruise in a different area. Barge cruising is a great way to chill out—and make new friends—after doing lots of (hectic) sightseeing in another part of the country. We were a little sad to depart our new little family at the end of the cruise. Contact Ellen and her staff if you’re interested in trying out a barge cruise. They will help you find something that fits your needs and travel style."

- Jerry Huller, cruised September, 2016

"Caroline, I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know what a wonderful time we had on our Savoir Vivre cruise. I know you've heard it before, but that crew is fantastic! Captain Richard is so easy-going and fun. He has a generous personality, which the guests automatically feel, but can be seen in his day-to-day interactions (I saw him offer water/soda to many lock keepers -- and even saw him warm-up one lock-keeper's coffee in the microwave while we rose in the lock). Hostess Marie is sweet and caring. Her attention to all the little details is amazing (soft music playing when you return to the boat after touring, flowers in the cabins, beautiful table settings, etc...). She is also a true 'french country' gal and her pride in the area is infectious. Sightseeing with Tour Guide Laura is a dream. We learned so much -- all the while having so much fun!

Our 'down time' was every bit as wonderful as the planned excursions. My husband really wanted some R&R from this vacation, so he spent much of the actual barging reading and watching the world go by (sometimes from the roof of the barge!). I wanted a little more activity, so I often set off on foot or bicycle -- I think I went in to most of the small villages that we passed! It was absolutely perfect for both of us.

The Savoir Vivre's dining program was amazing. My vegetarian options were every bit as good as the 'omnivore' options. Have you ever tried the ouefs en meurette (eggs poached in red wine)? Seriously. I'd go back to Burgundy just to eat those again. We took the cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and the crew surprised us with cake and champagne on the day. It was incredibly thoughtful.

We got along well with our fellow passengers. We all loved exploring our evening restaurants together -- sometimes unsure of exactly what we'd ordered, we adopted the 'buckle in and enjoy the ride' strategy (and we were well rewarded for it). We were strangers at the beginning, but friends at the end. Basically, we had an amazing time. This was the trip of lifetime! Thank you for all your assistance and for the initial recommendation!"

- Heather Addison, cruised August, 2016

"The barge cruise on the Savoir Vivre was one of the best trips we have ever taken! I must say that the crew on our barge was quite possibly the best thing about the whole trip. Richard, our Captain, was extremely gracious and always helpful. Hostess Marie was wonderful and lovely and took such great care of us at breakfast and lunch. Tour Guide Laura was fabulous, just a wealth of interesting historical information, and we loved every one of the excursions. Cuisine was fabulous!!!! The breakfasts were lovely, the lunches divine, and the dinners AMAZING. We loved going off the barge every evening to a different restaurant for dinner. Our cabin was wonderful -- well organized and comfortable. Barge Lady Stephanie was amazing! We really appreciated everything she did for us. From recommending and booking the hotel in Paris to securing tickets for the the train to Dijon, you made it all so easy! We couldn’t have asked for better pre-trip information. Everything you sent was very helpful and very well organized. We have already recommended this cruise to many of our friends!"

- Lori Holt, cruised July, 2016

"Our group is well traveled and to a person said that this cruise was one of their best travel experiences, starting with Captain Richard picking us up at the Dijon train station to chauffeur us to the Savoir Vivre. Throughout the trip he went out of his way to insure everything was perfect and all our needs were met. His twenty-plus years working canal barges was evident in his handling of the barge and the stories he shared with us. His constant smile and quick sense of humor just enhanced our enjoyment.

Marie personified her title as Hostess -- things were done and wine produced before we asked. By the second day she knew each of our likes and preferences. One of our party is a beer drinker and after learning the type of French beer he prefers she went ashore and brought back two six packs for him -- all without being asked! Laura, our Tour Guide, lived up to everything that had been written about her by past passengers. She is extremely knowledgeable on even the smallest detail, and the excursions she led were diverse and interesting. Her fifteen years living in the region and her commitment to its history made each day a new adventure for our group.

Now for the food. The format of 'dinner ashore every night' should be the standard for canal cruising. The chef who catered the breakfast and lunch selections won our highest praises. We especially enjoyed the meal at his restaurant as well. The other dinners we had ashore were outstanding, well presented and had enough variety to keep everyone happy! We want to thank the Barge Ladies for making this trip a memorable vacation for all of us." 

- Lee Mccown, cruised June, 2016

+ - More!

Savoir Vivre Blog Posts, Recipes, Articles and Videos

Ask any Barge Lady, and she’ll tell you: when it comes to travel, more is better! Explore below for more of everything we love – videos, articles, blog posts, recipes and MORE!

Culture & Cuisine Celebration – Stephanie’s Savoir Vivre Cruise
Join Barge Lady's Stephanie as she relives her Burgundy barge cruise aboard Savoir Vivre - filled with culture, cuisine and fun along the canals!

 

 

Happy Crew Year!
Barge Lady guests adore ever charming Captain Richard Megret! A spotlight on the hardworking and personable crew who help make barge cruises extraordinary experiences with happy memories.

 

5 Cruises for Francophile Foodies
Feast your eyes on five of our favorite barge cruises for foodies. Experience the best of both worlds with meals on board and ashore in local bistros as The Barge Ladies talk half-board barging.   


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