Elisabeth is offering cruises on two routes in 2023!
Elisabeth will cruise on the Canal de Bourgogne Route April 16 through July 8, 2023.
Elisabeth will cruise on the Canal du Nivernais Route August 6 through October 28, 2023.
Welcome onboard the Elisabeth – a “floating country house” barge offering two fabulous cruise routes within easy distance from Paris: Canal de Bourgogne (April – July) and River Yonne/Canal du Nivernais (August – October).
David and Matthew, who exemplify a new breed of innovative barge owners, bring the perfect combination of hospitality, authenticity, and charm to the French canals. Captain David is a former attorney, and previously operated a successful hotel barge with Matthew on the River Thames in England. Once an internationally renowned opera conductor, Chef Matthew is a passionate foodie dedicated to showcasing locally sourced ingredients.
The dining program begins with David and Matthew seeking out the region’s best food and wine purveyors, some of whom are invited to meet the guests. From the first round of canapes to the farewell Captain’s Dinner, Matthew’s creative cuisine is fresh and original. Homemade terrines, jams, and sauces are among the many gourmet treats enjoyed by Elisabeth’s lucky passengers! David and Matthew select wines in a marathon tasting season every February; with as many as 1500 wines sampled, their floating wine cellar then reflects their 50 favorite vintages, most from regional producers of under 5,000 bottles annually. The convivial David is in charge of cocktail service, which includes martinis made of locally produced gin!
The two pastoral routes feature vivid sightseeing, introduced by Elisabeth’s dedicated Tour Guide. A highlight of the Burgundy route is the Renaissance chateau Ancy-le-Franc, renowned for its 16th-century frescos, while on the Yonne-Nivernais route, guests are introduced to incredible pre-historic cave paintings. Both waterways meander through rustic scenery, offering many opportunities for active passengers to explore the manicured towpath with brisk bicycle rides or leisurely strolls.
David and Matthew have updated the vessel’s décor to reflect the Art Deco era of 1930, the year when Elisabeth entered service as a cargo barge. Their collection of antique Art Deco lights, mirrors, and wall fixtures carries out this theme. Guests are further welcomed with a stylish mix of comfortable furnishings and charming artwork, evoking travel memories from bygone eras. Thoughtfully designed common areas include the comfortable salon, the wheelhouse which offers guests the perfect perch to cruise with Captain David, and a spacious shaded deck. Three cozy cabins feature deluxe linens and small sumptuous touches, such as toiletries from premium French brands.
The Barge Ladies are pleased to bring the Elisabeth into our collection as an attractive option for travelers seeking an authentic and personal experience on the French waterways. Adding to the onboard ambiance is a petite canine crew member, Lily, an English Springer Spaniel. While many guests may enjoy her four-legged company, please note her presence is completely optional.
Last visited in 2022