Cheers to tasty bubbles and sumptuous bon-bons! Introducing the Champagne and Chocolate experience aboard the vessel Johanna, France’s bubbliest barge with the sweetest of cruises.
Welcome aboard a most delightful and delicious culinary cruise, the Champagne and Chocolate experience exclusive to the charming barge Johanna! Unique to the barges of France, daily chocolate tastings and champagne samplings are offered, authentically immersing guests into the region’s culinary bounty. Two gourmet dinners ashore inclusive of the cruise fare, coupled with the Johanna’s extraordinary cultural discovery, further offer casual travelers one of the best values in barging today.
Bringing a youthful energy to the canals, owner-operators Captain Kris and Chef Patsie Rotsaert offer their guests a delightfully cosmopolitan experience, fueled by their ongoing multi-lingual conversation, effortlessly traversing between English, French, and Dutch, as both of them are Belgian. This is but one of their many collective talents.
A maritime engineer by trade, Captain Kris pilots the Johanna with pride and panache, and Patsie’s light and fresh cuisine is influenced by her training a high level Olympic gymnast. Cooking on the Johanna is a fulfilling dream for Chef Patsie, who loves to introduce guests to her extensive collection of cookbooks, cooking magazines, and cookware.
Patsie’s savory menus emphasize seafood and produce, while her Belgian chocolate desserts and Champagne pairings are inspired and exquisite. Her special chocolate coffees, often enjoyed while lounging on the Johanna’s deck, are always a crowd-pleaser! Furthering the culinary journey, two dinners are enjoyed ashore, and are included in the cruise fare; Kris and Patsie will recommend local bistros, and provide transport to and from the dining venues.
Johanna’s three cozy cabins boast ample built-in storage space, and are cheerfully decorated with bright pops of color, while the vessel’s salon and dining area is tastefully decorated in subtle neutrals, offering comfortable seating an abundance of natural light. On the flower adorned deck, guests can laze under the canopy and enjoy a cup of chocolate coffee or a flute of Champagne while watching the bucolic scenery pass by.
Personalized excursions to visit the historic treasures and and military monuments of the champagne region complete the daily sightseeing. In between enjoying tasty bubbles and delectable bon bons, guests can always explore the towpath on foot or by bicycle and wander into the tiny pastoral villages along the antique canal, or play with the two other permanent crew members onboard the Johanna, Babou and Cotenoir, the barge cats.
Last visited in 2016