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Excursions on the French Canals

Our cruises on the French canals, aboard our barges (the most modern in Europe!). You will wander in the authentic countryside, discovering picturesque villages with vibrant traditions. Far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, this is a quiet journey into the equally peaceful lands we offer you to experience, where you will meet the locals, their art and customs.


From Paris, you can follow the Marne Canal and discover the origins of champagne, you can also discover Burgundy and sail on the sacred waters of the Saone. Further south, follow the Canal de Provence and discover Arles, city of art and history, before venturing into the Camargue region.


We offer a wide range of excursions, but on each of our barge cruises, many excursions will make sure you discover in detail the regions, from their history to the reginal flavours, and heritage.


Guided tour of Dole

Discover Dole, the birthplace of Louis Pasteur, in the company of your guide as you follow the "trail of the Perched Cat”. This is a reference to the author Marcel Aymé, creator of the famous Contes du Chat Perché, who spent his childhood years in Dole. Perched on a limestone hillside alongside the canal, Dole was the capital of the County of Burgundy before it became part of the French kingdom in 1678. Along your tour, you will discover the many historic monuments which have granted Dole the City of Arts and History Label. You'll also get to see Louis Pasteur's birthplace which today houses a museum tracing the history of the scientist's life, the Cours Saint-Mauris, a garden where the fluid design of the lower section contrasts with the straight paths of its upper section. Enjoy the wonderful views over the Chaux forest from the garden's terrace. You will also be able to see the former Hôtel-Dieu, which was a hospital for the poor built in the 17th century. Since 2000 it has housed the town's media centre, municipal archives and Dole's Town of Arts and History heritage initiative. You will end your visit of Dole with the famous Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, built between 1509 and 1580, whose bell tower dominates the historic town center. There are many other monuments that you will be able to admire during the tour as you discover this town which is steeped in history. Afterwards, enjoy some free time before returning on board at your own pace.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended for this excursion.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
The picturesque town of Santenay
Walk to the Cirque du Bout du Monde and the Mont de Sène

Departure for a walk to the Cirque du Bout du Monde, part of Natura 2000 sites - a European network of nature protection areas. There, you will admire the imposing chalk cliffs carved out by the river Cozanne which create a cirque where a 25-metre high waterfall was formed. Our coach will then take us to Mont de Sène, or the Mountain of the Three Crosses, an ancient Celtic religious site which overlooks the Santenay vineyards from a height of some 521 meters. This classified site is characterized by its rustic plants and wild bushes. Enjoy the amazing panoramic views of the surrounding main peaks and valleys, including the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, the Saône Valley, Morvan, Jura and the Alps. Return on board.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
The Royal Saltworks of Arc et Senans
Audioguided visit of the Royal Saltworks

Transfer by coach to Arc-et-Senans. With an audioguide you will discover La Saline-Royale (or Royal Saltworks) which was built between 1775 and 1779 by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux at the wishes of King Louis XV. Today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this masterpiece consists of a complex of 11 buildings constructed in the shape of a semi-circle, and was where the salt workers lived and worked. There is time for a stroll in the gardens spread out behind the different buildings. Return on board.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended for this excursion.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
The picturesque town of Santenay
Wine tasting in Santenay

Set off for the center of Santenay, a charming little wine-producing town with a priceless historic heritage where a local wine producer will greet you. You will learn more about the wine making process and enjoy a tasting* of 3 wines. Return to the boat.

PLEASE NOTE

  • You'll be able to purchase wine following the tasting which will be delivered to the ship.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • *Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
The episcopal city of Meaux
Guided tour of Meaux and cheese tasting

We'll take a coach to Meaux and then have a guided tour of the Episcopal Palace. Your guide will tell you the story of the famous cheese of the region. After learning about Brie de Meaux, what would be better than tasting the cheese declared as "The Prince of All Cheeses" by Talleyrand in 1815 at your return on board? Transfer by coach to reach the boat.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes.
  • The order of the visits can change to better accommodate our passengers.
  • Times are approximate and can change according to our navigational route.
Vineyard in Hautvillers
Excursion along the famous Champagne Route

Our tour guide will greet us before we start off on our coach tour of the Champagne Tourist Route, where you'll discover the magnificent vineyard-dotted valleys of the region. You'll partake in a guided tour of the village of Hautvillers, once home to the famous Dom Perignon, a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of champagne as we know it today. This picturesque village is located in the Montagne de Reims Regional Natural Park and is best explored on foot. Many of the little streets in the village have names that are reminiscent of the history of this village which is often called "The Pearl of Champagne”. We'll continue our visit to a prominent champagne house, with a tasting*, of course. After our tour, we'll return on board.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • *Alcohol can be harmful to your health. Please drink in moderation.
Reims guided tour

We'll leave by coach from Dormans to Reims, known as the "City of Coronations”. Reims played a prominent role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the Kings of France. Many notable champagne-producing houses have their headquarters in Reims. We'll enjoy a guided tour on foot and discover the Place Royale, Place Du Forum (Roman forum), the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville and more. The cathedral became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the former Abbey of Saint-Remi and the Palace of Tau, in 1991.
We'll take part in a guided visit of the cathedral, which receives about one million visitors annually. Built in the 13th and 14th centuries, this work of art is unique in its unity of style, stained-glass windows of rare magnificence and the "Smiling Angel” statue. At the end of our tour, we'll return on board in Dormans.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended for this excursion.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Chateau-Thierry
Château-Thierry and an educational falconry performance

We'll leave on foot to visit the medieval castle in Château-Thierry. In these fortifications which have dominated the Marne Valley for centuries, you'll take part in an educational falconry performance with live demonstrations. You'll get the chance to discover an art that has been classified as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. You'll literally rub elbows with impressive birds. It's the perfect occasion to view these amazing animals up close and discover their prowess. You might even be so lucky as to touch one or two! After our visit, we'll return to the ship.

PLEASE NOTE

  • Good walking shoes are recommended for this excursion.
  • For end-of-year departures from October onwards, the educational falconry performance will be replaced by a visit to the ruins of the medieval castle.
  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
Guided tour of Fontainebleau

Join us on a guided tour of Fontainebleau for a look at its historic château, gorgeous town squares, lavish theater, and magnificent church. This tour reveals the secrets and anecdotes of times gone by. We’ll then visit the castle and its vast estate, the veritable stomping grounds for French sovereigns for over eight centuries. The gardens themselves are a work of art that evokes that glory of royal France. After our tour, we will return on board the ship.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • Only on pre-booking.
Guided tour of Fontainebleau

Join us on a guided tour of Fontainebleau for a look at its historic château, gorgeous town squares, lavish theater, and magnificent church. This tour reveals the secrets and anecdotes of times gone by. We’ll then visit the castle and its vast estate, the veritable stomping grounds for French sovereigns for over eight centuries. The gardens themselves are a work of art that evokes that glory of royal France. After our tour, we will return on board the ship.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • Only on pre-booking.
Guided tour of Fontainebleau

Join us on a guided tour of Fontainebleau for a look at its historic château, gorgeous town squares, lavish theater, and magnificent church. This tour reveals the secrets and anecdotes of times gone by. We’ll then visit the castle and its vast estate, the veritable stomping grounds for French sovereigns for over eight centuries. The gardens themselves are a work of art that evokes that glory of royal France. After our tour, we will return on board the ship.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • Only on pre-booking.
Guided tour of Fontainebleau

Join us on a guided tour of Fontainebleau for a look at its historic château, gorgeous town squares, lavish theater, and magnificent church. This tour reveals the secrets and anecdotes of times gone by. We’ll then visit the castle and its vast estate, the veritable stomping grounds for French sovereigns for over eight centuries. The gardens themselves are a work of art that evokes that glory of royal France. After our tour, we will return on board the ship.

PLEASE NOTE

  • The order of the visits can change.
  • Times are approximate.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended.
  • Only on pre-booking.