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Barge Cruise: L'Art de Vivre Logo

Cruise In France On The Canal du Nivernais In Northern Burgundy Aboard The First Class Hotel-Barge L'ART DE VIVRE.

The 8-passenger L'Art de Vivre was built in England during World War One as a munitions carrier and was transformed into a hotel barge in 1998. There are four identical cabins 108 sq ft each, which may be configured with a queen bed or two twins, and all include an ensuite bathroom. The barge has a comfortable salon with dining table and a sundeck with jacuzzi and lounge chairs. Your crew of four comprises a Captain, tour guide, master Chef and hostess, who each share a love for the Nivernais canal.

L'Art de Vivre cruises the lower Nivernais and the Yonne Valley between Chevroches and the medieval town of Auxerre. The region simply oozes charm and the cruise is a journey back in time along a magical waterway. The Upper Nivernais remains an undiscovered region, well off the beaten track on the edge of the Morvan hills. The sleepy hamlets, white grazing Charolais cattle, woods and forests are typical of the scenery the barge cruises through. The Canal du Nivernais region is where time seems to have stood still for over two hundred years. The hand-swung bridges are a delight and we pass old logging sites which are now almost a forgotten memory for the local people. Luxury barging is a rarity that is welcomed by all, and every journey is made into a great event that is shared and enjoyed by everyone.

We have visited L'Art de Vivre many times over the years and think it provides an excellent cruise on the beautiful and secluded Canal du Nivernais in Northern Burgundy. We most recently visited the barge in April 2017 with its new banquette seating and bar in the salon.

Highlights include:


L'Art de Vivre: Deck Plan
L'Art de Vivre's Deck Plan

Apr 8 thru Apr 28
Jul 22 thru Aug 25
Oct 7 thru Oct 27
Apr 29 thru Jul 21
Aug 26 thru Oct 6
Stateroom (per person, double occupancy)
Single Occupancy Supplement
Charter for 6
Charter for 7
Charter for 8

Apr 7 thru Apr 27
Jul 21 thru Aug 24
Oct 6 thru Oct 26
Apr 28 thru Jul 20
Aug 25 thru Oct 5
Stateroom (per person, double occupancy)
Single Occupancy Supplement
Charter for 6
Charter for 7
Charter for 8

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Special Offers Page
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What's Included
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge, all cabins with private bath
- Transfers from Paris to the barge and return
- All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Saturday, including one lunch at a local restaurant
- All wines with lunches and dinners
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (hot air ballooning, golf, etc. at additional cost)
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Suggested 5-7% gratuity for the crew, to be paid in equivalent Euros to the captain

L'Art de Vivre
2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 8 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Apr 15 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Apr 22 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Apr 29 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
May 6 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
May 13 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
May 20 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
May 27 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jun 3 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jun 10 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jun 17 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jun 24 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jul 1 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jul 8 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jul 15 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jul 22 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Jul 29 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Aug 5 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Aug 12 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Aug 19 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Aug 26 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Sep 2 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Sep 9 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Sep 16 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Sep 23 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Sep 30 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Oct 7 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Oct 14 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Oct 21 Auxerre-Chevroches Value

L'Art de Vivre
2019 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 7 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Apr 14 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Apr 21 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Apr 28 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
May 5 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
May 12 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
May 19 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
May 26 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jun 2 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jun 9 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jun 16 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jun 23 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jun 30 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jul 7 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Jul 14 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Jul 21 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Jul 28 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Aug 4 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Aug 11 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Aug 18 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Aug 25 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Sep 1 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Sep 8 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Sep 15 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Sep 22 Auxerre-Chevroches Regular
Sep 29 Chevroches-Auxerre Regular
Oct 6 Auxerre-Chevroches Value
Oct 13 Chevroches-Auxerre Value
Oct 20 Auxerre-Chevroches Value

*Note: Cruise directions and sample itineraries may be in reverse and are subject to change and may depend on bookings and local navigation conditions. Alternate excursions of equal appeal are substituted when needed. For charter cruises special itineraries can be arranged.

Burgundy: Canal du Nivernais
Auxerre to Chevroches 2018

Chablis vineyard
Chablis vineyard

Auxerre Clock Tower
Auxerre Clock Tower

Vezelay Village
Vezelay Village

Chateau Bazoches
Chateau Bazoches

Sunday - Auxerre
Guests are met in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the pretty L'Art de Vivre. Following a champagne welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre, or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board.

Monday - Auxerre to Vincelles
Our morning cruise takes us through some delightful locks and past vineyard-clad hillsides to our rural mooring at Vincelles. The afternoon excursion is to Chablis, home of one of the most famous white wines in the world. A tasting in one of the town's aged cellars will introduce you to some of the local Petit Chablis and Chablis wines. Dinner on board.

Tuesday - Vincelles to Mailly-la-Ville
After breakfast, our excursion is to the medieval town of Auxerre. Originally the capital of Lower Burgundy, the town prides itself on its lavish Renaissance houses, fine churches and particularly a magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. We then return to the hotel barge for our cruise southwards through rich pasture-lands past grazing Charolais cattle to the sleepy village of Mailly-la-Ville. After your relaxed lunch on board, perhaps this is a good time to enjoy a walk or bicycle ride along the towpath.  Dinner on board.

Wednesday - Mailly-la-Ville to Le Saussois
This morning, we visit the charming 14th century medieval market village of Noyers-sur-Surein, one of the most beautiful villages in France, on an excursion through delightful countryside. In the afternoon we cruise past the cliffs at Le Saussois, a stunning natural setting with an international climbing center. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy delightful walks or bicycle rides along the towpath. Dinner ashore this evening at Le Château de Vault-de-Lugny, a secluded and romantic 5 star Hotel with a history that dates back almost nine hundred years. On the menu you will find dishes such as Burgundy Truffle, hand-picked from the plantation housed somewhere amidst the 40 hectares of land, or Charolais Beef, some of the finest red meat in the entirety of Europe.

Thursday - Le Saussois to Lucy-sur-Yonne
Our morning cruise is through the picturesque Yonne Valley to our mooring point at Lucy-sur-Yonne. After lunch on board, we enjoy an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Vezelay, one of Burgundy's most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, craft shops and fine views of the surrounding countryside. Dinner on board.

Friday - Lucy-sur-Yonne to Chevroches
A morning cruise through beautiful countryside takes us to our final mooring at the pretty canalside village of Chevroches and again this is a perfect time for a walk or a bicycle ride. In the afternoon, we visit the elegant Château de Bazoches, built in the 12th century and whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. The château was later remodeled by Maréchal Vauban and there are wonderful views from its elevated hillside setting. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday - Chevroches
After breakfast, guests are transfered to Paris.

Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.

Dining Aboard L'Art de Vivre:

A taste of the gourmet cuisine served aboard the L'Art de
Domaine Ferrari, Irancy 'Les Palottes'; Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils; Pouilly Fuissé; Domaine Borgnat; Coulanges la Vineuse

Passenger Comments:

Excellent trip, outstanding crew, great food & wine. Enjoyed the other passengers. the high points were the peaceful countryside, Chablis winery, cathedral in Auxerre. the cruise route was perfect for a relaxing cruise though peaceful countryside, small villages..
D.M, MA, USA, April 2017

It was a great success, and everything we had hoped for in celebration of our 80th birthdays (5 of us). The service was excellent. Beyond what we might have expected. The high points were the meals and wine certainly, the excursions, bicycling along the tow path. Perhaps above all the great sense of humour of all the crew members. This goes a long way to making the cruise relaxed and enjoyable!.
R&M.O., Canada, October 2017

The overall experience was excellent, especially the service, meals and excusions. The high points were the experience, the crew, the scenery.
G.P., FL, USA, July 2014

The service was outstanding. I can't say enough about the crew. They all contributed to my enjoyment of the cruise. They weren't intrusive but were always there to help when needed. The meals and wines were even better than we expected. We enjoyed them all. The dinner out was also good. The excursions were interesting. The wine tasting in Chablis was good, and the historical visits to Auxerre, Vezalay and the Chateau Bazoches interesting. We really liked becoming familiar with rural France, both through the excursions and the barge route. We left with a good feel for the area.
D.H., WA, USA, September 2013

It was a spectacular week! The barge route was beautiful, the crew was wonderful, the food beyond belief, the wines excellent and the tours fun and informative. Our trip was beyond our expectations!
D.A., TX, USA, April 2012

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This page last updated August 10, 2018