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Barge Cruise: C'Est La Vie
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Cruise In France In Northern Burgundy and The Upper Loire and also in Champagne in 2018 Aboard The Ultra Deluxe Hotel-Barge C'EST LA VIE


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS/SIX NIGHTS
The 8-passenger C'est la Vie invites you to join its owners, Olivier and Deb Megret, and crew, as it cruises in Northern Burgundy in the spring, in the Upper Loire in the summer, and in Champagne in the fall of 2018. Starting life as a commercial barge in 1960 it transported goods across Holland, Belgium and France before being converted in Belgium to a very high standard in 2004. Olivier and Deborah purchased C'est La Vie after long and distinguished careers with other hotel barge companies. We have known Olivier and Deb since before they owned C'est la Vie and always enjoy our visits with them. We have stayed on board and thoroughly enjoyed their cuisine, wonderful wines and excursions and can attest to the fact that they always provide an outstanding barge cruise. Our latest visit was in April 2017 when we spent time with the owners and saw the beautiful new decor in the salon and cabins.

This luxury hotel barge is fully equipped with all the modern amenities. On the upper deck the lounge and dining areas are air-conditioned and numerous windows give you a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. The outside sun deck with teak floor and furniture is the perfect spot to dine alfresco or relax under the sun canopy which gives shade to all the deck or can be adjusted for those who like the warmth of the summer sun. The wheel house offers passengers the chance to visit the captain and enjoy the cruise from a different perspective.

The Cherrywood-panelled walls and ceiling edged in black Ironwood give the four spacious staterooms a feeling of warmth, with three windows on each side, where light filters through at all times of the day. The staterooms are 220- 236 sq ft with a king size bed or two twin beds and an ensuite bathroom with shower and marble-topped vanity. It is one of the few barges with both 220 and 110 volt sockets.

From April through June, it cruises on the centuries-old Burgundy Canal. The barge will moor in picturesque, medieval villages and meander through miles of magnificent countryside dotted with wineries and chateaux, where superb wines, bountiful regional cheeses and sumptuous foods are synonymous with the good life in this part of the country. The itinerary in Northern Burgundy developed by Captain Olivier includes visits to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, the Renaissance Chateau of Ancy le Franc and the historic town of Auxerre. A drive through the vineyards to Chablis for a wine tasting will highlight the beauty of this well known area.

In July through August, C'est la Vie cruises on the Canal de Briare and Canal Lateral a La Loire. These canals in the Upper Loire region just west of Northern Burgundy are among the most beautiful in France. Your daily excursions will include a visit to the fortified town of Sancerre, where you will have a private wine tasting of this famous Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a visit to the Château of St Fargeau dating from the 10th century and the Château de la Bussiere, a prime example of a medieval fortress built in the 12th century.

In September and October, C'est la Vie cruises on a new route in the Champagne region on the Marne River and Canal Lateral a la Marne through the Champagne vineyards. Highlights of the excursions include a visit to the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, a WWI battlefield, the Moet & Chandon champagne house and the Gothic Cathedral in Reims.

Sit back and unwind as your cruise takes you into the peaceful and tranquil life that defines rural France. Walk, jog or bike on the various towpaths along the way or relax on the sun deck and soak up the rays and enjoy the ever-changing vistas. Explore the route on one of the bicycles provided on board as you breeze along the riverbank, or stroll through the picturesque villages along the towpath and meet up with the boat at the next lock.


Features




C'Est La Vie's Deck Plan


C'Est La Vie's Deck Plan

Dining Aboard The C'est La Vie:
SAMPLE MENU

A taste of the gourmet
cuisine served aboard the C'est La Vie. DINNER


SAMPLE WINE MENU

Vin Blanc:
Vin Rouge:
Champagne:

Passenger Comments:

Beautiful scenery, great food and drink and outstanding service. The meals and wine were outstanding. We ate off the boat at a Michelin 2 star restaurant one evening and Max's cooking on the barge was just as good. Both wine and cheese selections were varied and superb. The high points were Fontainbleau, the Cathedral at Sens and all of the dinners.
D & B. H., SC, USA July 2017

We were not sure what to expect and found a well appointed and well maintained barge with exemplary owners and crew. We could not have been taken care of any better. We would recommend C'est la vie in a heartbeat!
B&C H, SC, USA July 2017

I have been on and off boats my entire life and hold a 100 ton master mariner's license and can say with some authority that C'est La Vie is a magnificent vessel from its first-rate state of polish and maintenance to its fine compliment of machinery and systems. Quite truthfully, I was prepared to "rough it" a bit in the cabin and the head as my wife was apprehensive about those same issues. Our trip got off to a perfect start when she stepped aboard and noted that the main salon was lovely and then entered our cabin and realized the spacious cabin a large modern bath required no compromise for being on a boat. Happy wife: happy life.
M.B. NY USA Jun 2016

Best trip of my life--and I've traveled often. The meals and wines were unbelievable--couldn't have been better. The excursions were interesting and well researched and the cruise route [in Champagne] was beautiful.
L.P. MA USA Sep 2015

We were thrilled to be back on the C'est la Vie. The trip surpassed the first time we were on it two years ago. I believe the crew is better and more able to handle the tiniest details for each passenger. And they went out of their way to be sure we all got to where we needed to be on the day of our departure. The meals were extraordinary. Max is by far the best chef we have ever encountered.
A&C S. MA USA Sep 2015

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Burgundy: Canal de Bourgogne
Ravières to St. Florentin, April-June 2018

Highlights: Chablis, Château of Ancy-le Franc, Noyers, Abbey of Fontenay, Auxerre.
Restaurant: Hostellerie-des-Clos


Sunday - Welcome to C'est la Vie. Paris to C'est la Vie moored in Ravieres.
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the C'est la Vie which is moored in the town of Ravières. A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the crew awaits you, before your first gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday - Sightseeing Abbey of Fontenay. Cruise to Ancy le Franc.
Morning cruise to the village of Ancy le Franc, which allows you time to walk off breakfast of locally baked croissants and other pastries. After a buffet lunch you will be driven to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay, founded by St Bernard. Dating back to the 12th Century, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Return to the C'est La Vie for dinner.

Tuesday - Sightseeing Château of Ancy le Franc. Cruise to Lezinnes
You can walk or be driven for this morning's visit to the gorgeous Renaissance Château of Ancy le Franc. Renowned for its 16th Century wall paintings and frescos, which are said to rival those of Fontainebleau, Ancy-le-Franc has been extensively and sensitively renovated. Return to C'est La Vie for lunch and an afternoon cruise to the small town of Lezinnes. You will be driven to the village of Chablis for your dinner ashore at the Hostellerie-des-Clos (www.hostellerie-des-clos.fr).

Wednesday - Sightseeing in Noyers with its local market. Cruise to Tanlay.
Morning visit to the medieval town of Noyers, where you can walk through the cobbled streets enjoying the local market and discover the old ramparts and half timbered buildings from the 15th-16th centuries along the banks of the river Serein. Drive back to C'est La Vie through fields of wheat and grazing animals for lunch and an afternoon cruise on the Burgundy Canal to Tanlay, now lined with poplar trees. This is a perfect moment to put on your walking shoes and explore the canal towpath and small villages along the way. Dinner aboard.

Thursday - Sightseeing Chablis. Cruise to Flogny la Chapelle.
We take a morning cruise and pass through the old town of Tonnerre with buildings from many eras, including Roman and Medieval, before our afternoon visit to the town of Chablis, where you can taste some of the famous white wines of this region in one of their local cellars and enjoy a drive through vineyards which cover the hill sides for as far as the eye can see. Return to C'est la Vie for another gourmet dinner aboard.

Friday - Sightseeing in Auxerre. Cruise to St Florentin.
This morning's cruise will take us to the town of St Florentin, arriving by early afternoon. After lunch drive to the town of Auxerre. On the banks of the river Yonne this historic town, first settled by the Romans, boasts a cathedral, an abbey and a church. With buildings dating back to medieval times, this is the ideal place to stroll along its narrow streets and window shop or just sit and relax with a coffee in one of its many cafes reflecting on Napoleon, Joan of Arc or Charles VII who all passed through this elegant town. Return to C'est La Vie for the Captain's Dinner, which ends your cruise in style.

Saturday - Return to Paris.
After breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris, arriving by about noon. We hope to see you again on the C'est la Vie!

Note: On alternate cruise weeks this cruise will operate in the reverse direction. Itineraries are subject to change.


SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Upper Loire: Canal de Briare, Canal Lateral à la Loire
Sancerre to Montargis, July-August 2018

Highlights: Sancerre winery, Faiencerie of Gien, Château de St Fargeau, Montargis, Château de La Bussiere, Canal bridge of Briare, Local Restaurant

Sunday - Welcome to  the  C'est la Vie moored on the Canal Latéral a la Loire!
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the C'est la Vie moored in the hamlet of "Les Fouchards" situated 6 miles from Sancerre, and close to Cosne sur Loire, which is just the other side of the Loire river. With a glass of champagne to welcome you to the C'est La Vie, and after introductions to the crew, you have time to settle into your spacious cabins before your first gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday - Sightseeing in Sancerre. Cruise to Beaulieu
On our way, this morning we cruise to the village of Beaulieu.  After lunch we take a short drive through the vineyards to visit the fortified town of Sancerre. This hill top medieval site gives you panoramic views over the Loire River and of the neighboring vineyards of Pouilly Fumé. The town of Chavignol (also famous for its goat cheese) is where you will have a private wine tasting of this famous Sauvignon Blanc. Return to the C'est la Vie for dinner.

Tuesday - Sightseeing Château de St Fargeau. Dinner ashore. Cruise to Ouzouer-sur-Trézée
This morning's cruise takes us to the town of Ouzouer-sur-Trézée, crossing over the Loire river at Briare on the "Pont Canal".  This famous aqueduct was designed by Gustave Eiffel and the construction of this canal bridge started in 1890. The Château of St Fargeau is this afternoon's destination.  Dating from the 10th century, it was built by the bishop of Auxerre and has undergone many additions and restorations over the following years. Dinner ashore at the 1-Star Michelin restaurant Auberge des Templiers

Wednesday - Sightseeing Faiencerie of Gien. Cruise to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses.
From Ouzouer-sur-Trézée we drive to the town of Gien, the world famous center for French tableware.  After a visit to the pottery, take a walk through this market town and discover its remarkable history. There has been a settlement here on the banks of the Loire river since Romans times. Back on board for lunch and an afternoon cruise to the town of Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses.  Here you will see 7 remarkable old locks, (hence its name Sept Ecluses), dating back to the reign of Henry IV which was a major engineering feat for its time. Dinner aboard the C'est la Vie.

Thursday - Sightseeing Château de La Bussiere. Cruise to Montbouy.
If you haven't already put on your walking shoes, now is the perfect time as we cruise to the village of Montbouy. After lunch you will be driven to the Château de La Bussiere; it is a prime example of a medieval fortress built in the 12th Century. It has been open to the public since 1962, when the Count Henri de Chasseval decided to exhibit his extensive collection of material and pieces of art from around the world about fishing. But it's not all about fishing; there are the grounds to visit with its 18th Century vegetabel garden and a pond with a 300-year-old Lebanon Cedar tree and much more.  We head back to the C'est La Vie with time to relax before dinner.

Friday - Sightseeing Montargis, Cruise to Montargis
Meandering along the canal, Montargis is our last port of call, with its 131 bridges, you can see why its nick name is "little Venice". After lunch take a stroll around and discover the feudal castle, the half timbered buildings, shops and cafes and perhaps buy some Pralines for which Montargis is famous. The C'est la Vie awaits your return for the Captain's dinner, which ends your cruise in style.

Saturday - Return to Paris
After breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning. We look forward to your company again on the C'est la Vie!

Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. The cruise route is run in reverse on alternate weeks and can be different due to local conditions.


SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Champagne: Marne River, Canal Lateral a La Marne
Meaux to Sillery, September-October 2018

Highlights: Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte, WWI battlefield, cemetery of Belleau Wood & American monument, Moët & Chandon champagne house in Epernay, Haultevilliers- village of monk Dom Perignon, Champagne visit to small family-run vineyard, Reims and its Gothic Cathedral. Restaurant: L'Assiette Champenoise in Reims (3 Michelin Stars)

Sunday - Paris to Meaux - Welcome to C'est La Vie!
You'll be met at 3:00pm in the lobby of your Paris hotel and chauffeured to the C'est La Vie at anchor in the village of Meaux. After the traditional champagne welcome from Captain Oliver Mégret and the crew, there is time to unpack and take a stroll around town before enjoying the first of many gourmet dinners on board.

Monday - Sightseeing Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte - Cruise to St. Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux
Begin the day with our breakfast buffet featuring village-baked pastries just warm from the oven! Then relax on deck while cruising on the River Marne to St. Jean-les-Doux-Jumeaux. C'est La Vie floats through heavily-wooded countryside. Adorable villages hug the shore and patient fisherman wave as we pass. After lunch (served on deck weather permitting) we'll visit the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an enormous privately-owned property with grand gardens and an intriguing history. Built by Nicholas Fouquet, Finance Minister to Louis XIV, the château became a lightening rod for the jealous king. Fouquet landed in jail for the rest of his life and the king built Versailles in retaliation! Could Fouquet have been the man in the iron mask? Some people certainly think so! Return to the C'est La Vie for dinner aboard.

Tuesday - Sightseeing WWI Battlelfield and Cemetery of Belleau Wood - Cruise to Château Thierry
After another delicious breakfast, cruise to Château Thierry through a gorgeous landscape of villages, vineyards, pastures and forests. Nestled into the champagne-producing slopes, this ancient town is associated with the Frankish king Charles Martel whose castle here was built in the 8th century and with Joan of Arc who entered through the town gates in 1421. Afternoon excursion to nearby World War I sites. Belleau Wood was the scene of the second battle of the Marne in spring 1918, which ended the last German offensive of World War I. The cost was 8,000 American troops killed, missing or wounded. Overlooking Château Thierry is the massive French-American Friendship Monument and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery. Back on board for your gourmet dinner.

Wednesday - Sightseeing Épernay and Moët & Chandon - Cruise to Damery
Morning cruise on the River Marne, through scenery that could have been painted by the Impressionists. Vineyards, fields and farmhouses cling to distant hills, while villages and gardens line the river. After lunch take a short drive to visit famed champagne producer Moët & Chandon in Épernay. This elite company was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët and was characterized from the beginning by international markets and such high-level contacts as Madame Pompadour and Napoleon. Now it dominates Épernay with a complex of historic buildings and a billion bottles of bubbly stored in 18 miles of tunnels! 'tour and then taste! Next visit Hautvillers, a pretty champagne village perched high over the vineyards. Tour the unassuming church of monk Dom Perignon, credited with inventing the champagne producing process. Back to the C'est La Vie in time cocktails and dinner.

Thursday - Sightseeing at a family champagne domaine - Dinner at the L'Assiette Champenoise in Reims - Cruise to Tours sur Marne
On this morning's cruise we leave the River Marne for the Canal Lateral a la Marne, a perfect time to put your walking shoes on or ride a bicycle along the towpath and catch the C'est la Vie at the next lock. After lunch we will pay a visit to a small family run vineyard, for the second of your champagne tasting experiences. You will be driving through vineyards as far as the eye can see. We return to the C'est La Vie in plenty of time to prepare for your dinner shore at the 3 star Michelin restaurant the L'Assiette Champenoise, delicately chosen by Olivier.

Friday - Sightseeing in Reims and its Cathedral - Cruise to Sillery
Cruise this morning on the canal which is going to take us through a small tunnel. There is time to walk or bicycle on the towpath as C'est La Vie climbs up a flight of locks. After lunch, we drive to Reims, an important city from Roman times onwards. Visit the great Reims Cathedral, which is even larger than Notre Dame in Paris and where the many of the French kings were crowned. Visit the Archbishop's palace, which has been turned into a museum, and step back in time. Walk along the pedestrian streets in this vibrant city, or take a coffee in many of the sidewalk cafés and watch the world go by. Head back to the C'est La Vie for The Captain's Dinner, which ends your cruise in style!

Saturday - Return to Paris
After breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning. We hope to see you again on the C'est La Vie!

Note:  This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. It runs in reverse on alternate weeks.




C'est la Vie
2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 15 St. Florentin-Ravieres Value
Apr 22 Ravieres-St. Florentin Value
Apr 29 St. Florentin-Ravieres Value
May 6 Ravieres-St. Florentin Value
May 13 St. Florentin-Ravieres Value
May 20 Ravieres-St. Florentin Regular
May 27 St. Florentin-Ravieres Regular
Jun 3 Ravieres-St. Florentin Regular
Jun 10 St. Florentin-Ravieres Regular
Jun 17 Ravieres-St. Florentin Regular
Jun 24 St. Florentin-Montargis Regular
Jul 1 Montargis-Sancerre Regular
Jul 8 Sancerre-Montargis Value
Jul 15 Montargis-Sancerre Value
       
Cruise Schedule* ... continued

Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 22 Sancerre-Montargis Value
Jul 29 Montargis-Sancerre Value
Aug 5 Sancerre-Montargis Value
Aug 12 Montargis-Sancerre Value
Aug 19 Sancerre-Montargis Regular
Aug 26 Montargis-Meaux Regular
Sep 2 Meaux-Sillery Regular
Sep 9 Sillery-Meaux Regular
Sep 16 Meaux-Sillery Regular
Sep 23 Sillery-Meaux Regular
Sep 30 Meaux-Sillery Regular
Oct 7 Sillery-Meaux Regular
Oct 14 Meaux-Sillery Value
Oct 21 Sillery-Meaux Value

2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 15 St. Florentin-Ravieres Value
Apr 22 Ravieres-St. Florentin Value
Apr 29 St. Florentin-Ravieres Value
May 6 Ravieres-St. Florentin Value
May 13 St. Florentin-Ravieres Value
May 20 Ravieres-St. Florentin Regular
May 27 St. Florentin-Ravieres Regular
Jun 3 Ravieres-St. Florentin Regular
Jun 10 St. Florentin-Ravieres Regular
Jun 17 Ravieres-St. Florentin Regular
Jun 24 St. Florentin-Montargis Regular
Jul 1 Montargis-Sancerre Regular
Jul 8 Sancerre-Montargis Value
Jul 15 Montargis-Sancerre Value
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 22 Sancerre-Montargis Value
Jul 29 Montargis-Sancerre Value
Aug 5 Sancerre-Montargis Value
Aug 12 Montargis-Sancerre Value
Aug 19 Sancerre-Montargis Regular
Aug 26 Montargis-Meaux Regular
Sep 2 Meaux-Sillery Regular
Sep 9 Sillery-Meaux Regular
Sep 16 Meaux-Sillery Regular
Sep 23 Sillery-Meaux Regular
Sep 30 Meaux-Sillery Regular
Oct 7 Sillery-Meaux Regular
Oct 14 Meaux-Sillery Value
Oct 21 Sillery-Meaux 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.





C'EST LA VIE
2018 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE VALUE
Apr 15 thru May 19
Jul 8 thru Aug 18
Oct 14 thru Oct 27
REGULAR
May 20 thru Jul 7
Aug 19 thru Oct 13
Cabin (per person, double occupancy)
$6,695
$6,995
Single Occupancy Supplement
$3,695
$4,995
Charter for 6
$46,800
$51,960
Charter for 7
$49,000
$53,900
Charter for 8
$51,200
$55,960


What's Included
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in suites with private baths
- Transfers from Paris to the barge and return via private minibus; Geneva transfers possible for charter groups.
- All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Saturday, including one dinner 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 or Geneva and return
- Suggested minimum 5% gratuity for the crew, to be given to the captain in equivalent euros
- Trip cancellation insurance




Please visit our ...
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... to see potential discounts for this barge or many others.



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This page last updated December 8, 2017