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Barge Cruise: Colibri
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Cruise In France In The Upper Loire On the Canal de Briare and Canal Lateral a la Loire in 2018 and on the Canal du Nivernais in 2019 Aboard the Deluxe Hotel-Barge COLIBRI


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS/SIX NIGHTS
The 4-passenger luxury hotel barge Colibri is one of the prettiest and most comfortable barges currently cruising the canals of France. Consider her your own private hotel with ever changing views. Come aboard and allow the crew to take care of every need and make you feel truly pampered. The Colibri offers private charters with full board (two meals at selected restaurants included) or half board cruises (five dinners not included) from Sunday noon to Friday morning. In 2018 the Colibri cruises in the Upper Loire on the Canal de Briare and Canal Lateral a la Loire, including a cruise over the Briare aqueduct and a visit to the wine village of Sancerre. In 2019 the Colibri will be cruising on the Canal du Nivernais in Northern Burgundy and will include visits to the village of Chablis for wine tasting and to the magnificent Vezelay basilica.

Colibri is a classic Dutch Luxemotor canal barge built in Friesland, Holland in 1931 and lovingly converted into a hotel barge from her cargo carrying days. Colibri was completely refitted in 2004 with added touches of luxury and elegance. Despite her generous size, Colibri takes only four guests, thus affording space and maximum comfort for everyone. Sleeping accommodations include two staterooms with generous en-suite bathrooms with hairdryers and bathrobes. The beds are European king-size, or you may choose two twin beds to afford flexibility to guest's arrangements. The cabins are furnished with French oak furniture with ample hanging space and drawers to unpack your belongings and to feel at home. The interior is air conditioned to ensure your well-being. The dining area and salon are light and spacious, the perfect place to relax and feel at home, read a book, or chat over dinner and a glass of wine. There is a music system and collection of music, a small library of books, games and DVD's available to you. Guidebooks for the area are available for you to browse and help us to customise the cruise to your wishes.

On deck, there is the canopied wheelhouse where you will be shaded while chatting with the Captain. The large deck space also allows for shaded al fresco dining, and the chance to relax and find yourselves in awe of the scenery as you pass ancient villages and vineyards.There are lounge chairs for those who wish to take some sun while cooled by the gentle breeze. Four bicycles are at your disposal for riding the towpaths or exploring the villages and surrounding areas. The chauffeured and air-conditioned minibus will take you on excursions so that you can enjoy the sights in the area surrounding the canal.

ABOUT YOUR HOSTS: Owners Earl and Fiona worked for many years in the luxury yachting industry, cruising the Mediterranean, Caribbean, from Australia to Alaska and have now chosen to make the canals of France their cruising ground. They married in France and fell in love with the country, life style, food and wines. They cannot think of a better place to cruise.With a background in catering and luxury service including chief stewardess / head of household on yachts up to 75 metres, Fiona delights guests with her gastronomic tour of the region and the Mediterranean. Earl is Australian, and has cruised widely with many ocean passages as an officer on vessels up to 75 meters, but is delighted to be in command of his own vessel. With the knowledge and experience gained from his super yacht chartering days and his love of people, Earl is fulfilling his dreams in welcoming and entertaining guests aboard his own boat. His enthusiasm for life will be evident as soon as you meet him. Earl and Fiona offer their service to make your holiday a magnificent experience that you will remember for a lifetime. They believe that after spending a great deal of their lives working on luxury super yachts, everyone deserves to be pampered in the same way! The owners have two dogs, Harry and Toby, on board. They are calm and friendly, less than knee high, and are normally found lying in the shade, out of the way. We have visited Earl and Fiona on the Colibri several times and think it's a beautiful barge that has offered a great cruise in a variety of cruise areas.


Features




Colibri's Deck Plan


Colibri's Deck Plan


COLIBRI
2018 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE MAIN
Apr 1 thru Nov 3
Charter for up to 4
$22,000
Half Board Charter for up to 4
$21,000





COLIBRI
2019 SEASON PRICES in US DOLLARS
TYPE MAIN
Mar 31 thru Nov 2
Charter for up to 4
$22,000
Half Board Charter for up to 4
$21,000


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

What's Included, Full Board
- 6 days and 5 nights on the barge in 2 cabins with private baths
- Transfers from local rail station, hotel or other point in the cruise area to the barge and return, as agreed with the barge owner
- All meals on board beginning with lunch on Sunday through breakfast on Friday
- All wines with lunches and dinners
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included, Full Board
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
- Suggested minimum 5% gratuity for the crew, to be given to the captain in equivalent Euros

What's Included, Half Board
- 6 days and 5 nights on the barge in 2 cabins with private baths
- Transfers from local rail station, hotel or other point in the cruise area to the barge and return, as agreed with the barge owner
- All breakfasts, lunches and Sunday dinner on board, beginning with lunch on Sunday through breakfast on Friday
- All wines with lunches and Sunday dinner
- Open bar
- All escorted side-excursions (golf, etc at extra cost)
- Use of bicycles

What's Not Included, Half Board
- Overseas air transportation to Paris and return
- Transfers from Paris to the barge pickup point and return
- Four dinners on shore at passenger's expense
- Any gratuities gratefully received



Colibri
2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 1 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Apr 8 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Apr 15 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Apr 22 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Apr 29 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
May 6 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
May 13 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
May 20 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
May 27 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jun 3 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Jun 10 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jun 17 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Jun 24 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jul 1 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Jul 8 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jul 15 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
       
Cruise Schedule* ... continued

Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 22 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jul 29 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Aug 5 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Aug 12 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Aug 19 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Aug 26 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Sep 2 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Sep 9 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Sep 16 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Sep 23 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Sep 30 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Oct 7 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Oct 14 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Oct 21 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Oct 28 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main

2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Apr 1 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Apr 8 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Apr 15 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Apr 22 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Apr 29 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
May 6 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
May 13 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
May 20 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
May 27 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jun 3 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Jun 10 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jun 17 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Jun 24 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jul 1 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Jul 8 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jul 15 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Jul 22 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Jul 29 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Aug 5 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Aug 12 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Aug 19 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Aug 26 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Sep 2 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Sep 9 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Sep 16 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Sep 23 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Sep 30 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Oct 7 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Oct 14 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main
Oct 21 Nevers-Chatillon-Coligny Main
Oct 28 Chatillon-Coligny-Nevers Main


*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.





SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Upper Loire: Canal du Briare & Canal Lateral a la Loire
Chatillon-Coligny to Nevers 2018


Chateau de Saint Fargeau
Chateau de Saint Fargeau

Hilltop village of Sancerre
Hilltop village of Sancerre

Apremont Village
Apremont Village

Sunday - Châtillon-Coligny
Guest will be met by Captain Earl at noon, from the pre-arranged pick up point and transferred to Colibri. Warm welcome aboard, followed by your first Colibri lunch. After lunch we begin our cruise from Châtillon-Coligny towards Rogny Les Sept Ecluses. A short walk from our mooring are the original ecluses, pre-dating the Canal du Midi and a wonderful engineering feat. Return to Colibri for your first splendid dinner aboard.

Monday - Briare - Visit Chateau Saint Fargeau
Today we visit the Chateau of Saint Fargeau, there are so many to choose from! This is a splendid chateau with beautiful gardens. Returning to Colibri for lunch and an afternoon cruise across the summit of the canal, descending towards the town of Briare, our mooring for this evening.

Tuesday - Visit Gien
This morning we will visit the town of Gien, on the banks of the river Loire. You may know the town for its fine faience china. Our cruise this afternoon will take us across the Pont Canal and the River Loire. This magnificent structure opened in 1896 is 663 metres long and carries 13000 tonnes of water. Here we join the Canal Lateral a la Loire. Stopping for dinner in a secluded mooring.

Wednesday - Visit hilltop wine village of Sancerre
Our visit today will be to the very pretty hilltop wine village of Sancerre, exploring the village and some of the wines. After a lovely lunch on board, we will continue our cruise up stream through some of the many villages along the Canal.

Thursday - Visit Apremont Village
Our visit today will allow us to step back in time to the 18th century at the one of the most beautiful villages in France, Apremont. The gardens created in 1977 will find us stroll along its wooded paths taking in its immense flower gardens, its water falls and its follies, and the village of Apremont. Our afternoon cruise will take us onward toward Nevers and our final mooring for dinner aboard.

Friday - Nevers
After a leisurely breakfast, depart Colibri to continue your adventures.

Note: This is a sample itinerary. There are many sites, wineries and markets we can visit. We would be delighted to modify the itinerary to enhance your cruise. The Colibri cruises in the opposite direction on alternate weeks.




SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Burgundy: Canal du Nivernais
Corbigny to Accolay 2019


Chateau de Bazoches
Chateau de Bazoches

Hilltop village of Vezelay
Hilltop village of Vezelay

Village of Noyers-sur-Serein
Village of Noyers-sur-Serein

Chablis Vineyards
Chablis Vineyards

Sunday - Corbigny
Guests will be met by Captain Earl at noon, from the pre-arranged pick up point and transferred to Colibri. Warm welcome aboard, followed by your first lunch aboard. After lunch, our cruise will start, leaving our rural canal side mooring in the Upper reaches of the Yonne valley near the town of Corbigny. From here we will start our decent through this green and beautiful landscape towards Auxerre. This is a lovely cruise winding through the countryside and passing thorough ancient lift bridges as we go. This evening's mooring is in a village setting on the edge of the picturesque Yonne River. A good chance to take a stroll and stretch your legs before your wonderful dinner aboard.

Monday - Corbigny - Clamecy
This morning's excursion will be to the Château de Bazoches that became Home to the Marquis de Vauban in 1675, and is still in the hands of his descendants today. Vauban was the famous military strategist to Louis XIV, who improved several structures on the Canal du Midi, such as the "L'épanchoir de l'Argent-Double" and is famous for his many fortresses. After lunch on board, we will continue our cruise heading toward the town of Clamecy, with its timber-framed buildings and cobbled streets, once the home of a thriving timber industry. This is a truly fabulous sector of navigation as here we start to switch between stretches of the Yonne River and stretches of canal.

Tuesday - Clamecy - Rural Village Mooring
Vézelay and the magnificent Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene will be our visit today. Vézelay is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the starting points for pilgrims on the route to Santiago de Compostela. The hilltop town of Vézelay is lovely to wander around and has some interesting shops and art galleries to peruse. This afternoon's cruise will be mostly canal cruising today, with the river flowing nearby. A rural village mooring is the setting for this evening.

Wednesday - Rural Village Mooring - Mailly le Château
Today is market day in the charming 14th century medieval market village of Noyers-sur-Serein. This beautiful riverside village becomes a riot of colours with market stalls offering fresh local vegetables and fruits, and local cheeses and farm produce. The village shops and market also offer clothes and local hand crafts, leather bags, pottery, and other fun bits and pieces to catch your interest. Return to Colibri for a sumptuous lunch and a relaxing afternoon of cruising. As Colibri cruises the canal, sit on deck and soak up the sun, walk or cycle along the towpath diverting to explore the villages along the way. We cruise past the cliffs of the Rochers du Saussois, switching between river and canal to our peaceful evening mooring in Mailly le Château.

Thursday - Mailly le Château - Accolay
This morning's visit is to the village of Chablis which gives its name to one of the most famous French white wines. We will have an in-depth look at what makes this white wine one of the most recognizable in the world, and of course allow our taste buds to have the last word as we sample all four of the AOC denominations, including the Grand Cru. These wines will also grace your table during the week, as we drift along the canal. Our cruise this afternoon takes us to our evening mooring of Accolay, a side branch of the canal where the River Cure joins the Yonne.

Friday - Accolay
After a leisurely breakfast, depart Colibri. Earl will take you to our agreed drop off point to continue your travels.

Note: This is a sample itinerary, and we would be delighted to customize our itinerary to enhance your cruise and visits. It runs in reverse on alternate weeks..


Dining Aboard The Colibri:
SAMPLE MENU


Lunches are an assortment of salads and platters served 'family style' so you may help yourselves
and enjoy the relaxed informal setting. Dinners are four course feasts, using the best ingredients to
produce fine dining. Desserts are a favorite course of Fiona's, they are all delicious and 'mostly fruit'!




Passenger Comments:


The high points were the wine and the food. Earl and Fiona were most accomodating and a very delightful couple. the excursions were well planned and private with good information from the leader. There was nothing that could have been improved. I want to do a repeat in another part of the Canal.
D.H., KS, USA, October 2012



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This page last updated July 17, 2018