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Barge Cruise: Napoleon
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Cruise In France On The Rhone River In Provence And On The Saone River In Southern Burgundy Aboard The Ultra Deluxe Hotel-Barge NAPOLEON


BARGE CRUISES: SEVEN DAYS/SIX NIGHTS
The 12-passenger Napoléon is one of Europe's finest small river cruisers, combining all the amenities of a luxury hotel with the friendly ambience of a country inn. She is beautifully appointed with large picture windows that provide unsurpassed views of the countryside. There are six luxurious staterooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom, that includes double basins, shower and heated towel rail. The main deck features a large, elegant salon and separate dining room. An air-conditioned bus is available for excursions and touring bicycles are carried on board should you wish to bike into the countryside. The upper deck has an exterior, canopied dining area, spacious sun deck with loungers, jacuzzi and exercise equipment.

The Napoléon cruises the Rhône in Provence between Arles and Tain l'Hermitage/Tournon, through sun-drenched landscapes that inspired the great canvases of Cézanne and Van Gogh. A region full of sophisticated architecture dating back to the Roman civilization and ruins of fortifications, arenas and aqueducts that continue to amaze modern engineers. The endless vistas of tiled roofs, lavender fields and olive groves are synonymous with Provence. Excursions are arranged to the wine region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the storybook towns of Orange, Avignon, Arles, St Rémy, birthplace of Nostradamus and the ancient Roman and Greek ruins of Pont-du-Gard and Glanum.

For part of the summer the barge cruises on the Saone River in Southern Burgundy with visits to vineyards in the Cotes du Rhone, Beaujolais, and Cote d'Or regions, and cruises on the Rhone River to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France.

Perhaps the most relaxing part of this unforgettable adventure is the evening surprise when you return from your excursions to find a sumptuous feast, prepared by your personal gourmet Chef. Enjoy this exquisite meal in the dining room or the al fresco area, prepared for your enjoyment on the exterior canopied deck.

We have stayed on board and cruised on the Napoleon a number of times and have always found the accommodations to be beautiful and the cuisine, wines and excursions to be excellent. The barge also has a family cruise itinerary which is available upon request.


Features




Napoleon's Deck Plan
Napoleon's Deck Plan



NAPOLEON
2018 SEASON PRICES in EUROS
TYPE LOW
Mar 25 thru May 5
Oct 7 thru Oct 27
HIGH
May 6 thru Oct 6
Cabin (per person, double occupancy)
€4,902
€6,127
Single Occupancy Supplement
€2,941.20
€3,676.20
Charter for 8
€48,088
€60,112
Charter for 9
€50,751
€63,441
Charter for 10
€53,410
€66,770
Charter for 11
€56,078
€70,092
Charter for 12
€58,740
€73,428





NAPOLEON
2019 SEASON PRICES in EUROS
TYPE LOW
Mar 24 thru May 4
Oct 6 thru Oct 26
HIGH
May 5 thru Oct 5
Cabin (per person, double occupancy)
€4,902
€6,127
Single Occupancy Supplement
€2,941.20
€3,676.20
Charter for 8
€48,088
€60,112
Charter for 9
€50,751
€63,441
Charter for 10
€53,410
€66,770
Charter for 11
€56,078
€70,092
Charter for 12
€58,740
€73,428


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

What's Included
- 7 days and 6 nights on the barge in a cabin with private bath
- Transfers from Paris to the barge and return via first class TGV train
- All meals beginning with dinner on Sunday through breakfast on Saturday, including one dinner at a local restaurant
- All wines with lunches and dinners
- All escorted side-excursion
- Use of bicycles

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



Napoleon
2018 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Mar 25 St. Jean-Lyon Low
Apr 1 Lyon-Avignon Low
Apr 8 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage Low
Apr 15 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon Low
Apr 22 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage Low
Apr 29 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon Low
May 6 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage High
May 13 Tain L'Hermitage-Chalon High
May 20 Chalon-Lyon High
May 27 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon High
Jun 3 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage High
Jun 10 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon High
Jun 17 Avignon-Lyon High
Jun 24 Lyon-Avignon High
Jul 1 Avignon-Lyon High
Jul 8 Lyon-Avignon High
Jul 15 Avignon-Lyon High
Jul 22 Lyon-Avignon High
Jul 29 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage High
Aug 5 Tain L'Hermitage-Chalon High
Aug 12 Chalon-Tain L'Hermitage High
Aug 19 Tain L'Hermitage-Chalon High
Aug 26 Chalon-Tain L'Hermitage High
Sep 2 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon High
Sep 9 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage High
Sep 16 Tain L'Hermitage-St. Jean High
Sep 23 St. Jean-Lyon High
Sep 30 Lyon-Avignon High
Oct 7 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage Low
Oct 14 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon Low
Oct 21 Avignon-Lyon Low


Napoleon
2019 Season Cruise Schedule*
Week Route (Or Reverse) Season
Mar 24 St. Jean-Lyon Low
Mar 31 Lyon-Avignon Low
Apr 7 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage Low
Apr 14 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon Low
Apr 21 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage Low
Apr 28 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon Low
May 5 Avignon-Lyon High
May 12 Lyon-Avignon High
May 19 Avignon-Lyon High
May 26 Lyon-St. Jean High
Jun 2 St. Jean-Lyon High
Jun 9 Lyon-Avignon High
Jun 16 Avignon-Lyon High
Jun 23 Lyon-Avignon High
Jun 30 Avignon-Lyon High
Jul 7 Lyon-Avignon High
Jul 14 Avignon-Lyon High
Jul 21 Lyon-Avignon High
Jul 28 Avignon-Lyon High
Aug 4 Lyon-Avignon High
Aug 11 Avignon-Lyon High
Aug 18 Lyon-Avignon High
Aug 25 Avignon-Lyon High
Sep 1 Lyon-Avignon High
Sep 8 Avignon-Tain L'Hermitage High
Sep 15 Tain L'Hermitage-Avignon High
Sep 22 Avignon-Lyon High
Sep 29 Lyon-Avignon High
Oct 6 Avignon-Lyon Low
Oct 13 Lyon-St. Jean Low
Oct 20 St. Jean-Lyon Low

*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*
Provence: Rhone River
Tain L'Hermitage to Avignon 2018

Highlights

Pétanque: Challenge the crew to the traditional Provençal game of pétanque with a Pastis in hand, you will start to feel very French!

Grignan: Learn about the black truffle, the aromas in this part of Provence are exquisite with lavender and herbes de Provence growing in the nearby fields.

Ecluse de Bollène: Pass through the Ecluse de Bollène, the second deepest lock in Europe with a drop of approximately 23 metres.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape
: Visit the world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, summer home of the popes from Avignon

Le Pont du Gard
Le Pont du Gard

Hilltop village of Grignan
Hilltop village of Grignan

Castle of Chateauneuf du Pape
Castle of Chateauneuf du Pape

Roman colosseum in Arles
Roman colosseum in Arles

Pont du Gard
: An incredible example of Roman architecture in peaceful surroundings; you can still swim in the river flowing underneath the bridge.

Sunday - Tain l' Hermitage
Board the Napoléon, which will be moored at either Tain l'Hermitage or Tournon. A champagne reception welcomes you on board, giving you the chance to meet your crew and guide, who will be with you for this exceptional voyage through the French countryside. Once settled on board, a local sommelier will join you for a private tasting and introduction to the Northern Rhone Valley wines. Later in the evening experience the superb skills of your on-board private chef. The cuisine is a real highlight of your trip, particularly when accompanied by wines from France's finest vineyards..

Monday - Cruise to Viviers

Relax on the top deck and watch the beautiful scenery of the Rhône Valley glide by as you cruise to Viviers. Mid-afternoon, your guide takes you on a walking tour of this charming medieval town, before you return to the barge to play the traditional Provençal game pétanque. Reflect on the day's adventures over dinner on board.

Tuesday - Visit Grignan. Cruise to Saint-Etienne-des-Sorts

Today's visit is to the delightful Provençal village of Grignan, famous for its wild roses and medieval château at the top of the town. Your guide takes you to visit a truffle farm to learn all about the world-famous black diamond and enjoy a tasting. Lunch is at a delightful local restaurant. Back on board, the barge continues to cruise south to Saint-Etienne-des-Sorts, passing through the Ecluse de Bollène, a lock with one of the largest drops in Europe, measuring over 23 metres.

Wednesday - Visit Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Cruise to Avignon. Visit Pont du Gard
This morning's excursion is to the charming village of Châteauneuf du Pape for a wine-tasting. Return to the barge for a leisurely lunch. Cruise to Avignon in the afternoon, passing the Pont Saint-Bénezet (the famous Pont d'Avignon) before mooring up at the quay opposite the gate to the walled city. Enjoy an afternoon excursion to the magnificent Pont du Gard, part of the Roman aqueduct that transported spring water from Uzès to Nîmes, before an indulgent dinner back on board.

Thursday - Tour of Avignon. Cruise to Vallabrègues. Visit Les Baux
Avignon was the home of the Popes between 1309 and 1377 and its heritage is reflected in its magnificent architecture. Enjoy a walking tour of the walled city, including a guided tour of the Palace of the Popes, as well as time to visit the many shops or sample French café culture. Return to the Napoléon for lunch. During the afternoon, the barge cruises to Arles, where your guide takes you to the village of Les Baux-de-Provence to explore at your own pace. Share your day's highlights over dinner on board. This evening's mooring location is Vallabrègues.

Friday -  Visit Arles. Cruise to Avignon. Visit Saint-Rémy
After breakfast, your guide takes you on a walking tour of Arles, most famous for the fact that Van Gogh lived and painted here between 1888 and 1890. Lunch is served while you cruise towards Avignon. Later in the afternoon, visit the lovely town of Saint-Rémy, another Van Gogh haunt and the birthplace of Nostradamus. Meanwhile, the chef is preparing your farewell gala dinner on board.

Saturday - Avignon

After breakfast the crew bids you farewell before you disembark the barge for your onward travel arrangements.

Note: The route may be subject to change without prior warning as a result of unforeseen circumstances. The cruise runs in reverse on alternate weeks.

SAMPLE ITINERARY*
Provence: Rhone River
Avignon to Lyon 2018

Highlights

Avignon: This atmospheric city still boasts its ramparts, housing the wealthy city and Popes Palace, don't miss the gardens with views across the river to Villeneuve les Avignon.

Grignan: A typical Provençal village and the home of many ancient, scented rose plants; this charming little place will capture your imagination and send you drifting away to the time of Madame de Sevigny. Learn all about the black diamond at a small, family run truffle farm where you will hunt for this precious commodity with the family's dogs and taste with fresh bread a delicious olive oil made on the premises. Why not try their lavender oil, a marvellous cure for all kinds of ailments.

Vallée du Rhône: Cruise through the magnificent vineyards of the Côtes Rôties and the Côtes du Rhône; these celebrated vines proudly line the hillsides creating a magical atmosphere as the barge glides peacefully along. You might recognise the famous names on signs reminiscent of the Hollywood hills; Chapoutier, Guigal and Delas among many.

Lyon
: One of the most beautiful, diverse cities in France. A spectacular visit combining Roman architecture, medieval streets, painted walls and the famous "traboules" used for escape during the Resistance. Visit a silk workshop and try your hand at this delicate craft.

Palace of the Popes, Avignon
Palace of the Popes, Avignon

Hilltop village of Grignan
Hilltop village of Grignan

View of Tain l'Hermitage
View of Tain l'Hermitage

Rhone Valley
Rhone Valley

Lyon Basilica of Notre-Dame de
Fourviere
Lyon Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere

Pont du Gard
: An incredible example of Roman architecture in peaceful surroundings; you can still swim in the river flowing underneath the bridge.

Sunday - Avignon, Cruise to Roquemaure
Board Belmond Napoleon moored in Avignon for your cruise along the River Rhône. A champagne reception welcomes you on board and gives you the chance to meet your crew, who will be with you for this exceptional voyage through the French countryside. Once you are settled in, experience your first cruise past the famous Pont Saint-Bénezet and Villeneuve les Avignon to the country mooring of Roquemaure. Later enjoy the superb cuisine skilfully created by our chef. This is a real highlight, particularly when accompanied by wines from France's finest vineyards.

Monday - Cruise to Viviers. Visit Avignon

This morning after a sumptuous breakfast of freshly baked bread and pastries, your guide takes you on the short drive back to visit the splendid walled city of Avignon. Your visit to this magnificent, historical city includes a guided tour of the Palace of the Popes and free time for shopping or sampling café society. Back to the barge for a late lunch and cruise to Viviers, a charming medieval town mooring. This is an ideal spot to take the barge's bikes out or challenge the crew to a game of pétanque.

Tuesday - Cruise to la Voulte. Visit Grignan and a truffle farm

After breakfast your guide escorts you on a very scenic drive through the countryside to visit Grignan, a typical Provençal village, known for its wild roses and 12th century château, famously the beautiful home of Madame de Sevigny where she wrote many of her now published letters. There is time to visit the quaint village and its narrow cobbled alleys. Lunch is enjoyed at a local restaurant. On the way back to the barge, stop at a truffle farm to learn all about the black diamond and taste the world-renowned delicacy. Back on board, the barge continues the cruise to La Voulte.

Wednesday - Cruise to Tain l'Hermitage. Wine Tasting and Chocolate shop
Relax on the top deck and watch the beautiful scenery of the Rhône Valley glide by as the barge cruises towards Tain l'Hermitage. Enjoy lunch on board before your guide takes you to a local winery, just steps from where the boat moors. Take time to explore the delights of the Côtes du Rhône, which include the famous Valrhona chocolate shop, before returning to the barge for dinner.

Thursday - Cruise to Condrieu. Visit Vienne and Condrieu
Cruising the Vallée du Rhône south of Lyon is a delightful experience. The magnificent vineyards of the Côtes Rôties and the Côtes du Rhône seem to descend right into the river as the Vallée du Rhône narrows en route to Les Roches de Condrieu. Today, your guide takes you on a walking tour of Vienne, a wonderful riverside town full of Roman history. Return to Condrieu to taste the wine produced here.

Friday -  Cruise to Lyon. Visit Lyon
An early morning and sadly final cruise takes us into the heart of Lyon. Shortly after lunch your guide will take you on a walking tour of Lyon, France's second city, renowned for its culture and gastronomy. Dominating the skyline is the splendidly ornate Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Shoppers are sure to appreciate the top quality stores and chic boutiques. Or you may prefer to relax in a sunny pavement café and simply watch the world go by? Back on board, your farewell gala dinner provides the perfect chance to exchange stories about your remarkable journey.

Saturday - Lyon

After breakfast the crew bids you farewell before you disembark the barge for your onward travel arrangements.

Note: The route may be subject to change without prior warning as a result of unforeseen circumstances. The cruise runs in reverse on alternate weeks.


Dining Aboard The Napoleon:
SAMPLE MENU

A taste of the gourmet cuisine served aboard the Napoleon. Dining on board the Napoleon is among the highlights of the cruise. Our five-course candlelit dinners are a particularly special treat. The table d'hôte menus onboard the Amaryllis are of the very highest quality and include many regional specialties and fine wines. Each week's menu includes some of the Chef's original recipes as well as regional specialties and seasonal delicacies unique to the particular area of the country you are cruising.

You will enjoy a buffet style continental breakfast, large lunch including pâtés, cheeses, cold meats, tarts, terrines and salad. Dinners are always plated with at least four courses and complementary wines.

Meal times may vary to fit in with excursions but are generally:
Breakfast between 8:00 am to 10:00 am
Lunch between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm
Dinner at 7:30 - 8:00 pm

LUNCH
  • Dijon mustard encrusted veal fillet
  • Camembert quiche
  • Insalata Caprese with mozzarella, basil, tomato, spanish onion & vinaigrette
  • Rocket bleu cheese and pear salad

DINNER
  • Amuse-bouches of quail egg and caviar tartlet
  • Entree: Spicy capsicum soup
  • Main: Fillet d'boeuf et foie gras en croute, feta and rosemary potato smash, roasted cherry tomatoes and wilted spinach salad
  • Dessert: White and dark chocolate mousse with strawberry and mint salsa


SAMPLE WINE LIST
Champagne - Laurent Perrier Champagne
White Wines - Saint Romain; Saint Veran; Montagny 1er Cru; Pouilly Fuisse; Sancerre; Meursault; Puligny Montrachet; Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru; St Aubin 1er Cru; Chablis Grand Cru
Rose Wines - Marsannay Rose
Red Wines - Gevrey Chambertin Village; Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru; Nuits St George; Morey St Denis; Chorey les Beaune; St Aubin 1er Cru; Beaune 1er Cru; Volnay; Chateauneuf de Papa
Bar Wines - Bourgogne Chardonnay; Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Please note this is a sample list of the usual wines served on board. We will of course try and accommodate any specific requests from clients for particular wines and spirits where possible.


Passenger Comments:


The experience exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed it very much. The accommodations though small, were lovely and adequate. The meals and wines were wonderful. Touring Lyon was probably the high point but the lunch and Roman ruins in Vienne were a close second. Actually one might say our time on the barge was the highlight.
M.R., NC, USA, August 2016

Over the top first class and one of the nicest trips I have ever had. The crew were spectacular in every way-Kate and Poppy are simply precious and your chef is world class. The captain also made the trip fun and we loved his Scottish accent. Meals were beyond great and especially the cheese selections-Becky will attest to that. Sadly I dont drink so could only look at the wine selections and drool. Beaune and the wine tasting at Joseph Drouhin and the history of France were high points.
R&M D. Canada September 2015

The service was phenomenal! Coming back from a tour to champagne cocktails and snacks - what decadence! Kate was an unbelievable hostess - anticipating every need and with a great sense of humor. Martina was delightful and couldn't have been more helpful. Unparalleled - we loved everything that Robert the chef prepared. We've now been on 4 barge trips and can rightly say that Robert's cooking was perfection. No chef has been better.
R&N M. VA USA August 2015

This trip / vacation ranks with our best vacations ever: far better than a small Four Seasons hotel on a boat !! The only problem is that this may never be repeated; the perfect combination: the weather was perfect, the staff people were just super, the food was fantastic, the service was the best, and Poppy (our guide) is a treasure !
D.S. DC USA August 2015

The barge trip was spectacular.... That one word sums it up. The service was the highlight of the trip. The entire crew, from the Captain on down, was accommodating, funny and ready and willing to handles our needs. The meals were another highlight of the trip. We are still working off the weight gain! The chef is top notch! The trip to the quarry to see the Klimpt display was really special. The other trips to the truffle farm and olive grove was really neat. Overall, the excursions were just right; not too short and not too long.
J & AM R, MA, USA, July 2014



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This page last updated August 3, 2018