L’Art de Vivre is the oldest hotel barge in our fleet and was built in England during World War One as a supply vessel to the Allied troops battling in the Somme.
Today her life is a little less dramatic as she cruises one of France’s longest-established canals, the Canal du Nivernais.
She is very much a traditional barge in style, with original wood and brass features that emphasise her heritage and create a warm and inviting interior atmosphere. The comfortable, compact cabins all have modern en suite facilities and the delightful saloon combines contemporary leather with more traditional furnishings.
Outside, there is a sun deck to relax on with a glass of wine as you glide through the pretty Burgundy countryside and a spa pool to soak in. You can explore the ever-present towpath on foot or on one of the barge’s bicycles towpath, before rejoining the L’Art de Vivre at one of the locks up ahead.
This region of Burgundy with its charming villages and centuries-old history simply oozes charm and your cruise aboard L’Art de Vivre is a journey back in time along a magical waterway.
L’Art de Vivre Deck Plan
Click image to enlarge
Guests are met at our meeting point 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.
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.
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 its magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. We then return to the hotel barge for a cruise southwards through rich pasturelands and 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.
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 centre. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy delightful walks or bicycle rides along the towpath, before a somewhat spectacular dinner. We will dine ashore 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.
Our morning cruise is through the picturesque Yonne Valley to our mooring at Lucy-sur-Yonne. After lunch on board, we enjoy an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Vézelay, 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.
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 remodelled by Maréchal Vauban and there are wonderful views from its elevated hillside setting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Paris**.
*This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
**other locations available for Private Charter bookings
Cuising past Auxerre Cathedral