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French canal exclusive hotel barge getaway

January 1, 2016 3:30 pmViews: 194

French canal exclusive hotel barge romantic getaway.

French canal exclusive L'Art de Vivre hotel barge romantic getaway.

French canal L’Art de Vivre hotel barge.

Drifting along tranquil French canal in a luxurious, exclusive hotel barge has to be one of the most romantic experiences possible. And this is, after all, the land of romance. Of champagne, chocolates and gourmet cuisine.

L’Art de Vivre is a gleaming blue and white barge travelling between Auxerre and Chevroches along the pretty Canal du Nivernais. With just eight guests on board and four crew, it is a very intimate and relaxing way of traveling.

All you have to do is relax and watch the world go by. On sunny days, you can enjoy a warm bubbling Jacuzzi on deck. For anyone who wants a little more exercise there are pleasant walks along the towpath. Or bikes that can be borrowed. The atmosphere is friendly and the camaraderie between guests and crew fantastic.

Each day, a short cruise through the countryside takes you to a quiet mooring. Guide excursions provide an opportunity to discover unusual facets of French life. Such as the hill top town of Vezelay with its winding streets. And its basilica where, for hundreds of years, pilgrims on their way to Compostella in Spain have stopped to pray.

  • Gourmet chef on the French canal exclusive L'Art de Vivre hotel barge getaway.
    Gourmet chef on the L'Art de Vivre hotel barge on the French Canal du Nivernais.

There is time to explore on your own strolling along country lanes, or amid little villages. You can climb up narrow paths to discover stunning views over the countryside. We saw flocks of falcons in flight above the majestic limestone cliffs of Les Soissoins. Then there were the little archways leading to hidden delights in the village of Noyers. This is where cellars were ornamented with elaborate carvings of the devil. And the ancient houses seemed to tilt at strange angles.

The countryside changes slowly as the barge progresses down the canal. It passes lush fields where Charolais cattle graze and hillsides covered with forests. This is an experience creating unforgettable memories. Scenes of Captain Fabrice and his assistant edging the boat into narrow locks. The people and animals we met along the way remain with us. There are beautiful sunsets, long rows of Poplar trees changing to their brilliant golden autumn colors. And the local musicians entertaining along with lots of laughter, food and drink.

French canal exclusive hotel barge getaway includes gourmet chef.

A gourmet chef accompanies each voyage. They are in charge with providing the best possible cuisine using local produce they purchase along the way. Classic dishes were often given unusual twists. Such as Pan-Seared Scallops and Sriracha Chilli Sautéed Crayfish, Pesto Marinated Mediterranean Brochettes; Pumpkin & Honey Pie, Deconstructed Boef Bourguignon, Artichoke & Blue Cheese pots and Cointreau & Star Anise poached Cod Loin.

Our hostess carefully matched new red and white wines to each dish. By the end of the cruise we had tasted over 20 different wines as well as the champagne that greeted us on arrival.

French canal exclusive hotel barge getaway.

L’Art de Vivre hotel barge on the French Canal du Nivernails.

L’Art de Vivre is operated by European Waterways. The guests can join an intimate floating house party. It is where strangers can become friends. Prices start at $4,450 per person for six nights cruise along the River Yonne and Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy. Guests are collected and returned to Paris by minibus. Contact www.gobarging.com for more information.

More romantic getaway articles to read.
French Love Locks in Paris.
You’ll Always Have Paris.
Romantic Getaways Magazine.

W&H | French canal exclusive hotel barge romantic getaway.

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