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The 'Luciole' is owned by John and Penny Liley. Previously, John was editor of a leading British yachting magazine, while books he has written include France-the Quiet Way, an exploration of the entire canal and river system of France. These early journeys inspired him to select the Nivernais cruising area and establish the present hotel-barge business in 1976. This was with another barge, 'Secunda', fore-runner to 'Luciole'. Continually updating the fittings and furnishings on board, Penny and John, with colleague Giles Grenville, ensure the smooth-running of each cruise.
Penny first worked on the 'Luciole' as a chef in 1986, and has since played a major role in creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere on 'Luciole', where a feeling of calm and attention to detail is apparent as soon as one steps aboard. Giles Grenville took over as Captain of the 'Luciole' in 1999 and is responsible for much of the major construction work on board. Having previously sailed his own barge, through Holland and Belgium and into France, with his wife Louise and their two children, Giles' knowledge and love of our area - now his home - are both immense. We are immensely proud of the reputation of our barge ‘Luciole’. With 14 guests on board, 'Luciole' reaches the very heart of France. To travel from Paris - where we meet our guests each week - is to be transported to another world.
Beautiful and historic, the waterway on which we travel provides a step back in time. Of all European barge cruise routes this must surely be the finest. Each curve in the route presents an exciting panorama, to be explored, should you choose, on a stroll between locks - or from the sun deck of the 'Luciole'. Visits are made also to vineyards, market towns or chateaux, in a region where hustle knows no place. With our warm-spirited and expert crew of six, all of whom are British or English-speaking, we combine gastronomy and comfort with thoughtful personal service throughout each cruise.