Day 1: Guests are met at Le Creusot TGV railway station in the afternoon and taken by car to Bonheur, which is moored on the tranquil Canal du Centre. Welcome drinks and dinner in the evening gives us the opportunity to chat about the coming weeks itinerary, while you gently unwind from your journey.
Day 2: The day begins with a visit by car to the historic town of Autun. This town founded in about 15AD has remarkable remains of its Roman beginnings including Amphitheatre and original sections of defensive walls and entrance gates, together with later medieval buildings and of course the 12th century cathedral of Saint Lazare. After lunch aboard Bonheur we commence our cruise where a chain of seven locks announces the beginning of the canals decent from the summit level (300m) to the river Saone. We work our way through the locks and continue through the village of Ecuisses before arriving at St-Julien-sur-Dheune where we moor and have dinner aboard this evening.
Day 3: We depart St. Juliene-sur Dheune for a leisurely cruise to the village of St Leger-sur-Dheune, which will be our mooring for the evening. After lunch aboard, a visit to Chateau Couches is a short drive away. A magnificent 12th century fortress it has an impressive Keep and Drawbridge, reminders of a rich and feudal military past. After a guided tour we will also have a tasting of wines grown in the Chateau’s private vineyards. After returning to the boat for an aperitif (perhaps a refreshing Kir Royale. A regional speciality made with Crème de Cassis, a garnet-red blackcurrant liqueur from Dijon and Burgundian Champagne "Cremant") dinner will be taken ashore at a nearby restaurant.
Day 4: We depart St Leger-sur-Dheune for a cruise to the village of Santenay, which nestles amongst the famous vineyards and preserved landscape of the Southern Cote de Beaune. After lunch we can stroll into the village. Santenay is bursting with local growers inviting you to sample the diversity and richness of their wines. A good place to start is the Chateau de Philippe le Hardi. Turned into a fortress in the 14th century AD and surrounded by moats, it now shelters a wine estate where we’ll enjoy a wine tasting. This is another evening when guests have the opportunity to sample local cuisine.
Day 5: We start the day after a relaxing breakfast with a short cruise to the town of Chagny where we will moor for the evening. After early lunch we depart for the historic town of Beaune driving along the picturesque route Des Grande Cru. The walled town of Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy. The afternoon will include a visit to the historic hospice, Hotel Dieu, built in the 15th Century, after which we will visit the largest wine cave (cellars) in Beaune for a tour and tasting.
The original cellars began as a convent. “The Ladies of the Visitation Convent” was founded in 1632 and as you begin the tour you pass through a little listed 17th century chapel, which the nuns used every day. When the tasting is over we will have the time to wander and appreciate this magnificent medieval walled town and browse in the shops if you wish. We return to Bonheur through the vineyards for a restful evening and dinner on board.
Day 6: After a slow start to the day our morning cruise takes us to the village of Franges. We then take guests on a short car journey to Chalon-sur Saone (the birthplace of photography). Chalon has a cathedral (with a lovely square), a museum and lots of shops. It also has a little Island, ‘Ile Saint-Laurent’ which has a Bohemian feel, reached by a bridge across the Saone, it’s a great place to sit and watch the world goes by. When you have seen enough and feel its time, we’ll return to Bonheur for a relaxing evening and farewell dinner on board.
Day 7: After a leisurely breakfast guests are taken to Le Creusot TGV Railway Station in good time to catch their train.
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