The first of a pair of delightful early-summer cruise-and-stay packages departing this weekend , as we combine full days of scenic cruising along Burgundy's loveliest waterways with relaxed sightseeing by coach to local attractions which include the historic Basilica of St Mary Magdalen at Vézelay, Château Ancy-le-Franc and the iconic vineyards of Chablis.Book Now
This cruise-and-tour package will operate by coach from Folkestone with three full days of cruising complemented by two days of unhurried excursions on the coach, and a free day to relax and explore in Auxerre. We stay in the excellent 3* Le Rive Gauche hotel, set on the south bank of the Yonne in Joigny, and as the hotel partners its separate Michelin 3* restaurant in Joigny we make the gourmet experience the central theme of this departure.
Coach departs Folkestone in the morning and after a pause for lunch in or near to Reims it is scheduled to arrive in Joigny at around 18:00. We enjoy a welcoming evening meal at our hotel.
We join the coach to make the 40 minute trip Vermenton, where we board the Natalia and cruise back into Auxerre on the River Yonne and Canal du Nivernais. This lovely waterways journey takes us 25km on a mix of river and canal, through 12 locks and passing the villages of Accolay, Cravant (notable for its Scottish connections back to the Hundred Years' War), Vincelles, Champs-sur-Yonne, and Vaux. From Auxerre it is a half-hour transfer by coach back to the hotel.B, L, D
We make a morning visit to the stunning Château Ancy-le-Franc, where we also enjoy a tasting of local wines before we make the short trip across to Chablis for a wine-tasting lunch and then allow some free time for exploration before we return to Auxerre.B, L, D
This is our second day of cruising and we join the Natalia in Joigny to follow the River Yonne and then the Canal de Bourgogne eastwards through to St Florentin, a cruise of 28 km and 9 locks via Migennes and Brienon-sur-Armançon. With much of today's cruise on canal there will be good opportunity to stroll or cycle the towpath.B, L, D
Returning to Auxerre, we take a local train following the line along the Yonne Valley between Auxerre and Clamecy, where we rejoin the coach for the short onwards journey to the hilltop village of Vézelay. Here we enjoy a guided introduction and visit to the historic Basilica of St Mary Magdalen. We go on to enjoy a late lunch and wine degustation at the Domaine La Croix Montjoie, with marvellous views across the vineyards and farmland towards Vézelay.B, L, D
We again find the Natalia waiting for us at Joigny, but now we cruise downstream on the Yonne through Cézy (noted for its suspension bridge), Villevallier and Armeau as far as Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, where we expect to arrive in mid-afternoon. Today's cruise takes us 21km and through 3 locks.B, L, D
A relaxing final full day as we make the short journey back into Auxerre to enjoy a free day in the city, with opportunity to explore the half timbered medieval buildings in the centre, the Cathedral St Étienne, Abbey of St Germain, and the stunning view of the city from riverside.B, L, D
Coach departs for home. Lunchtime stop at Reims or Laon. Expected arrival in Kent around 19:00 local time.B
B=Breakfast Included, L=Lunch Included, D =Dinner Included
Executive Coach Travel with pick-ups across Kent
Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure
Eurotunnel or ferry crossings
Hotel stay and meals as described
Three full days of river cruising with free bar.
Train trip Auxerre-Clamecy
Guided visit to Château Ancy-le-France (with wine tasting)
Lunch and free time in Chablis
Guided visit to Vézelay
Lunch/degustation at the Domaine La Croix Monjoie vineyard
Free day in Auxerre
Travel day stops in Reims and/or Laon (if time allows)
Set in a quiet 2-hectare garden alongside the Yonne and with superb views across the river to medieval Joigny and the vineyards beyond, the 3*Rive Gauche hotel and restaurant offers 42 comfortable and quiet rooms. All rooms have en-suite bathroom, toilet, colour TV, direct dial telephone, and are available with double beds or 2 separate beds. Restaurant standards are consistently praised and the hotel is closely connected with its operator's 3* Michelin restaurant on the opposite side of the river.
On cruise days an on-board lunch is included and a free bar operates throughout. As well as teas, coffees and soft drinks, the bar stocks bottled beers and a range of wines including local Chablis, Bourgogne Aligoté and Irancy rouge, Crémant de Bourgogne, and a Provence rosé. Lunches-out are also included on excursion days.
Our tour package includes all evening meals, with wine, and we also include lunches-out on our two excursion days, so guests need only budget for lunch for their free day in Auxerre and for the two travel days.
On Board Facilities:
Our boat has been designed to comfortably accommodate a coachload of passengers in lounge-standard seating and there is additional seating outside for those wanting to take in the views and fresh air. There are 3 bikes on board free of charge for anyone who would like to ride the towpath. The boat has two WC/washrooms.
Our boat is hybrid-engined and normally charges overnight from shore supply. Its diesel engines are only used if battery power is exhausted, so most of the time you can look forward to silent cruising. The saloon roof is bedecked with solar panels which reinforce battery endurance and support the boat's air conditioning system.
We also operate to a strict waste-avoidance policy. We try to completely avoid the use of single-use plastics and we operate to a responsible recycling code. All meals and drinks on board are served using normal crockery, cutlery and glassware. Our crew also has a brief to support the recovery from rivers and canals of floating litter whenever this is practicable.
Departure from Kent:
Anyone from further afield please feel welcome to join us on this or any other Buzzlines tour. We are happy to arrange parking for you here in Kent, or we can pick you up from Ashford International Station only 37 minutes by HS1 from London St Pancras and help you to find overnight hotel or B&B stops. Anyone wishing to join the tour but travel independently to and from Joigny is welcome to do so.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
|Ashford International Htl|| Ashford International Hotel |
|Folkestone|| Bus Station Bay E, Folkestone |
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