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No.21B - Cruising with a Twist of Jazz

No.21B - Cruising with a Twist of Jazz

A tour-cruise especially for band lovers as our serene cruising along the waterways of Burgundy is complemented by some great entertainment from John Beckingham and his JB's Swing Band.

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A tour-cruise especially for band lovers as our serene cruising along the waterways of Burgundy is complemented by some great entertainment from John Beckingham and his JB's Swing Band. During our week we enjoy some 70km of gentle cruising on the Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne, with excursions on the coach to some of the great local attractions of Northern Burgundy. And John and his colleagues will entertain us throughout the week! Total cruise time and distance approx 24hrs, 70km, 35 locks Passing through scenic and sparsely populated country on the western edge of the Morvan regional park, the Canal du Nivernais is widely held to be the prettiest of the many canal cruise routes in central and eastern France. The Canal provides a link between the Loire Valley to the south and the Paris basin to the north, and its mix of river and canal sections make it an infinitely varying and interesting waterways journey.

 

 

 

What’s Included: Executive Coach Travel Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure Eurotunnel or ferry crossings Hotel accommodation at the 3* Hotel Normandie in Auxerre 3 Full days of cruising the Canal du Nivernais with lunch on board and free bar Dinners with wine including an evening meal at the Cistercian Abbaye de Reigny Visits to Vézelay, Caves d'Arcy, Château de Tanlay Lunches on non-cruise days at vineyard La Croix Montjoie and in Chablis Free time in Auxerre Great Music! Guests wishing to travel to and from Burgundy via Eurostar through Paris may do so by booking direct, and have the option of sending heavy bags ahead to travel with the coach. Guests are also welcome to self-drive to the hotel if they wish.

 

 

The Band!

 

Formed as an offshoot of the JB Jazz and Blues Band in order to accommodate the smaller venue, the JB Swing Band has one aim in life – to have fun! The band was voted Band of the Year by Stafford Jazz Society in 2008, 2010 and 2017, and is well-known through festivals, clubs, theatre performances and a TV appearance on John’s son Simon Pegg’s hit  series “Spaced” on Channel 4.

 

The Band has also starred in Jazz events in Spain, Germany, Holland, France and the Channel Islands, and of course many festivals and jazz holidays in the U.K.  The band recreates the sound of the Swing and Jump Bands of the 40’s and 50’s, influenced by the small groups of Louis Jordan, Fats Waller and Louis Prima.   With a line up of John Beckingham on Piano and vocals, Paul Holder on Drums and vocals, Andy Loveridge on Saxes, Flute and Clarinet, and Tony Capaldi on bass and vocals, expect some memorable performances of jazz and swing – all contributing to a great holiday!

Day 1

Outward Travel by executive coach departing Folkestone at around 09:00 to arrive in
Auxerre by 18:00, with an en route break for lunch in or near Reims. Pre-departure overnight
accommodation and/or parking available at the Ashford International Hotel (please enquire for
further detail). Anyone preferring to transfer via Eurostar to Paris and local train to Auxerre again
please enquire for further information, we are happy to provide escort and/or reception facilities as
required. We are also able to receive forwarded baggage to go with the coach so that you can fly or
take the train to Paris and onwards to Auxerre with minimal luggage.

D

Day 2

We cruise southwards on the River Yonne and Canal du Nivernais as far as the village
of Vermenton – 6 hours on alternating sections of the river and canal cut, the waterway travels
21km through the villages of Vaux, Champs sur Yonne, Bailly, Vincelles, Cravant and Accolay, and
passes through 12 locks.

B, L, D

Day 3

First we will visit the UNESCO-listed Basilica at Vézelay, enjoying an introduction to
the history of the village before we take advantage of the elevated views to see something of the
surrounding natural world. From here the coach takes us the short hop to the remote hilltop
vineyard of La Croix Montjoie, attached to the newly-awarded Vézelay AOC, where we can savour
the magnificent views over a pick-up lunch. In the afternoon we return to Auxerre for some free
time to explore the medieval centre before dinner.

B, L, D

Day 4

We cruise today between Châtel-Censoir and Clamecy, covering a further 20km with
9 locks over a scenic rural route, with the small town of Coulanges-sur-Yonne as midpoint. There
should be time to explore a little of Clamecy on arrival before we board the coach to return as far as
the restored Cistercian Abbey of Reigny where we enjoy supper courtesy of our hosts Béatrice and
Louis-Marie Mauvais. The Abbaye nestles in a sheltered spot alongside the rushing River Cure and
has a resident population of kingfishers.

B, L, D

Day 5

Today we board the coach and make first for the spectacular viewpoint in the
vineyards above the village of Irancy. From here, we continue to the iconic wine town of Chablis
where we enjoy a wine-tasting and lunch; and from here we make cross country for an afternoon
visit to the great renaissance château of Tanlay, where we are treated to a guided visit.

B, L, D

Day 6

For our final day of cruising we board at Châtel-Censoir and cruise downstream as
far as Vermenton - 6 hours mostly on canal over 29km with 12 locks, passing through the villages of
Merry-sur-Yonne, Mailly-le-Château (another splendid viewpoint), Mailly-la-Ville, Prégilbert, StePallaye and Accolay, and also passing the spectacular limestone crag at Les Rochers du Saussois, a
protected zone in nesting season for its prodigious Peregrine Falcon population. This evening we
look forward to a farewell gala meal in Auxerre , with live entertainment guaranteed!

B, L, D

Day 7

We set out for home with a planned lunchtime break in Reims or Laon
before completing our journey back to Calais for an early evening crossing.

B

B=Breakfast Included, L=Lunch Included, D =Dinner Included

Our Hotel and Meal Plan: The Hotel Normandie in Auxerre is a well-rated 3* hotel situated only a few minutes walk from Auxerre's spectacular river frontage and its delightful pedestrianised medieval centre. The hotel is bed & breakfast only but there are many good local restaurants within a few minutes' walk, and for three of our six nights in the city guests are provided with restaurant vouchers to the value of 35 Euros to use at restaurants (or bars) of their own choosing. This should appeal to those who would like to try different establishments and dine a la carte. We will dine as a group on our first and last evenings and on the Thursday evening we dine out at the Abbaye de Reigny.

 

On Board Facilities: Our boat has been designed to comfortably accommodate a coachload of passengers in loungestandard seating and there is additional seating outside for those wanting to take in the views and fresh air. The boats has two WC/washrooms. There is no smoking on board.

 

Environmental Policies: Our boat is hybrid-engined and normally charges overnight from shore supply. Its electric engines have 6hrs endurance from our batteries, so the diesel engines are not required for sedate cruising and you can look forward to a silent cruise where you can only hear the gentle rippling of the water! 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.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Ashford International Htl Ashford International Hotel
Folkestone Bus Station Bay E, Folkestone

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Buzzlines Travel
Unit G1, Lympne Distribution Park, Lympne, Nr. Hythe, Kent, CT21 4LR
01303 261 870

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday
09:00hrs – 17:00hrs

Saturday & Sunday
Closed