01303 261 870

No.23 - Cruising with the Classics

No.23 - Cruising with the Classics

A tour-cruise especially for classical music lovers as our serene cruising along the waterways of Burgundy is complemented by some of the great classical and orchestral works over the boat's state-of-the-art sound system. A classical cruise in more ways than one, we enjoy some 85km of gentle cruising on the Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne between Vermenton and Sens, with time to explore the towns and cities that we encounter along the way.

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Day 1

Our coach departs Folkestone around mid-morning with a planned lunch break in or near Reims. From here we continue to our hotel in Appoigny, not far north of Auxerre, where we expect to arrive at around 18:00.


Day 2

Today begins with a coach transfer to the village of Vermenton, where our boat awaits, and we then cruise the Canal du Nivernais to reach the village of Champs-sur-Yonne by mid-afternoon. Here we take the chance to visit the nearby Caves de Bailly, a former underground limestone quarry now producing Burgundy's famous sparkling wine, Crémant de Bourgogne.

Today's Music Programme - Great Symphonies:

Brahms Symphony No 4
Beethoven Symphony No 7

B, L, D

Day 3

We return to Champs-sur-Yonne and continue to follow the River Yonne and Canal du Nivernais, arriving in Auxerre over lunchtime. After lunch on board the Natalia we enjoy a guided walk around the mediaeval centre with a chance to see the magnificent Cathedral St Etienne and the Abbey of St Gervais. Those who prefer are welcome to remain on board the boat and enjoy the magnificent views of Auxerre's skyline from the riverfront.

Today's Music Programme: A Celebration of Elgar

Cockaigne (London) Overture
Cello Concerto
Chanson de Matin
Bavarian Dances
Serenade for Strings

B, L, D

Day 4

Returning to Auxerre, we board the Natalia and today we cruise the full day as far as Migennes, where we briefly leave the Yonne to moor for the day in the pleasure port on the Canal de Bourgogne.

Today's Music Programme: Oceans, Lakes and Rivers

Mendelssohn - Hebridean Overture
Smetana - Moldau
Sibelius - Karelia Suite
MacCunn - Land of the Mountain and the Flood
Jean Michel Jarré - Fishing Junks at Sunset
Khachaturian - Adagio from Spartacus

B, L, D

Day 5

Today we reboard in Migennes promptly at 09:00 and drop back on to the Yonne to continue downstream as far as Joigny, where it is market day. Natalia will remain available on the riverfront mooring in Joigny with lunch on board as usual, and guests will have the choice of exploring the market and/or the medieval old town. In the afternoon we visit the spectacular cathedral-abbey of Pontigny before returning to our hotel.

Today's Music Programme: Great Concertos

Bruch - Violin Concerto
Greig - Piano Concerto
Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto
Mozart - Clarinet Concerto
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No 5 (Emporer)

B, L, D

Day 6

Our cruise recommences in Joigny and we continue to enjoy the peaceful scenery of the Yonne as far as the gated medieval town of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. Here we enjoy lunch in the delightful riverside setting of the Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes before allowing some time in the afternoon to explore Villeneuve.

Today's Music Programme:

From the New World

Max Steiner - Gone with the Wind
John Williams - Star Wars
Nino Rota - Godfather Theme
Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
Anton Karas - The Third Man
Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man
Dvorak - Symphony No 9 - From the New World
Michael Kamen - Suite No 2 from Band of Brothers

B, L, D

Day 7

For our final cruise leg we re-board in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and continue downstream to the city of Sens. After lunch on board we enjoy a guided walk into the city centre where the stained glass windows of the cathedral are a celebrated attraction. We allow time for private exploration and shopping before our late afternoon return to our hotel

Today's Music Programme:

Russian Greats

Tchaikovsy - Capriccio Italien
Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No 2
Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet Overture
Glinka - Rusland and Lyudmila Overture
Maurice Jarre - Lara's Theme
Tchaikovsy - Symphony No 6 -Pathetique

B, L, D

Day 8

Coach departs for home, with a planned lunch stop in or near Laon.


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

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 4* Mercure Hotel in Appoigny

Group Evening Meals with wine – 3-course 3-choice

Daily cruise itinerary with on-board lunch and including wine and a free bar

Lunch at the Auberge La Lucarne Aux Chouettes in Villeneuve sur Yonne

Market day in Joigny

Visit to the Caves de Bailly

Visit to the Abbaye de Pontigny

Visits to Auxerre and Sens, both guided

Free time in Joigny, Villeneuve-sur Yonne



Our Hotel:


We stay at the modern and well-appointed 4* Mercure at Appoigny, about 7km north of Auxerre and nicely central for our cruise itinerary.  The hotel offers all the normal guest facilities expected of a hotel of its standard and also has an outdoor pool. 





Our tour package includes all meals with the sole exception of lunch on our travel days, when it is planned to break the journey so that guests can lunch on their own initiative in or near Reims or Laon.   Evening meals are 3-course, 3-choice, with wine included


On cruise days an on-board lunch is included and a free bar operates throughout, and on one day we lunch alongside the river in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne.   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.  



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.  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 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, and the hull design ensures that we create minimal wash, and therefore do not add to the problems of bank erosion.


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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20 Jul
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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