A music-themed week of cruising and exploration on the wonderfully scenic and secluded Canal du Nivernais, in the heart of Burgundy, in the Company of the Radnor Trio.Book Now
Spend a memorable week with Backwaters exploring the full 70km of the Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne between the spectacular city of Auxerre and the medieval town of Clamecy, in the company of our piano trio led by the leader of Folkestone Symphony and member of the Festival Orchestra, Floriane Peycelon.
Passing through scenic and sparsely populated country on the western edge of the Morvan regional park, the Canal du Nivernais is arguably 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.
3 Full days of Cruising - 3 more days of relaxed exploration of the natural world around us!
For this 7-day Cruise and Tour package will be accompanied throughout by our Piano Trio who will entertain us both aboard the boat and back at the hotel, where there is a vintage Steinbeck piano waiting for us to exercise. They will also play for us in the inspiring setting of the UNESCO-listed Basilica of St Mary Magdalen at Vézelay, and we will take the opportunity to play at other local venues happy to welcome us.
During our week we enjoy three full days of cruising between Auxerre and Vermenton on the scenic River Yonne and Canal du Nivernais. In all we cruise for around 60km on this peaceful waterway, with over 30 locks, a sprinkling of lift bridges and plenty of chances to stroll the towpath.
We visit the UNESCO-listed Basilica at Vézelay, enjoying an introduction to the history of this pilgrimage site before we ask Flo and her colleagues to play for us in the spellbinding setting of the Basilica. We then board the coach for the short hop to the remote hilltop vineyard of La Croix Montjoie, where we can savour more magnificent views over a pick-up lunch. In the afternoon there is the opportunity to visit the Grotte d'Arcy location of the second oldest known prehistoric cave drawings in all of Europe where we would hope our trio can test some rather different acoustics!
We also visit the iconic wine town of Chablis to experience a tasting followed by lunch in town and then a free afternoon to explore historic Auxerre.
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 our two excursion days. Dinners are served at the hotel but on one evening we dine-out at the nearby Cistercian Abbaye de Reigny.
The Radnor Trio Ensemble
French-born Floriane Peycelon completed her violin studies in the Lyon National Conservatoire of Music and Drama. Flo is now enjoying a full-time career as a professional freelance violinist and violin teacher in South East Kent. She is the Violin Tutor at the University of Kent and the musical director of the University Sinfonia and runs string workshops for amateur players. She has been the leader of the Folkestone Symphony Orchestra since 2000. As an orchestral and chamber player, Flo regularly performs around the UK and abroad. Her solo performances have included the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, the Beethoven Violin Concerto and Vaughan-Williams' Lark Ascending. In November 2016, she took over the post of violinist in the international Narropera trio. She leads the Radnor Ensemble, co-founded with her cellist friend Sarah Boxall. Together they perform as the Radnor Ensemble, as a duo, trio or quartet.
Sarah Boxall studied the cello at the Royal College of Music, both in the junior department and as a postgraduate, where she won several prizes. Sarah has a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology from Southampton University and a PhD from UCL and is now a patent attorney running her own business in South East Kent. She maintains an active musical life organising and playing in orchestras and chamber groups around the UK and the Channel Islands. She and Flo regularly play together as part of the Radnor Ensemble, often performing as a duo, trio or quartet.
David Smith studied the piano at the Royal College of Music in London and went on to working as a full-time professional pianist and keyboard player in London West End theatres, playing in the world-famous shows such as Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Annie, Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mamma Mia. A fully-qualified teacher, he now enjoys a busy career as Head of Music in a local grammar school in South East Kent whilst finding the time to work part-time as a West End Keyboard deputy.
Executive Coach Travel
Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure (additional cost)
Eurotunnel or ferry crossings
En route stops where time allows normally Reims or Laon
Hotel stay at the Logis St François in Vermenton
All meals except for lunches on travel days outbound and return
Wine with all lunches and evening meals
Three full days of cruising on the Canal du Nivernais between Auxerre and Clamecy
A planned and ad hoc musical programme as described
Guided visits to Vézelay Basilica and Visitor Centre, Grotte d'Arcy
Free time in Auxerre
Visit and tasting at the vineyard at La Croix Monjoie (Vézelay appellation)
Wine tasting in Chablis
Dinner at the Abbaye de Reigny
Advance luggage/travel independently options
Our Hotel and Meal Plan:
The Logis St François in the village of Vermenton, recently fully renovated and ideally situated for our cruising the Canal Du Nivernais between Auxerre and Clamecy. This groups-only hotel is operated by the family who own the nearby Abbaye de Reigny where we dine on one evening. This is a comfortable, clean, spacious and quiet hotel and although it lacks some of the creature comforts we might expect of a major chain hotel it has an appeal all of its own in its simplicity, generous space and warmth of welcome.
Our package includes all meals, with a continental breakfast every day at the hotel; lunches either on board the boat or at a local restaurant; and evening meal either at the hotel or on one evening out at the nearby Abbaye de Reigny. Wine is included with all lunches and dinners.
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.
On Board Facilities:
Our boat has been designed to comfortably accommodate a coachload of passengers in observation lounge comfort 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 and a galley serving hot and cold drinks, beers and wines, for which there is no charge. There is no smoking on board.
Departure from Kent:
Anyone from further afield please feel welcome to join us on this or any other Buzzlines/Backwaters 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.
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 |
|Departure Date||Pick-up Time||Set-down Time|
|From Price||Book Now||Call Back||Telephone||Favourites|
| Show/Hide Pricing |
There is no pricing information available. Please contact us for more information.
The website timed out while searching for the departure dates. Please try again.
|Room Types||Price Per-Person||Availability|