01303 261 870

No.30 -The Classical Nivernais, A Musical Delight

No.30 -The Classical Nivernais, A Musical Delight

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 piono trio led by the leader of Folkestone Symphony and member of the Festival Orchestra, Floriane Peycelon.

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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.

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.

 

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 worldfamous 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

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 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

It’s a 15-minute stroll or easy transfer in the coach to our moorings in Auxerre, and
we then cruise the Canal du Nivernais and River Yonne as far as the village of Vermenton – 6 hours
on alternating sections of the River Yonne and canal cuts, the waterway travels 21km through the
villages of Vaux, Champs sur Yonne, Bailly, Vincelles, Cravant and Accolay, and passes through 13
locks. As with all our cruise days we enjoy an on-board lunch with wine, and a free bar operates

B, L, D

Day 3

This morning we leave the hotel at 08:30 to make our way to the UNESCO-listed
hilltop Basilica of Vézelay, following a lovely route along the Cure Valley through a succession of
quiet villages. Shortly after its foundation in the 9th century, the Benedictine Abbey of Vézelay
acquired the relics of St Mary Magdalene and since then it has been an important place of
pilgrimage. St Bernard preached the Second Crusade there in 1146 and Richard the Lion-Heart and
Philip II Augustus met there to leave for the Third Crusade in 1190. We enjoy a guided introduction
courtesy of local expert Chris Kelly, before we reboard 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.

B, L, D

Day 4

We cruise for 6 hours 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 to Vermenton.

B, L, D

Day 5


Today we spend a free day in Auxerre, where the spectacular waterfront with the
Cathedral St Étienne and Abbaye St Gervais make this one of the most attractive skylines in all of
France. We will plan to gather at lunchtime at a local brasserie which with the assistance of our
musicians may have something of the Flashmob about it!

B, L, D

Day 6

For our third day of cruising we board at Châtel-Censoir and cruise back to
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. In the evening we
visit the restored Cistercian Abbey of Reigny - only 2km south of Vermenton - where we enjoy
supper courtesy of our hosts Béatrice and Louis-Marie Mauvais.

B, L, D

Day 7

The coach takes us first to the stunning Château Ancy-le-Franc, where we enjoy an
audio-guided visit before we travel onwards to the iconic wine town of Chablis for lunch and some
free time. From here it is a half-hour journey through the vineyards back to Vermenton, where we
enjoy a gala farewell dinner in the hotel.

B, L, D

Day 8

We set out for home with a brief call at Pontigny Abbey, just north of Auxerre,
before 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

 

What’s Included:
-Executive Coach Travel Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure 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, Château Ancy le Franc Free time in Auxerre, Chablis
-Visit and tasting at the vineyard at La Croix Monjoie (Vézelay appellation)
- Dinner at the Abbaye de Reigny
- Advance luggage/travel independently options 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 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 has been well reported by guests staying during our 2018 season. 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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

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