Departure Lounge Travel Advisor Diane Nigg provided this travel diary entry after a recent barge journey:

Luxury and Barge are not two words that are typically associated – but when it comes to barge cruising on the Savoir Vivre – luxurious just barely describes the experience! I truly enjoyed the good life on the Canal du Bourgogne (Burgundy Region) in France, cruising on the Savoir Vivre barge.

Barge cruises focus on gourmet food and wine, while exploring the countryside and relaxing. A dedicated crew cooks and cleans, pilots the barge, and gives chauffeured tours of local vineyards, châteaux, historic churches, markets and enchanting Medieval villages. Guests indulge in the food and wine, go on daily excursions, leisurely bicycle, hike and enjoy the scenery, mingle with other guests, and read and relax on the deck, for one all-inclusive price. For dinner, the guests of the Savoir Vivre have the opportunity to dine at various restaurants, each evening. The aim is to provide authentic cuisine, interesting and varied dining experiences and also an opportunity to really delve into the pinot noir and chardonnay wines grown in Burgundy. I was pleasantly surprised that at most restaurants, we were able to order anything off of the menu, at no additional charge.

Cruising on one of the most beautiful canals in France, the Canal du Bourgogne, we were able to keep pace with our barge, while cycling or hiking along the well groomed trails, as the Savoir Vivre lazily progressed up the canal and traversed ancient locks from one port to the next. The entire route has meticulously clean trails alongside the canal, that are very pleasant to bike or hike, because of the beautifully green scenery along the canal. The opportunity to also have the option to hike and bike, make this barge cruise a perfect multi-generational tour. Imagine a festive family vacation on a private barge cruise with your very own crew to handle every detail of activities, meals, and accommodations.

The Savoir Vivre has 4 beautifully decorated cabins, each 110 square feet. We were fully booked, with a total of 8 passengers on this cruise! With so few passengers, one has an opportunity to really gets to know the crew and the other passengers. Captain Richard Megret was our host and Captain and has been involved in barging his entire life and together. Along with our hostess, Marie, we were truly pampered, with the added bonus of being able to discuss and get to know our host and hostess, who were people that live in the Burgundy region.

Our daily tour excursions were conducted by history and wine expert, Laura, who personally introduced us to ancient buildings, local markets, vineyards, walled towns, local winemakers, and very cute goats. She was exuberant and extremely knowledgeable of the local history and traditions of food and wine. The tour guide makes the tour and these tours were exquisite!

If you are drawn to history, culture and sophistication, barge cruising is for you! In fact, there are many opportunities to barge cruise throughout Europe. To look at options, email [email protected] or call 512.322.9399.