Jeanine barge cruising Burgundy

The Jeanine barge, cruises through the Saône-et-Loire and La Côte d’Or regions of France. Cruising along the Canal du Centre and canal de Bourgogne and its wonderful rural landscapes. At the crossroads of the great wine appellations, we cruise alongside the great vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise and the Côte de Continue reading

Comparing Luxury Barge Cruises with Casual Bike and Barge Cruises

Below is a brief description of the difference between a Full Service barge and a Casual Bike and barge cruise.

Many of the casual bike and barge cruises are 7 nights instead of the 6 nights on a regular full service barge.  Prices range from $1640 to $3278 per person.  Cruises are in Holland/Belgium, Germany, France and Italy.  These barges range from  6, 20, 21, 22, 24 and 34 passengers.

These cruises are typically for serious cyclist as the biking ranges from  20KM – 65KM per day.  Bikes on these barges are typically heavy duty bikes designed for cycling in the  area.  Many bike and barge cruises have electric bikes available at a cost of between $100 – $150 for a week.

Included in the price: 6 or 7 night cruise, guide for the cycling tours  (except the Johanna which offers area maps,  a GPS and pre paid cell phone), breakfast buffet including makings for your packed lunch, dinner (3 courses) on boat, water with meals, clean towels and  bed linen delivered half way through the cruise and bike rental (with helmets).

Not included:  entrance fees for museums and the like, drinks on board, Listed meals ashore and personal insurances and transfers to and from the barge.

Click here for a slideshow on a casual bike and barge cruise.

Luxury barges range in price from low $3000’s to over $7000 per person.  We have several barges in the mid to high $4,000’s.

These rates include: 6 night cruise, daily maid service, bicycles on board for cycling, gourmet meals, wine and cheese of the region with lunch and dinner, open bar with alcoholic beverages and all the sightseeing.  Some barges will have a small swimming pool or spa/Jacuzzi.

The prices are based on the features of the barges and wines provided. On the lower priced barges, you will be looking at cabins around 90 – 100 sq. ft., compact bathrooms – usually with a shower curtain and small shower stall. The wines will be regional wines. The more expensive barges will have larger cabins – 170 – 230 sq. ft. with larger bathrooms, big shower stalls with a glass door. Some of the wines will be premier and grand cru.

Barges also range from  4 (Bordeaux only), 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 18 passengers.

Many of the barges offer themed cruises – Gardens, wine, cycling, art, family and golf.  Some of the regular barges, in addition to having the bikes on board for guests to cycle any time, also offer for charter, special biking itineraries.  On these barges, the bikes are not the heavy duty cycling bikes but more for the casual cyclist.  Only for a special cycling charter will you have the professional bikes.

Click here for a link to a barge cruise video.

Fleur Bike And Barge Cruise in Burgundy France

Casual Bike and Barge Cruise through Burgundy France on the 20 passenger Fleur barge.

This barge cruise in Burgundy was a great way to see the countryside.  Cycling options include biking the whole day, the morning, the afternoon or not at all – depending on cruise location.  Highlights of the cruise include:

Paris – Fontainebleau – artists village Barbizon – Moret sur Loing – the rocks of Nemours – Chateau-Landon – medieval city Ferrières – Montargis

Learn About the History and Architecture of Besancon on a European River Cruise

Besancon is the capital city of the Franche-Comté region of northeastern France. It is situated near the border with Switzerland.  Held in a loop of the river Doubs, it was once known as the first green city of France. Since 1986, the city has been labeled a ‘Town of Art and History.’ Besançon’s Vauban citadel was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008.

Besancon has a very ancient history. The city was first mentioned in 58 BCE as Vesontio in the Book I of Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War). However, in fact, Gallic tribes are considered to have inhabited the area as long ago as 1,500 BCE.

Besancon has an interesting history as it was ruled by many states over the passage of time. It has been a part of Charlemagne’s Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, being independent, under the Duke of Burgundy, and under Spanish and French rule who continued changing hands frequently between them. It gained much significance during the Napoleonic Wars when the town was bombarded by the Austrians in 1814. It was also important during the Franco-Prussian War, and captured by the Nazis during World War II.

The Citadel of Besançon is a major tourist attraction in the city. It was built by the famous architect Vauban in the 17th century and is visited by about a quarter of a million visitors every year. The Citadel houses many museums, a restaurant, shops and a zoo where you can see and touch lions, baboons and fish. The place exudes such an ambiance that everybody gets enthralled by the wonderful experience.  You will get an opportunity to see spectacular views of the countryside and the town while strolling around its fortifications.

Besancon is one of the best-preserved Renaissance cities. The historic part of the city located in the “Boucle” of the river is simply stunning with the remains of what is supposed to have been a theatre in Castan Square-eight Roman Corinthian columns among the town’s most ancient allures.

Another high point of Besancon is Granvelle Palace, the museum of time. The Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian columns along with three gothic windows which used to be the characteristics of the Granvelle Palace once have become part of the splendid museum of time now.

The museum of Fine Arts and Archeology is yet another attraction of the city and a must visit place. It boasts of being one of the oldest and richest museums of France and exhibits collections from Primitive and Renaissance painters.

Get aboard our European river cruise and enjoy a wonderful family vacation to Besancon!

For more information contact: Europeanbarging, 888-869-7907, jan@europeanbarging.com

The Route of the Grand Cru Wines of France – Barge Cruise

Wine-making is a tradition in Burgundy dating back to the days of Charlemagne when monks started it. With an art so old, the locals obviously got years of experience to make the perfect wines in the region. This is the most enchanting countryside of France and has the honor of having some world-class wineries. Burgundy is one of the most important historic sites in France with some prominent places listed on UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The winegrowers in Burgundy have only small vineyards which are hardly more than 10 hectares and they produce small volumes of very good wine. Burgundy reds are produced from pinot noir grapes and the best vintages demand 10 to 20 years of age whereas the whites are produced from chardonnay.

The Route of the Grand Cru Wines (the Route des Grands Crus) is the most famous wine route in Burgundy region and a much sought after tourist attraction.

Starting from Dijon in the north and expanding to the wine village of Santenay in the south, the Route des Grands Crus, takes you through the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune and the back hills (Hautes-Côtes) behind and above the wine slopes. This 60-kilometre stretch is punctuated by around 38 picturesque localities including villages and little towns, many with  picturesque churches.

The Grands Crus Wine Route is only a few hundred yards wide and positioned at an altitude of between 300 and 400 meters. The route is signaled by panels with a brown background showing a white bunch of grapes (Route Touristique des Grands Crus de Bourgogne).

From Santenay through Chassagne-Montrachet, Mersault, Nuits St Georges, Beaune, Gevrey-Chambertin and all the other famous names of 38 villages on the Cote d’Or to Dijon, the Route Touristique des Grands Crus de Bourgogne is a well-signposted route for cars, cycling or walking exploring the vineyards of Burgundy. The area is normally peaceful with the exception of the main towns. So as you travel off the main roads, it will help you discover some of the nuances of the countryside which make some areas more special than others.

And it’s not about vineyards only as you travel along the Grands Crus Wine Route. On the way, you will come across some of the prettiest villages in France as the wine growers are as much attentive about their villages as their vineyards. You will be delighted to see the clusters of stone houses decorated with geraniums. The narrow cobbled streets in between further add to the beauty of these villages.

Book your family vacation on our France barge cruise or Burgundy cruise and take an unforgettable road trip through the Route of the Grand Cru Wines and marvel at the breathtaking vineyards, historic monuments and some exquisite UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

For more information contact: Europeanbarging, 888-869-7907, jan@europeanbarging.com