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Do 1-2 day Burgundy Canal cruises exist?

We are a group of 5 adults who want to experience a 1-2 day Burgundian barge cruise like the one Rick did in his video clip. This will be at the end of a 4-week France trip in mid-October before flying home from Paris. I’m having a difficult time navigating various websites on the subject. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
4974 posts

There must be a trip like you describe but I don't know of a specific one. I do know what you mean about navigating the various websites as the same problem arose when trying to do research on canal tours in the U.K. If you've not done so, google variations of "Barge Cruises in Burgundy" and then wade through all the sales pitches. Perhaps someone on the forum has taken one and can give you a better answer. If I stumble across something relevant to Burgundy while research stuff in the U.K. I'll post it.

Posted by
408 posts

I believe the show you're referring to involved a péniche (barge) called le Papillon. That vessel is operated by H2olidays (http://www.vacancesfluviales.com/FR/hotel/papillon/) and appears to be available only for week-long cruises.

You might have some luck googling péniches hôtels, péniches d'hôtes, or bateaux gites. Or some combination of those terms. The reason to specify hôtel, hôte, or gite is to communicate to the search engine that you're not seeking to rent and pilot the boat by yourself (the French word for rent is location), but that you want a boat+pilot+sleeping+meals (or at least that's what I think you're asking). So, you could include "-location" in your search term to see if that helps, as putting a minus sign before the word communicates that you don't want that word in the results.

This site (http://www.hotels-insolites.com/nuit-insolite-peniche.html#) seems to have links to several potential offerings, including the ability to search in France by département.

I suppose you also could call the Rick Steves office in Edmonds to see if they have any recommendations.

Based on about 5 minutes of curious Internet searching based on your question, it may be difficult to find a boat+pilot+sleeping+meals for only a day or two. I think they usually want to have a longer engagement.

I haven't looked into it, but I've been told by friends that les Canalous (http://www.canalous-plaisance.fr/les-bases/les-bases), which has several locations along canals in various countries including France, may do short-term, piloted rentals from some of their locations. Perhaps a call would help get to the answer more quickly than clicking around the Internet.