Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre

  • Starting location: Auxerre - Burgundy
  • Ending location: Burgundy - Chevroches
Meal options

All inclusiveFull-board


Private cabinFour-star accommodation

L’Art de Vivre  was built in England started life as a Scottish lumber carrier, then during World War One it was a supply vessel for the Allied troops battling in the Somme.  It has since been carefully transformed by skilled craftsmen into a floating luxury hotel barge celebrating the Burgundian “good life”.

This 8 passenger hotel barge is very in traditional in style, with original wood and brass features that emphasis her heritage and create a warm inviting interior.  The comfortable, compact cabins are air conditioned with en-suite facilties can either be a twin or double configuration depending your request.

Outside, there is a sun deck to relax on with a glass of wine as you glide through the pretty Burgundy countryside and a spa pool to soak in. You can explore the ever-present towpath on foot or on one of the barge’s 8 bicycles, before rejoining at one of the locks up ahead.

The air conditioned interior includes a comfortable saloon, dining room and an ‘always-open’ inclusive bar.

The crew of 4 comprises Captain, tour guide, master chef and housekeeper, all with a love for the Nivernais Canal and secure in the knowledge that their vessel represents “L’Art de Vivre” itself. The region simply oozes charm and the cruise is a journey back in time along a magical waterway.

Classic cruise highlights

  • Explore enchanting Auxerre and its magnificent cathedral
  • Private wine tasting of fine Chablis wines in a 12th century cellar
  • Visit Chateau de Bazoches, home of Maréchal Vauban
  • Tour Noyers, one of the most beautiful villages in Burgundy
  • Visit picturesque Vézelay and its hilltop basilica
  • Optional Hot Air Ballooning
  • Excellent towpath for walking and cycling
  • Diner ashore (not included in price) on one night

What's included:

  • 7 nights hotel-barge accommodation sharing a twin/double cabin
  • All dinners, breakfasts, lunches on board
  • ‘Always-open’ inclusive bar
  • To/from pick-up from designated hotel in Paris
  • Excursions to places of interest

What's excluded:

  • Flights/train
  • Transport to/from to designated pick-up point
  • Diner ashore on one night
  • Travel insurance
  • Staff gratuities

Holiday Itinerary

Day 1 - Auxerre

Sunday – You will be met at the Hotel Westminster in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the pretty Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre.  Following a champagne welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner on board

Day 2 - Auxerre to Vincelles

Monday – Our morning cruise takes us through some delightful locks and past vineyard-clad hillsides to our rural mooring at Vincelles. After lunch on board our afternoon excursion is to ‘Chablis’, home of one of the most famous white wines in the world. A private tasting in one of the town’s aged cellars will introduce you to some of the local Petit Chablis and Chablis wines. Dinner on board.

Day 3 - Vincelles to Mailly-la-Ville

Tuesday – After breakfast we visit the medieval town of Auxerre.  Originally the capital of Lower Burgundy, the town prides itself on its lavish Renaissance houses, fine churches and particularly its magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. We then return to the hotel barge for a cruise southwards through rich pasture lands and grazing ‘Charolais’ cattle to the sleepy village of Mailly-la-Ville.  After a relaxed lunch on board, perhaps this is a good time to enjoy a walk or bicycle ride along the towpath before dinner on board.

Day 4 - Mailly-la-Ville to Le Saussois

Wednesday – 
This morning, we visit the charming 14th century medieval market village of Noyers-sur-Surein, one of the most beautiful villages in France.  In the afternoon we cruise past the cliffs at Le Saussois, a stunning natural setting with an international climbing centre. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy delightful walks or bicycle rides along the towpath, before dinner ashore at a local restaurant.

Day 5 - Le Saussois to Lucy-sur-Yonne

Thursday – In the morning we enjoy an excursion to the hilltop town of Vézelay and the famous 11th century Romanesque Basilica of St Magdalene a designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.  There are many craft shops to explore and fine views of the surrounding countryside. After lunch back on board, it’s an afternoon cruising through the picturesque Yonne Valley to arrive at Lucy-sur-Yonne. Dinner on board.

Day 6 - Lucy-sur-Yonne to Chevroches

Friday – This morning our cruise takes us to our final mooring at the pretty canal-side village of Chevroches and again this is a perfect time for a walk or a bicycle ride. In the afternoon, we visit the elegant Château de Bazoches, built in the 12th century and whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. The château was later re-modelled by Maréchal Vauban with wonderful views from its hillside setting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Day 7 - Depart

Saturday – Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the Hotel Westminster in Paris.

Important information

Best crusing months are April to October. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction of the itinerary listed.

How to get here

Fly into...

Orly or Charles de Gaulle or Euro Star

Your holiday starts in Paris from where you will be picked up from a designated point in the centre of the city.

Transfer options

Private transfer in air-conditioned mini bus

Your transfers will leave from a designated meeting point in Paris.  The transfer between Paris and the hotel barge takes approximately 2hrs 30mins.

Dates and prices

2019 prices

Prices are per person sharing a state cabin.  Single supplement available.

All meals on-board are prepared by the barge Master Chef, an ‘open-bar’ serving large range of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks is available.  All wines served throughout the cruise, excursions and admittance fees as per the itinerary are included, the services of 4 crew and use of barge facilities such as bicycles and spa-pool are also available.

Upgrade your holiday when filling out the enquiry form!

Arrival date
April 7, 14, 21
April 28
May 5, 12, 19, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
July 7, 14
Jul 21, 28
August 4, 11, 18
August 25
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13, 20

Private barge charters are available from £3000 per person, based on 8 friends sharing – price on application.

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Team members who have been on this holiday

Liz Olkowicz
Paul Sugg

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Enquiry form for Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre

(Auxerre - Burgundy)
Food and wine
Term explanations

Activity levels

All of our holidays have an activity level rating. They are rated on a scale of 1 - 5 and give you a good idea of the level of activity and fitness which the holiday requires.

Activity level 1: Leisurely

A holiday for those that are in good health, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip with some light exercise on their adventure.

Activity level 2: Moderate

This is a holiday for the fit and healthy, who love to get up and are prepared to do a good day's worth of exercise every day of the holiday.

Activity level 3: Tough

Only for the most experienced of holiday-makers, you have to have a wild spirit of adventure and impeccable health and fitness!

Meal options

Depending on the holiday, there will be different meal options that come standard in the price. They may change from day to day, depending on the holiday's itinerary and where you end up staying. The meal plans will be clearly marked in your itinerary.

There may also be the opportunity to upgrade your meal plans when filling in our booking form.

Bed and breakfast

After a good night's rest, there will be a free breakfast available for you to indulge in.


You will be given two free meals included with your accommodation, depending on the itinerary it could be any combination of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Which combination will be clearly marked out in your itinerary.


You will be given three free meals included with your accommodation: breakfast, lunch and dinner.


All meals, food and beverages are free and included with your accommodation.


No meals are included in your accommodation but there will be some sort of kitchen, cooking utensils and cooking apparatus available to use.


No meals are included in your accommodation and there is no cooking apparatus available. You will be expected to eat out or prepare/buy meals beforehand.

Terrain types

As we provide holidays all across the world, there are many terrain types which you will encounter. As the terrain is likely to change on a day to day basis depending on your itinerary, we aim to list the most prevalent types you will find on your holiday.


Terrain with no noticable incline.


The terrain includes multiple inclines going up and down.


Terrain with a steeper incline than hilly and is more likely to be combined with unsurfaced roads and off-road activities.


Tarmacked roads which are easy to cycle and drive down.

Unsurfaced roads

Roads which have a gravel or dirt surface.


Commonly this will involve hiking trails and other hard-to-reach places by car.


Depending on your holiday, you may be staying in one type of accommodation or you may stay in many as you travel. For each holiday we list the standard accommodation included in the holiday.

There may be opportunities to upgrade or change your accommodation, please let us know of any special requests when filling out the booking form.

Private room

Usually rooms with a double bed or twin singles for just you and/or your companion.

Shared rooms

Rooms which you will be sharing with other adventurers and new-found friends. Often these rooms will have bunk beds and sleep up to six people.

Single cabin

The same as a private room but on-board one of our cruise ships or barges.

Shared cabin

The same as a shared room but on-board one of our cruise ships.

Huts / Gîtes

These are homely places, similar to staying in a holiday cottage. They have self-catering facilities and sleeping arrangements can range from private rooms with en-suite bathrooms to shared rooms with other adventurers.

Star-rated accommodation

On many of our holidays there are places you will stay which are three- and four-star rated accommodation.

Financial Protection

At Footprint Holidays we are happy to be members of the Travel Trust Association or TTA and hold a certificate of general membership, our TTA membership number is Q5057. Guests can verify our membership status by searching our company name or membership number on the TTA website which can be found by clicking here and entering our membership number: Q5057.

Your financial protection is importance to us, hence our membership in the Travel Trust Association, ensuring your payments and any travel arrangements you make with us 100% protected in the event of any supplier failure.

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