Do One Or Both: Two Burgundy Barge Trips | April 2023

The end of a wonderful trip in April 2022 on the Canal du Centre, Burgundy. The trip was so good that I'll be repeating it in 2023 - with some additional bonuses.

Two Magnificent Trips On One Fantastic Barge

Whether you opt for just one trip or both, you’re in for a treat. We’ll barge back-to back through one of the most beautiful regions of France at what I consider to be the perfect time of year, April.

The rapeseed fields (think Canola) provide a golden backdrop to lovely days along the Burgundy canals.

In April, Burgundy is blessed with the emergence of spring. Days are sunny and not too hot. The air is filled with the fragrance of flowering plants and the melodies of songbirds. The crowds have yet to converge on this lovely region. You’ve heard that April in Paris can be wonderful? In Burgundy, April is divine.

Ready to join me next April? You can do one trip or both. Both trips span 14 days and include transfers and accommodations in Dijon, for US$7,378 per person, based on double occupancy. If you think you’d like to go, reserve space now. There’s no commitment, but there is a limit, only 10 couples. 

No Obligation | If You're Interested Reserve Your Spot Now | Limited To 20 Guests

After you submit, I will reach out to you via email with more information. You are under no obligation to purchase.

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Book both trips for an included night in Dijon and transfers included between barge-hotel-barge.

If you opt to to both trips, we’ll arrive in Dijon on the morning of April 12 and transfer to our hotel (transfer and hotel included for those doing both trips). Spend the day exploring Dijon. It’s easy to do on your own. We’ll be in the city center so that everything worth seeing is within walking distance.  You’ll have most of the day on April 12 and April 13 to explore this lovely city.  

Besançon -> Dijon | April 6-12, 2023

From Besançon to Dijon, we’ll barge between the Doubs valley and Burgundy for spectacular scenery dotted with charming cities and villages. We’ll visit the Saline Royale of Arc-et-Senans, Dole and Saint Jean-de-Losne, first river port of France and home to the Musée de la Batellerie (highly recommended). Should you choose to do both trips we’ll repeat only one city, Saint Jean-de-Losne, which works out well as there is much to see and experience there.


Besançon to Dijon

$ 3689
  • All-inclusive | Including Wine, Spirits, Beer
  • Bikes On Board | Cycle or walk along the canals
  • Travel assistance and repatriation insurance
  • Refined French Cuisine
  • All port fees include

Dijon -> Saint-Léger | April 13-19, 2023

From Dijon to Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune, we’ll cruise the Burgundy canal to to the Saône river and up the Canal du Centre, arguably France’s most beautiful canal, at least according to our captain. We’ll visit world-class vineyards to sample wines, including the renown Santenay. We’ll stroll charming Chalon-sur-Saône, a beautiful city of art and history; and for those who are up to it, we’ll hike to the Cirque du Bout du Monde for gorgeous scenery.

Dijon to Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune

$ 3689
  • All-inclusive | Including Wine, Spirits, Beer
  • Bikes On Board | Cycle or walk along the canals
  • Travel assistance and repatriation insurance
  • Refined French Cuisine
  • All port fees include
This will be my sixth year of hosting barge trips in France. There's a reason for that: They are among the best experiences you can expect in this beautiful country.
Ralph Grizzle
River Cruise Advisor

Life On The Barge

One of the highlights of barging is life on board the barge. Ten cozy staterooms are one deck below the main deck. Check out the stateroom in the video below. Another stateroom (good for those who are mobility challenged), lounge area, bar and dining room are on the main deck as is an outdoor space with chairs and tables and a Jacuzzi. Stairs lead to the sundeck. 

Dining Is Divine

Life Off The Barge Is Fun Too | All Tours Are Included

From Besancon to Dijon Tours

From Dijon to Saint Leger Tours

Step off the barge to pedal a bicycle or walk along the tow paths that flank the canals. Step back on board for a Cremant (think champagne) or relax in the Jacuzzi. Enjoy gourmet, authentic French dining, which some on our April trip said was better than the Michelin-starred restaurants where they dined before boarding. I’m 6’5″ so I make the bikes look small! We had a bit of fun one day opening one of the manual locks ourselves on the Canal du Burgundy (photo below). 

Cheap Business Class Airfare

Check La Compagnie for $2,300 roundtrip business class air from Newark airport. Note that La Compagnie services Orly airport in Paris. My suggestion would be to stay a night or two in Paris, then travel by train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Besançon or Dijon, depending on which trip you are doing. Also see Airfare Hacks: Using Google Flights For Cheap(er) Business Class | Snagging $600 Business Class

2020 Barge Cruises

There are river cruises, then there are barge cruises. The two are worlds apart, or at least waterways apart. River cruises take place on Europe’s major waterways on vessels that typically carry from 100 to 200 guests. By contrast, barge cruises operate on small canals (you could skip a stone across many of them) and typically carry no more than two dozen guests. To say that the experiences are similar would be quite a stretch. Sure, they both operate on water, but they are markedly different modes of transport. How so? In this post, we’ll take a look at 10 reasons to choose a barge cruise.

Christmas Markets On The Rhine With Oscar Wilde

I know what you’re thinking. Hasn’t Oscar Wilde been long dead? Yes, the Irish poet passed away in Paris in 1900, but his spirit lives through the ship that carries his name for Riviera River Cruises.

If you’re not familiar with the company, check out my post, Seven Ways That Riviera Seeks To Stand Out.

We’ll cruise roundtrip Cologne. You can view the full itinerary on Riviera’s website, but return here for special pricing and to join our group. We’ll also enhance Riviera’s program with pre- and post-trip activities as well as special events and excursions along the way.

Riviera is providing incentives for booking, including a limited selection of solo cabins with no single supplement and a complimentary drinks package (value $129) for anyone who books and deposits up until the end of January 2022. Rates are: $3,419 solo rate for standard lower deck stateroom; and for doubles, $4,129 to $4,429 per person for middle and upper deck staterooms. A $400 per person non-refundable deposit is required within eight weeks of reserving space. Final balance is due 91 days before the start of the cruise.

Cancellation fees:

  •  From deposit to 91 days before the cruise start date – The $400 per person deposit will be forfeited.
  •  From 90 to 61 days before the cruise start date – 50% of the cruise fare will be forfeited.
  •  From 60 to 31 days before the cruise start date – 75% of the cruise fare will be forfeited.
  •  From 30 to 16 days before the cruise start date – 85% of the cruise fare will be forfeited.
  •  15 days or less before the cruise start date – 100% of the cruise fare will be forfeited. 

If you are at all interested in this trip, please complete the form below.

Hoping to see you on a river - or canal - soon.