Luxury River Barge Trip in Burgundy with Abercrombie & Kent
Abercrombie & Kent offers many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for family vacations, but one of the most special trips has got to be its river barge cruise through the Burgundian countryside. A chartered seven day cruise aboard La Belle Epoque, A&K's 126-foot-long, 16.5 feet wide barge, is a luxurious and relaxing way to travel and to taste award-winning Burgandy wines, and hence is nominated for a Luxist Award for Best Luxury Family Summer Vacation.
The barge, which is equipped with six cabins, all outside facing and each equipped with en-suite bathrooms. There's one deluxe double cabin; one deluxe twin/double; two twin/double cabins and two cabins each with twin beds. There's also a small swimming pool, a sauna and several sun decks. Bicycles are also available for those wanting to cycle in the towns the barge visits. A gourmet chef is on board to prepare all of the meals, which are included in the cost of the excursion.
The seven-day-long itinerary commences in Venarey-les Laumes. After a champagne welcome, there is time to settle in before dinner on board the barge. On day 2, after lunch, you will visit 12th-century Fontenay Abbey with its peaceful gardens and beautiful cloisters. On the third day, you will cruise to Ravières passing the 18th-century Forges de Buffon. It was here that the great naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon commercially exploited his scientific discoveries by harnessing the waters of the River Armançon to power the water mills. Barge guests will visit the hilltop village of Flavigny (where the film Chocolat was made) and then continue to ancient Alesia, site of the last battle between the Gauls and the Romans in 52 BC.
On Day 4, you will visit the medieval village of Noyers, nestled in a loop of the River Serein, with its picturesque half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. Here, you can wander through the colorful local market or along the town ramparts. 'La Belle Époque' then moors at Ancy-le Franc with its impressive 16th-century Renaissance château. And on the Day 5, you will visit Château de Tanlay, home to the Marquis de Tanlay since the late 17th century. Built in Renaissance style, the château is known for its gallery, which is painted in intricate trompe l'oeil style.
During the sixth day, you will visit the vineyards and town of Chablis for a private wine tasting at Domaine Dervan renowned for its Premier and Grand Cru wines. In the afternoon, the cruise will continue on to Tonnerre for a farewell dinner. On the final day, guests will disembark after breakfast and then be transferred to Montbard, where the journey ends.
Family, Walking, Wine Appreciation and other theme charters are also available.
Seven day charters are available for $49,500 for a week (from March 28 through May 15, from July 25 to September 4 and from October 17 to November 13) for a maximum group size of 12, or a shared trip can be had at $4,350 per person, based on double occupancy. There are some discounts available for individuals or couples booking through August 31st. Children under the age of 12 can only be accommodated if the entire boat is chartered. From May 16 to July 24 and from September 5 to October 16, the seven day charter for a maximum group size of 12 is $57,50, or individuals can book for $4,990, based on double occupancy. Children under 18 are given a $300 price reduction. Visit the Abercrombie & Kent website for more information about reservations.
If you reserve a 2011 charter cruises by August 31, 2010, Abercrombie & Kent is offering a 5% discount.
Special prices for charters with 10 or 11 passengers are available, as well as a lower price for 12 passengers using the Single Cabin on board.
Vote for the Luxury Family Summer Vacation that you think is the best of breed. The winner will be announced on September 1st.