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French Country Waterways Celebrates 35 Years of Introducing
Guests to the Food, Wines and Beauty of the French Countryside
Duxbury, MA, January 2019 – Many travel entities – from cruise lines to hotels – constantly reinvent themselves, looking for the newest angle to attract guests. Few do what the premier provider of French barge cruises, French Country Waterways, has done for 35 years: start with the right formula and tweak it to make it better… when it makes sense. Sticking to what has always worked, the line has achieved near sold out conditions year after year and enjoy a high repeat guest percentage. For 2019, the line will continue to do what has worked so well – offer all-inclusive, six-night sailings April through October, traversing the wine regions of Burgundy, the Upper Loire, Champagne and Alsace-Lorraine. Fares start at $4,195 per person, double.
The five stylish luxury barges, carrying eight to 18 passengers, are designed for travelers who want to become acquainted with provincial France in an intimate and authentic way, away from crowds and the pressures of modern life. Onboard chefs skillfully blend classic cooking techniques with lighter, healthier cuisine in a synthesis of fresh, creative dishes, and offer up more than two dozen fine wines (more than half bear Grand and Premier Cru labels) and countless French cheeses, as stellar service is given by an attentive, knowledgeable crew, fluent in English.
Exclusive private tours and wine tastings, Michelin-starred dinners where guests enjoy an amazing meal and leave with a chef-signed copy of the menu, private motorcoaches, independent walks or bicycle explorations along the canal-side tow path, all contribute to the relaxing, familial and rejuvenating atmosphere.
The 12-passenger Adrienne and the 18-passenger Esprit, serenely follow the narrow 18th-century Canal du Centre and tree-lined Canal de Bourgogne as it makes its way through the beauty of Burgundy’s scenic Côte d’Or wine-growing region. Daily sightseeing excursions include an owner’s tour of the Château de Rully – family-owned and occupied since the 12th century; a tasting of fine wines hosted by a local vintner in Chassagne-Montrachet; tours of Beaune, the charming wine capital of Burgundy; the medieval abbey of Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of Chevaliers du Tastevin, whose special label is awarded annually to the finest Côte-d’Or wines; and Dijon, capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. In Chagny, guests enjoy Michelin three-star rated Lameloise, with a meal of outstanding quality matched with equally outstanding wines.
The former private barge of shipping magnate Daniel K. Ludwig, the eight-passenger Princess, spends the full season in Alsace-Lorraine. This barge offers two grand king suites and two king suites, all with private bathrooms and double closets. Guests are met in Strasbourg and transported to the ship’s mooring. Highlights along the route include a city tour of Nancy and Place Stanislas, one of France’s grandest squares; dinner at the Michelin two-star Villa René Lalique; visits to Baccarat’s famous Crystal Museum and showrooms; the 13th-century Chapel of the Cordeliers in Sarrebourg, illuminated by a stunning Marc Chagall stained glass window; a wine tour and tasting of crisp, fruity varietals in Traenheim.
The 12-passenger Nenuphar explores the celebrated region of Champagne, sailing between Courcy and Château-Thierry. In addition to dining at the Michelin-starred Les Crayères, guests take a guided tour of Notre-Dame de Reims – the Gothic Cathedral that once hosted the coronations of French kings; enjoy a private tour of the 16th-century Château de Condé; tour the American Cemetery and World War I battlefields at Belleau Wood; and visit vineyards for private tours and tastings.
The eight-passenger Horizon II journeys through the Upper Loire Valley, once the playground of kings, with its pastoral landscape dotted with royal chateaux, vineyards and medieval villages. Highlights include learning how the prized French faience is produced during a private factory tour in Gien; touring the chateau of St. Fargeau, dating back more than 1,000 years and once the home of Louis XIV’s cousin, Anne-Marie-Louise d’ Orleans; enjoying a praline tasting at world-renowned Mazet de Montargis; cruising on the Briare aqueduct, designed by Gustave Eiffel; and dining ashore at the Michelin-starred Côté Jardin in Gien.
Additional information, brochures and rates can be found at www.fcwl.com. Reservations can be made by calling 800-222-1236 in the U.S./Canada and 781-934-2454 in Massachusetts. French Country Waterways operates five barges, each of which is available for individual bookings and for charter groups. Special room rates are offered at the designated meeting point hotels in Paris and/or Strasbourg for guests wishing to extend their stay.