C'est la Vie

Cruising throughout France

in the Burgundy, Champagne and Upper Loire regions

Upper Loire Cruise Route
Burgundy Cruise Route
Champagne Cruise Route

The C'est La Vie is a luxury hotel barge which offers you high quality wines, food and hospitality from its experienced captain and crew.
Starting life as a commercial barge in 1960 it transported goods across Holland, Belgium and France before being converted in Belgium to a very high standard in 2004. As one of the newest luxury hotel barges it is fully equipped with all modern amenities.
Olivier and Deborah Mégret purchased the C'est La Vie Barge after long and distinguished careers with other hotel barge companies and they have worked on boats for the past 25 years and so between them bring a wealth of experience.
On the upper deck the lounge and dining areas are air-conditioned and numerous windows give you a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. The outside sun deck with teak floor and furniture is the perfect spot to dine alfresco or relax under the sun canopy which gives shade to all the deck or can be adjusted for those who like to bath in the warmth of the summer sun.
The 21 speed bicycles provide you the opportunity to discover the rural beauty along the tow paths or to ride into the nearby villages meeting up with the C'est La Vie at the next lock. The Cherry wood panelled walls and ceiling edged in black Iron wood give the four spacious staterooms a feeling of warmth, with three windows on each side light filters through at all times of the day. All staterooms have en suite bathrooms with marble topped vanity units. The galley is well equipped for our professional chef to prepare your gourmet meals. The wheel house offers passengers the chance to visit the captain and enjoy the cruise from a different perspective

 

Prices and Dates

 
The C'est la Vie Barge
  • 128 FEET LONG (39 METRES)
  • 8 PASSENGERS
  • 5 CREW
  • 4 TWIN OR DOUBLE CABINS (ALL WITH PRIVATE BATHROOM)
  • 8 GOOD QUALITY BIKES
  • AIR CONDITIONING
  • CENTRAL HEATING
  • SAFES AND LUGGAGE RACKS IN ALL CABINS
  • AIR CON’D PRIVATE MINIBUS FOR PICKUPS AND EXCURSIONS
  • CD PLAYER WITH IPOD DOCKING STATION, INTERNET ACCESS, LIBRARY, GAMES
Burgundy Cruise highlights may include:
12th Century Cisterian Abbey of Fontenay
Fabulous city of Auxerre
World famous wine centre of Chablis
Visit to the Chateau de la Bussière
Dinner at the Auberge des Templiers restaurant
INCLUSIONS:
  • Luxury minivan transfers to and from Paris
  • All food, drinks and wine served on board
  • One evening meal taken at a local restaurant
PICK-UP:
  • Central Paris, 3pm. For cabin booking cruises the pick-up point is the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile (formally known as the 'Concorde Lafayette').
DROP-OFF:
  • Central Paris, late morning/midday


CRUISES START ON A SUNDAY AND END ON THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY
2017 PRICES (USD) VALUE SEASON REGULAR SEASON
Individual Cabin Bookings (price per guest sharing a double or twin cabin) $6,690 $6,990
Single cabin occupancy supplement $3,690 $4,990
Charter for 6 guests $45,300 $51,900
Charter for 7 guests $47,300 $53,900
Charter for 8 guests $49,300 $55,900

2018 PRICES (USD) VALUE SEASON REGULAR SEASON
Individual Cabin Bookings (price per guest sharing a double or twin cabin) $6,695 $6,995
Single cabin occupancy supplement $3,695 $4,995
Charter for 6 guests $46,800 $51,960
Charter for 7 guests $49,000 $53,900
Charter for 8 guests $51,200 $55,960

2017 Cruise Dates
APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis
29 - 4
Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

2018 Cruise Dates
APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis
24 - 30
Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis
26 - 1
Repositioning cruise...
Montargis - Meaux

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis
30 - 6
Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis

Repositioning cruise...
St.Florentin - Montargis
Value
Season
Regular
Season

Itinerary

Burgundy Cruise
Between St.Florentin and Ravieres (or reverse)
Cruise route map
The C'est la Vie barge - Beautiful Grounds of the Abbaye de Fontenay
Beautiful Grounds of
the Abbaye de Fontenay

Sunday: Welcome to C’est la Vie!
Paris to the “C’est la Vie” moored in Ravières
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the “C’est la Vie” which is moored in the town of Ravières
A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the crew awaits you, before your first gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday: Sightseeing Abbey of Fontenay
Cruise to Ancy le Franc
Morning cruise to the village of Ancy le Franc, which will allow you time to walk off breakfast of locally baked croissants and other pastries. After a buffet lunch you will be driven to the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay founded by St Bernard. Dating back to the 12th Century it is listed on the Unesco World Heritage site.
The C'est la Vie barge - Interior Courtyard of the Abbaye de Fontenay
Interior Courtyard of
the Abbaye de Fontenay

Returning to the “C’est La Vie” for dinner.

The C'est la Vie barge - The Château of Ancy-le-Franc
The Château of Ancy-le-Franc
Tuesday: Sightseeing Chateau of Ancy la Franc
Cruise to Lézinnes
Dinner ashore at the Hostellerie-des-Clos in Chablis
You can walk or be driven for this mornings visit to the gorgeous Renaissance chateau of Ancy le Franc. Renowned for its 16th-century wall paintings and frescos (which are said to rival Fontainebleau), Ancy-le-Franc has been extensively and sensitively renovated.
Return to the “C’est La Vie” for lunch and an afternoon cruise to the small town of Lézinnes from where you will be driven to the village of Chablis for your dinner ashore at the Hostellerie des Clos

The C'est la Vie barge - Medieval entrance to Noyers
Medieval entrance to Noyers
Wednesday: Sightseeing Noyers with its local market
Cruise to Tanlay
Morning visit to the medieval town of Noyers. Where you can walk through the cobbled streets enjoying the local market and discover the old ramparts and half timbered buildings from the 15th/16th centuries along the banks of the river Serein.
Drive back to the “C’est La Vie” through fields of wheat and grazing animals for lunch and an afternoon cruise on the Burgundy Canal to Tanlay now lined by poplar trees, a perfect moment to put on your walking shoes and explore the towpath and small villages along the way.
Dinner aboard

The C'est la Vie barge - Beautiful Sunflowers on the way to Chablis
Beautiful Sunflowers
on the way to Chablis
Thursday: Sightseeing Chablis
Cruise to Flogny la chapelle
We take a morning cruise and pass through the old town of Tonnerre with buildings from many eras, including Roman and Medieval, before our afternoon visit to the town of Chablis, where you can taste some of the famous white wines of this region in one of their local cellars and enjoy a drive through vine yards which cover the hill sides for as far as the eye can see.
Returning to the “C’est la Vie for another gourment dinner aboard

The C'est la Vie barge - Cruising to Auxerre
Cruising to Auxerre
Friday: Sightseeing in Auxerre
Cruise to St Florentin
This morning’s cruise will take us to the town of St Florentin by early afternoon. After lunch drive to the town of Auxerre. On the banks of the river Yonne this historic town, first settled by the Romans boasts a Cathedral, an Abbey and a Church. With buildings dating back to medieval times this is the ideal place to stroll along its narrow streets and window shop or just sit and relax with a coffee in one of its many cafés reflecting on Napoleon, Joan of Arc or Charles VII who all passed through this elegant town.
Return to the “C’est La Vie” for the Captain’s Dinner, which ends your cruise in style.

Saturday: Return to Paris
After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning.
We hope to see you again on the “C’est la Vie”!

PLEASE NOTE— This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change without notice. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Upper Loire Cruise
Between Sancerre and Montargis (or reverse)
Cruise route map
The C'est la Vie barge - Beautiful Moorings
Beautiful Moorings

Sunday: Welcome to the C’est la Vie!
Paris to the "C’est la Vie" moored on the Canal Latéral to the Loire
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the C’est La Vie moored in the hamlet of “Les Fouchards” situated 6 miles from Sancerre, and close to Cosne sur Loire, which is just the other side of the Loire river.
With a glass of champagne to welcome you to the C’est La Vie, and after introductions to the crew, you have time to settle into your spacious cabins before your first gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday: Sightseeing Sancerre
Cruise to Beaulieu
On our way, this morning we cruise to the village of Beaulieu, after lunch we take a short drive through the vineyards to visit the fortified town of Sancerre,
The C'est la Vie barge - Famous Aqueduct de Briare (Canal Bridge)
Famous Aqueduct de
Briare (Canal Bridge)
this hill top medieval site gives you panoramic views over the Loire River and of the neighbouring vineyards of Pouilly Fumé.
The town of Chavignol (also famous for its goat’s cheese) is where you will have a private wine tasting of this famous Sauvignon Blanc.
Returning to the C’est la Vie for dinner.

Tuesday : Sightseeing Chateau of St Fargeau. Dinner ashore
Cruise to Ouzouer sur Trézée
This morning’s cruise takes us to the town of Ouzouer sur Trézée, crossing over the Loire River at Briare on the Pont Canal, this aqueduct was designed by Gustave Eiffel and the construction of this canal bridge started in 1890.
The C'est la Vie barge - The Aqueduct from above
The Aqueduct from above
The Château of St Fargeau is this afternoon’s destination: dating from the 10th century it was built by the bishop of Auxerre and has undergone many additions and restorations over the following years.
Dinner ashore at the 1 Star Michelin restaurant "Auberge des Templiers".

The C'est la Vie barge - The Famous Clocktower in Auxerre
The Famous Clocktower in Auxerre
Wednesday: Sightseeing Faiencerie of Gien
Cruise to Rogny -les -Sept-Ecluses
From Ouzouer sur Trézée we drive to the town of Gien, the world famous centre for French table ware. After a visit to the pottery, take a walk through this market town and discover its remarkable history.
On the banks of the Loire River there has been a settlement here since Romans times. Back on board for lunch and an afternoon cruise to the town of Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, there you will see seven remarkable old locks, (hence its name Sept Ecluses). Dating back to the reign of Henry IV, it was a major feat of engineering for its time. Dinner aboard the C’est la Vie.

The C'est la Vie barge - The Château de la Bussière
The Château de la Bussière
Thursday : Sightseeing Château of La Bussière
Cruise to Montbouy
If you haven’t already put on your walking shoes, now is the perfect time as we cruise to the village of Montbouy. After lunch you will be driven to the Château of La Bussière, it is a prime example of a medieval fortress built in the 12th Century. Open to the public since 1962, when the Count Henri de Chasseval decided to exhibit his extensive collection of material and pieces of art from around the world about fishing, but it’s not all about fishing, there are the grounds to visit with its 18th Century vegetable garden and a pond with a 300 year old Lebanon Cedar tree and much more.
We head back to the C’est La Vie with time to relax before dinner.

The C'est la Vie barge - Medieval Kitchen of the Château de la Bussière
Medieval kitchen of the Château de la Bussière
Friday: Sightseeing Montargis
Cruise to Montargis
Meandering along the canal, Montargis is our last port of call, with its 131 bridges, you can see why its nick name is “little Venice”. After lunch take a stroll around and discover the feudal castle, the half timbered buildings, shops and cafes, perhaps buying some pralines for which Montargis is famous.
The C’est La Vie awaits your return for the Captains dinner, which ends your cruise in style.

The C'est la Vie barge - The canal runs through the heart of Montargis
The canal runs through
the heart of Montargis
Saturday: Return to Paris
After breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning.
We look forward to your company again on the "C’est la Vie"!

PLEASE NOTE— This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change without notice. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Upper Seine Cruise
Between St.Florentin and Montargis (or reverse)
Cruise route map

Sunday: Welcome to C'est la Vie!
Paris to the "C'est la Vie" moored in St Florentin
Your party will be met in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the "C'est la Vie" which is moored in the town of St Florentin.
A traditional champagne welcome and introduction to the crew awaits you, before your first gourmet dinner aboard.

Monday: Sightseeing. Chablis wine tasting
Cruise to Joigny
Leaving St Florentin we cruise along the Canal Du Bourgogne and after lunch we take a short ride to the town of Chablis, where we will have a private wine tasting of this world famous white wine. Rejoining the C’est la Vie we continue our cruise to Joigny and leave the canal to join the river Yonne. Time to relax or take a stroll through the streets of Joigny, before cocktails and dinner.

Tuesday: Sightseeing. Abbey of Pontigny & Dinner ashore at La Cote St Jacques
Cruise to Sens
After breakfast we take a short drive to the Abbey of Pontigny, A 12th century gem tucked away in this quite town in rural Burgundy. Returning to the C’est la Vie for lunch and an afternoon cruise on the scenic river Yonne to Sens. Tonight your dinner is ashore at the 2 star Michelin restaurant La Cote Saint Jacques in Joigny.

Wednesday, Sightseeing the 1st Gothic Cathedral in Sens
Cruise to Moret sur Loing
This morning it’s time to marvel at one the first great Gothic Cathedrals of France named after Saint-Etienne, the building of which began in 1140. Also take time to walk through this charming city or sit and relax with a coffee in the cities market square, returning to the boat for lunch and as we meander down the river we leave the Yonne and join the River Seine to moor up this evening in the town of Moret sur Loing. C'est la Vie welcomes you for cocktails and dinner.

Thursday: Sightseeing Chateau of Fontainebleau
Cruise to Nemours.
Time to put on your walking shoes this morning as we cruise to the town of Nemours, in the afternoon we take a drive to the Chateau of Fontainebleau, built by Francois 1st in the 16th century, this splendid Chateau was home to many of the French kings and Napoleon.

Friday: Sightseeing Montargis
Cruise to Montargis
A morning cruise takes us to the town of Montargis the home of Pralins.
After lunch visit the town of Montargis. Montargis is the second largest city in the Loiret, after Orléans. Due to its numerous canals and bridges, Montargis sometimes bills itself as the "Venice of the Gâtinais." Though quite modern, it retains a medieval charm in its downtown area. Captains' dinner finishes your cruise in style.

Saturday: Return to Paris
After breakfast our driver will take you back to your hotel in Paris before noon.
We hope to see you again on the C'est La Vie

PLEASE NOTE— This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change without notice. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Champagne Cruise
Between Meaux and Sillery (or reverse)
Cruise route map

Sunday
Welcome to C’est La Vie.
Paris to the “C’est La Vie” Moored in Meaux
You’ll be met at 3:00pm in the lobby of your Paris hotel and chauffeured to the C’est La Vie at anchor in the village of Meaux. After the traditional champagne welcome from Captain Oliver Mégret and the crew, there is time to unpack and take a stroll around town before enjoying the first of many gourmet dinners on board.

Monday
Sightseeing: Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
Cruise to St. Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux.
Begin the day with our breakfast buffet featuring village-baked pastries just warm from the oven! Then relax on deck while cruising on the River Marne to St. Jean-les-Doux-Jumeaux. C’est La Vie floats through heavily-wooded countryside. Adorable villages hug the shore and patient fisherman wave as we pass. After lunch (served on deck weather permitting) we’ll visit the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an enormous privately-owned property with grand gardens and an intriguing history. Built by Nicholas Fouquet, finance minister to Louis XIV, the chateau became a lightening rod for the jealous king. Fouquet landed in jail for the rest of his life and the king built Versailles in retaliation! Could Fouquet have been the man in the iron mask, some people certainly think so?
Return to the C’est La Vie for dinner aboard.

Tuesday
Sightseeing: WW1 battlelfield and cemetery of Belleau-Wood.
Cruise to Chateau Thierry
After another delicious breakfast, cruise to Chateau Thierry through a gorgeous landscape of villages, vineyards, pastures and forests. Nestled into the champagne-producing slopes, this ancient town is associated with the Frankish king Charles Martel whose castle here was built in the 8th century and Joan of Arc who entered through the town gates in 1421.
Afternoon excursion to nearby World War I sites. Belleau Wood was the scene of the second battle of the Marne in spring 1918, which ended the last German offensive of World War I. The cost was 8,000 American troops killed, missing or wounded. Overlooking Chateau Thierry is the massive French-American Friendship Monument and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.
Back on board for your gourmet dinner.

Wednesday
Sightseeing: Epernay, Moet & Chandon.
Cruise to Damery
Morning cruise on the River Marne, through scenery that could have been painted by the Impressionists. Vineyards, fields and farmhouses cling to distant hills, while villages and gardens line the river. After lunch take a short drive to visit famed champagne producer Moet & Chandon in Epernay. This elite company was founded in 1743 by Claude Moet and was characterized from the beginning by international markets and such high-level contacts as Madame Pompadour and Napoleon. Now it dominates Epernay with a complex of historic buildings and a billion bottles of bubbly stored in eighteen miles of tunnels! We’ll tour and then taste!
Next visit Haultevillers, a pretty champagne village perched high over the vineyards. Tour the unassuming church of monk Dom Perignon, credited with inventing the champagne producing process
Back to the C’est La Vie in time cocktails and dinner.

Thursday
Sightseeing: Family champagne domaine
Dinner at the L’Assiette Champenoise in Reims (3 Michelin stars)
Cruise to Tours sur Marne
This morning’s cruise we leave the river Marne for the canal Lateral a la Marne, perfect time to put your working shoes on or ride a bicycle along the tow path and catch the C’est la Vie at the next lock.
After lunch we will pay a visit to a small family run vineyard, for the 2nd of your champagne tasting experiences. Driving through vineyards as far as the eye can see. We return to the C’est La Vie in plenty of time to prepare for your dinner shore at the 3 star Michelin restaurant the L’Assiette Champenoise, delicately chosen by Olivier.

Friday
Sightseeing: Reims with the Cathedral
Cruise to Sillery
Cruise this morning on the canal is going to take us through a small tunnel. There is time to walk or bicycle on the towpath as C’est La Vie climbs up a flight of locks. After lunch, we drive to Reims, an important city from Roman times onwards. Visit the great Reims Cathedral, which is even larger than Notre Dame in Paris and where the many of the French kings were crowned. Visit the Archbishops place which has been turned into a museum and step back in time.
Walk along the pedestrian streets in this vibrant city, or take a coffee in many of the side walk cafes and watch the world go by.
Head back to the C’est La Vie for The Captain’s Dinner which ends your cruise in style!

Saturday
Return to Paris
After breakfast, you will be chauffeured back to Paris.
We hope to see you again on the C’est La Vie!

PLEASE NOTE— This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change without notice. The cruise runs in the reverse direction on alternate weeks.

Client Quotes



Here are just a few of the wonderful things that past clients have had to say about their cruise on the C'est la Vie...

What a wonderful odyssey made perfect by the special family you all are. Gold medals for everyone.

The Becherer Clan

Merci beaucoup pour une semaine dans la paradise!!
Sally, Ellen, Alan, Michael. USA

Thank you for the AMAZING food. Especially for the dessert because there is really no point to dinner if there is no dessert
Molly B, Oak Park

What a crew! You’ve made this the week best vacation – you are a very special team , we appreciate all of your pampering.
Susan & John, CA, USA

To all future “bargers” this is a trip of a life-time. Each meal was surpassed by the next.
Melody & Claude

This is probably the most fabulous, luxurious trip I will ever take. I have never eaten so well, relaxed so deeply and enjoyed myself so much.
Sarah S Chicago, IL, USA

This was ‘a magical time with a heavenly crew, dining on glorious food in blissful surroundings’.
Ariene, Baltimore

This day will be added to the savings account of my live because I am proud and happy to have lived it. You have turned that day in to a full week of absolute and total wonder.
Jocelyn, Canada

This past week could not have been more enjoyable or memorable!…Thanks for making this so special for our family.
Jacques & Audrey, Jocelyn – Krista, Weston, CT, USA

A wonderful week of barging, with great weather and delicious food and wines; what a marvelous crew!! Thanks to each of you for your contribution to our week.
Edward & Robin , Dave & Nancy , Gordon & Teresa. MD, USA.

Food and Wine


SAMPLE LUNCH MENU (1)

Cream of asparagus soup with a roasted quail’s breast and poached quail’s egg

Pan fried sea bass with roasted lemon potatoes, beurre blanc sauce, and a salad of peppers, green beans, capers and olives

Cheese Platter

Raspberry mille-feuilles with coconut ice cream

White Wine—
Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru 2010
Domaine Prieur-Brunet

Red Wine—
Nuits St George 1er cru 2000 (Les Damodes)
Domaine Manière-Noirot


SAMPLE LUNCH MENU (2)

Ajo Blanco (White Gazpacho)

Carpaccio of tuna with wasabi ice cream Roast Lamb with a red wine & rosemary jus, mashed potato, ratatouille, cabbage and almonds
Lemon sorbet

Cheese Platter

Sticky toffee gateau, butterscotch sauce and salted Caramel ice cream

White Wine—
Chablis grand cru, 2009 Les Clos
Domaine Alain Geoffroy

Red Wine—
Corton Bressandes Grand cru 2010

WINES Served on Board the C'est La Vie
C’est la Vie will only serve wines which are at their very best, from their own private cellar. In 2017 these will include:

Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru (Domaine Rion)
Chablis Grand Cru ‘Les Clos 2012
Testut Chablis Grand Cru Grenouille 2012
Domaine de la Clapière Gatefer 2012
Moléon Prestige 2012
Irancy Palotte Benoît Cantin 2011
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2012
Veuve Clicquot Champagne Rosé
H Goutorbe Champagne

CHEESES Served on Board the C’est la Vie
As always, in 2017 these will include a marvellous selection of the best France has to offer, and will include the following:

Camembert, Bleu d’Auvergne, Chistera, Comté, Langres, Cour de Gourmand, Tomme de Savoie, Reblochon, Morbier, Pont l’Eveque, Chaource, Munster, Ossau Iraty, St Maure, Roquefort, Gaperon, Soumaintrain, St Nectaire, Cantal, Coulommier, Brillat Savarin, Epoisses, Brebis Basque, Abondance, Fourme D’Ambert and many more…
Dining on the ’C’est La Vie’ is a very gourmet affair and you will be truly spoilt...

Deckplan