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  • 'SAVOIR FAIRE'

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  • Sample Itineraries
    Holland Tulip Cruise itinerary (Haarlem to Haarlem)
    Cruise route map
    (Click to enlarge)

    Sunday, Day
    Haarlem to Leiden
    You are met in Amsterdam and transferred to Savoir Faire, moored at Haarlem. Once aboard your Captain and host welcomes you with a champagne welcome and an introduction to your crew and hotel barge. We cruise to Leiden, where we moor overnight. This evening enjoy your first dinner on board.

    Monday, Day 2
    Leiden to Delft
    After breakfast, enjoy a peaceful cruise along the canals out of Leiden and through the oldest lock in Holland at Leidschendam. After lunch, we drive to the world famous Keukenhof Gardens with the largest display of flowers in the world. Here you will see hundreds of varieties of tulips, hyacinths and other beautiful bulbous plants. Return to the hotel barge for a cruise into Delft.

    Tuesday, Day 3
    Delft to Gouda
    After breakfast, we take a walking tour of the Delft Royal Porcelain Factory, where beautiful hand painted ceramics are still made. We then take a stroll around the cobbled streets of Delft before joining the hotel barge to begin your cruise through the busy port of Rotterdam and onto Gouda. Dinner on board.

    Wednesday, Day 4
    Gouda to Uithoorn
    This morning your tour guide will escort you through the streets of medieval Gouda, where you will see the most famous of all stained glass windows in Holland. A leisurely stroll through town is a must, with its "Disneyesque" main square and small boutiques. After lunch we cruise through towns clinging to the canal sides to our overnight mooring at Uithoorn. Dinner on board.

    Thursday, Day 5
    Uithoorn to Zaandam
    Today we begin our cruise along the winding Amstel River into Amsterdam and then through the very heart of this enchanting city, where small canals and unique architecture take you back to a bygone era. You can literally reach out and touch the passers-by. Leaving Amsterdam we join the mighty North Sea Canal and head west towards our overnight mooring at Zaandam. After lunch your tour guide drives you to Zaans Schans with its clog maker and working windmills. Dinner on board.

    Friday, Day 6
    Zaandam to Haarlem
    Our final cruise takes us to Haarlem, a town of exceptional beauty with its main square, once used for jousting and the famous Frans Hals Museum. There will be plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful place and to shop around its many boutiques. Tonight is the Captain Farewell Dinner.

    Saturday, Day 7
    Haarlem

    We end the cruise with a hearty breakfast and a fond farewell from your crew and then transfer you back to Amsterdam.

    Note: This is a sample itinerary. Itineraries are flexible and subject to change

    6 night 'Holland to Belgium cruise' (Amsterdam to Bruges)
    Cruise route map
    (Click to enlarge)

    Sunday, Day 1
    Ouderkerk
    Guests are met in Amsterdam and driven to the Savoir Faire for a champagne welcome and a cruise through the heart of the city to the quaint little town of Ouderkerk. Dinner on board.

    Monday, Day 2
    Ouderkerk to Gouda
    Morning cruise along the canals to the town of Gouda, famous for its cheese. Afternoon visit to the Keukenhof Gardens, the largest display of flowers in the world. Here you will see hundreds of varieties of tulips, hyacinths and other bulbs. After we return to the Savoir Faire there will be time for a stroll around Gouda, where we will find the most magnificent stained glass windows in Holland. Dinner on board

    Tuesday, Day 3
    Gouda to Wilemstad
    A cruise out of Gouda to the River Ijssel and across the Holland’s Diep, part of the Dutch estuaries, to the charming old fortress town of Wilemstad. This town is preserved in its original state, with windmill dykes, an old church and a 15th century arsenal. There will be an optional visit to the famous Delta Project, which is one of the greatest feats of water engineering in the world involving damming the great estuaries. Dinner on board.

    Wednesday, Day 4
    Wilemstad to Antwerp
    Today we will leave Holland and cross the border into Belgium and travel to Antwerp. Antwerp is the city of Rubens, where we can take a tour of Rubens' house, then a walk in the old quarter of this beautiful Flemish city. Dinner on board.

    Thursday, Day 4
    Antwerp to Ghent
    We catch the flood tide up the winding "Sea Schelde", which takes us to the town of Ghent. You will have plenty of time to visit this beautiful town in the afternoon. Dinner on board.

    Friday, Day 6
    Ghent to Bruges
    You cannot pass through this part of the world without a visit to the beautiful little town of Bruges, known as the "Venice of the North". The chef will pack a picnic lunch, so there will be plenty of time to explore the many museums, buy some of the handmade lace or take a boat trip in the small canals that wander through the town. Re-join the Savoir Faire in late afternoon to cruise along the River Schelde to the French/Belgian frontier. Captains Farewell Dinner on board.

    Saturday, Day 7
    Bruges
    After breakfast depart the hotel barge and transfer into Bruges.

    Note: This is a sample itinerary. Itineraries are flexible and subject to change

    11 night 'Belgium to France cruise' (Bruges to Paris or reverse)
    Cruise route map
    (Click to enlarge)

    Sunday, Day 1
    Bruges
    You are met in Bruges for the transfer to the hotel barge, moored in the very picturesque town of Bruges. Lovingly referred to as the "Venice of the North", Bruges is laced with small canals and magnificent squares. Deserving of the UNESCO World Heritage Site award it has received, our guests are continually delighted by this gem. After a champagne welcome and some delicious canapes, your tour guide will arrange a canal boat ride, so you can see the architecture from a different perspective. Dinner on board.

    Monday, Day 2
    Bruges to Ghent
    After a hearty breakfast, your tour guide will escort you on a walking tour of Bruges to explore the many architectural wonders of this town. We then return to the hotel barge for lunch, after which you will have time to explore and shop on your own - lace is a speciality of Bruges. Later we begin our afternoon cruise to Ghent. Dinner on board.

    Tuesday, Day 3
    Ghent to Oudenaarde
    This morning your guide will escort you into Ghent. Our visit includes the magnificent cathedral with its fabulous painting 'The Mystic Lamb', painted by the Van Eck brothers. There's also an assortment of fantastic boutiques nearby. Upon returning to the hotel barge for lunch, we begin our cruise up the River Schelde to the town of Oudenaarde, where we will moor for the night. Dinner on board.

    Wednesday, Day 4
    Oudenaarde to Tournai
    A gentle morning cruise further up the River Schelde will take us past sleepy hamlets and rolling landscapes to the ancient town of Tournai, with its famous 'Pont des Trous' (Bridge with holes). We shall also explore the wonderful square with its ancient and fascinating clock tower. Dinner on board.

    Thursday, Day 5
    Tournai to Arleux
    We continue along the River Schelde as it winds its way through the town of Valenciennes to the busy junction of Canal du Nord at the little French village of Arleux. This sleepy town is the meeting place of many of the barges setting south towards France. Along the way we will drive to the bustling town of Valenciennes to visit the Museum of Fine Arts. Dinner on board.

    Friday, Day 6
    Arleux to Cambrai
    This morning we begin our climb over the Vermandois Hills of Picardie, through the many deep locks and several tunnels of the Canal du Nord, one of which is over 3 miles long. The scenery is spectacular, giving you the opportunity to see rural France at its best. Well maintained towpaths follow alongside the canal that allow for great walking and cycling. After lunch, we have a real treat in store with an excursion to Amiens, to visit what must be one of the greatest of all Gothic cathedrals in France, with its towering spires and magnificent columns. This is one of the "not to be missed" items on any visit to France. Dinner on board.

    Saturday, Day 7
    Cambrai to Peronne
    After breakfast you can visit the war museum in Peronne. Return to the hotel barge and continue our journey along the Canal du Nord. There will be plenty of opportunities to walk or bike while the hotel barge travels from lock to lock. The cruise now continues along the Canal du Nord, as it drops down into the valley of the Somme River before climbing over another watershed. The landscape unfolds revealing a part of France tourists rarely see. Dinner on board.

    Sunday, Day 8
    Peronne to Compiegne
    Today we will cruise down to the Oise River valley to moor in the busy riverside town of Compiegne, with its Royal Palace and huge square. There are many places to visit, including the train where the World War I Armistice was signed. Shops abound everywhere, giving you the opportunity to see how the local people live. Dinner on board.

    Monday, Day 9
    Compiegne to Auvers sur Oise
    The Oise River Valley is truly beautiful. Our cruise today takes to Auvers sur Oise, where we moor for an opportunity to explore this charming Van Gogh scene. This is where he lived and painted many of his last and most important paintings and where he stayed in a small room above a local cafe. We will have an afternoon walk around the town and visit the cemetery, where Vincent and his brother are buried. Dinner on board

    Tuesday, Day 10
    Auvers-sur-Oise to Conflans
    Today we are off on a day excursion to Giverny to visit the home and gardens of Claude Monet, probably the most famous of all the Impressionist painters. Your chef will prepare a delicious picnic lunch to be taken in the gardens of Giverny. During your walk you will see the famous 'Lily Pond' and the 'Japanese Bridge' that inspired so many of his paintings. We will moor for the night in Conflans, which is the junction of the Oise and Seine Rivers. It is here that many of the commercial skippers retire, thus the reason for so many vessels moored alongside the quays. Dinner on board.

    Wednesday, Day 11
    Conflans to Bougival to Paris
    In the morning we will cruise up the mighty River Seine to Bougival and visit Malmaison, the home of Napoleon. We will see its many lavishly decorated rooms furnished by Josephine. We will rejoin the Savoir Faire for an evening cruise through Paris, past the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral into the 'Port d'Arsenal' adjacent to the Bastille for a Farewell Captains Dinner on board.

    Thursday, Day 12
    Paris
    We end the cruise with a hearty breakfast and a fond farewell from your crew and then transfer you into Paris.

    Note: This is a sample itinerary. Itineraries are flexible and subject to change

    Champagne cruise itinerary (Paris to Epernay or reverse)
    Cruise route map
    (Click to enlarge)

    Sunday, Day 1
    Paris
    Guests are met in Paris and transferred to Savoir Faire moored at the Port d'Arsenal, in the heart of Paris. Your Captain welcomes you aboard and introduces you to the crew and then we enjoy an afternoon cruise through Paris. Your crew will serve champagne and canapes on deck as we cruise past the monuments and romantic bridges of this delightful city. Dinner on board..

    Monday, Day 2
    Paris to Meaux
    A morning cruise out of Paris onto the River Marne. After lunch, you visit the magnificent Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte and its gardens, location of the film "The Man in the Iron Mask". Re-join the Savoir Faire in Meaux in time for a stroll along the river bank before dinner on board.

    Tuesday, Day 3
    Meaux to La Ferte
    A morning tour of Meaux, the capital of Brie de Meaux, a delicious creamy cheese exported throughout the world. Here we visit the Cathedral and a local cheese supplier. We then cruise to La Ferte where we moor overnight. Dinner on board.

    Wednesday, Day 4
    La Ferte to Chateau Thierry
    We are now in the heart of the Champagne region, as we cruise upstream to Charly-sur-Marne. We visit one of the small family vineyards, to taste their wonderful champagne and visit their cellars. Lunch is followed by an afternoon an idyllic cruise to Chateau Thierry, the scene of American battles in World War I. (Optional visit to Belleau Wood battlefield). Dinner on board.

    Thursday, Day 5
    Chateau Thierry to Damery
    The River Marne winds its way through vine-covered hills dotted with small wine villages, to the delightful little town of Damery. After lunch we visit the vast cellars of Moet et Chandon for a private tasting, followed by a stroll around Epernay. Dinner on board.

    Friday, Day 6
    Damery to Cumieres
    After breakfast, we cruise the last stretch of the River Marne before arriving at our mooring in Cumieres. Visit the outside of the Abbey of Hautvilliers where the monk Dom Perignon first made champagne. After lunch, we drive to the majestic Reims Cathedral, where the Kings of France were crowned. Cocktails on deck, surrounded by stunning scenery - what could be better! Captains Farewell Dinner on board.

    Saturday, Day 7
    Cumieres
    After breakfast, transfer back to Paris.

    On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary is subject to change

    Upper Loire cruise itinerary (Rogny to Marseilles or reverse)
    Cruise route map
    (Click to enlarge)

    Sunday, Day 1
    Marseilles-lès-Aubigny

    Guests are met at 2.00pm in Paris and transferred to Savoir Faire, moored at Marseilles-lès-Aubigny, once a busy little port for small working barges, or “Berrichons”. After a champagne welcome and an introduction to the crew, you are free to enjoy an aperitif on deck and perhaps a stroll along the canal towpath, before your first of many splendid dinners on board.

    Monday, Day 2
    Marseilles-lès-Aubigny to Passy

    This morning, we visit Apremont-sur-Allier to tour the stunning Floral Park inspired by the landscape gardens of England. We also explore the medieval village of Apremont, with its pink-stoned houses, listed as one of the “loveliest villages in France”. Upon our return to the hotel barge, we embark on our first cruise to the little rural hamlet of Passy. Dinner on board.

    Tuesday, Day 3
    Passy to Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre

    After breakfast, we continue our gentle cruise along the canal to our mooring at Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre. After lunch we drive the short distance to the attractive town of La Charité-sur-Loire, an important site of Burgundian Romanesque art. The Clunisian ensemble of La Charité was a hugely important spiritual centre in the early Middle Ages and a renowned stopping place for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Dinner on board.

    Wednesday, Day 4
    Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre to Léré

    This morning, our cruise takes us further along the canal and we moor at the village of Léré. In the afternoon, we visit the hilltop village of Sancerre with its wonderful views over the Loire valley and visit a winery such as the family-run Henri Bourgeois, which produces fine Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé wines, for a tour and private tasting. Dinner on board.

    Thursday, Day 5
    Léré to Châtillon-sur-Loire

    Today we visit the beautiful Château de Saint Fargeau, a handsome, moated château with a history spanning 1,000 years. Returning to the Savoir Faire for lunch, we cruise through delightful countryside to Châtillon-sur-Loire with plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle along the ever-present towpath. Dinner on board.

    Friday, Day 6
    Châtillon-sur-Loire to Rogny-Les-Sept-Ecluses

    This morning, we cruise along the canal towards Gustav Eiffels’s magnificent 662 metre aqueduct, the Pont Canal de Briare, which connects the Canal Latéral à la Loire to the Canal du Briare. After lunch, we take a short drive to Gien, home of the famous Faience pottery, then return to the hotel barge to descend the flight of locks at Rogny-Sept-Ecluses to our final mooring. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

    Saturday, Day 7
    Rogny-Sept-Ecluses

    After breakfast, disembark Savoir Faire and transfer to Paris.

    On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary is subject to change

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    The Barge Cruise Company Ltd, 2 Allée de Castelnouvel, 31490 Léguevin
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