An Intense Taste of Burgundy

Day 1, Sunday: Weʼll be on the platform of Dijon train station to meet you as you step off your fast TGV from Paris. 30 minutes later youʼll be enjoying a Champagne welcome on the Papillon and meeting her crew. After time to settle in our chef will serve a delicious four course dinner on board.

Day 2, Monday: Who wouldn’t skip their croissant so as to get to the Gaugry fromagerie by 9:30am? This is when the building is at its busiest as the daily arrival of 9000 litres of raw milk starts the journey towards perfection in the form of one of Franceʼs greatest cheeses, namely ʻEpoisses’. For breakfast we taste five Burgundy cheeses with a glass of red wine in the oak panelled bar inside this former headquarters of ʻRicardʼ. The building, an icon of sixties architecture, houses an irresistible cheese shop! Back on the road, we follow the ʻroute des grands crusʼ passing through world famous vineyards and villages such as Clos de Vougeot, Nuits-St-Georges and Aloxe-Corton before arriving in Beaune. First stop will be for a private tour of the family owned Fallot mustard mill, undoubtedly the finest mustard in France. After the tour, a 10 minute walk will find us inside ʻMa Cuisineʼ in the heart of Beaune for a delicious lunch – the style here in Pierre and Fabienne Escoffierʼs bistro is light yet with intense flavours featuring many regional dishes along with a wine list for the most discerning palette. An afternoon stroll through the cobbled streets of this elegant town will offer a showcase of magnificent tiled roofs, a Flemish influence introduced by the Dukes of Burgundy. Returning to Papillon weʼll cruise to the picturesque village of La Bussière where dinner will be served on board.

Day 3, Tuesday: Eiffelʼs fabulous iron building will be bustling in central Dijon this morning as itʼs market day. We wander around with the chef choosing the freshest ingredients. The array of fresh produce is extraordinary. Naturally this is your chance to help shape the meals that will come out of Papillonʼs galley…..plus there will be time for that croissant and coffee with the locals! The streets around the market square contain a wealth of antique shops and a short walking circuit allows you to admire Rue Liberté, the facade of the Ducal Palace and touch the famous ‘chouetteʼ for good luck! Lunch will be served on Papillon as we cruise through the Ouche valley. Our afternoon will include a walk or bike ride along the towpath, or perhaps a relaxing nap on the deck as rural France glides by. Once moored, your captain will host an informal wine tasting, selecting prized bottles from Le Papillon’s cellar. Then, as one of the nearby châteaux closes its doors to the public, we will be allowed in for a private tour of the stunning grounds – quite a privilege! A sumptuous culinary spread awaits you in the orangerie.

Day 4, Wednesday: Cruise this morning and tie-up with a magnificent view of the castle of Châteauneuf, parts of which date back to the early 12th century. Weʼll have time to explore the village (ranked as one of the most beautiful in the whole of France) and the château before heading into the small town of Pouilly-en-Auxois. Our destination here is a secret bakery which supplies a handful of organic shops – we will be able to squeeze in, chat with the baker before she takes her siesta and grab a few red hot loaves straight from the oven. Back on Papillon for lunch we cruise to the summit of the canal – the final pretty locks will bring us to an altitude of 1,232 feet above sea level, the highest point by water between the Mediterranean and the English Channel and Atlantic Ocean. In this part of Burgundy, the Auxois, a small but vivid revival of wine making is underway. There are currently only 3 vineyards in the Auxois and the smallest and best one is close by. Weʼll walk amongst the vines, help with the picking if itʼs harvest time and then enjoy a sample back in the village amongst the barrels. Two villages away we can make a stop at a foie gras farm and pick up the makings of an extra course for tonightʼs festive farewell dinner.

Day 5, Thursday: A continental breakfast of fruits, cereals and pastries will be served before a crew member accompanies you to the train station in Dijon. It’s never goodbye but ‘à la prochaine fois’-until next time!

‘An Intense Taste of Burgundy’ 2017 Tariffs

Boat chartered with six passengers


Price includes return door to door transfers with our private minibus from your hotel in Paris, five nights accommodation and four days of cruising, all food and wine with an open bar, land based excursions and entrance fees.

Not included are travel and cancellation insurance, airfares, green fees, jeep rides, hot air balloon flights and crew gratuities.

We accept the following payment cards.


“Cruising on the Papillon is always a pleasure.
One could consider it decadent with the great food, service and accommodations! We have been on-board multiple times, in Burgundy and in Bordeaux, and have always had great opportunities to visit interesting places. The Captain and the Chef are always the finest, and the support folks are very good and friendly. We recommend a trip very highly.”

Albertine and John Stenbit