We try to be the best in the business. But only our customers can be the judge of that.

After every cruise we invite our guests to write in our guestbook to tell us what they thought of Le Papillon, the crew, the food and wine, and the places we took then to see.

Here’s what they’ve told us.

Our guests say amazing things about their time on Le Papillon – one or two are so excited they want to relive the whole experience by writing about it in detail. One such, our friend Cindy Gubb, wrote nearly 3,000 words – so we’ve wrapped up her comments in a PDF that you can download and read at your leisure!

We would however like to extract one quote from Cindy’s ‘week in the life of Le Papillon’ treatise:

“If you ever dreamed of a vacation where you don’t have to worry about anything, with a perfect setting, just the right amount of activities, delicious food, great companionship and the most wonderful people to care for you – Le Papillon is for you!”

Download the full story in a pdf (331Kb) Papillon-just-one-week

Thank you Cindy!

Hi Bill,

It has been a month since we returned from France but our memories of our wonderful trip and canal cruise have not faded a bit.  We tell everyone the canal cruise on Le Papillon surpassed every anticipation and expectation we had, and we recommend it to everyone.  I wish we could afford to do it again with family, that would be the ultimate experience.

It was so great to meet you, and as you said, you have the best crew in the world.  They treated everyone (all season I’m sure) as if we were the most important people in their world.

Barbara the perfect hostess, bringing us things we didn’t even know we wanted!!!!  Her wine explanations were unforgettable, especially the ones with Stefan, joking around with her behind the door.

Cedric the perfect Captain, solicitous of us at every turn.  I was out on deck at midnight one night, in the moonlight with a glass of iced Bailey’s.  Night was warm.  As I walked up the steps to the deck I met Cedric who was going to close the hatch, he very sweetly allowed me to sit there until I was finished and then closed up.  I had gone in to sit in the lounge and text and email my kids using the wifi signal.  Heaven.

Stefan was so much fun, and such a great driver!!!!  He made every site come alive and always sounded like it was a new experience for him too!  We loved his sense of humor and his great attention to our needs and desires.

Ollie a fabulous cook, all the meals divine and 5 star.  I really liked the menus, even in French, and then how she explained what everything was and how she had prepared it.

We loved the way the cruise was set up. We could stay on the barge and float through the locks and countryside, get out and walk the towpaths, bicycle into the next town, or take the tours Stefan offered every day.

Fall is here and I bet the trees are beginning to turn along the canals.  Sigh!!!

Ann and David Hurd

We are back home in Oklahoma, USA after a wonderful week last week on Le Papillon. I just wanted to let you know how perfect the week was and how much we appreciated the crew. Each person did an outstanding job and besides that, they were just good company. They all seem to really enjoy being there and catering to our every request!

All good wishes to you, Le Papillon and her outstanding crew.

Donna and William Farrior

Dear Bill, Gareth, Emma and Sarah,

Life without you is a bit of a shock. There is no one explaining the two scrumptious cheeses and red and white wines at lunch. In fact today’s lunch consists of tuna fish, leftover tossed salad and Cheese Head string cheese, the latter a product you’d ban from the barge. But it’s allowed on the South Beach Diet, which I’m on because of Sarah’s fabulous cooking and my excessive wine drinking

What else do I miss? The French-pressed coffee, delectable croissants, jaw- dropping scenery, your delightful British accents, immaculate accommodations, Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries, the gentle breeze up on deck, reading under the umbrella and fascinating side trips with Gareth. I miss Emma saying, “Would you care for an aperitif?”and bringing out amazing hors d’oeuvres.

I miss the creative napkin folding and gorgeous flower arrangements – each time I walked into the dining room I sighed with happiness. I even looked forward to the way the butter was decorated each day.

My body is in withdrawal from being deprived of Sarah’s out-of-this-world kitchen productions. Poached eggs in wine sauce for lunch now that I’m home?

In my dreams. I kid Walt that if he wanted to leave me for Sarah I wouldn’t blame him.

Walt, who is not known to exaggerate, recently described the barge trip to friends as ” stupendous”. It was stupendous, and I want to thank each of you for the many ways you made our stay luxurious and joyful. I can’t imagine a crew more pleasant, kind and thoroughly competent at what they do. Whether Gareth was trying to find us a newspaper in English or arrangements were being made for a French singer to accompany us through the tunnel, you made your guests feel special. Bill, what a master choreographer you are to make it all look so effortless. I can only imagine the hard work and sweat going on behind the scenes.

And while you had the difficult job of maneuvering Le Papillon through countless locks and a tricky tunnel, you remained unruffled and always had time for our questions/requests. I can see why there’s no suggestion box or post-trip survey; how could life get any better than this? You have given us a family vacation that eclipses all other family vacations, and we’ve had some exceptional adventures. We’re grateful to all of you, and we miss you.

Feel free to use me as a reference if a prospective guest wants to talk to someone who has been fortunate enough to barge through Burgundy with you.


Wendy B, New York