Road Scholar : Home
Burgundy Canal Voyage: The Heart of France by Barge

Program Number: 21393RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/23/2014 - 10/2/2014; 4/19/2016 - 4/28/2016;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,595.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Barge Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Board a “hotel barge” exclusively chartered for a small Road Scholar group to experience the storied French region of Burgundy. Burgundy is famously home to some of the world’s most renowned vineyards but it has much more to offer: charming villages, artistic masterpieces and wonderful rural and forest landscapes. The canals the barge travels are like quiet back roads that give an up-close perspective on the land. Begin your journey with two nights in Paris.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain and cobblestones.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Paris, 2 nights; aboard Jeanine, 6 nights.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-3: Arrival Paris (France):

Join a local expert to discover the ile de la Cite, the medieval heart of Paris, including Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle. Enjoy some free time to take a stroll or visit one of the city’s famous museums. Lodging: Stylish Latin Quarter hotel.

Day 4: Train to Dijon / embark Jeanine:

Take the high-speed train to Dijon, the capital of Burgundy. Visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts, housed in the lavish Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, before boarding the barge.

Day 5: Petit-Ouges:

The Burgundy Canal carries you to Petit-Ouges, where you depart the ship for a journey through legendary vineyards on the Route des Grands Crus. Learn why the wines produced here are treasured worldwide.

Day 6: Saint-Jean-de-Losne:

A prime location at a crossroads of waterways has made Saint-Jean-de-Losne a prosperous trading town through the centuries. Experience its charm and history on foot.

Day 7: Chalon-sur-Saône:

Absorb the beauty around you as the barge navigates the Saône River. Take a shore excursion to Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy and the site of the premier annual wine auction in France.

Day 8: Chagny / Santenay:

Sail along the Canal du Centre, opened in 1792 to link the north and south by water. In the village of Santenay, meet a vintner who teaches you about the winemaking process (complete with a tasting).

Day 9: Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune:

Savor a driving excursion through the hilly, picturesque Burgundy countryside. Back on the barge, sail for Saint-Léger and enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.

Day 10: Disembark / coach to Lyon for departure

La Jeanine

This comfortable two-deck barge was fully renovated in 2013. It can accommodate up to 22 Road Scholar participants on an exclusive sailing. Each cabin has a window, private bath with shower, TV and independent temperature control. Amenities include a spacious lounge with a bar, a sun deck and a Jacuzzi. Bicycles are available for you to borrow.

Meals and Lodgings
   Villa Montparnasse
  Paris, France 2 nights
   MS Jeanine
  Dijon, France
Longecourt-en-Plaine, France
St. Jean de Losne, France
Seurre, France
Verdun sur le Doubs, France
Chalon sur Saone, France
6 nights
 Villa Montparnasse
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Villa Montparnasse is a quaint hotel on the left bank of the Seine. The colonial-style residence is located in the 19th century intellectual elite neighborhood opposite the famed Montparnasse Cemetery and next to the apartment where Simone de Beauvoir lived. This hotel is both charming and comfortable and is one block from a pedestrian street featuring restaurants and shops. It is within walking distance of two different metro lines both with direct access to the main monuments of Paris.
  Contact info: 2, rue Boulard
Paris,  75014 France
phone: +33 (0)1 56 80 34 34
  Room amenities: In each room there is satellite TV, air conditioning, a mini-bar and a safe.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour front desk with English-speaking staff, bar / lounge, laundry service, smoke-free environment. Wifi is available in the lobby. Participants should be aware that hotel rooms in Paris are often considerably smaller than hotel rooms in the United States.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MS Jeanine
Type: Riverboat
  Ship Information: Entirely renovated in April 2013, the MS Jeanine is one of the most modern barges in operation today. There are 12 cabins and each are 97 sq. ft.
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourg,   France
phone: +Nopublicphoneforthebarge
  Room amenities: Each cabin has a window and is equipped with private en-suite facilities (shower and WC), hairdryer, TV, radio, telephone (for internal calls only), safe and independant air-conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The MS Jeanine has a spacious lounge with bar, restaurant, sun deck with loungers and parasols, a barbecue deck,a jacuzzi at the prow of the barge, bicycles on board available for use by passengers and free wifi.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: No pre or post nights 

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program starts with orientation at the hotel in Paris at 5 p.m. You will be staying at Villa Montparnasse that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast and disembarkation (no later than 9 AM) followed by a coach transfer to the Lyon (LYS) airport. You will be staying at MS Jeanine the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
No parking is available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  Transportation to site: A transfer from the Charles de Gaulle Airport to the hotel is organized on the arrival day. For those arriving a day or more earlier, a taxi from the airport to the hotel is suggested or you may book Parishuttle. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers a discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. Use the website below to take advantage of these rates and book your transfers for arrival and departure from Paris. You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher. (Please note when using this link that the website does not indicate that the prices are discounted.)
  From End of Program
  Location:  Chalon sur Saone
  Transportation from site: A group transfer from the barge docking area to the Lyon Airport is organized on the departure day. The time will be determined based on final flight schedule but is likely to be in the early morning. Indepedent travelers may join the group transfer or may take a taxi to Chalons-sur-Saone and then take the TGV to Lyon. Please visit for more details.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the USA
(Tuesday, September 23)
 In Transit: International flights to France.

Day 2: Arrival Paris and Orientation
(Wednesday, September 24)
 Morning: Arrivals in Paris and transfers to the program hotel.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and take some time to settle in and relax before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant near the hotel.
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Discovering Paris' L'île de la Cité: Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sainte Chapelle
(Thursday, September 25)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles in the morning over cobblestone streets. This day also includes use of the Paris metro. This underground public transportation system is accessed by going up and down flights of stairs; elevators or escalators are NOT available in the majority of stations.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning walk and metro ride to L'île de la Cité, the historical heart of Paris. With your local expert, explore the two best examples of Gothic architecture: the Sainte Chapelle and the beautiful famed Notre Dame Cathedral.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in the historic center of Paris.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to discover the parts of Paris you have not yet seen or spend time in either the Musée d'Orsay or the Louvre.
 Dinner: On your own.
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: TGV to Discover Dijon
(Friday, September 26)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles in Dijon as well as carrying luggage on and off the train.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will transfer to the train station and take the TGV (High Speed Train) to Dijon.
 Lunch: On arrival in Dijon.
 Afternoon: We will explore Dijon by foot and make our way to the Fine Arts Museum, which is the old Dukes of Burgundy Palace. Later in the afternoon, we will embark the MS Jeanine.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the MS Jeanine.
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Route des Grands Crus
(Saturday, September 27)

Note: Today's activities include walking in the vineyards and the wine caves with no railings.

 Breakfast: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Morning: As we sail along the Burgundy Canal, learn about the wines of Burgundy.
 Lunch: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Afternoon: Explore the touristic Grands Crus wine route which passes through villages and the finest and most prestigious of the Burgundy vineyards. We will stop in one of the region's many wine manufacturing estates to enjoy a wine tasting session.
 Dinner: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Evening: Join in a game of French trivia.
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: St. Jean-de-Losne
(Sunday, September 28)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles in the morning over cobblestone streets.

 Breakfast: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Morning: As we sail towards St. Jean-de-Losne, learn more about the intriguing history of Burgundy.
 Lunch: On board MS Jeanine.
 Afternoon: We will take a tour of St. Jean-de-Losne, the first most inland marina in France. We will explore monuments that tell the story of the city's prestigious past, such as the monument commemorating the Siege of 1636, and the Hôtel-Dieu, which was a charitable hospital founded in 1658 and is surrounded by intricately wrought iron railings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. You will also discover the Gare d'Eau (Water Station), which was created so that wooden rafts could be built and floated to the south of France or Paris via the Burgundy Canal. Our visit will continue with a tour of the Gothic-style Church of St John the Baptist, built in brick during the 16th century, and the Batellerie Museum, also known as the Sailors' House (closed on Mondays), one of the oldest houses in the town, which traces the history of canal navigation. We' will end our tour at the Town Hall where we have the chance to taste local specialties from Burgundy, such as Jambon Persillé (marbled ham), Gruyère, and “Gaudes” cakes - all washed down with a Kir or non-alcoholic cocktail made from blackcurrant juice.
 Dinner: On board MS Jeanine.
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Chalon-sur-Saône
(Monday, September 29)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestone streets.

 Breakfast: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Morning: As we sail towards Seurre, we will continue our discussion on Burgundy. Enjoy some time on deck to watch the picturesque scenery as you sail the Saône river.
 Lunch: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Afternoon: We will set off on a tour of Chalon-sur-Saône, birthplace of Joseph Nicéphore Niepce, one of the inventors of photography. In the Old Town, you will find half-timbered houses built between the 15th and 17th centuries, the restored facade of St Vincent's cathedral, and classical mansions dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Our tour will continue in the town center, where we will have a tasting session of wine from the Côte Chalonnaise.
 Dinner: On board the MS Jeanine.
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cirque du Bout du Monde
(Tuesday, September 30)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Morning: Enjoy a presentation led by your Study Leader as your barge cruises to Verdun-sur-le-Doubs
 Lunch: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach to Nolay, where we will find our trailhead for an optional hike to the Cirque du Bout du Monde, a Natura 2000 natural site. You will discover the imposing chalk cliffs carved out by the Cozanne River, which created a blind valley, where a waterfall over 80 feet high adds a touch of wonder. We will return to Nolay on foot and set off by coach for Mont de Sène (Mountain of the Three Crosses), an ancient Celtic religious site which overlooks the Santenay vineyards from a height of over 1,700 feet high. Classified as a “nature park," it is characterized by its rustic plants and wild shrubs. From this spot there are amazing panoramic views of the surrounding main peaks and valleys, including the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, the Saône Valley, Morvan, Jura and the Alps.
 Dinner: On board the MS Jeanine.
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Santenay
(Wednesday, October 1)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Morning: We will head off to the center of Santenay, a charming little wine-producing village. Enjoy a wine tasting session at one of the 38 wine producers in the village.
 Lunch: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Afternoon: We will cruise towards Chalons-sur-Saone. Enjoy the final presentation led by your Study Leader.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the MS Jeanine.
Accommodations: MS Jeanine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Departure from Lyon LYS aiport to Return to the USA
(Thursday, October 2)
 Breakfast: On board the MS Jeanine.
 Morning: Disembark in Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune and continue by coach to Lyon LYS airport (1.5 hour transfer) for your flights home. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Paris Musee Jacquemart-Andre
The Jacquemart-André Museum, founded by collector Édouard André and his portraitist wife Nélie Jacquemart, is in an opulent mid-19th-century residence on one of Paris’ posher avenues. It has furniture, tapestries and enamels, but is most noted for its paintings by Rembrandt and Van Dyck and Italian Renaissance works by Bernini, Botticelli, Carpaccio, Donatello, Mantegna, Tintoretto, Titian and Uccello. Don’t miss the Jardin d’Hiver (Winter Garden), with its marble statuary, tropical plants and double-helix marble staircase. Just off it is the delightful fumoir (the erstwhile smoking room) filled with exotic objects collected by Jacquemart during her travels. The salon de thé is one of the most beautiful in the city. For additional information, visit
  Musee National du Moyen Age
The National Museum of the Middle Ages is housed in two structures: the frigidarium (cooling room) and other remains of Gallo-Roman baths dating from around AD 200, and the late-15th-century Hôtel de Cluny, considered the finest example of medieval civil architecture in Paris. The spectacular displays at the museum include statuary, illuminated manuscripts, weapons, furnishings, and objets d’art made of gold, ivory and enamel. But nothing compares with La Dame à la Licorne (The Lady with the Unicorn), a sublime series of late-15th-century tapestries from the southern Netherlands now hung in circular room 13 on the 1st floor. Five of them are devoted to the senses, while the sixth is the enigmatic À Mon Seul Désir (To My Sole Desire), a reflection on vanity. For additional information, visit
  Musee de L’Orangerie
Located in the southwestern corner of the Jardin des Tuileries, this museum, with the Jeu de Paume, is all that remains of the once palatial Palais des Tuileries, which was razed during the Paris Commune in 1871. It exhibits important Impressionist works, including a series of Monet's Decorations des Nymphéas (Water Lilies) in two huge oval rooms purpose-built in 1927 on the artist's instructions, as well as works by Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Sisley, Soutine and Utrillo. For additional information, visit
  Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
The rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is a street in the 8th arrondissement. Although relatively narrow and nondescript (especially in comparison to the avenue des Champs-Élysées), it is cited as being one of the most fashionable streets in the world, thanks to the presence of virtually every major global fashion house.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768