Solo barge cruises

Solo barge cruises

23rd March 2024

Bonjour from Port Chalmers.

A recent enquiry from a solo traveller had me searching for a barge cruise with no single supplement.  Our first suggestion is always the 12 passenger LUCIOLE, because they have two single cabins, but sadly no availability in June.  

I did find a possibility on the 8 passenger ROSA, cruising the tranquil Canal de Garonne in south-west France - a lovely region with few boats and peaceful, quaint villages, which remind us of the France we fell in love with 50 years ago.  

European Waterways are still waiving the single supplement on some of their barges, including the ART DE VIVRE for the 4 August cruise on the Nivernais Canal, LA BELLE EPOQUE's 14 July cruise along the Burgundy Canal and LA BELLA VITA for  the 2 June and 15 September cruises between the Venice Lagoon (below) and Mantua on the Po river.  

Other clients have taken advantage of the March special offers on rental boats.  Canalous's has now finished, but Le Boat’s Spring Sale continues until the end of March with a 20-25% discounts off most of their boats in most regions.  Nicols also has 15% reductions for June to August bookings for one week or longer, so talk to us if you are hoping to escape on a self-drive boating holiday.

Lastly, from the archives, here is another review of a restaurant that is still going strong.

"April 2007 - L’AUBERGE DU VIEUX VIGNERON - Burgundy

L’Auberge du Vieux Vigneron (The Old Winemaker’s Inn) in the small wine-making village of Corpeau in Burgundy, is an ideal place for that great French institution, the long Sunday lunch in the country.  The old winemaker in question is Jean-Charles Fagot and the dining room is right above his cellar, handy for a pre-lunch tasting or a post-lunch purchase.  The style of the place and the food is generous and rustic, with hefty wooden beams overhead and hefty plates of traditional regional cooking on the table.  

All the old favourites are on the menu, including a beautiful jambon persillé - chunks of ham in a parsley jelly, which came with a small salad, gherkins and mustard from nearby Dijon.  I followed that with an andouillette - a tripe sausage - grilled over the fire, served with mustard sauce and buttery potato puree.  Then, just to give the cholesterol level an extra boost, I had a creme brulée, full of chunks of pain d’epice, the local gingerbread. 

Robert meanwhile tucked into a generous bowl of confit de gesiers, with a side salad. (Gesiers are chicken or duck gizzards; they look distinctly unappetising sitting on a plastic tray in the market, but once they have been gently stewed in duck fat for several hours, they’re scrumptious.)  After a thick stew of beef cheeks in a rich wine sauce, he toyed with a selection of regional cheeses and a caramelised apple tart.  No Heart Foundation ticks here, but a deliciously simple country meal, made with the best of local and regional ingredients and enhanced by M Fagot’s wines.   Menus at 18 and 26 euros.  


Hope to hear from you soon.

Robert & Barbara