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Winery visits by water in France

Port Saint Lucie...
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Winery visits by water in France

We are going to be driving around France next April and early May of next year. We might be coming in from Amsterdam. We are interested in going for a 3 to 5 day journey by water to visit wineries and small villages. Can anyone suggest a a company which does this reasonably. We will turn our car in before this part of our vacation.

Lewes, United...
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1. Re: Winery visits by water in France

OK, stimeysmom, you got me there! Posting on a road trips forum for wineries accessed from the water!!! Don't you know you shouldn't water down your wine!

I have driven around much of France and have visited several wine regions, so I do know a bit about what you're after. What's more, I have also enjoyed several canal trips on French waterways. However, where I'm struggling is to suggest a precise match to your request.

Firstly, I know of no organisation which specialises in offering wine visits from the water. We have visited the odd winery as part of our canal trips, and have passes by many vineyards as we have cruised along, but the winery buildings, usually where you have to go to taste and see the wine making processes, are not accessed from the water as they tend to be near roads which is how they transport all the wine from the wineries.

Canals which go right through wine growing regions include the Canal de Bourgogne in Burgundy - including much of the Chablis sub-region. The Canal du Nivernais near Auxerre also passed through a fewBurgundy wine sub-regions.

The Canal du Midi goes through lots of minor wine areas, the generic Languedoc-Rousillon and Minervois around Carcassonne for example, at its easterly end. At the west, and along the part of the River Garonne that inland navigation is allowed, you have the main Bordeaux wine region, but I've never visited any winery there that happens to be right beside the water with a facility to moor a boat that I've noted.

For websites, in English, for just canal boat rentals, try the following

www.hoseasons.co.uk

www.leboat.co.uk/destination/france

boatingholidays.com/france-boating-holidays

The only company I know of, which I have actually used a long, long time ago, that specialises in wine tasting vacations are:

www.arblasterandclarke.com

However, they are seriously expensive!

I would also say that Burgundy and its canals are far prettier than many other French wine regions, IMHO just from the vacation point of view. And the villages and scenery in Burgundy in general are fabulous, but also don't miss the Morvan regional park.

If you want other specific info, just ask.

Also, of course, once you've homed in on a region in France, there are many local forums for France where the local experts can offer more details and know particular place more in depth than my knowledge reaches, as I have tended to visit a different part of Franch each trip - but we've been doing it for 35 years, and will be there in 6 weeks again ....

SWT

Port Saint Lucie...
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2. Re: Winery visits by water in France

I admit it was strange to post this on roadtrips. Thanks so much for the info.We just went on a river cruise down the Nile(during the revolution) and we liked the pace of it. We are also thinking of the drinking and driving issue with the car and all. The wineries are where they are,I suppose. Thanks so much for your help. I'm sure I'll be contacting you again if it's ok.

Lewes, United...
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3. Re: Winery visits by water in France

I've just realilsed you may have meant a boat trip where somebody else does the navigation and catering as in a cruise, rather than the equivalent of a bare boat rental! The links I provided above are for self catering rentals, not cruises. I'll revert later with cruise links, but we've never done this on French waterways as we prefer to meet the locals and practice our French. There are a few around, but mostly on the larger, more commercial canals as the cruise boats are larger. The small, rural canals are prettier and don't get the commercial traffic, but also don't get the cruise boats.

I was only teasing regarding your choice of forum, please, by all means ask away any queries you may have about your whole plans for driving and boating in Europe, and we will try and help. Perhaps, if you post your whole itinerary or rough plans we can make some suggestions to put it together.

You were brave to be in Egypt during the major events. Our own experience, during a less dramatic period of unrest was that the tourists were very well protected with high security, as we were considered a valuable asset!

SWT

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: Winery visits by water in France

The cruising company websites, as promised:

afloatinfrance.com/web/…

These people specifically have a wine tasting cruise in Burgundy.

freewheelafloat.com/hotelbarges/index.html

www.southernfrancebargecruises.com/…

http://www.hotelbarges.co.uk/

www.cruisingholidays.co.uk/river/index.htm

These people cover river cruises across the whole of Europe and do cover some French rivers and waterways.

As you will see from the above, there are no bargain options, just different degrees of expensiver - perhaps that's why we've never done them!

SWT

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Winery visits by water in France

Hi

Can't help much on this. Yes, that Nile cruise is awesome. We did this in 2009 (week on the Nile). From Amsterdam maybe Rhine cruises to Germany and there also are Mosel cruises I'v seen but it's not in France. Those Mosel cruises brings you to a lot of wineries and great little villages. Don't use a car in Amsterdam. Parking is very expensive. You can park at the fringe of the city and use public transport. Hope weather is the same next year as it is right now and you'll have a blast in Amsterdam.

Tet

Port Saint Lucie...
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6. Re: Winery visits by water in France

Thanks so much. Are you near Amsterdam now? We are from Florida so we know and enjoy good weather. Thanks for your help.

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Winery visits by water in France

I live app. 125 kms from Amsterdam. No, weather is not like in Florida. Yesterday it was 77F, today is 63. SWT also knows all about weatherchanges in this part of the world ... Nevertheless, srping is a nice time. Coming next year maybe try to visit The Keukenhof not far from Amsterdam. world66.com/europe/…gallery

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8. Re: Winery visits by water in France

I've just booked a wine tour of France using a company called Grape Escapes for my parents.

http://www.grapeescapes.net/

They pick you up - do all the driving etc and there is a wide range of price - from luxury to basic. I don't know if they do canal tours though.

We were recommended them by a friend who said they were excellent.

Port Saint Lucie...
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9. Re: Winery visits by water in France

Thanks so much. It sounds like a great tip.

10. Re: Winery visits by water in France

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