No.15 - The Glorious Yonne
This cruise-and-tour package will operate by coach from Folkestone with three full days of cruising complemented by two days of unhurried excursions on the coach, and a free day to relax and explore in Auxerre.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Our coach departs Folkestone in the morning and after a pause for lunch in or near to Reims it is scheduled to arrive at our hotel in Appoigny ( a few km north of Auxerre) around 18:00 in time for dinner.
We join the coach and travel the short distance into Auxerre, where we board the Natalia and cruise all day downstream as far as the medieval town of Joigny. Our 31km cruise takes us through the waterway villages of Monétau and Gurgy before we pass the junction with the Canal de Bourgogne at Migennes and continue to conclude for the day in Joigny. There are 11 locks on the day.
We make a morning visit to the UNESCO listed Abbaye de Fontenay before continuing to Chablis for lunch and some free time for exploration before we return to the hotel.
This is our second day of cruising and our destination is again Joigny, but this time we start from the pretty town of St-Florentin before following the Canal de Bourgogne back to Migennes where we drop down on to the Yonne. This is an all-day cruise of 28 km with 9 locks and good opportunity to walk or cycle the canal towpath.
After a leisurely breakfast we rejoin the coach for a one hour journey to the remarkable castle-under-construction project at Guédelon, subject of the recent BBC2 TV series. Feedback from afternoon visitors under our 2018 programme has been that guests would like a full day at this fascinating project, and that is what we provide, including lunch at the excellent on-site restaurant.
Today we re-embark further down the Yonne at the lovely gated town of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, and we pause here for an hour or so to allow those interested the chance to stroll the old moated defences and see the gate towers. We then continue cruising gently downstream to Sens, 17km away and passing 4 locks, with a couple of hours at the end of the afternoon to see something of the historic city centre.
A relaxed day as we take advantage of our proximity to Auxerre to enjoy a free day in the city, with opportunity to explore the half timbered medieval buildings in the centre, the Cathedral St Étienne, Abbey of St Germain, and the stunning view of the city from riverside.
The coach departs for home. After a lunchtime stop at Reims or Laon, we expect to arrival in Kent around 19:00 local time.
Executive Coach Travel with pick-ups across Kent
Assistance with booking taxi connections and/or hotel stay pre-departure
Eurotunnel or ferry crossings
Hotel stay and evening meals
Three full days of river cruising with lunch on board and free bar.
Guided visit to Abbaye de Fontenay
Guided visit to Guédelon Castle with lunch
Lunch and free time in Chablis
Free day in Auxerre
Limited free time in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and Sens
Travel day stops in Reims and/or Laon (if time allows)
The popular and convenient 3* Mercure at Appoigny is set in rural surroundings a few km north of Auxerre and is nicely situated centrally to our cruising range for the week. This air-conditioned hotel offers all the normal facilities expected of a Mercure, including a pleasant garden area and outdoor pool. Its modern restaurant offers traditional Burgundy cuisine.
On cruise days an on-board lunch is included and a free bar operates throughout. As well as teas, coffees and soft drinks, the bar stocks bottled beers and a range of wines including local Chablis, Bourgogne Aligoté and Irancy rouge, Crémant de Bourgogne, and a Provence rosé. Lunches-out are also included on excursion days.
Our tour package includes all evening meals, with wine, and we also include lunches-out on our two excursion days, so guests need only budget for lunch for their free day in Auxerre and for the two travel days.
On Board Facilities:
Our boat has been designed to comfortably accommodate a coachload of passengers in lounge-standard seating and there is additional seating outside for those wanting to take in the views and fresh air. There are 3 bikes on board free of charge for anyone who would like to ride the towpath. The boat has two WC/washrooms. An on-board lunch is included and a free bar operates throughout.
Our boat is hybrid-engined and normally charges overnight from shore supply. Its diesel engines are only used if battery power is exhausted, so most of the time you can look forward to silent cruising free of exhaust fumes. The saloon roof is bedecked with solar panels which reinforce battery endurance and support the boat's air conditioning system.
We also operate to a strict waste-avoidance policy. We try to completely avoid the use of single-use plastics and we operate to a responsible recycling code. All meals and drinks on board are served using normal crockery, cutlery and glassware. Our crew also has a brief to support the recovery from rivers and canals of floating litter whenever this is practicable.
Departure from Kent:
Anyone from further afield please feel welcome to join us on this or any other Buzzlines tour. We are happy to arrange parking for you here in Kent, or we can pick you up from Ashford International Station - only 37 minutes by HS1 from London St Pancras - and help you to find overnight hotel or B&B stops. Anyone wishing to join the tour but travel independently to and from Auxerre is welcome to do so.