Archives : 2013 : November

Culinary Delights Await You on Board Deluxe Barge Esperance

November 18th, 2013

Why do I like the barge Esperance so much? As well as totally admiring and respecting the owner, Captain Mathias Gilles, it is because of the rave reviews I get when my clients return from their barge trips with comments such as:

“The excursions were wonderful! A little bit of something different every day. And our guide Marion was the best!” From Monica V, September 2013

“We loved the barge and crew! The crew was totally professional and at the same time totally engaging.” From David A, October 2013

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But the comment I hear the most is:

“We loved the barge and crew. We are convinced that Mathias is the best barge captain anywhere on the planet, and Joe’s cooking was to die for. We did not expect the food to be as superb as it was.” From Judy D, September 2013

And so it is my pleasure to highlight the chef, cuisine and wines of this very special barge cruise on Esperance.

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One of Captain Mathias’ many talents is the table setting for each dining experience. His sense of style and joie de vivre are impeccable.

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Barge Cooking Demonstrations

Chef Joe is not only a fabulous chef, his personality is warm and welcoming. Cooking demonstrations? You bet! The open kitchen on Esperance invites guests’ participation and conversation.

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Canal barge cruising and local wine pairing

Local wines from Languedoc abound in grape varieties and blends making them very diverse and interesting. Pairing with the food is an art practiced on board Esperance.

For more information and to book this barge cruise which cruises on the Canal du Midi, please contact us.

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988
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Step on Board Papillon, a Gem among Barge Cruises in Burgundy and the Canal du Midi

November 12th, 2013

The anticipation I feel when visiting barges as a barge cruise specialist is hopeful that my first impression will be the same delight my clients feel when they step on board. So when my husband, Jack, and I stepped on board Papillon, a 6 passenger deluxe barge moored in the peaceful port of Dijon, I sighed with pleasure at the immaculate deck scattered with chic and comfortable chairs bordered by planters of lush greens and flowers. The friendly welcome by Owner Bill Higgs, Captain Cedric and Hostess Barbara set the tone for our time together aboard this exquisite gem of a floating country inn.

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France Barge trips with gourmet dining

Every inch of Papillon exudes not only charm from the tasteful fabrics and décor but quality in design and timeless woodwork. From the spacious deck, a few stairs down lead to the airy salon with sink in sofas and inviting open bar. Fresh flowers and plants along with a library of books and music created a homey, lived in atmosphere. The traditional dining room lined with designer fabric and warm oak furniture provides an intimate space for gourmet dining. Chef Ollie was not on board, but her reputation as an excellent chef is renowned in the barging world. Hostess Barbara proudly showed us the cabins which she keeps spotlessly clean.

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Cabins on a Barge Cruise are well planned

Down a few steps from the salon, the cabins are cozy and beautifully planned for unpacking and storing luggage. The newly renovated colorful Provencal tile bathrooms with shower and wc are top quality and pleasing to the eye. The largest of the cabins has twin beds end to end with a sink and vanity separating them. It has the feel of a large cabin even though it is quite narrow. Guests who enjoy unique, comfortable accommodations in small, elegant spaces will love Papillon’s cabins.

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Papillon’s crew consists of the captain, chef, hostess and tour guide who take care of guests’ every need and desire. Accommodate special dietary needs? Absolutely! Stock your favorite liquors? Yes! Customize the activities around your interests? You bet! After a very satisfying visit on board Papillon and very positive feedback from recent clients, I recommend Papillon without reservation.

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For more information and to book this exquisite barge cruise which cruises in southern Burgundy and the Canal du Midi, please contact us.

Beth Hanson
Barge Cruise Specialist since 1988
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