Sign up now for Uke, Bike, & Barge in Burgundy, August 29, 2023

Sign up now to join us in beautiful Burgundy for our sixth Uke, Bike, and Barge Adventure.

Cycling through Burgundy

This cycle tour through Burgundy is categorized Level 2 (“easy” to moderate) as the countryside we’ll be riding through is slightly hilly, with a daily elevation gain of 250 – 300 meters. But each day offers two rides: an easier one and a longer, slightly more challenging one. This should come as welcome news to those who want to ride each day and spend a relaxing afternoon noodling and jamming, or simply watching the world go by from the comfort of our floating hotel, the Zwaantje.

Feeling a little sluggish? Not to worry, we’ll have two guides along on this trip so you can ride at a pace that’s comfortable for you. And, the Zwaantje has a limited number of e-bikes available for those who want to take it a little easier. (There is a $180 surcharge for the use of an e-bike on this trip.) As e-bikes are becoming increasingly popular, you should sign up now to have a better chance of getting one.

Join us with or without your uke.

Though playing the ‘ukulele is not a prerequisite to having a great time on any of our trips, all of our Uke, Bike & Barge Adventures have a professional ‘ukulele facilitator onboard offering personalized instruction and leading our sing-alongs. In the past, we’ve been joined by Phil Doleman, Ralph Shaw, Dave Egan, and Gary Peare.

But the best part is, the entire barge is ours. . . . .all ours!


The total cost of Uke, Bike & Barge – Burgundy is $2,490 (USD) per person, to be paid in two installments. There is one single cabin available for an additional $940. But you’ll need to sign up now if you want to secure it! Half the total amount is due when you register and the balance is due June 1, 2023.

If you’re joining us from the UK or European Union, we can also accept payment in GBP and EUR. Please contact me for more information.

Registration is not yet open, but you can sign up now to secure a spot by sending a $100 deposit to: ‘Ukulele Adventures, 1113 Chiles Avenue, St. Helena, CA 94574. You can also pay me directly using Venmo: elainede@sbcglobal.net. The $100 deposit will be deducted from the initial registration payment due and is NOT refundable unless we cancel the trip before opening registration.

Can’t wait until 2023?

There is nothing quite like the fun and camaraderie that evolves on our Uke, Bike, and Barge Adventures. But if you can’t make it to one of them, or would prefer to see Europe by bike and barge on your own (or even just by bike) please let us know. We have partnership agreements with all of our suppliers and can help you book the trip you want.

We can also offer the inside scoop on trips and vessels we’ve actually experienced:

Hope you can join us! It’s the most fun you can have with your ‘ukulele on!


Provence Scrap Book #1

Avignon to Aigues Mortes May 21 – 28, 2022

Have Uke , Will Travel

The first of two, back-to-back Uke, Bike, & Barge Adventures in Provence did not disappoint. And while Dave Egan was our official ‘ukulele facilitator on Trip 1, passenger Gerald Ross was more than willing to share his expertise and talent with everyone on board, even after a hard day cycling.

Each day we rode our bikes through the incredible countryside of Provence, passing beautiful fields of bright red poppies, fields of golden grain, orchards full of fruit, tidy vineyards, and pastures that were home to the famed white horses and black bulls of the Camargue. Not to mention ancient Roman ruins and visits to some of the scenes painted by Van Gogh.

Of course, ‘ukuleles and music managed to work their way into almost every scenario: from Gerald and Dave jamming along with whoever was interested and spontaneous outbursts of “Sur la Pointe Avignon” to a well–rehearsed (!) rendition of “Aqua Ducty” at the magnificent Roman Aqueduct.

We also rode beside limestone cliffs and olive trees to the ancient hilltop village of Les Baux, then on to the Mediterranean at Aigues Mortes alongside marshes and waterways dotted with pink flamingos and other beautiful birds. We rested where ever we could. The E-bikes made the riding easier for most of us, but the three “power women of the orange bikes” persevered under their own power. And at the end of each day we found our way back to L’Estelle, our home away from home, where where a hot shower, refreshing beverages, and a welcome snack were waiting.

But most of all, we had boatloads of fun in some very special places with some very special people.

Nothing can beat a bunch of ‘ukulele enthusiasts taking over an entire ship for a week, which is what our Uke, Bike, & Barge Adventures are all about. And while it may be a while before we visit Provence, again, that doesn’t mean YOU can’t. We are booking trips for individuals interested in boat-bike trips in Provence and Italy in 2022 (only a few spaces left) and 2023, now. Please contact us for more information and be sure to let us know when you want to go and how many are in your party.


Starry, Starry ‘Ukulele Nights in Provence

Register by April 1 and get a $100/person discount!

We still have space available for you AND your ‘ukulele aboard L’Estello, May 28 – June 4, 2022 for the ‘ukulele adventure of a lifetime, Uke, Bike & Barge Provence. Ride your bike through the beautiful countryside of Provence by day and return to our floating hotel, L’Estello, each evening for a lovely repast and, if you choose, some ‘ukulele instruction and merriment under the starry, starry nights of Southern France.

And if you or your spouse don’t play? No worries, you won’t be alone. Nor will you be alone if you choose to forgo the day’s cycling adventure and stay aboard L’Estello, where the delightful crew will take very good care of you.

Rambling in the Luberon

And, if 8 days in Provence doesn’t seem quite long enough, you can opt for a 7-day self-guided Ramble in the Luberon, walking at your own pace from village to village, either before or after the barge tour….or completely separate from it!

The Costs

The Uke, Bike and Barge adventure in Provence is $2,349 per person in a double cabin. And if you’re travelling alone, we might have a cabinmate for you so you can avoid the single supplement of $440. Electric Bikes are also available for an additional $160. The ‘ukulele option is an additional $200. The Registration Form also includes options for a stay at the Hotel le Magnan before the barge trip. In any case, please register soon, while we still have space available.

Rambling in the Luberon is $1,640 per person sharing a room and an additional $610 for the single supplement. We do have folks starting this tour on June 5, so if that one works for you, you can avoid the solo traveler supplement. (You can still walk on your own, if you choose. But, your luggage will have some “companions” while it is moved from village to village for you.)

Please Contact Us for more information on booking the Luberon Ramble or with any other questions you might have.

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy, linen land. . . . .

We’re on Our Way to Cuba!

By all counts, the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat Redux was a huge success. Instructors and participants loved our new venue in Cambria at Camp Ocean Pines and wanted us to schedule next year’s retreat for November, again. And the camp apparently loved having us there, as was apparent with their fine attention to every detail. (They didn’t even bat an eye as we turned their Fireside Room into The Otter Club.) So, be sure to mark your calendars if you want to join us next year: November 8 – 13.

In the meantime. . . . . Cuba!

With all our ducks now in a row, we are ready to open registration for Cuban ‘Ukulele Rhythms, March 8 – 16, 2022.

If you are interested in this trip, please be sure to visit the website as there have been a few changes, the biggest one being the date: March 8 – 16, 2022. (This was so we could all secure better airfares.)

Covid Concerns

As there are still some very legitimate concerns about Covid, this link, Cuba and the Coronavirus should help bring you up to speed with the current situation. Overall I’d say Cuba has done a great job of getting their population vaccinated. It just took a while for them to develop their own vaccine.

Space is Limited

In order to ensure an enjoyable and more personal experience we are limiting the number of people to 7 on this trip. So, I would recommend mailing in your registration form and deposit as soon as possible. (Please don’t purchase your airline ticket until I have confirmed receipt of your registration.) Please Contact Us if you want to verify we have space available before sending in your registration or have any questions not addressed on the website.

Space has Opened up for Provence

Due to a couple of recent cancellations we now have space available on Uke, Bike & Barge Provence, May 28 – June 4. There is a berth (shared cabin) available for a single woman and an entire cabin (two beds) available for a couple or for two people travelling together. If you are interested please make sure you have read the trip description on the website before opening the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact me.

And now for something a little more timely. . . . .


‘Ukulele Retreat, Cuba, & Provence

The West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat in Cambria is just two weeks away (November 3 – 7) and the workshops and schedule have been posted. We still have space available for “walk-ins” and for folks who would like to stay in a cabin, but space is very limited. So, if you’d like to join us, please contact us ASAP. (Covid vaccination or negative Covid test with-in 72 hours required.)

Cuba! Yes! It’s looking like all systems are go for a very limited number of people to join us for Cuban ‘Ukulele Rhythms. More information to come (including the trip cost), but please save the dates if you are interested: February 13 – 21, 2022. And make sure you are subscribed to or follow this website. (If there is overwhelming interest, we may add some dates.)

The first Uke, Bike, & Barge trip we offered in Provence, Avignon to Aigues Mortes (May 21 – 28, 2022), filled quickly. So we are offering a second trip, in the reverse direction, May 28 – June 4, 2022. On that trip we do still have space available for a single woman and for a couple or two people traveling together. Please visit the website to learn more about Uke, Bike, & Barge Provence. . . . .and to register to join us. We will also be posting hiking opportunities in Provence, soon.

What’s next? We’re still working on dates for Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay 2022, self-guided hiking trips in Provence, and multi-sport ukulele adventures in Greece and Italy. So please, stay tuned.


Staff Change for the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat

As many of you already know, the inimitable Jim D’Ville has re-located to beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. Unfortunately, Cleveland’s gain is our loss, as Jim will not be able to join us at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat this year. However, ‘ukulele superstar (and all around great musician) Gerald Ross will be joining us in Jim’s place with a brand new slate of workshops.

Gerald Ross

In the meantime, we are putting together our workshop schedule. . . . .and leave it to Nancy Piver to come up with something totally delicious to teach in her ukulele “ensemble” workshop. Scott Joplin’s “Magnetic Rag?” You got it! And yes, an ensemble of ‘ukulele players can sound pretty darn close to the piece below. In addition to Nancy’s arrangement of “Magnetic Rag,” we’ll be offering other ensemble opportunities, as well, with parts suitable for players of all abilities. (Yes, you can!)

You can also count on Catfish Jack to shake things up a bit and introduce us to the original version of “Walk Right In,” written by Gus Cannon in 2013! As I write, Jack and Gary Peare are creating a joint workshop building on this tune, incorporating both harmonicas and ‘ukulele. Should be loads of fun. (Catfish Jack will also be teaching our very beginning ‘ukulele classes for beginners and companions.)

Gus Cannon “Walk Right In”

The retreat is pretty close to capacity but we do still have space available in our group cabins for a few more folks. We have set a hard limit of 3 people per cabin and if you have a preferred cabinmate, all the better. And, of course, there is still space available for folks who choose to stay elsewhere, or for those who live in the area and want to commute.

Registration is still open. We still have space. And we would love to have you join us.

Register Here


A second trip offering to Provence

Our Uke, Bike, & Barge Adventure in Provence, May 21 – 28, 2022, is already full! We know this will leave a lot of people disappointed. So, we are offering a second (almost) identical trip, May 28 – June 4. This will have essentially the same itinerary, but it will go in the opposite direction: starting in Aigues Mortes and ending in Avignon.

If you are seriously interested in reserving a spot on this second trip, please contact us as soon as possible and let us know.

If not, please stay tuned. There are many more fun times with your ‘ukulele to come.

Register Now and Save!

Imagine you (and your ‘ukulele) enjoying starry, starry nights in Provence.

For a very limited time we are offering a $100/person discount for folks who register by April 4 for our  ‘Uke, Bike, & Barge Adventure in Provence, May 28 – June 4.

This trip starts in Aigues-Mortes on the southern coast of France and journeys back upriver to Avignon. (If you are at all confused about how you might get to and from either place, please visit  Rome2Rio, an indispensable app for figuring out your options for getting between any two places in the world!)

  • Don’t like to ride a bike? Don’t worry, you can stay on board whenever you want and move up the delightful rivers and waterways with the barge. (The crew has been known to take very good care of the folks who stay onboard!)
  • Worried about some of the hills or distances? E-bikes are available for an extra fee to help move you along and up! (Plus, I’ve heard rumors of a shuttle van.)
  • Travelling solo? If you’re looking for a roommate, we can help arrange that for you.
  • Don’t play the ‘ukulele? Not to worry! Not everyone who joins us does.

Spend a Few Extra Days in Avignon!

There are also a few rooms left at the lovely Hotel le Magnan, May 25 – May 28, for those who want to join a few of the other passengers in the delightful city of Avignon for a few days before heading for the barge. This is a great way to get your feet on the ground before we all depart for our river journey and possibly get in a little pre-trip ‘ukulele jam. Plus you’ll be able to coordinate with the other passengers to get from Avignon to Aigues-Mortes to meet the barge on May 28.

Add a Ramble in the Luberon

How does a 7-day self-guided walking tour from village-to-village in the Luberon sound? Rambling in the Luberon, is a great way to wander through some of the spectacular landscapes of Provence that we will only see from a distance on our barge and cycling tour.

You can take this journey on your own at any time or in conjunction with the Uke, Bike, & Barge Provence adventure, either before or afterward.

What I love most about these self-guided walking adventures is the opportunity to ramble at one’s own pace along vineyards and fields of lavender, through fascinating villages perched on seemingly impossible hillsides, and to stop at local markets with natural produce . . . . .all while “bathed in the pure light of van Gogh and Cezanne” with nothing to carry but a day pack. And it’s amazing how many friends you might make along the way.

Check out the itinerary to see another way you can experience southern France, with or without the Uke, Bike, & Barge Adventure. (We can book this trip for you anytime.)

Want to learn more?

Need more Information?

Don’t forget! You must register by April 4 to take advantage of the $100/person discount.

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