Join us on August 29, 2023, for a unique tour by bike and barge through Burgandy, “the land of good living.”
There is no better way to see the beautiful countryside of northern Burgandy, with its medieval villages and serene, meandering rivers, than up close and personal. And that’s exactly what travel by bike and barge offers. After a lovely day of riding our bikes through the French countryside, we return each afternoon to our floating hotel for a delicious meal and an evening of ukulele merriment and camaraderie. Along the way we’ll also have the opportunity to sample some of the incredible wines, cheeses, honey and ciders the area is known for.
The bike rides alternate between easy, flat stretches along the river and more challenging uphill sections through the countryside to some spectacular views. And each day you can choose between a shorter ride or a longer, more challenging one. You can also choose not to ride at all and simply enjoy a lovely cruise up the river aboard our private barge.
Best of all, the boat is all ours, which is the key to ‘ukulele happiness. And you don’t even have to play the ukulele to enjoy it. Great times are to be had by all through the music we make and the many new friendships that evolve.
Day 1 – Auxerre
Our uke, bike & barge trip begins when we board the ship Zwaantje at 2 pm and meet the crew, each other, and……our bikes. (Please note that this trip can be just as enjoyable from the comfort of the barge as from the seat of your bike. And a limited number of electric bikes are available for an additional fee.) After a delicious dinner on board, we’ll have time to stroll through the beautiful river town of Auxerre with her majestic church spires, streets lined with 16th-centuryth century timber houses, and the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne, a masterpiece of Gothic art.
Day 2: Auxerre
Starting with Day 2 you have the option to either stay, relax, and take in more of the sights of Auxerre, or begin your cycling adventure along the Yonne River en route to “Caves de Bailly.” This vineyard is famous for its limestone caves and its sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne. The nearby vineyards of St. Bris and Irancy are also well worth a visit, as are the paintings of George Hosotte in the Chapelle de Bailly. (29 km/18 mi or 44 km/27 mi)
Day 3: Auxerre – Joigny
Today we head north, cycling through the Yonne River Valley toward Joigny. If you choose the longer cycling route, you’ll get to see the charming countryside of Brienon-sur Armencon. The shorter route follows the beautiful River Yonne. In Migennes the Burgundy canal crosses the river and we’ll rejoin the ship for a relaxed afternoon sail to Joigny, a picturesque little town that has a long and storied wine history as well as several historical monuments, ancient churches, and townhouses with carved renaissance facades from the 16th and 17th centuries. (28 km/18 mi or 43 km/26 mi)
Day 4: Joigny – Villeneuve-sur-Yonne
We start the day with a loop through the local vineyards and a tasting of some of Burgundy’s finest wines before returning to Joigny for lunch. Then we get back in the saddle for an afternoon ride to the town of Saint-Julien-du-Sault where you can visit the 13th century Saint-Pierre church with its magnificent stained-glass windows. We dock for the night in the lovely, lesser-known French town of Villeneuve where you are free to explore the medieval gate towers and romantic string of gardens as the sun sets over the countryside. (21 km/14 mi or 42 km/26 mi)
Day 5: Villeneuve-sur-Yonne – Sens
Day five also offers two cycling options – the short option follows the river Yonne, while the longer option takes you into the hills for a rewarding taste of the fine cider produced at the museum ‘de Pomme et de cidre’. Our next stop is Sens, one of the oldest towns in France where you’ll visit the first of the greater gothic cathedrals in France, Cathedral Saint-Etienne. There will be plenty of time afterward to shop, stroll through the marketplace or wander around town to acquaint yourself with the many restaurants Sens has to offer as today there is no dinner onboard. (28 km/18 mi or 52 km/33 mi)
Day 6: Sens – Pont-sur-Yonne
Before we start cycling we will spend some time in Sens. Here you’ll visit the first of the great gothic cathedrals of France, Cathedral Saint-Etienne, with a local guide. The longer cycle route leads through the beautiful Valley of the Oreuse, a fantastic bike ride. The shorter option allows you more time to explore Sens at your leisure before cycling to Pont-sur-Yonne, a charming riverside town. (20 km/13 mi or 42 km/26 mi)
Day 7: Pont-sur-Yonne – Montereau – Moret
On our final day of biking, we’ll visit Montereau-fault-Yonne, a town situated at the confluence of the Yonne and Seine rivers. Here, the thousand-year-old Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Loup collegiate church is well worth a visit. At Montereau we hop back on board the ship for a dinner cruise to our final destination, the charming medieval fortified town of Moret-sur-Loing where the famous painter Sisley drew inspiration for his work. (33 km/21 mi or 40 km/24 mi)
Day 8: Moret-sur-Loing
We bid our captain, crew, guide and fellow passengers a fond farewell as we enjoy one last breakfast together while disembarkation continues until 9:30am.
- $2,490 (USD) per person to be paid in installments: $1,245 due on registration with the balance June1, 2023. (A single supplement is available for an additional $940.)
- Accommodation (linens and towels included) for 7 nights in a climate-controlled cabin for 2 with daily cleaning.
- A hearty breakfast and packed lunch each day, coffee and tea all day long.
- A 3-course dinner each evening, except for one, when you’ll have the opportunity to explore the restaurants of Sens or Auxerre on your own.
- Fully guided cycling tours with daily briefings and GPS tracks.
- Use of a uni-sex bike with 21 gears, bike lock, helmet, waterproof pannier, and personal water bottle. A limited number of e-bikes are available for an additional $180 each.
- Themed ‘ukulele songbook and daily ‘ukulele merriment and instruction with a noted ukulele instructor.
- Fees for ferries, a couple of short walking tours, entrance to Apiculture’s Living Museum, a guided tour of Cathedral Saint-Etienne in Sens, and winetasting at Bailly.
- Wi-Fi onboard and a carbon offset payment to the non-profit organization Justdiggit
- One evening meal in either Sens or Auxerre.
- Beverages other than coffee, tea, and water, though wine, beer, and soft drinks can be purchased onboard.
- Personal insurance (Trip insurance is highly recommended, more information to come)
- Gratuities, at your discretion
- Entrance fees and excursions not mentioned above
- Transfers to/from the docking places
Registration is not yet open, but you can reserve a spot with a $100/person non-refundable deposit. Please contact us for more information. There are a limited number of e-bikes available, so it’s best to register as soon as possible.
Still have questions?
Please visit our FAQ page for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our Uke, Bike, & Barge Adventure in Burgundy.