Le Papillon

6 Passenger Deluxe Private Charter

Le Papillon

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Call 971-544-0381 or email EuroEscapes for Current Specials.


Le Papillon’ or ‘The Butterfly’ is an authentic vintage barge launched in 1902. During her commercial life, she proudly steamed the waterways of northern Europe and carried cargo along the Rhine and Meuse rivers.In 1980 she was rescued by two designers from New York and skilfully converted into the elegant ‘péniche-hôtel’ you can enjoy today.

With her oak and teak furnishings, provincial handmade tiles, brass portholes and printed wall paper, Le Papillon has a character and charm that passengers find themselves wanting to return to year after year.

She sleeps six, in three cabins, one double and two twins. Each cabin has en-suite facilities with air conditioning and central heating. The large portholes can all be opened so the barge is always filled with air and light. Her living quarters are spacious and well appointed, and the comfortable saloon is complete with an eclectic library, stereo system and a well-furnished bar.

The traditional dining room provides the perfect ambience to sample all the flavors from the chef’s galley.

Your crew provide an impeccable and attentive service and will make your stay aboard Le Papillon the trip of a lifetime. Together, they are a wealth of information about France and are passionate about imparting its culture, cuisine and wine.

Like a fine wine or a good meal, this is a vacation to be savored slowly – the one thing we don’t do is rush. Join us as we pass through bustling cities and tranquil countryside, with stops at historic sites, quiet villages and gourmet markets. Discover a hidden France uniquely accessed by barge.

General Information

  • Length: 100 feet
  • 4-6 Passengers
  • 4 crew
  • 1 Double cabin
  • 2 twin cabins
  • Fully air conditioned
  • Central heat
  • 6 Bicycles
  • air conditioned mini-bus for tours

Accommodations & Pricing

Charter Max. 6 pax.

Charter Max. 5 pax.

Charter Max. 4 pax.

$5350, per person
Single supplement: $1,700

Special Programs

6 NIGHTS ʻSpecial Biking Program with Tim Wilcoxʻ, full board,
Charter Only Burgundy Ouch Valley Route
Paris Pick-up
Charter for 6: US$ 35,700
Charter for 5: US$ 31,900
Charter for 4: US$ 28,800

4 NIGHTS ʻGourmet Cruiseʻ, full board
Dijon meeting point
Charter Only
max of 6 passengers
US$ 23,600 

2016 Sunday Departure Dates

April 3 - 9
April 10 - 16
April 17 - 23
April 24 - 30
May 1 - 7
May 8 - 14
May 15 - 21
May 22 - 28
May 29 - June 4
June 5 - 11
June 12 - 18
June 19 - 25
June 26 - July 2
July 3 - 9
July 10 - 16
July 17 - 23
July 24 - 30
July 31 -August 6
August 7 - 13
August 14 - 20
August 21 - 27
August 28 - September 3


Sample Burgundy Itinerary


Meet in Paris en route to Pont de Pany
You will be met by a Papillon crew member at your hotel in Paris at 1pm and driven to the Papillon moored near Dijon in the village of Pont de Pany. On the way, you’ll be able to visit the fabulous château and gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte – a mini rival to Versailles. Alternatively, you can take the fast TGV train from Paris and a Papillon crew member will meet you at the railway station in Dijon. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed aboard Le Papillon with a Champagne reception and introduced to the crew of four – time to settle in before dinner.


Gissey sur Ouche
During breakfast, we will start cruising along the canal de Bourgogne. Enjoy a morning coffee on the front deck and perhaps take a walk along the canal towpath. By early afternoon Papillon will be moored in the quiet village Gissey-sur-Ouche. After a delicious buffet lunch, we will drive along the ‘Route des Grandes Crus’ and through the vineyards of the Côte du Nuits; we’ll stop at the Château of Clos de Vougeot, the perfect setting to learn about the importance that wine played in Burgundy’s history. And then we’ll go on to one of our favourite vineyards for a private tasting before heading back to Papillon’s dining room.


Food lovers can make an early start and accompany Papillon’s chef to the busy morning food market in Dijon; this is an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with our cheese, fish, meat and vegetable suppliers, of whom we are very proud. Perhaps you’ll want to take a coffee with the chef and discuss some of your favourite dishes. A short walking tour and orientation of Dijon’s centre and you’ll soon be free to explore on your own – the Rue Verrerie with its famous antique shops is nearby, so too is the Musée des Beaux-Arts. Lunch will be served back aboard and then we’ll cruise to the village of Veuvey-sur-Ouche. You can recline on the front deck with a book and as the sun sets over the ‘yardarm’ enjoy Dijon’s world famous apéritif, Kir Royal.


 Chateauneuf en Auxois

Chateauneuf en Auxois


Pont d’Ouche
This morning’s journey will take us to the tiny port of Pont d’Ouche where we cruise over the Ouche river. Before midday, we will drive through the rolling Burgundian hills and descend into the Côte d’Or vineyards and visit Beaune – a thriving little town and proud capital of the wine trade. After lunch in town, we’ll hit the sights; by far the most famous is the hospice with its multicoloured roof tiles, which was built in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor to the dukes of Burgundy. Next door in the spectacular cellars of the Marché aux Vins, we can taste some of Burgundy’s finest wines. After the drive back to Papillon, there will be time to take a stroll before dinner.

 Burgundy in Fall

Burgundy in Fall


Pouilly en Auxois
After a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a morning bike ride, we will take a ten-minute drive to the hilltop village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, rated as one of ‘les plus beaux villages de France’. Restored and picturesque, the village offers a fine aerial view of the canal and surrounding countryside. Back on board, we will climb the remaining locks before reaching the summit level, the highest point on this waterway connecting the Mediterranean to the English Channel. After lunch, we can visit the château of Commarin with its fine tapestries or alternatively take a longer drive and visit the magnificent basilica of Vézelay. And then to Papillon for a cruise through one of the wonders of the canal system – a two-mile tunnel leading to the town of Pouilly-en-Auxois. Nearby the Château of Chailly has a fine golf course.


Pont Royal
Today’s cruise will take us through tranquil countryside to the sleepy village of Pont Royal. You’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing lunch on deck accompanied by some carefully selected wines. During the afternoon, a circular trip in the minibus could include visits to Flavigny where ‘Chocolat’ was filmed, the magnificent Cistercian abbey of Fontenay (a UNESCO world heritage site) and the undiscovered medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois. Be sure to return to Papillon in time for apéritifs with the crew and one last magnificent meal.


Return to Paris
After a continental breakfast of fruits, cereals and pastries, our private mini bus transfer will take you to either Dijon train station or your hotel in Paris.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks, the cruise is in the reverse direction.

All cruises on Le Papillon are unique experiences tailored to the requests of our passengers. If there is a canal or river that you have always dreamt of cruising on please contact us. We always enjoy the possibility of exploring new destinations.