My husband and I have traveled all over the world and have taken many very special trips. Our cruise aboard the Adrienne on the canals of Burgundy France ranks among our top four (Tanzania, Adrienne, Cambodia/Vietnam, Australia/New Zealand). One of the reviews called this a 4 star experience. I would say 5 stars. The food was exquisite. Chef Christian does not repeat any meals during the barging season but always comes up with something new, according to what is in the local markets each day. Luscious breads and pastries, fruit, and other items for breakfast; a varied--but light--buffet lunch with at least two salads plus a prepared dish of some sort; and a sumptuous dinner with appetizer, main course, 3 cheeses and wonderful imaginative desserts. The wines were top drawer (mostly Burgundies as we were in that region). We celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary on board and Christian made a special plaque out of sugar icing and a wonderful cake for all the passengers to enjoy.
Laura and Caroline, the barge's hostesses kept our cabin and the barge in tip top clean shape. Our bathroom linens were refreshed 3 times a day. These two ladies really worked hard. They also helped present the wine and cheese selections for each meal.
Scott, the pilot and Aurailian, the first mate, guided our barge through the many locks on the Canal du Centre and the Canal de Burgundy with great expertise. They also helped with the on-board ambiance (passing out hors d'oeuvres before dinner and having refreshing drinks ready when we returned from our excursions).
Matthew, a British man living in Burgundy, was the Captain and our guide to Castle Rully where we met Count Raoul de Rully, owner of the castle that had been in his family for hundreds of years. Matthew also was our guide in the vineyards, helping to explain the various vintages. He took us to other areas in the Burgundy region and always had good stories to tell us about the area. He would go out every day on his bicycle to round up provisions that Christian had requested for our wonderful meals.
There are a number of companies touring the canals of France but I don't think any of them could surpass the Adrienne. The ambiance of only 12 passengers, spacious rooms (the king size bed was the best we had in our total of three weeks in France) and great bathrooms with plenty of room for two people to be in them at the same time (if necessary)--the hot water was almost instantaneous and we were encouraged to use as much as we needed). The relaxing salon and sun deck were great for reading. While WiFi in the morning was generally not great, the evening we had good connectivity so one could check email and read newspapers on line.
I can't say enough about French Country Waterways and the Adrienne and its crew Cabin Aexcept to say that we will be on another of their barges at some time in the future. Kudos!!!
Spacious, comfortable, clean, quiet