Food in the Slow Lane

Whether you’re a connoisseur of the culinary arts, a passionate ‘foodie’ looking for new taste sensations or someone who simply enjoys a fine meal surrounded by elegance and culture, a voyage with a culinary theme is a delight to the senses.

People who love good food, culinary vacations are one of the biggest trends in the boating industry.

European Waterways‘ culinary themed vacations appeals to those who love to cruise and eat. This is especially true on L’Impressionniste an hotel barge, which cruises France’s famed Burgundy region.

Hotel barging offers a slower paced, “gentle voyage of discovery” along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe that are inaccessible to bigger vessels allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region.

In an effort to attract a growing base of traveller who are seeking experiential vacations steeped in culinary culture, European Waterways is incorporating more immersive, on-location cooking classes and behind-the-scene tours, as well as exclusive wine, cheese, and gourmet mustard tastings that will appeal to both millennial and more mature ‘gastronomes’.

Guests will also enjoy private wine tastings at renowned wineries and daily cooking demonstrations by the hotel barge’s onboard master chef, whose every meal is like “a work of art,” created using fresh local ingredients.

The 12-passenger deluxe hotel barge L’Impressionniste cruises France’s Burgundy Canal and introduces guests to the lush Burgundian countryside and its much celebrated history of viticulture (the science of wine making). Its culinary theme charter cruises further personalize the already “wine rich” itinerary to include more exclusive gastronomic experiences.

Among the highlights is a tour and an exclusive cheese tasting at the Abbaye de Cîteaux, where the Cistercian monks have been making cheese since the 1920s. Guests also visit the marketplace and enjoy a lunchtime cooking lesson in old Dijon, followed by the preparation of a meal made from locally sourced ingredients.

Guests also visit the “Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus,” a famous vineyard owned by the domaine of Bouchard Père et Fils, where an expert offers insight into the production of its Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines. This is followed by a private tasting of Bouchard Père et Fils wines and a private lunch prepared by Michelin-starred chefs in the orangery of Château de Beaune, owned by the winery since 1820.

While mustard is a lowly condiment in some countries, it’s an integral part of a highly refined and much treasured gastronomic tradition in France. Interwoven throughout L’Impressionniste’s itinerary are numerous opportunities to learn about the art of the mustard seed cultivation and enjoy fascinating tours and a private tasting of diverse mustard-based products. Among these is a visit to the Edward Fallot Moutarderie, where the Fallot family has been making mustard since 1840. Guests will also “say cheese” during a visit to the Gaugry Fromagerie, the last cheese maker still producing raw milk Epoisses, first made by monks in the 16th century.

European Waterways is Europe’s largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging company, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying around 2,500 passengers a year. Founded nearly 40 years ago, they own, operate and market a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.