When travelers imagine a trip to France, they quickly conjure up a mental image of the beautiful streets of Paris, perhaps lit in the early twilight, with the Eiffel Tower standing majestically in the center of it all. Throngs of travelers, cute bistros, and a delightful pastry; the ideal French vacation is almost a cliche of its own.
Overlooked, however, is the French countryside. Winding rivers, sprawling vineyards, and small villages, are waiting for another wandering traveler to venture into a place that speaks of a bygone era. Paint a new mental picture of rolling hills, crowned by castles and draped in grapevines, and you get just a little closer to the relaxed vacation of a lifetime. Add in a luxurious river yacht slowly winding its way down a ribbon of water between the hills, and you have the experience of the Grand Victoria, the Queen of Burgundy.
An all-inclusive private cruise in France is a gateway to an unexplored world. Unlike larger cruise companies, the Grand Victoria focuses on a tailor-made excursion to the heart of Burgundy and its storied vineyards and towns. Whether you’re exploring the cobblestone streets of the medieval city of Dijon and its expansive Ducal Palace, or discovering the historic Hospices du Beaune, you are discovering another side of French culture. With your own knowledgeable tour guide, you have plenty of opportunity to venture to another world and see a subtler side to the French experience.
When you’re not exploring the towns that dot the countryside, there is ample time to visit many of Burgundy’s storied vineyards, dating back through centuries of family ownership. Explore the winding cellars of Chateau de Pommard or the magnificent chateau behind the walls of Clos du Vougeot. And once you’ve seen the grounds and met the winemakers, samples of their delightful wines await you! Centuries of tradition come alive on the palette, and beckon your senses with aromas of aged oak.
The exploration of France doesn’t end when you return to the Grand Victoria. The cruise itself is a delightful, relaxed trip through history. The Saône river is a waterway connecting you to Dijon, historic seat of the Dukes of Burgundy, to Chalon-sur-Saône, the birthplace of photography. Continue south, and your explorations can take you as far as Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Take in the rich history from the deck, a cold drink in hand, as the scenic Burgundian countryside passes by. It is a scenic river cruise beyond imagining.
From the moment you arrive, chauffeured by a private driver, a wonderful crew greets you with a champagne welcome. You’ll marvel at the first of many specially-prepared meals in the salon dining room. The chef prepares each meal just for you and your traveling party, with a fine attention to detail and an eye for pairing with a local wine hand-selected by a professional sommelier. Every dinner leaves you satisfied, and eagerly awaiting the next culinary treat. When you retire at night, an American King-size bed will envelope you and leave you rested for the next day of adventures.
The beauty of a small, family-owned venture is shown in every part of the experience. The owners are on hand to personally welcome you aboard the Grand Victoria, and personally showcase the wonderful world just waiting on shore with guided tours of Dijon, Beaune, and other destinations along the way. Edward and Cindy, the owners, operators, and hosts of the Grand Victoria, delight in sharing France’s best-kept secrets with you. Their long experience in tailor-made travel makes them well-suited to the task, and ensures your cruise will be customized to your interests and preferences. It is a bespoke experience unlike any other.
The Grand Victoria is perfect for a small, intimate group of travelers, and can comfortably accommodate up to six passengers at a time, making it the perfect way to explore France with a hand-selected group of companions. The trip of a lifetime does not have to be a captive of the imagination; chart a course with the Grand Victoria, and bring your dreams to life in a marvelous canal cruise that has to be seen to be believed.