Sunday, 1 October 2017

24th - 30th September

THE LUCIOLE WINE CRUISE

Cruising through the heart of Burgundy – home to many wonderful wines, this week we offered wine enthusiasts extra, personalised tours of the areas most enchanting local vineyards. Passengers enjoyed sunny cruising weather and trips to prestigious vineyards including:

Caves de Bailly Lapierre - Bailly
Domaine Brocard - Chablis
Chateau Meursault - Beaune
Darling matriarch Jacqueline at William Charriat - Irancy 
Domaine Bernard Fleuriet & Fils - Sancerre
Chateau Tracy - Pouilly-sur-Loire
Inspiring Maria Cuny of her own domaine - Vézelay


Stopping at the top of the the Volnay vineyards


Not to forget either cultural visits to the Hospice de Beaune, Basilica of Mary Magdalene in Vézelay and La Chartreuse Nôtre Dame du Valle St Jean at Basseville.

Guests selected their favourite wines and enjoyed them over dinner back on the Luciole, paired with the culinary delights coming from the kitchen by chef Jade. 

Still so warm lunches were served on deck

Happy birthday to lovely guest Dot, a cool glass of Sancerre in hand cruising along the Nivernais – you’re only as old as you feel! Congratulations also on your wedding anniversary with husband Joseph and we all thank you for your delicious blackberry Kir, sipped with your celebration cake.


Feeling rather vinegary after a joyous week of sipping Burgundian and Loire wines it was time for our passengers to leave us, the week was a great success and the Luciole is very sad indeed to see you depart! 

PS. Penny sends thanks and raises a glass to you all and wishes the week was just about to start all over again today....


From the first tasting to the last - loved your company - merci millions to you all


Monday, 25 September 2017

17th - 23rd September

Hurdling into late September, this week brought with it some special returning passengers, shiny new faces and PUMPKINS!

One of our friendly lock keepers Cindy donated an extraordinarily large home grown pumpkin to chef Jade, who got inventive with putting it to good use throughout the week (the crew may turn into pumpkins by the time it’s used up).


Cindy the lock keeper's offering to Jade

Thank you to Bob and Judy for returning for a sixth cruise with us with returning friends Doug and Nancy. Adrienne also joined us all the way from Tasmania for a third season along the Nivernais – we must be doing something right!  Very honored.


Autumn in the air in Vincelles
Quizzing everyone on living in a tasty world this week were hilarious star-gazing friends Kate and Rick, running the podcast ‘What did you eat last night?’, guests and crew alike were asked to participate in their latest recording. Well done crew for just about remembering what it was you had for dinner. Matelot Luke had an extra pleasant surprise on learning he had in fact been eating guinea fowl, not chicken on a Thursday supper for the last three months. What a treat!

Buddies on the deck - all wrapped up - star gazing

We were enchanted to learn that passenger Al who cruised with lovely other half Martha also joined the Luciole’s retired sister ship the ‘Escargot’, back when the Luciole was the Palinurus many moons ago. 

Captain's Diner place setting - cool cabbage

Monday, 18 September 2017

10th - 16th September

What a wonderful week! The Luciole and it's crew were sad to see so many lovely faces leave us after what really was a fantastic trip. 

Highlights included sunny spells at tour times, Vince from the US filling the room at dinner with his interesting tales and ‘inventory’ taking of the drinks cabinet, a stop over from Vézelay to visit Penny’s French house, and Barbara from NZ... just for being Barbara. Can you please stay and we will keep you in the laundry cupboard and fuel you on espresso and the occasional glass of wine? Thanks for bringing friends Nikki and Mary along for the ride! A big welcome back to Karen who cruised on the Luciole 10 years ago, now bringing husband Joel and friends Ron and Vikki!

Wonderful passengers give a helping hand to hostess Kimberley

It was the birthday week of Noami our hostess, who was delighted to be pulled in and sung to during dinner service by the guests while she was off duty in her jogging bottoms and flip flops. Instigated by fun loving Canadian guests Dave and Cathie. Our other hostess Kimberley meanwhile was thrilled when after dinner drinks glasses and napkins had been passed down and arranged at the end of the table for her to clear with ease– her favourite sort of guests! Please come back soon!

Passengers gather on Penny's house steps at the end of their visit 


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

3rd - 9th September

September had more than a spring in its step when it arrived with our passengers for the week. A glorious group made up of very British 7.30am-sharp tea drinking ladies Ann and Diana, Doctor Joe and wife Karen from the US (who’s skills were thankfully dormant throughout the trip), Cliff and Eleanor from Southern US with plenty of comical dinner table tales, Australian Les who we are thrilled finally managed to join our cruise - which has always been a pipeline dream, and last but by no means least Chrys and Jack who put us all to shame with their biking enthusiasm! 


Fabulous full moon rose over our mooring in Mailly-le-Chateau

The trees are beginning to turn an autumnal orange, and the evenings and mornings are becoming fresh as we welcome our September passengers, eager to capture the spectacular photogenic season change on camera.


Taken on the canal at Chatel Censoir

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

27th August - 2nd September

A wonderful, key part of the Luciole’s cruise along the Nivernais is the quaint hand-worked locks – 32 of them in total along our week’s path. A smooth and fascinating experience when working well, and a comical team building one when problems occur! Many hands made light work this week when an obstruction in a lock gate created quite a traffic jam of barges. Luckily every Frenchman and his dog turned up to help. Captain Francisco along with matelot Luke, Tim (the captain of The Randle) and Luciole passenger John managed to force open the gate and so set the obstruction on it’s way.

Passengers, lock keepers and crew help open the lock gate

Passenger Nancy steers the boat and Captain Francisco

Other highlights of the week included a jolly string of visitors to join captain Francisco up in the wheel house, an old Liley family friend Robin cruising for the first time in 16 years, and chef Jade's parents Christine and John joining us from bonnie Scotland.

Robin, hostess Kimberley and owner Will


Captain Francisco with Christine, chef Jade's mother

Thursday, 31 August 2017

20th - 26th August

With the second half of the season in full swing and the August weather reaching it’s sunny peak, there were plenty of opportunities for refreshing river dips and even perfecting swimming one handedly (drink in the other!)

The warm evenings allowed for a game of boules watered down of course with some Pastis... it's in the rules.

Passengers play Boules at Accolay
The weather wasn't the only thing making us hot under the collar this week. Love was in the air on the Luciole!; a 44th anniversary celebration for Ruth and Bill and a wedding lead up for Kathryn and Phil, reminding us of all the anniversaries and honeymoons we’ve shared with passengers along the way. Wishing the very best of luck to all!    


Glorious weather for the final cruise as we leave a canal section on to the River Yonne


Sunday, 27 August 2017

13th - 19th August

Another week of firsts for the Luciole, with a group of Russian and Ukranian guests joining us to make Luciole history – the first in our 51 years of hotel barging.
And what a week we had! 

Our lovely passengers

Fishing was on the agenda – a lot of it! A visit to the local trout farm produced more than enough to allow chef Jade to feed our multi-national family of 12 for a week, leaving plenty for the crew to eat for breakfast.
Another first for the fridge ! Who remained fully stocked with scaled friends for the duration. 

It’s always a joy to have wine enthusiasts on board, and Sacha knew his red wine well, even by captain Francisco’s standards!

The ladies sipped enthusiastically on the white burgundies, and all thoroughly enjoyed chef Jades sweet treats. It was a pleasure to have you on board!


Jade, our talented chef, with her foie gras for Captain's Diner