Sunday, 18 June 2017

11th - 17th June


Things got a little wet and wild this week with the arrival of James and his troop of delightful ramblers.

The sun was shining, and any stop along the cruise was a more than perfect opportunity to dive, flop or jump into the river to cool off. Crew included.

The ladies kept things graceful, while the men caused a splash and showed real dedication with their 7am dips. A wonderful team of synchronized swimmers!

Home-made elderflower cordial was sipped, cherries consumed, and a daily after-dinner stroll in the soft evening summer light was a welcome addition brought with the long June evenings. (glass of wine in hand mandatory)


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

4th - 10th June 2017

With the welcome arrival of June sunshine and soaring temperatures, an equally sunny gaggle of passengers boarded the Luciole for a week of laughs and plenty of pre, during and post beverages!

Once upon a time marathon runner Lois did laps of us and the canal path while we steadily made our way along the Nivernais - (a Burgundian version of The Tortoise and the Hare.) 

While the return of Californian gentleman Lee was the cherry on top of our sunny week. Two Cornish ladies stirred things up with their Cornish banter, and fellow Scotsman Charles made firm friends with chef Jade!  


Return passenger Lee, with Penny

Sunday, 4 June 2017

21st - 27th May 2017

The Luciole was honoured to welcome back Gordon with his lovely wife and nieces, along with three amazing ladies travelling from America (via Spain) with stories a plenty. English Gent, John also returned and last but not least Eduard and Tana, who made up the party.
We have Tana to thank for her poem! 


Ode to the 'Luciole'

Once long ago to John and Penny, 
There came amazing inspiration, 
With which hearts and hands a-many, 
Led to Barge Luciole's creation.

Francisco poached from The Batobus
With the rest of the crew, looks after us.
With consummate skill he steers the boat,
Through locks and shallows keeping afloat.

Keen of the eye and handy too, 
There's nothing Ian cannot do.
Being Cisco's right-hand guide, 
Swabbing, polishing, helping us ride.

Tour guide Andy's a dapper fellow,
With twinkling eyes and humour mellow,
With knowledge of history, architecture, wine and cheese,
Though he's not so good on flowers and trees!

And back at the boat, why, here comes Kimberley!
Nobody serves us quite so nimbly!
With her sunny smile, no-one is quicker,
To offer us coffee, tea and liquor!

Noami, too, with charm and grace,
Quietly moves about the place.
Seeing that every need is met,
Both above and below the deck.

Then Jade, the chef extraordinaire 
She plies us with amazing fare.
Every meal a taste sensation,
A paragon of degustation!

So please, don't think it just platitude,
When we express our heartfelt gratitude.
For in our hearts and memory,
This trip, with you, will always be.


Oh what a week to remember - blue sky as we cruise into Auxerre

...... Merci from the Luciole crew - to our wonderful passengers of this week

Monday, 15 May 2017

7th - 13th May 2017

A delightful group of Canadian (NOT to be confused with American!), British and actual American guests graced us with their company this week on board the Luciole. A mixture of glorious local beers on a sunny deck and cups of hot, frothy cappuccinos during cool April showers made for a varied yet thoroughly enjoyable week.

Many a joyful late evening tale was shared among guests and even crew over candlelit dinner and wine this week, with each crew member being put in the ‘hot seat’ as our intrigued guests asked us a hundred (of course welcomed!) questions. Thank you for being so nosey, we appreciated it!

Don exchanged humorous tales with chef Jade on his time working on cruise ships, and Lily a Canadian author spiced things up with her stories and writing. Laughter filled the saloon from morning until evening, thank you to all for a very pleasant, humorous week on board, you will be missed!

Super relaxed and convivial dining on the Luciole


The Luciole, moored beneath the Roches de Saussois

Sunday, 7 May 2017

23rd - 29th April 2017

The Luciole welcomed aboard Americans and British for the second cruise of our season. The Gallé family, with their perfectly behaved children Felix and Cicely were a pleasure to have on board too. Oh what a fabulous fossil you found in the vineyard Felix, a full oyster shell. A remarkable treasure to find.

Jade our chef, with us for a second year, cooked up a storm, catering for a variety of dietary requests, early teas youngsters and sandwiches for the intrepid bikers, Mary and Jenny. 



Salmon, steeped in beetroot juices, garnished with parsnip crisp


Oh the bikers!  Mary and Jenny, your enthusiasm to explore and go further into the depths was so admirable.  Mary, Queen of Pedal - I only wish I was as fit you. Even the Fosse Dione, in Tonnerre was graced by your presence. That is really called 'going the full distance' ladies, the rest of us were full of admiration.



Friends and friendship on the Luciole 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

16th - 22nd April 2017

We spent our first week with a lovely family, who arrived from sunny California and Costa Rica.  All week the barge rang with three languages.  Captain Francisco was in his element, speaking in his mother tongue - Spanish - with the younger generation in the wheelhouse.

Superb Kimberley and George our hosts created magic in so many ways, George's butter man was highly amusing! Thank you for seeing through the start of our season George. Happy travels onwards.


Mr Butter-fingers George with his butter-man

Jade our returning chef from last season, swung into gear.  Following the impressive array of DIY skills during the refit weeks, one could be forgiven for forgetting Jade was the Luciole chef! High five to you cheffy.

Ian is our new matelot for this season and he learnt the ropes and counting the Luciole into the locks so quickly. William as a past matelot was present to guide Ian through the learning of the ropes, in every sense, passing on the Luciole traditions. 

Andy drove the bus with his usual calm aplomb, guiding the passengers on the visits and explaining of yesteryear. He also proved he had not lost his mooring spike hammering skills over the winter months!



Mooring in the countryside

Our lovely family, watched the bird life along the river bank. Heard the nightingales, watched the diving grebe and the swooping swallows in Vincelles. Jim you will be remembered for your passion, with your trusty binoculars of our feathered friends. It was a lovely start to our season. Our thanks to you all.


Auxerre agent rendezvous


Kindly visiting from around the globe, a group of barge agents, on a short cruise from Vincelles to Auxerre. Wined and dined in the evening in celebration of 50 years of barging, a speech by the man who started it all, Richard Parsons, aptly joined by his son George who was helping us out on the Luciole.

Some major changes on the Luciole; moving of the stair case to create more room in the saloon, new passenger bathrooms in the stern and new crew cabins in the bow. A mammoth effort by all to get her ready on time, of which we are extremely grateful to all the effort put in.

Dinner was then served for 32 in a hotel on the quay. A lovely evening shared by old and new faces. We thank those who joined us and those who helped out.

Barge agents cruising into Auxerre

Richard Parsons, his right hand man, son George.