Monday, 4 December 2017

The Luciole blog can also be seen on our home page

Each season seems to go so fast! 

We always enjoy looking back over the years and remembering the weeks and Luciole passengers.

The seasons of 2016 and 2017 can now be seen on the home page of our website:

Memories of swimming this season from the Luciole, on the Nivernais

15th - 21st October - end of our 2017 season

Our final cruise to see in the end of the 2017 season couldn’t have been filled with a more wonderful set of passengers and extraordinarily sunny October weather to match. Charter leaders Stephen and Barton did a fantastic job of leading friends and family to fulfill hopes of a fantasy trip that had been dreamt up many moons ago. We are happy to report this included Stephen taking an autumnal (cool) river dip and painting the picturesque Burgundy landscapes as we cruised along our route for the last time this year from Clamecy to Auxerre. Guest Cynthia impressed the crew with her expert steering skills as we cruised into Accolay with the sun swinging low on the canal behind us, and with it bringing a time to reminisce on another season coming to a close. 

Final cruise into Auxerre on a glorious autumnal day

All the fantastic guests, laughs and challenges we have faced along the way make for many comical, warm memories. The ‘Golden Book’ our reminder of those times and faces we don’t want to and won’t ever forget. Thank you to everyone who has walked the ‘plank’ and joined us through our doors this year for a weeks cruise, a drink, a bite to eat, a cup of tea or even just a chat. You have made the Luciole what it is! Lights out on one more season, we hope to see some of you back for more in 2018, many warm wishes until then, and keep an eye on our blog to see Winter updates from our refit (which will no doubt begin far sooner than anyone expects!)

Coffee at the Abbey de Fontenay

1st - 14th October

With a two week rest from cruising before her final trip of the 2017 season, the Luciole has been enjoying some much needed R and R in one of her favourite spots along the Nivernais – the small medieval town of Clamecy. The boat version of a manicure and pedicure – she has been enjoying a glorious rub down and pampering top-up of paint from matelot Luke, while inventories and end of season preparations begin inside.
Chartreuse Notre-Dame du Val Saint-Jean beside the canal
Colours have been changing along the canal, and we have been blessed with cool but bright Autumn mornings and warm sunny weather throughout the day leading to the most indulgent of sunsets. The time for glasses of wine in front of the fire and reminiscing on another wonderful season are almost upon us. But first, we eagerly await the ... family.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

24th - 30th September


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