Sunday, 8 November 2015

End of the 2015 season

The seasons come and the seasons go, faster it seems with every year.  For the first time in a number of years, the final cruise week with passengers finished in Auxerre, place of our winter mooring. Last season we cruised through Auxerre and on to Paris for the five yearly inspection. Two previous seasons in 2012 and 2013 we finished in Clamecy, which made for a busy few days cruising all the hours the locks were open, with a private lock-keeper to see us down.

On the Saturday morning, we waved the passengers off and began a busy end of season day, winterising the Luciole. Us girls working out the bed and table linen inventory (next season will be here before we know it) and the guys focusing on the outside duties.

The prize was sitting down to the traditional end of season Merguez Sausage Casserole followed by Apple Crumble (thank you William).  It was a birthday celebration night for Vicente, our Captain's lovely son, who is growing up fast, before our eyes.

Saturday supper on the night of the morning of the last day of our season

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the fabulous crew who have taken the Luciole through the season in such a professional and kindly way:

Captain - Francisco
Tour guide - Anna
Chef - Marc
Hostesses - The Stephanies - from Australia and the UK - and of course Emma and Izzy
Matelot - Tom - thumbs up too for his expert blog writing and for the humour in the detail that bring back the memories
Duties various - William

Wishing everyone a wonderful winter and thank you for cruising on the Luciole!
Blue sky

Monday, 2 November 2015

18th - 24th October 2015

Cruising with The Walking Party

For our last week of the season, we were joined by 'The Walking Party' led by the delightful James and Diana Tamlyn. Three families from Kenya joined them to cruise and walk through Burgundy's glowing autumnal countryside.  The colours of the vines and trees along the river and canal banks were stunning.

The crew were kept on their toes by the younger members of the families, whoe entertained with dancing, apron wearing (no fear of the cold there) and general jolity.  On the final evening, the saloon became a dance floor and music was played until curfew time of midnight in the magical setting in Auxerre, beneath the floodlit Cathedral of St Etienne.

Next season, we celebrate 50 years of hotel barging.  The first hotel barge was called the Palinurus and she began cruising in 1966. In 1985 she was bought by our company and renamed the Luciole.  We are looking forward to celebrating the golden anniversary of hotel barging next year.

Our mooring on the River Yonne, in Vincelles was spectacular