A special tour to discover a series of emblematic sites on French waterways and lakes, from Paris to the tour provider’s home town of Grenoble, European Green Capital 2022. Monday 19th to Sunday 25th September, 2022. Nights in Paris and Dijon, two nights in Annecy and two nights in Grenoble. The diverse tour includes four boat trips, one through the 3.3 km long Pouilly tunnel on the Canal de Bourgogne, and a unique narrow-gauge railway excursion. The tour is organised by David Edwards-May for members of Inland Waterways International. Enjoy the company of an enthusiastic and motivated international group. The price per person is €980. The single supplement is €220 (separate product).
Assemble in Paris by 14:30 at the Tim’hotel (formerly Villa Saint-Martin) in rue des Récollets, close to the Gare de l’Est and the Canal Saint-Martin. After check-in, depart 15:00 for excursion to see commercial use of the Paris canals, intensified since construction of the Stade de France and now construction of the Grand Paris Metro Express. Walk to the Bassin de La Villette to embark on Canauxrama vessel. Cruise on the Canal de l’Ourcq to Pavillons-sous-Bois and back. Dinner in the excellent brasserie opposite the Gare de l’Est.
Barge unloading construction materials on the Canal de l’Ourcq in Bondy, a northeastern suburb of Paris
Tuesday, September 20
After breakfast, check out but leave luggage at the hotel. Métro and RER to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine to visit the Musée de la Batellerie et des Voies Navigables. The overall presentation by distinguished waterways historian Bernard Le Sueur will be given outside the museum. The superb château overlooks the Seine. One of many fascinating models and exhibits in the Museum is the model of an elaborate barge-towing system erected at Janville lock on the Canal lateral à l’Oise, nicknamed the “zinzin” or thingummyjig. There is also a massive model of the Fontinettes boat lift. Free time for a late lunch on the quayside in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (a short walk down the hill). Walk back up to the station and return to Paris. Pick up luggage at our hotel. Métro to Quai de la Râpée, walk to Gare de Lyon for TGV to Dijon, departing 17:28.
Walk 500m to Logis Hotel Darcy in the centre of Dijon. Dinner on your own. Night in Dijon
Model of the ‘zinzin’ at Janville, one of the many fascinating exhibits in the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine Museum
Wednesday, September 21
Board the passenger boat Billebaude for the cruise through the entire summit level including the 3333m long Pouilly tunnel. Disembark in the basin at Escommes at the Saône end. Reboard coach and proceed to Saint-Jean-de-Losne for lunch on the quayside, beside the Gare d’eau. Note in passing the newly refurbished lock 75 of the Canal de Bourgogne at Saint-Jean-de-Losne, France’s second barge capital after Conflans Sainte-Honorine. A few kilometres away, after lunch, brief stop at the nearby commercial port of Pagny-le-Château, the northernmost point of the high-capacity Rhône-Saône waterway.
The Billebaude exits the Pouilly tunnel at the southern end.
Thursday, September 22
Friday, September 23
Visit the Château overlooking the old town and the lake and/or free time to visit Annecy.
11:00 Board coach with luggage for transfer to Grenoble, European Green Capital 2022.
Check into Hôtel d’Angleterre on Place Victor Hugo, in the city centre.
Lunch in a brasserie Place de Gordes or Jardin de Ville (depending on the weather).Guided walking tour of the city centre, including the Musée de Grenoble (biggest art collection in France outside Paris), the Musée de l’Ancienne Évêchée and the vestiges of the 3rd century baptism font discovered when tram Line B was built, the Isère and the Saint-Laurent suspension bridge, and the Jardin de Ville where author Stendhal lived. History of the river Isère as a navigation, until the parallel railway line was opened.
Late afternoon, take the téléphérique to the Bastille, towering 260m above the city. Time to enjoy many facets of the site, possibly walking through to the caves that were part of the fortifications, until dinner in the Restaurant du Téléphérique.
Return via the Téléphérique in your own time. Short walk to the Hôtel d’Angleterre.
The right-bank quay of the river Isère and the téléphérique to the Bastille
Saturday, September 24
The breathtaking scenery of the Petit Train de La Mure, perched high above the Lac de Monteynard in the Drac gorges .
Sunday, September 25
End of tour. Additional visits and excursions will be recommended for those who can extend their stay.
The price per person of €980 includes 4 boat trips, 6 nights B&B, 4 lunches and 4 dinners, TGVs from Paris to Dijon and Mâcon to Annecy, coach transfers and the two visits to waterways museums.
Select * 2 for two persons
Additional costs €95 (cost overruns on boat in Paris and dinner in Grenoble, plus boat trip on Lake Annecy)