Luxury Cruise Experiences in Burgundy

The Burgundy region is one of the best French regions for food lovers. It’s also home to Burgundy wine, made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes.

Together, these two specialisms make Burgundy the ultimate destination for gastronomy of the highest order. Renowned for rich and inviting signature dishes made with red wine, this is the place where two of our biggest passions combine.

Our luxury river cruises are designed to give you a glimpse into this cultured world of food and drink, together with the most breathtaking scenery and charming towns to discover along the way. Immerse yourself into the world of coq au vin, escargots and boeuf bourguignon, and learn about the best cheese pairings with the region’s red varietals.

Book your exclusive cruise holiday with Wine Paths and build your own bespoke travel itinerary with a range of activities to choose from. Whether you want access to the most exclusive wineries in the area or you want to tour ruined castles and ancient sites, we can help you design the perfect escape. Our featured cruises can also include things like table d'hôte meals with carefully curated prix fixe menus and complimentary beverages, as well as a private guide to help with tour recommendations and more.

Rhone, Saone and Burgundy canals

The Rhone and its tributary Saone are the main waterways that flow through Burgundy. These rivers also take in other famous wine regions such as Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone. But our favorite wine destination along these waters is Burgundy, an area known for its gastronomy and high culture.

It attracts the most discerning travelers, foodies and culture vultures, with amazing sights to capture your interest. From grand palaces and stunning Renaissance architecture to natural parks and museums, there’s plenty to keep you busy on the cruise along the Rhone or Saone.

Along the rivers you could find yourself in the pretty squares of Besançon exploring its wonderful galleries. You might not have heard of it, but that’s part of its appeal as it continues to keep a low profile. Or you might find yourself in the small village of Vandenesse-en-Auxois; one of the prettiest on the canal and well worth a visit, though it can get busy in summer.

Our Belmond Lilas Afloat in France cruise boat soaks up Burgundy’s finest spots and is available for private charter. It features four cabins to accommodate up to 8 people, making it ideal for families or groups, with a range of activities both on and off board. Journeying to towns and communes such as Montmerle, Abbaye de Cluny, Beaune, Chateau de Rully, St Jean de Losne, and Dijon, this cruise will give you a taster course on the laidback yet sophisticated lifestyle in Burgundy.

What to see and do in Burgundy

Burgundy is home to some charming towns and communes, including the famous city of Dijon where visitors flood in to enjoy a historic food tour. If you are interested in visiting wineries, the Cote d’Or area (“Golden Slope”) which encompasses Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune, is a great place to go wine sampling.

The stunning Chateau de Rully is a castle in the Rully commune, and it dominates the whole region with its 12th Century architecture. Set among vineyards, it’s a significant landmark that connects visitors to the rich history of the area and the industry of wine making.

Other lovely towns are perfect sightseeing too, including St Jean de Losne and the quaint Montmerle.

With the Belmond private charter, you can also arrange for activities such as hot air ballooning, watersports, truffle hunting or guided tours with local experts.

Best time to go

The best time to enjoy a river cruise is during good weather. The summer season is perfect as there are long hours of sunshine and little to no precipitation. But if you would like to visit the region during it grape harvest, arrive from September onwards.

The month of September is still wonderful for river cruising, but the wineries are at their busiest at this time of year. To avoid the crowds, travel in the late spring shoulder season instead.

Tips for river cruising

River cruises in Burgundy are made for luxury seekers, gastronomy fans and wine connoisseurs. But you don’t have to be a French culture aficionado to get the most out of your cruise. The great staff on board will help you have an unforgettable time, no matter how experienced you are. Here are some first time cruising tips:

  • Book off board activities in advance

Winery tours, food tours and other activities in Burgundy can get booked up months in advance, so plan your trip early.

  • Pack comfortable shoes and clothing

There will be multiple stops and plenty of chance to get out and explore on your own. Comfortable and practical shoes are a must if you want to save your feet from blisters.

  • Get wine pairing with your food

Wine pairing can be a great way to enhance your food. The wine menus are also extensive on board river cruises, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and get expert recommendations.

Wine Paths is passionate about creating unforgettable food and gastronomy holidays for clients. Get in touch to find out more about exploring this incredible country by river cruise, on an exclusive winery tour or at a luxury vineyard villa.



Q: Is Burgundy suitable for children?

The region of Burgundy has plenty of things to do for people of all ages. It happens to be home to some of the most spectacular castles, palaces and abbeys, so sightseeing is fantastic here. Children are allowed on river cruises, but only when booked as a private hire. Get in touch with Wine Paths to discuss your options.

Q: What is the dress code for a cruise in Burgundy?

River cruises tend to be smart/casual and a bit more relaxed compared to big ocean cruises. The atmosphere is a lot more intimate and private bookings will mean you have all the privacy you need. Many cruise goers bring smart/casual attire, but our advice is to always be comfortable.

Q: What is on board a typical river cruise boat?

Most rooms are double or king rooms, and some with their own en-suite bathrooms. There will also be an outdoor decking area with dining space, as well as an indoor dining and communal area.

Why book with Wine Paths?