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 V├ęzelay 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

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

27th August - 2nd September

A wonderful, key part of the Luciole’s cruise along the Nivernais is the quaint hand-worked locks – 32 of them in total along our week’s path. A smooth and fascinating experience when working well, and a comical team building one when problems occur! Many hands made light work this week when an obstruction in a lock gate created quite a traffic jam of barges. Luckily every Frenchman and his dog turned up to help. Captain Francisco along with matelot Luke, Tim (the captain of The Randle) and Luciole passenger John managed to force open the gate and so set the obstruction on it’s way.

Passengers, lock keepers and crew help open the lock gate

Passenger Nancy steers the boat and Captain Francisco

Other highlights of the week included a jolly string of visitors to join captain Francisco up in the wheel house, an old Liley family friend Robin cruising for the first time in 16 years, and chef Jade's parents Christine and John joining us from bonnie Scotland.

Robin, hostess Kimberley and owner Will


Captain Francisco with Christine, chef Jade's mother

Thursday, 31 August 2017

20th - 26th August

With the second half of the season in full swing and the August weather reaching it’s sunny peak, there were plenty of opportunities for refreshing river dips and even perfecting swimming one handedly (drink in the other!)

The warm evenings allowed for a game of boules watered down of course with some Pastis... it's in the rules.

Passengers play Boules at Accolay
The weather wasn't the only thing making us hot under the collar this week. Love was in the air on the Luciole!; a 44th anniversary celebration for Ruth and Bill and a wedding lead up for Kathryn and Phil, reminding us of all the anniversaries and honeymoons we’ve shared with passengers along the way. Wishing the very best of luck to all!    


Glorious weather for the final cruise as we leave a canal section on to the River Yonne


Sunday, 27 August 2017

13th - 19th August

Another week of firsts for the Luciole, with a group of Russian and Ukranian guests joining us to make Luciole history – the first in our 51 years of hotel barging.
And what a week we had! 

Our lovely passengers

Fishing was on the agenda – a lot of it! A visit to the local trout farm produced more than enough to allow chef Jade to feed our multi-national family of 12 for a week, leaving plenty for the crew to eat for breakfast.
Another first for the fridge ! Who remained fully stocked with scaled friends for the duration. 

It’s always a joy to have wine enthusiasts on board, and Sacha knew his red wine well, even by captain Francisco’s standards!

The ladies sipped enthusiastically on the white burgundies, and all thoroughly enjoyed chef Jades sweet treats. It was a pleasure to have you on board!


Jade, our talented chef, with her foie gras for Captain's Diner

30th July - 12th August

A two week break from cruising during what predictably can be a very hot August allowed for crew to fly off to all four corners, covering between them Portugal, Spain, Italy, Prague and of course sunny wee Scotland!
Quiet in Vezelay and on the Luciole, with crew taking their summer holidays

In the meantime back in Auxerre, the Luciole welcomed over-qualified house-sitters John Liley and son Arthur The Luciole enjoyed a nice sanding and paint refresh from Matelot Luke (who stayed close by during the break) under the watchful eye of John. Good friend and long-term Luciole painter Roy also joined us to freshen up inside and enjoy a green tea or two. With crew now all in place and perhaps needing a holiday from their holiday, we begin to cruise with ease into the second part of our 2017 season!

Monday, 31 July 2017

23rd - 29th July

Bonjour to the Aaron and Winnard families!

Youngsters Olivia, Alex and Elias were the catch of the week with their keen help prepping lunch with chef Jade, even given the job of chopping the onions didn’t put Olivia off chef life! Meanwhile on training as a new hostess on the side, the lotus flower napkin fold was perfect. When do you start?! 

A Jade wonder from the galley

The sun breaking through the clouds towards the end of the week allowed grandparents Hank and Ruth to take over the steering of the boat up on the wheel house, under captain Francisco’s watchful eye. I think we see a new crew forming! Merci to all.


Summer corn fields, looking towards Irancy and Bailly