Wednesday, 28 May 2014

11th - 17th May

The Luciole season commences with our second group of passengers, and what a group they were. Australians, Americans and British all represented in this diverse, friendly and talkative group. Many hours of pilot training with captain Francisco were racked up by several of the passengers as the jokes flew from deck to wheelhouse and back again.

Spring was also making itself known as the sun emerged and the countryside bloomed into life, reminding us all of the rural beauty and serenity of Burgundy and the timeless canal du Nivernais.

A flawless early season week with fond farewells as new friends depart for Paris. A perfect way to put us all in high spirits and ready the crew for the coming weeks.

Monday, 19 May 2014

4th - 10th May

This was a week in which we aimed to do some promotional work. Camera man and BBC Producer Anthony Palmer joined us for week with the aim of producing a short video promoting bespoke charters. A lot was covered, the weather was on our side and many minutes of footage was captured.

On the Luciole you can now create your own bespoke charter, whether you are a group of females who prefer to relax in the spa, have cooking lessons from Mark and enjoy colour me beautiful events, or if you prefer the more adrenaline fuelled side of life and enjoy climbing cliffs or swinging through trees - you can now create your own itinerary.

The aim of this week was also to trial out the logistics regarding it all, and it was deemed extremely successful, laughing was contagious and constant all week long and a lot of fun was had. Joe reached great heights at cliff climbing and James discovered his true colours and that he required a change in wardobe, while the ladies relaxed at the spa.

A big thank you to all involved and especially to Ant for his hard work. Stay tuned for the video which will be arriving shortly.

27th April - 3rd May

The first week of the season has started, the boat looks fantastic inside and out; some new en-suite bathrooms and a refurbished galley for the chef. Thank you to all that worked so hard on the Luciole this winter, it was good fun, but it's always pleasant to get the season underway.

It is usually slow going up the canal in the first week - the mud settles in the middle and as we are the deepest boat around, we spend the first week pushing our way through the muck. We also reached the port of Clamecy for the first time in two years - as the canal was closed for major repairs just before the town. This also means passing through the dreaded 'Basseville' lock, renowned for its difficulty, the river crosses perpendicular to the lock and with a weir on the right hand side, it is not for the faint hearted.

Our young chef Mark continues to impress as he did last season, his passion for food is evident in the dishes he produces. We are looking forward to seeing his progression over the season as he continues to push himself into such a high level of cooking, the barge is a good place for a chef to experiment and progress; down to basics, producing such a variety of dishes over the week and having the time to focus on the details of each plate.

Friday, 16 May 2014

2014 Season, Crew

For 2014 we see some similar faces returning and a new, yet old friend joining us.

Captain Francisco is at the helm, taking the boat safely through the Nivernais' challenging obstacles.

Chef Marc is responsible for the exquisite food being served onboard, he returns after spending the winter travelling around India.

A change in role for Anna as she takes on the responsibility of tour guiding, after spending the winter swatting on the regional history - she will guide you through the variable periods of Burgundy's history with a smile.

Star matelot Tom, spent time in Luciole's office and further time working on the boat this winter. He'll be keeping the paintwork shiny and the flowers watered.

Suzie is also back from a trip to India is joining us again, we welcome again her fair nature and attention to detail with all things inside.

A big welcome to George who will be providing service inside. A barging prodigy - his father responsible for converting the Luciole from the cargo vessel she once was and credited with developing France's first hotel barge. Pictured here with his father, Richard. A pleasure to have you onboard George.

2014 Season, Introduction

It's definitely Spring in Burgundy, the area is very green. Cherry blossom floats down the river, swan cygnets paddle past the boat and yellow fields of canola cut the landscape. The Luciole is also blossoming in a new coat of paint, moored on her new mooring - underneath the Cathedral, the recently planted grass and plants complete newly developed quay in Auxerre - everyone is in agreement that they have done a very good job - the river front looks great. A few more days to go until the season starts, you can feel the anticipation building within her hull.