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Direction Burgundy: explore the Yonne and its region by barge

In Burgundy, the time has come to forget the stress and to stroll in the middle of nature, to stop, according to your will, in order to take advantage of the towns and villages encountered. An original experience, accessible without a boat license, to share as a couple, with family or friends on a comfortable boat.

Reading time:
3 mins

Boarding the Eastern Pénichette the beginning of a gentle journey that offers new discoveries. After an hour of training, we become a sailor and the locks are open to us. Loaded bicycles, filled refrigerator, luggage installed in the cabins, navigation can begin at a speed of… 8 km/h.


Departing from Joigny and its vineyards of the Côte Saint-Jacques, several routes are offered. Each time, the architectural, historical, gastronomic and wine-growing riches of the region are accessible or visible in an unusual way. Some waterways of the Burgundy Canal date from the 18th century to reach Tanlay via Saint-Florentin. On the meanders of the Yonne, bocage landscapes and apple orchards lead to Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and Sens overlooked by its cathedral. The Nivernais canal, towards Auxerre, is bordered by the hillsides of Chablis and its wine-growing villages such as Irancy, its panorama and its cherry trees. From spring to autumn, each trip is different and also surprising.

Penichette1Nivernais Canal

Living on a barge

Calm is required for savor nature with the lapping of the water on the hull. The only constraint now is to make sure to warn the lock keeper according to our arrival time. He will be present to assist the passages which become easy very quickly. But the circuits offered leave plenty of time to moor according to your desires to visit or relax.


At the helm, the cruise is prepared using the maps provided and the estimated travel times. You can ride indoors or outdoors. Meanwhile, life on board is organizedthe kitchen is comfortable and well equipped, enough to store the food on board (the region is rich in good products).

kitchen view

The cabins have sink, shower, WC, oven, hotplates, electricity and heating. On deck, the relaxation areas are just waiting to be used, including a terrace near the cockpit equipped with a sun visor.


Mooring pontoons are regularly accessible to find dry land in the countryside or in town. The bike is a plus to enlarge the radius of the sites to visit. Animals can be on the trip. In the end, it was great along the banks…


We liked it. The slow pace of the ride and the calm. Comfortable life on board and on deck. Visits to cities as you navigate.

We liked it less. Additional costs for mooring with electricity and water.

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