Day 1: BESANCON – GRAY
We will provide a tour bus transfer(3) from Besançon to Gray. Then, you’ll board our boat at 6 p.m. We’ll introduce our crew to you before having dinner on board. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 2: GRAY – AUXONNE
All meals served on board. We will head out on foot for an optional guided tour of Gray. You’ll get a chance to discover secret treasures scattered throughout town. You will admire the town hall (one of the most stunning structures from the Renaissance period in Franche-Comté), distinguished homes, and the Gothic style of Gray’s Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame). The visit will come to a close after enjoying a sampling of local products. Then, we’ll return on board. In the afternoon, the boat will take us along the Petite Saône and arrive in the evening at Auxonne. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 3: AUXONNE – SAINT-JEAN-DE-LOSNE
All meals served on board. During the morning, we will set out on foot on an optional guided tour of Auxonne. The town exhibits many symbols of its historic and military past. Napoleon Bonaparte resided here as a lieutenant from 1788 to 1791. You’ll be able to discover old buildings, including Gray’s Basilica – made in a gothic style and still displaying traces of fresco. You will also see the last Arsenal for artillery in France. In the afternoon, the boat will depart for Saint-Jean-de-Losne. You’ll enjoy the beautiful landscapes that unfold before you. We’ll arrive late afternoon and remain in port overnight.
Day 4: SAINT-JEAN-DE-LOSNE – DOLE
All meals served on board. Our ship will take us to Dole in the morning. Spend the morning cruise lounging on the deck and enjoying the view of the countryside along the river. In the afternoon, you can get away from it all in Dole, Louis Pasteur’s birthplace. Learn about Dole while following the unique "Chat Perché" itinerary (voluntary). Its name refers to writer Marcel Aymé who spent his early childhood here and later wrote the famous tales about the Chat Perché (perched cat). It also refers to the fact that Dole is perched on a hillside. Via this route, you will explore historical structures, such as the collegiate Notre-Dame, the house where Louis Pasteur was born, and the former Hôtel-Dieu Hospital. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 5: DOLE – RANCHOT
All meals served on board. During our morning cruise, you could bicycle along the canal on the Voie Verte cycle path.(1) You will also be able to take in beautiful views of this rich region throughout the trip. In the afternoon, join us for an optional tour bus excursion to the Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans (only available through pre-reservation with your travel agency before your departure). This royal factory is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s masterpiece built between 1775 and 1779 under Louis XV’s orders. The buildings, constructed in a semicircle, served as the living quarters and work place for the salt workers. After our tour, we’ll return on board. We’ll remain in port overnight.
DAY 6: RANCHOT – THORAISE –VELOTTE CANAL- BESANCON
All meals served on board. We’ll spend the morning cruising towards Thoraise, arriving in the early afternoon. We’ll leave by coach for an optional visit to Besançon, a city overflowing with well-preserved, charming architecture and no less than 170 historical structures. You will get a chance to view the major edifices such as the cathedral and its astronomical clock. You will also get a look at 17th-century homes with their beautiful façades and the 14-century city hall. We’ll return on board at the canal in Velotte (or nearby) and cruise into Besançon. Tonight will be our gala dinner and evening onboard. We’ll remain in port overnight.
Day 7: BESANCON
Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m.