If you’ve got a culinary bucket list that you want to tick off, Belmond’s exclusive, one-week-only river cruise is an experience you can’t miss. It’s upcoming Epicurean Burgundy itinerary calls itself a ’12-star cruise’ for good reason: and that’s because during that week-long trip through Burgundy, you’ll get to dine at six Michelin-starred restaurants, savouring twelve stars as you go.
The cruise, which you can book here, departs on August 9 and will sail through Burgundy and Beaujolais. Guests will visit two restaurants from each ranking category, from freshly-minted Michelin starred restaurants all the way to three-starred stalwarts.
The highlight out of the six is undoubtedly Georges Blanc, which, having held its three Michelin stars since 1981, is a veritable institution. Don’t let the serene riverside location and warm, homely interiors fool you: you’re in for a true gourmand’s experience here. Be sure to try the Bresse chicken (said to be the worlds most expensive poultry, and a breed unique to France), and the Vonnas crêpes that are the region’s speciality.
While the food is undoubtedly the star of the cruise, you’ll also be served with a bevy of beautiful sights along the way. The one-starred Le Jardin des Rempart is situated in an elegant Art Deco villa from the 1930s in the heart of the Côte d’Or, and serves up creative cuisine that’s inspired by the surrounding region.
On the last day of the cruise, you’ll be treated to a lavish dinner fit for royalty at the opulent Restaurant Paul Bocuse, where you’ll get to try its famous black truffle soup — created specially for the French president in 1975 — amongst other equally decadent dishes.
Between the bacchanalia, you’ll be given ample time to stroll through the picturesque towns and waterways of Burgundy. Stops include Tournus, Chalon-sur-Saone, and Lyon, which is widely considered to be a haven for connoisseurs of French cuisine.
And if you need some time to digest all the decadent food that you’ll be having, the cruise will also make a stop at the historic Clos de Vougeot vineyard, which is the largest single vineyard in the surrounding wine region to be granted the grand cru designation, and is also where Cistercian monks first began making wine in the 12th century. Later, you’ll get an exclusive private tour of Burgundy’s fabled Hotel-Dieu, whose stunning gothic facade has become something of an emblem for the region.
After all the eating, imbibing, and adventuring, retreat back to the luxurious Belmond Napoleon to sleep off your food coma — your leisure craft is well-appointed to care for your needs. The 12-passenger boat boasts spacious, lush cabins for recharging, a sun-dappled deck to enjoy cocktails on, and a stately lounge for guests to mingle in. Now that’s what we call life in the slow lane.