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Monday, December 7, 2015

Le Boat

We rented a "barge" from Le Boat. We picked up the barge from St. Jean de Losne, just 43 km from Beaune. We had the car so it was a 40 minute drive.

There is a train station in St. Jean de Losne but it is 2 km outside of town. If you arrive by train, you'll need to either take a taxi or arrange transportation from Le Boat. There weren't a lot of taxis at the station so it might be safer to pre-arrange transportation.

This was our barge--a 44 foot 2 cabin boat with an upper deck. We rented from Le Boat, which had a base in St. Jean de Losne. The boat cost $1866 for a week, including an early booking discount. Le Boat has "dynamic pricing." That means the price changes based on demand. When I made the final payment 2 months prior to departure, the rental was $200 less than what I paid with the early booking discount. Le Boat did not honor the lower rate. I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to book a boat, unless you are traveling in July or August, during peak travel times.

My other complaint about Le Boat is that they nickeled and dimed us for everything. We even had to rent seat cushions--$7 each for a week. Each bike was $63 for a week, wifi unit $63, Collision Damage Insurance $203. Instead of paying for fuel, you pay for engine hours. For our week-long cruise, we paid $305. If you want parking inside a fenced area, it was an additional $54. The agent told us they couldn't guarantee the safety of the car even if it was parked in the fenced area, so we just found a spot on the street. 

On a plus note, we had a very nice agent who did our check-in and the boat was very comfortable.

Galley with small stove and small refrigerator (it's the one next to the stove). There were plenty of dishes, pots & pans. We were given 3 dish cloths. There were no dishwashing liquid, sponges or paper products. We were given only 2 garbage bags for the entire week.

Dining area. The table opened up to a full table.

We were provided sheets, pillows and blankets. Also included were 1 hand towel and 1 bath towel for each passenger for the entire week.

The head was serviceable but there was only 1 roll of toilet paper. The shower had pretty good pressure. Since we docked in a marina at night, we didn't have to worry too much about conserving water. We could fill up the water tank every night.

You could either steer from inside the boat or go on the top deck to steer.

We arrived at the base around 1:20 pm, shortly after picking our friends up at the train station. We started the paperwork and were allowed to board our boat around 2:30 pm. We didn't pre-arrange and pay for early departure so we weren't given our orientation until 4 pm. Orientation was very basic. Fortunately, my husband had a lot of boat experience so he felt comfortable with the operations of a boat. We just wished we had more instructions on how to operate the locks but we quickly figured that out.

We had gone to a supermarche in Beaune to provision but apparently, there was one near the base as well. We could tell by the abandoned grocery carts near the dock.

The one thing I wished we had brought were clothes pins. They would've come in handy to hang things out to dry.

2015 09 26

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