• Six cabins: cabins #2 through #6 each have 116 sq. ft.
of space; the forward cabin (#1) has 142 sq. ft. All cabins have
an average ceiling height of 6 ft. 8 in.
• All cabins have private bath. Five have separate toilet
and shower, both with a sink; forward cabin (#1) has one large
• All cabins can be configured with two twin beds (31.5
in. wide by 75 in. long), OR with one queen bed (63 in. wide
by 75 in. long).
• Cabins feature dual wardrobes with ample hanging space and shelves, and a writing desk and chair.
The Savoir Faire features six staterooms. Each can be configured with two twin beds or with one queen bed.
Staterooms 2 through 6 each have a separate toilet and shower. Stateroom 1 has a large bathroom with shower. All cabins offer good lighting, a large number of electrical outlets, and include 220v European standard and 110v U.S. standard power outlets.
In the public areas, the Savoir Faire is unique with five separate areas for passenger enjoyment -- whether for a personal retreat, a quiet conversation, a small group get-together, or for all passengers to enjoy together. The salon, dining area, and bar are finished in mahogany, teak and brass, decorated with antiques and paintings collected over the years, and with new original works of art introduced by Chris and Fran.
* The main lounge has a panoramic view, comfortable
custom-made furniture, upright piano, game table,
* Adjacent to the lounge is an elegant dining
room, large enough to double as a dance floor
on festive evenings, and a writing desk in its
own quiet corner.
* To the aft is a cozy cocktail lounge, a favorite
meeting place for aperitifs or quiet conversations,
with stereo and CD player.
* Outside there are two spacious decks -- a fore deck that opens directly from the main lounge, and an elevated observation deck offering a magnificent view of the passing countryside
Savoir Faire's master chef selects only the freshest ingredients to prepare the subtle sauces and the delicate pastries that are so much a part of exceptional French cuisine.
A grand selection of fine regional wines accompanies lunch and dinner, complementing the superb cuisine.
All meals are served in Savoir Faire's elegant mahogany panelled dining room with the finest crystal, Wedgewood china and Christofle silver.
Each day, the chef combines fresh ingredients drawn from local markets to create the most incredible cuisine you have ever experienced. The menus You will experience aboard will always be unique, and tailored to your specific needs. The following menu selections are typical, but cuisine aboard will be different -- and is sure to surprise and delight you!
Continental breakfast with freshly baked pastries and breads,
cereals, fruit, yogurt and eggs made to order.
Pan fried fois gras, served on warm brioche, with an assortment of fresh salads Souffle of Parmesan and Marrow, served on warm roast vegetables in olive oil (vegetarian)
Dinner typically includes an entree, main course, cheese course, dessert, and coffee, followed by aperitifs and chocolates served in the main salon.
Steak tartare with roquette salad
Cream of Mussel and Saffron soup
Oeuf en Meurette - poached egg in a Bourgignon sauce Tartare of Salmon, capers and dill, topped with a fresh quail’s egg
Smoked duck and poached pear salad, with blue cheese dressing
Feuillete of roast avocado and Brie with a walnut dressed salad (vegetarian)
Poulet de Bresse a la crème with gratin Dauphinois
Fillet of Shark served in a tarragon butter sauce
Braised beef fillet in juniper berry and red wine jus
Rosette of pork filet with a Dijon mustard sauce and Gratin Dauphinois
Cumin roasted saddle of Lamb with a Caviar of Aubergines
Roasted duck breast with a Grillottes sauce, Duchess potatoes
Tarragon Pancake filled with spinach mousse with a roquefot glaze (vegetarian)
Tart Amandine with Crème Anglaise
Lemon Posset with Langue du chat biscuits
Homemade nougat glace with a fresh fruit coulis
Dark Chocolate Soufflé with a white chocolate sauce
Strawberry Meringue Roulade with a Summer Fruit Coulis
Paris Brest, with Crème Anglaise
Chris and Fran Bennett have been captain and owners since the end of 2004. Their extensive experience on the waterways of France has included operating a successful barge in Burgundy that received rave reviews from their passengers, setting the stage for their operations aboard the Savoir Faire.
They are charming, attentive and knowledgable hosts assisted by a crew of four including a master chef.
In their first year of operation aboard the Etoile de Champagne
-- the 2005 season -- they have received exceptional reviews
from each charter and individual cabin cruise week, achieving
some of the highest guest satisfaction levels of any of the barges
We appreciate your gracious sharing of your
knowledge, experience and home! You and your
energetic, engaging crew have taught us much
about the culture of France. We thank you for
your extraordinary planning and patience. [RF,
How can this trip on the "Etoile de Champagne"* be topped? So much knowledge and fun - always relaxed - always delightful! I would recommend a week with you to anyone- no other barge I've seen comes close to yours. Three cheers to the staff - the spirit of each makes all the difference. [E. McG, USA]
What a magnificent trip! Thank you all for catering
to our every need and whim as we traveled through
the beautiful countryside. Biking alongside the
ship as she cruised was an incredible way to
get the full flavor. Your wonderful crew provided
a spectacular experience that will not be forgotten.
Thank you for all the wonderful memories. [FA,
The only sad moment of this wonderful week was
when we realized that our cruise was coming
to an end. We enjoyed the exceptional hospitality,
the incredible food and wines and the most
and memorable group of mothers and daughters.
Thank you to all ... [S & JB, USA]
Your boat is magical - with a warmth and charm
that is infectious. The beautiful meals and trips
and cruising made for an all too short week.
Thank you for all you did to spoil us throughout.
Speaking for all of us, this week exceeded all
expectations and has set a high bar for future
trips that are sure to come. Many thanks for
everything ... [MMcG, USA]
Dearest cast and crew of the "Etoile de Champagne".* You have made our trip to France a grand excursion and a pleasure beyond belief ... a magical tour of an enchanted place. Thank you all for your generous hospitality. [A.R, USA]
Price: From $4,100 .
August 22 - 2 cabins sold
Paris to Epernay or reverse
The Savoir Faire (formerly "Etoile de Champagne") dates back to 1932 when she was built as a transport barge in the Belgian estuaries. During World War II, her bow was replaced with a landing bow so she could sail up on the beaches. She was sunk during the war but later lifted from the river bottom and completely refurbished.
Through the years, she has received accolades from all those fortunate to have sailed aboard her, and many passengers have returned for repeat visits. As one of the few owner-operated luxury barges, the Savoir Faire prides itself in customizing your cruise week to your desires.
In 1979, the barge was brought to Holland where she underwent a total metamorphosis and was converted into the elegant three-decked hotel barge that she is today. Carrying just 12 passengers and built on the largest hull that can cruise the waterways, the former "Etoile de Champagne" was substantially refurbished. For the 2006 season, her name changes to "Savoir Faire," continuing to maintain the very high standard of excellence in cuisine, accommodations and service that it became known for during the 2005 and previous seasons.