An authentic vintage barge with plenty of history, Le Papillon (‘The Butterfly’) first spread her wings in 1902. During her commercial life, she has proudly steamed the waterways of northern Europe and carried cargo along the Rhine and Meuse rivers.
In 1980, she was rescued by two designers from New York and skilfully converted into the elegant péniche hôtel that graces the Burgundy canal today. With her oak and teak furnishings, provincial handmade tiles, brass portholes and printed wallpaper, Le Papillon has such character and charm that passengers find themselves drawn back year after year.
She sleeps only six, in three cabins – one double and two twins. Each cabin has en-suite facilities with air conditioning and central heating for maximum comfort. Every one of the large portholes can be opened, filling your floating home with air and light.
The living quarters are spacious and well appointed. Le Papillon’s traditional dining room provides the perfect ambience to sample all the essential flavours of Burgundy from the chef’s galley. The comfortable saloon is complete with an eclectic library and stereo system. Naturally, the bar is stocked with the finest vintage wines from the region’s vineyards.
Your crew provides an impeccable and attentive service, guaranteeing the trip of a lifetime. Together, they are a wealth of information about France, sharing their passion about the country’s rich culture, cuisine and wine.
If you’re looking for a luxury Burgundy canal vacation, Le Papillon is the only way to travel.
Share our passion for Burgundy Cuisine
Food is one of Burgundy’s greatest passions (the other being wine, of course). From our point of view, that means the galley is the beating heart of Le Papillon.
Our Chef de Cuisine takes great pride in ensuring your dining experience on board is not only a feast of the senses, but also supportive of local farmers and growers. We focus on artisanal products, and our menus are created according to what’s seasonally available. We take the time to select ingredients at markets, directly from producers, and often from the lock-keepers who supply us with eggs, cheese or a basket of trompette de la mort mushrooms.
We’re also great foragers – so much in fashion today – and follow the seasons along the banks and fields. Depending on what time of the year it is, we’ll serve you fresh elderberry cordial, wild asparagus, blackberry jelly or warm walnut tart. Feel free to join on us on any of our culinary excursions into the hedgerows!
Finally, we can’t go without mentioning French bread. Of course, you can buy ‘French bread’ the world over, but only when you buy from the village boulangerie will you get a real baguette or ficelle. Legend dictates that the baguette was invented by Napoleon for his soldiers – they were given one every morning and it was long and thin so they could carry it in a special trouser pocket!
When it comes to mealtimes, you can enjoy our gourmet cuisine in the formal dining room or indulge in an apéritif or digestif on the front deck. On a balmy summer evening, why not drink outside by candlelight and watch for shooting stars?