Tennis with a Water Theme

Cruising to Tennis Courts of France and England

If you love tennis,  luxurious river boats and fabulous scenery in England and France, then cruising may be your ideal tennis vacation.  We have found a cruise line where two boats take tennis players to destinations of their dreams; one making it’s way down England’s Thames River, another going from Auxerre to Chevroches in France.

On a tennis cruise in the summer aboard Magna Carta on the River Thames, they will make arrangements for you to play at some wonderful riverside clubs like the Lensbury, the British National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey, and the Windsor Lawn Tennis Club.

In Burgundy aboard L’Art de Vivre, there will also be plenty of opportunity to play tennis, including in Auxerre on the Roland Garros type ‘red dirt’ surface only found in France. You can even book a cruise for the week of the Wimbledon or the French Open, a chance to immerse yourself in the world of tennis.  A tennis cruise can be booked any time by a group chartering the barge. If you are booking just one or two cabins and you wish to join other like-minded people then they may have a pre-arranged departure date for this purpose. If their date does not fit in with your plans then they can waitlist your request to see whether anyone else is interested in a tennis cruise on that date.

This is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe, offering  cruises on a large fleet of fully-crewed barges along the canals, rivers and lakes of France, Italy, Scotland, England, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. They have built a reputation for providing high quality barging holidays to a discerning clientele wishing to enjoy scenery,  history, local culture and of course, fine cuisine and wines. The hotel barges accommodate between 6 and 20 passengers and guests may choose to charter a whole barge with family or friends, or join a small group of like-minded travelers on an individual cabin basis.

The all-inclusive hotel barge cruises offer guests comfortable accommodation aboard in air-conditioned, en suite cabins, gourmet meals, fine wines, an open bar, all excursions and transfers and the use of onboard facilities such as bicycles and spa pools. All vessels are fully crewed with a Captain, gourmet chef, hostess(es) deck-hand and a tour guide who takes passengers on excursions of historical and cultural interest. Also on offer are tandem cruises for larger parties and a wide selection of themed cruises, such as wine appreciation, walking and golf. European Waterways offer hotel barge cruises in many regions of France including Burgundy, the Midi, Alsace-Lorraine, Gascony and Champagne, and are the only company with hotel barges in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon, as well as the first to offer a unique Avignon-to-Amsterdam 6 week cruise.


Sample Itinerary

Auxerre to Chevroches

Sunday, Day 1 Auxerre
Guests are met at Hotel Westminster in Paris** and transferred with our private chauffeured minibus to the elegant L’Art de Vivre at Auxerre. Following a Champagne Welcome, you are free to explore the medieval town of Auxerre or take a stroll along the banks of the River Yonne before returning for dinner aboard.

Monday, Day 2 Auxerre to Vincelles

Our first cruise this morning takes us past vineyard-clad hillsides to Vincelles where we moor in rural bliss. During the morning tennis in Auxerre on Roland Garros red dirt court (3 courts available). After lunch on board, we head to the caves of Arcy sur Cure, a complex of underground chambers carved by water from the limestone rock which are home to some of the oldest cave paintings known to man. Created 28000 years ago by their Palaeolithic inhabitants, these paintings depict mammoths, stags and other animals in remarkable clarity. Afterwards, we visit the cellars of Bailly-Lapierre. also carved out of the rock, to taste some their sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne.  Dinner aboard.

Tuesday, Day 3 Vincelles to Mailly la Ville

Following an early breakfast, we head to the medieval town of Auxerre to wander the morning produce market. Later, we tour the centre of what was originally the capital of Lower Burgundy, with its lavish Renaissance houses, fine churches and particularly its magnificent cathedral situated close to the river. We then return to the hotel barge for a cruise southward through rich pasturelands and past grazing Charolais cattle, to the sleepy village of Mailly-la Ville. After lunch on board tennis will be possible back in Vincelles (2 tarmac courts). Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Mailly la Ville to Le Saussois

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we head to the celebrated wine village of Chablis. After viewing the vineyards, we make a private visit to the prestigious Domaine Laroche for a wine-tasting, followed by a tour of the 1000 years old Obédiencerie; originally part of the monastery of St. Martin, this is where the monks developed the craft of winemaking in the Middle Ages and to this day it remains the location for aging the wines. Lunch will be served by a private chef in the Domaine’s dining hall. Later in the afternoon we return to the barge to cruise past the cliffs at Le Saussois, a stunning natural setting with an international climbing centre. There will opportunity to play tennis in Chatel Censoir at the sport complex. Dinner onboard.

Thursday, Day 5 Le Saussois to Lucy sur Yonne

Our morning cruise is through the picturesque Yonne Valley to our mooring at Lucy-sur-Yonne. There is the opportunity to play tennis back in Chatel Censoir. After lunch on board, we enjoy an excursion to the pilgrimage town of Vézelay, one of Burgundy’s most famous treasures with the Romanesque Basilica of St Mary Magdalene, craft shops and fine views of the surrounding countryside. Dinner aboard.

Friday, Day 6 Lucy sur Yonne to Chevroches

A morning cruise through beautiful countryside towards Chevroches. Tennis this morning in Coulange Sur Yonne (2 tarmac courts). After lunch back onboard, we visit the elegant Château de Bazoches, built in the 12th century and whose illustrious visitors included Richard the Lionheart. The château was later remodelled by Maréchal Vauban and there are wonderful views from its elevated hillside setting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.


Saturday, Day 7 Chevroches to Paris
Disembark after breakfast and transfer back to Paris with our private Mercedes minibus

On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

**Other locations available for Private Charter bookings

For a copy of their brochure in printed or pdf format, more information on pricing and cruise availability,

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