The setting was idyllic. There we were, lounging on the deck of our luxury barge during the first leg of our weeklong Classic Journey to the Loire Valley and Burgundy Canal in France. Yet even as we happily chatted away with our friends who own the barge, we couldn’t leave well enough alone.

Lulled by our leisurely pace, we observed that the two suites on board were so welcoming, it would be great if all the cabins could be suites. Our hosts chuckled and said, “Yes, that’s an interesting idea.” Not long after we returned home, we received a thank-you note for putting the idea into their minds, along with an announcement that-voila! -all the cabins were being converted into suites. (Who knew our opinion carried so much clout?)

What it means for guests on our Loire’s Chateaux & Burgundy’s Canals Cultural Walking Adventure is this: without any increase in price, our three-night canal cruise is now an all-suite experience. Each meal prepared by our personal floating chef is included, as is the open bar. And our experience is no less luxe in Loire, where Classic Journeys guests take up residence for three nights at a graceful riverside chateau, each room overlooking lovely gardens and the Chateau d’Amboise that towers over the town.

Manoir les Minimes

If you’ve ever spoken with me personally about our walking trips, you know I love to wax eloquent about our accommodations. But in Loire and Burgundy, our cultural, historic and culinary explorations are every bit as memorable.

Over the course of our 7-day canal-boating and walking tour, we enjoy a wine tasting in the cellar of a former monastery, visit fortified villages like Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, and follow a path along the water’s edge to Chenonceaux-arguably the most magnificent and romantic of all chateaux. Bicycles stowed on board the barge allow us to go ashore for rides into the surrounding countryside and along the towpath, complementing the guided walks we take each day. And last but certainly not least, we savor the fresh ingredients from this bountiful region known as The Garden of France.

Our Loire and Burgundy vacation is proof that even great things become better on a Classic Journey. If you’ve had an occasion where a travel suggestion of yours was taken to heart, drop me an e-mail at And if you’d like more information about our trip to Loire & Burgundy, please click here.