We totally enjoyed our time with you and hope to see you again in the future. Max: If you ever decide to try some of the canals in the South of France please let us know. I know that we will be returning to Burgundy so we will contact you. Maybe a cruise with our children. In the meantime we will keep telling everyone we meet about you two and Wine and Water. Cannot think of a better place to recommend.

Please remember if you ever come to the US the offer always available to stay with us.

Our best to Sasha and Sobie

Your friends
Jeff (and Tami)
WA 98290

Bonjour Bea,
We arrived safe and sound back in Toronto and finally in Port Colborne.
We cannot speak of any sort of routine or “back to normal” just yet, although this will happen quickly.
It is with the greatest respect of your contribution as we try to re-tell our “barge” experiences to family and friends.
All three of you have in your own way contributed so much to the success of this extraordinary, calm and joyful time.

Max the elicit Wonder-Captain, entertainer, “all hands-on-deck-man”, driver, well sort of, and history buff who I am sure, surprised us all.

Selby, the singer, well sort of, but excellent chef, always presented us with his creations and pleased us immensely with his versatility.

Now you Bea, are the perfect hostess with a special talent in the decorum and fantasy of presenting breakfast lunch and dinner with such panache.
The cleanliness in all facets and selection of good towels and linen was appreciated.
Most of all we never “felt” as guest of a business, but rather like “in the home/barge of” friends.

Each one of you is to be complimented for your personal contribution to our well being.

Needless to say, nothing would have happen without the contribution and extreme generosity of John Marsh and his wife Rosanne.
Of course I personally am sidelined by the knowledge of wine talk by John, Sasha and Max, but I “enjoyed” the wine tremendously.
Furthermore when the talk involved boating, the 1950 engine and the manoeuvring of the barge or boat, again I could add very little.

Margaret and I enjoyed our stay in Europe immensely and every minute of the trip, thanks to all of you, sadly to say it ended too quickly.
If you take John and Rosanne’s offer on, which we hope you do, there would be another chance of meeting again.
We would be very happy to invite you for a “Hasenpfeffer, Spätzle and Blaukraut” a southern German and Alsatian dish.

In the hope that your season comes to a successful conclusion, that you have a restful time in Chamonix and Max get all his Barge plan upgrading realized and that Selby enjoys his experience in Chamonix, we remain hopeful to see you again,
fondly, Margaret and Emil

Emil from Ontario, Canada

Guests comments about the barge

I really did have such a super time on your barge. It was the perfect balance of rest, adventure, food, wine (!) and family. You and Bea are such a great team and Shelby is a super guy. What a lovely life you have!

All the best.

Norman xxx & Lewis Bear xxx Cat face
England, June 2016

Max, Bea and Selby, Bonjour
Lois and I would like to thank you for the wonderful experience that we had aboard the barge.
The barge, food, wine and hospitality exceeded our expectations.
We also enjoyed having the opportunity to meet Johnnie.
Should you future guests ask for a reference, please feel free to have them contact us.
Best regards, Gary and Lois

Gary, PhD

Bentonville, AR 72712

Jeff and I both had such a wonderful time on the barge. You and Max are the consummate hosts – fun, professional, entertaining … ! A truly memorable experience we will treasure.

We hope our paths will cross again!
Tami & Jeff
June 2016

The Allen, Robertson and Spalding trip

Kaye and I are now back in Richmond, Virginia, sad not to be on the Burgundy Canal. We had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful trip. Having been on the Canal du Midi, we sort of knew what to expect, but our trip with you exceeded all expectations. All six of us felt that our hopes were more than met in every way.

The accommodations were superb. Your “luxury barge hotel” was true to its title. Your hospitality was the finest, from the moment we stepped off the train in Dijon to our departure 6 days later. You both made us feel so welcomed, and that goes for Becky and David as well. No request went unanswered.

Your knowledge of the people and the history of the Burgundy Canal was surpassed only by your knowledge of burgundian wines. I have long been an admirer of wines from Burgundy, but have never been introduced to so many grand crus and wines just not available here in America. Your friendship with the many vintners we visited was impressive and certainly paid off for your passengers in so many ways.

Please feel free to use these comments in your advertising literature in any way you wish.

And thanks again for your friendship. Both you and Beatrice are very special people in our book.


Henry Spalding
cruised end of September 2015

Bea and Max,

Thank you so very much for our wonderful vacation! It was better than imagined. We loved every moment and will absolutely recommend you and Wine and Water to all of our friends. We’ll send you some photos shortly. Meanwhile, should you ever find yourself in our part of the world, please reach out. We’d love to show you some of our favourite places. And of course, we hope you have a great spa vacation.
Edna and Jim
Cruised October 2015

Below is the review that we just added to Trip Advisor:

The Best Burgundy Canal Vacation!

After looking at self-drive barges and barging trips offered through 3rd party barging companies, we booked our trip directly with the Wine & Water Barge for our dream vacation in Burgundy.

Water and Wine Barge is owned and run by long time veterans of luxury canal barging, Max and his wife Bea. Because they live on the barge in private quarters year round and are fabulous hosts, you feel like you are in the home of wonderful friends. Captain Max effortlessly navigates his beautifully restored barge through the tree-lined French countryside; and, he takes you on daily tours of villages and wineries where his passion and strong sense of humour are quite evident as he tells you about the history and lore of the region (in French or English). If you love wine, you’ll enjoy the fact that Max has developed great relationships with many winemakers so you have access to very special wine tasting experiences in private tasting rooms.

The 3-4 course meals prepared by Chef Dave surpassed most of the the meals that we enjoyed in some of the finest French Michelin star restaurants. Here are some of the dishes that Chef Dave served: Beef Bourguignon, Duck Confit, Sea Bass with Green Lentils and Beets, Prawns with Pastis Creme, and Creme Brûlée. Captain Max paired these dishes with over-the-top Burgundy wines (including cellar aged Premier Cru Pinots, Champagnes, and Chardonnays). Becky, our Barge Hostess, was a jewel. Her terrific smile is infectious; and she set a gorgeous table at every meal and presented a full selection of special cheeses daily at lunch and dinner.

Bea and Max have thought of every detail which made our trip a very special week that we’ll never forget!

Bring comfortable walking shoes for long walks or bike rides through the countryside along the tow paths. The locks are spaced about 1K apart so you can jump on or off of the barge for a quick break.
Reserve early so you get your desired time frame.
Start your vacation a few days or a week in advance of the barge trip so you are ready to fully enjoy the most relaxing week of your life.
The Wine and Water Barge is a great value if you want an all inclusive personalized experience which includes all gourmet meals, fine wines, lodging, and tours.
Dress in layers. We were there during the first week of October and in a matter of hours the weather went from pouring rain to beautiful sunshine.
Remember to bring a swimsuit for an evening sit in the jacuzzi and be prepared to spend time unplugged and pampered by a great team of hospitality professionals.

As I sit here in the pouring rain thanks to Hurricane Joaquin, I am comforted and warmed by the memories of our recent experience on your Barge.
Thank you very much for providing a superior vacation highlighted by all of the usual trimmings of a 5 star hotel. The food and wine plus the side trips to castles and vineyards on top of the beautiful vistas along the Burgundy canal made for a wonderful time for all.
You and your crew of David and Becky are a treasure.
Keep up the good work.
Warmest regards, Whitey Robertson

We arrived back home in Grafton last Sunday, and have been back at work since Tuesday. We enjoyed our time in Switzerland (the scenery is really to behold and amazing) and Hong Kong. I’m afraid it very much came second to our idyllic week spent on the barge with both yourself and Max. Thankyou both so much for your marvellous hospitality and all the little extras and attention to detail that you showed us was wonderful. Everything about it, your beautiful meals, Max’s wonderful knowledge of wine and the area, tours and wine tasting just to name a few were truly exceptional. Continue on exactly as you are….the service you provide works a treat.

One of my work colleagues has previously done a self-guided barge trip through the midi canal and has expressed an interest in going again. I gave him a Wine and Water postcard, and suggested that he not even bother looking at other companies. Likewise I put a review on TA – hope it was OK.

Thanks again for the most wonderful week and hope you are both well because you work so hard.

Lots of love and please stay in touch

Anne & Peter
Australia AUGUST 2015

From the moment we were picked up from our hotel in Dijon by Max we imagined we were in for something special but we had no idea of the delightful time that lay ahead of us. Bea’s hospitality and talents in the kitchen along with Max’s knowledge of wine and history of the region plus his sense of humour turned our barge journey into the trip of a lifetime. Superb surroundings and comfortable bedroom puts this barge in the 5 star plus category. Nothing was a problem for Max and Bea and we cannot help but recommend Wine and Water to anyone wanting to go on a barge trip in Burgundy.

Hi Bea and Max
I just wanted to write and thank you for an amazing experience on Wine & Water recently. It was the highlight of our trip to France and we had an amazing amazing time.
Bea, your food and hosting was impeccable. Thank you! Max, thank you for your wine, the day trips and all the knowledge sharing you did. We felt like welome guests in your home and appreciate the personal attention.
Also, Sebastian would like to thank you for everything you did to accommodate him specifically. We really appreciate it.
He promptly started crawling on Monday after we got back from France. Perfect timing I would say.
Thank you again, and we hope to see you again. This is a trip I definitely want to repeat again!
Love, Yolande, Christo and Sebastian.
South Africa 2015

Lovely to hear from you. So sorry for not replying sooner but have
just logged into my work emails. We are sitting at Zurich airport awaiting a flight to Hong Kong. Enjoyed Switzerland, although it is a very poor second to our week on the barge. Both Peter and I consider it not only the highlight of our trip but almost certainly one of if not the best vacation breaks we have ever had. Peter cannot stop talking about it. Tell Max to don’t forget to lubricate the bike chains.
We put a review on TA which was entirely from the
heart and truthful. Hope it is of some assistance. Look forward to keeping in
Lots of Love
Pete and Anne
Australia 2015

Nice to hear that everything is OK on your side. I’ve never thought that the season may last so long – till end of October. That’s what make our climates different – we have still sunny, but at the same time pretty cold days. Definitely not warm enough to cruise on Russian rivers J
I hope you and Max will have some rest now. You surely deserved it J
We all keep very warm memories about you and our days in Bourgogne. After that we went to see Chateaux de la Loire. Also very beautiful French region. We plan to keep exploring France. Maybe, next summer we’ll go to Bretagne and Bordeaux. But we keep Bourgogne in our hearts. I’ve even ordered some books about the history of the Canal de Bourgogne through French Amazon.
Please do pass our greetings to Max and your children.
Best regards,
cruised in AUGUST 2014

How are you? I think you’re season is over and you are enjoying a slower pace and maybe some time off work!
I was thinking about our trip and want you to know it was the best experience of our life! We couldn’t have asked for better weather, better barge and better captain! I learned a lot about French wines from you and a lot about the history of France! Thank you again!
Before I left I gave you a couple business cards and you were going to drop them off at the wine dealer and the Carton winery. I would like to order some wines so I wanted to send you an email and ask how I can do that. Please let me know your thoughts. Many thanks and I look forward to your reply.
PS. Have you played the dice game “Greed” since I left? J

Just wanted to thank you and Max for an amazing trip. We had a fabulous time.
We will be back.
We are going to post a review on Trip Advisor and will send you a copy for your website.
We also looked at the apartment website and it is beautifully done. Nice job.
Cheers, Mark and Cathy.
USA September 2014

Just wanted to tell you both what a wonderful time we all had on Wine & Water. It was one of our very best vacations, ever and due, in large part, to you both being the perfect hosts.
Bea, your cooking was superb and we looked forward to every meal & were never disappointed. I did, however, gain 7 pounds which is a testament to your excellent meals – I’ll try to loose the weight now that I’m home.
Max, your tours, knowledge of French & Burgundy history and wines made the trip very special for us. The Pinot Noirs, Chablis, and Chardonnay’s were incredible and I will be looking for them at our wine shops from now on – you gave us a greater knowledge of where they are grown, levels of quality, how to taste them, in short, a greater appreciation of the whole wine experience.

Dan Grace : USA May 2014

We just finished up the most amazing, and wonderfully relaxing, 4 day/3 night cruise through the Burgundy Canal aboard Wine & Water. Max & Bea were incredible hosts who managed to seamlessly combine Michelin Star worthy cuisine, lazy days cruising the canal, and fascinating wine tours through cellars that existed in the 1800’s. Every detail is seen to and our every need was catered to – often before we even realized we had a need! This was the highlight of our European tour and our only regret is that we didn’t book the six night cruise.

Floating down the the canal and taking in the beauty of the French countryside was incredible tranquil and often accompanied by a glass of Bourgogne Chablis or Pinot-Noir. We had the master suite aboard the barge which was very large and spacious and extremely comfortable – a welcome relief after all the tiny beds and hotels we had been experiencing at our previous hotels in Paris and Barcelona! Our time aboard Wine & Water was the best part of our 17 day France & Spain vacation. Our hosts, Max & Bea, truly cared about our experience and we felt more like good friends than clients by the end of the trip.

There is no question we will be coming back as soon as we can manage it – if for no other reason than to experience Bea’s cooking again!

Gary & Lauren USA

We so enjoyed spending time with you last night, and can’t thank you enough for
all you have done for us. I will never forget the day on the barge, or you.

Sherry & Paul

Hi Bea

I loved hearing from you. Nancy and I talked this morning and the barge trip came up in our conversation, as it does nearly everytime we visit. It was an unforgettable trip. You and Max made it so enjoyable. Whenever Ross talks about the trip, he says “you have to go with Bea and Max. They are the best”. If you ever do another route, please let us know. If we can do anything to help you with bookings, we would be very happy to share our wonderful experience. You can give potential customers my phone number…

Judy Wilcox USA

Hello Max and Bea: Just a quick note to tell you again how much Bonnie and I enjoyed barging with you this past week. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute! The food was outstanding and your company was the best! We expected to have a wonderful and relaxing time but you both greatly exceeded our expectations. Thanks again.
Thank you again for a wonderful few days aboard your barge. Even though the weather wasn’t ‘the best’ we all had a great experience.

Jim and Bonnie Williams(USA October 2013)

We returned home from Paris last night. I just wanted to tell you that we had a wonderful time on your barge and the highlight was spending time with you and Max. You are incredible! I will write a recommendation when I have had a little more sleep and have looked at the photos. I will send you the best ones. Ross has a very nice picture of the barge taken from a bridge that we will send you.
Merci beaucoup!

Judy and Ross Wilcox (USA October 2013)

I wanted to let Max know that I posted one review of his wine tour service on TripAdvisor in a forum about Beaune wine tours and that I am trying to post a new forum specifically about his wine tour offer. You are welcome to use this review on your guest book page and these photos on your website if they are useful.

“I can highly recommend Max’s 5 Star Private Burgundy Wine Tour. We spent the full day with Max a few weeks ago and he provided a most excellent tour of many private estates with a WONDERFUL and extensive selection of Grand and Premier Cru wines. He was very knowledgeable, pleasant and professional. I was travelling with my nephew who is a level-1 sommelier studying wine and Max was quite accommodating of his many questions and was able to customize our tour towards his specific interests. Lunch (not included) was utterly fantastic and reasonably priced for the quality, one of those meals you remember for the rest of your life. I hope to return to Dijon to try out his “Wine and Water” canal barge accommodations next time. His wife Bea was efficient in getting back with us promptly to confirm our reservation. If you have limited time to visit the Burgundy wine country and are looking for a tour you will never forget, this is it.”

Ellen May (USA JULY 2013)

Hello, Bea and Max – We have been home for about 2 weeks now. After we went to Paris for a week, Michael and I spent three more days in London and then flew home on June 22. We enjoyed being with you on the barge so much and had such a fantastic time. We have given you both high marks on the Untours survey and have even suggested that they market the trip better. They should focus on the gourmet food, the outstanding wine, the luxurious barge and the peacefulness of the trip. The fact that the barge goes through such beautiful countryside should be highlighted as well. We truly had no idea that the trip would be so great! I have some pictures I want to send you but need to get my daughter over here to help me get that done. Shutterfly seems to have changed since I last used it. I hope she will be able to come next week and give me some computer help. Thanks again for a great trip – we enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you both for all you did to make it so enjoyable. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Connie McDonald

Now back in Sydney (in fact have been back a few days but very busy!).  Anyway I just wanted to say thanks very much for our time on the barge with Max. We really enjoyed it – easily the most relaxing part of our trip and the dinner Max cooked remains one of the best meals we had (if not THE best!). We did try to get onto trip advisor to make a comment for you but we were not successful (let me know if there’s a link you can send for us to do this).
Meanwhile, thanks again. I wish you all the best with your business (and let me know if you come to Sydney!)

Best regards, Bruce Australia June 2013

Hello Max, Many thanks for two wonderful, interesting and informative days. We have really enjoyed all you have to offer, and hope that it will be possible to spend more time in Dijon at some stage. I would love to do a barge trip in the future.

Best regards, Chester K. Australia May 2013

What a pleasant surprise to receive your new year wishes, thank you You have been in our thoughts often and was timing an email to you for your birthday Max ,mid January I believe . So will start with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY for your special day. I hope all your birthday wishes come true , especially the one you shared with us during our visit. We have such fond memories of our time with you on Wine and Water and extol its beauty to all …

hopefully one day we will send some trade your way. Barging is not out of our system and vow to be back your way! Our three months in Europe seems ages ago, especially after returning to pick up the insurance hassles that the earthquake provided us …

however like all tunnels there is light at the end and we appear to be making some progress $ wise although our house will have to be demolished , we have a new project …

find another one! A barge is looking good! By now you will have Wine and Water moored in Dijon enjoying the mists of the Dijon winter , hopefully you are having a mild winter and getting to spend some time together after your busy summer. Our summer has been wonderful , slow in coming but great now . Thank goodness we don’t reach the 40 degrees of Greece . Your friends Dave and Lisa have no doubt continued with their plans and gone to Asia perusing their yachting passion . Wonder if they had been lucky enough to find a buyer for their property . With the NZ $ being high we have had an influx of French wine at a reasonable price , we haven’t stumbled across any as nice as we sampled with you ! Well Max and Bea thank you for being responsible for helping make our trip to France extra special and we wish you a Happy 50th Max and a great decade to follow. May your 2013 season be a good one.

busy but pleasant! With love and best wishes

Lesley and Graeme from New Zealand

Hello Beatrice and Max, Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee
We hope you are enjoying the holidays and maybe some time off.

Just wanted to let Max know that we have some wonderful photos of him on the wine tour.
When I can get Kyle to focus for a moment, we will send them, as they are on his
computer. We are also doing well finding wines with our new knowledge of Burgundy. Thank you Max!
We have thought back on our trip to Dijon this fall and how glorious it
was. It has provided us with very blissful memories.
All the best to you and your family in the New Year.

Susan and Dan Nicholas

Hi Bea,
All of us really want to thank Max and you for making our stay on your barge a memorable experience.
As we were driving to Paris, we could not stop talking about how much fun we had.  In addition, how knowledge Max is with regards to wine growing and wine tasting.Thanks again for making us feel so welcome.
Au Revoir,
Jim and Paula and our friends.

Our most heartiest congratulations to you both on Wine and Water ! May she sail well and safe for many years . Perhaps, if we can afford it and our health holds, we’ll come and see. We Remember you and talk about you often and Max’s exceptional table !!! Everything of the best and plain sailing from South Africa !
Thomas and Yvonne.
September 2012

After not being able to locate information about “Wine & Water” hotel barge prior to our May trip to France, I wanted to follow-up on our excursion with a word of praise for this lovely experience. We were actually the very first guests on their maiden cruise along the Burgundy Canal in late May 2012.
It is owned by a French couple, Max and Bea Renau who are consummate and delightful hosts. They own both rental flats in Dijon http://www.dijon-rentahome.com/ and just this year began their own barge cruises in Burgundy.

As Max is fond of saying he was actually “born on a barge” because his father was a barge captain. Max has been captaining high-end barges for thirty years and just this summer inaugurated his own barge called “Wine & Water” that cruises the Burgundy Canal.

Two helpful links are: http://www.dijon-rentahome.com/barge-cruise.html and http://www.burgundyeye.com/accommodation/hotel-barges-and-boating/dijon-area/wine-water/

The trip fit our needs perfectly since it lasted 4 nights and combined some delicious meals on board and some in local restaurants. Max is a wine connoisseur, and we had marvelous bottles each afternoon and evening with many premier and grand cru wines.

The barge has been totally renovated over the last year (from a previous incarnation), and the three staterooms are lovely. We can highly recommend our experience. [Note: I am cross-posting this to both Trip Advisor and Fodor’s.]