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What Our Guests are Saying

Every year, our guests have written to thank us for our service, accomodations, food and careful attention to visitors. Here is a sample of the wonderful feedback we have received.

The crew of L'Etoile

Cruising season 2010

L'Estello 2010:

'We've just left L'Estello, sitting on our bus for the long journey to Tuscany.  With so much time at my disposal, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to let you know about our cruise.

In a word, it was PERFECTION!  Cobie and her team were warm and welcoming from the moment we boarded the barge.  The accommodations were excellent, our empty suitcases stored in an unused cabin, after we unpacked, and the beds were very comfortable.  The food was well prepared, beautifully presented and plentiful.  Cobie prepared platters for the children so that each parent could serve their own  children, taking into account their likes and dislikes and portion sizes.  Adults were served individually.  Two special occasions, an 18th wedding anniversary and a 12th birthday, were observed on two different days with cakes for each occasion.

The sightseeing and biking activities were perfectly tailored, taking into consideration that we had three children between the ages of three and four children ages seven to twelve.  Cobie, Nico, her assistant, and Christian, the captain, were always flexible with regard to meal times and sightseeing requests.  They even babysat the children for one night when we had an adult dinner at a local restaurant in Arles.

When we left this morning Cobie asked if there was anything that she could have done to make the trip any better.  I'm sorry to disappoint her but our trip was 110%!  And you can certainly share this email with her (or anyone else, for marketing purposes).

Our family would happily and unconditionally recommend your services and L'Estello with enthusiasm.  Good luck with your business and the impending new addition to your family.  And a very big "thank you" for arranging this wonderful holiday for us.  We loved it!' Ronald

'Cobie was very hospitable, plus the crew went out of their way with the food and day trips to each village we stopped at.'

'We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the freedom to do as you please.'

'A great experience! We’ll do another cruise with you. We enjoyed exploring the villages, cocktails on the boats, followed by wonderful dinners…Our barge crew was outstanding!'

'This was a great and relaxing way to see this area of France. The crew was great and amazingly friendly. We really enjoyed Cobie, and Nico, and pierre our bus driver.'

'I loved the ambiance on board! The crew and Cobie were exceptional.'

L'Etoile 2010

'It’s been a few weeks since we cruised with you and we are still telling everyone about our wonderful experience.  Thanks again to you and your great team.We hope that the new boat is working out as expected and that all of you are well.Best wishes for a successful season.' David

'Cobie was the most extraordinary hostess I have ever met. She worked tirelessly to make our stay on the Etoile the most outstanding ever.'

'I would definitely recommend this cruise to a friend. Cobie made us feel at home. She and her crew were fantastic.'

'What we enjoyed most about this cruise was our crew, the fabulous meals and table presentations.'

'Even with the Mistral and a countrywide strike, we were busy and happy…and fed very well!'

'The cruise was scenic, relaxing, fabulous food, great staff…a wonderful way to see this area of France.'

Cruising season 2009

We appreciated the flexibility that came with being the only passengers on board.  Cobie always discussed the options available to us and made good suggestions for sightseeing.  She proved quite flexible with respect to times for eating, etc.  She respected our privacy, but was always willling to be of assistance.  All in all, it was a fine experience for all six of us.  We enjoyed each others' company and the cruise.  We would not hesitate to recommend it to friends; indeed, we already have. Truman

The cruise was great, we were treated well, fed well and the ambiance was perfect. The food was excellent and our hostess was most attentive and gracious. Nicco was of great help and took us wherever we wanted to go . The Captain didnt say too much but when he did we had some very good conversations with him.I can recommend the Etoille to anyone. Terry and Marie

Our voyage with you was fabulous – we cannot say enough good things about you, the barge, the meals, and most of all, your caring and hospitality.  We completely enjoyed our trip and, in fact, our only complaint was that it should have been 2 days longer so we could have biked and cruised more. Our side trips were great and Nico was a wonderful guide (he should not worry about his English – he does really well – better than our French! You certainly have our recommendation and you should feel free to use us as a reference whenever we can be of help to you. Ralf and Ginger

Just thought I would let you know that the family had a fabulous time on their L’Etoile barge cruise in France.  As it happened, they were the only ones onboard so had the whole barge to themselves!  They really liked Coby and the relaxed environment, and the fact that the whole itinerary was pretty much tailored just for them.  Food was excellent, accommodation good and all in all they had a wonderful break.  They would definitely recommend the trip, especially for people looking for a quality but laid back experience.  All good news really. From one of our travel agents



Cruising season 2008

We had a wonderful trip with Cobie.  Her boat was perfect for a family, beautifully maintained and comfortable. Cobie’s tour/itinerary was excellent.  We enjoyed her suggestions for sights and appreciated her tips about which were the best biking days along the way.  Her wines were wonderful and the food was very responsive to our requests.  A wonderful time! Thank you so much for your helping in arranging the trip for us.Charlotte 

'Steve and I just wanted to “thank you” for such a wonderful trip last week.  You and your staff did an incredible job of making our trip very memorable.  I do hope you will come and visit us here in California.  You and Nicolas are always welcome.  You are a fantastic hostess and an awesome cook.  Enjoy your summer and we hope to see you again someday soon.' Shelly

'We wanted to thank you for a pleasant cruise on your barge. We definitely ate and drank good food and wine. We enjoyed your cooking. We were lucky to have good weather while on your barge. When we arrived in the French Riviera we had rain for a week. We arrived home last Friday to beautiful sunny weather. Have you ever considered selling polo shirts and/or tee shirts to your guest of your barge? It would be a nice souvenir. Please feel free to come stay with us when you visit California. Nicholas is also welcome. Look forward to seeing you in the US.' William

'Avec mes sincères remerciements pour un voyage trés agréable, des hôts charmants, efficaces, et une cuisine excellente', Marilyse

'Thank you again for the stupendous trip sur L'Etoile (bien nommé L'Etoile, parce que c'est près du ciel!) Be well, enjoy your summer, and know that you and Nicolas and the captain gave me a wonderful, happy experience, that I will always treasure'. Frannie

'I just wanted to let you know that our recent cruise on Le Etoille was a
huge success!!! We had a fabulous trip, even though we ended up on a different canal from the Canal Du Midi due to flooding. Cobie and her
assistant, Nicolas, were amazing.There's nothing they didn't think of
regarding our comfort, interests and palate. They were so professional,
friendly, informed, helpful.. and such superb cooks! The accomodations were just "perfect". I would recommend this cruise to anyone and feel free to give my name as a reference.'
Merci beaucoups! Candice

Cruising season 2007

"I am very glad to be able to write this "review" which is an unqualified
A+ on every level of the barge trip.We all have such fond memories of the trip - and of you. I can not imagine anyone doing a more competent, nurturing and sensitive job of tending to guests than you do. Cobie dealt with every request as if it were the simplest matter to change plans, alter course or acquire diet coke. The accommodations were fine, and I had the smallest room, so the others can speak for themselves. The food was suburb; Cobie is not only an excellent chef but her intrinsic charm permeates every facet of the trip, including the delightful way she serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her library of films, DVD's and books were especially welcome. The barge was very clean, extremely pleasant and comfortable. Alas, the weather was too perfect to light a fire. I enjoyed the trip enormously and would highly recommend it, have already done so, to other friends
." - Sheila

"It's been almost a week since we left you, but I'm still missing your food just as much! We had such a great time on the barge with you last week, I think that vacation worked really well for our family. My dad even started to relax a little by the end of the trip! :) Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess and guide. I hope that you and your help will be able to see us when you come to the US." -Carina

"Cobie met us in Montpelier and from the first moment we all felt welcome and at ease.  Her knowledge of the area and her graciousness made for a very relaxing week.  The barge was beautiful and all felt comfortable on board.  Each day brought new surprises not only at mealtime, but also the beauty of the surrounding countryside and the wonderful tours we experienced.  Cobie is not only a great cook, but we also enjoyed the selections of wines she presented for us each day.The cruise was over before we were ready to return home, but all had a wonderful time." -Valerie

"Thank you for an incredible journey outside of time! My fellow travelers were all amicable, and we enjoyed both the cruising and touring itineraries and even the mistral! I had always though of canals as landlocked, so was surprised to be traveling between etangs near the Mediterranean, and specially enjoyed flamingos and horses and other wildlife. Even more important, Coby was an absolutely marvelous hostess!  We all enjoyed our conversations and the great food. I am bragging about the trip to all my friends and colleagues.  Indeed, I hope some time to repeat the experience with my sister. The cuisine, the cruise, the culture all combined to make this a most enjoyable holiday that I will never forget. I will think of you often, along with the sights and smells of Languedoc and the Camargue." -Maria

"To our host and crew! Thank you for a most memorable trip! The meals were fantastic as were the sight-seeing tours; the MUSIC!!! And so much more! We have enjoyed ourselves so very much! Bonjour from your USA friends!" Bill and Phillis

"We would like to express our genuine appreciation for your gracious attention to our every need this wonderful week. Each of you and your crew have provided one of our most enjoyable experiences with your amieable natures, joyous love of life and sense of adventure." Donna and Mark, Nancy and Joel, Susan and Mark

"Dear Cobie + Staff, Thanks for taking such good care of us and for the excellent service and care. We all had a WONDERFUL week, "Doug and Helen

"It was the best family vacation we could have! The children, parents and grandparents all found it exciting and were pleased with every aspect of the trip…crew, food and wine." - Fenske family


Before 2007

"‘We all want to thank you for a truly magical vacation. You are thoughtful, friendly and highly efficient hosts. We love our stay; the sights, the rest, the lovely barge that you made into a home. Thank  you. Et nous espérons, a bientôt." - Lydia, Nick



"I have been thinking about writing to you for some weeks now. Every time I use the garlic press I think of the small shop you took us to rather than going to the touristy shops in Beaune. I have returned to being an avid cook using only fresh vegetables, herbs, and some meat and fish. I had purchased earlier a garlic press here in the States but abandoned it for the press I purchased in Beaune. The design is so much better!! Can you imagine? I no longer use dried minced garlic or garlic powder! The wonderful food aboard the barges has challenged me to rediscover my earlier cooking skills." - Dorothy



"Please hold a good thought that we can return for another wonderful experience on L'Etoile. We had such a wonderful time - the food was fabulous - the scenery exquisite and your hospitality a main reason to come back and see you again!" - Martha


"My greatest success this year will have been taking a vacation I’ve yearned to have for so many, many years. Not only have I taken the vacation of my dreams, my time on board surpassed my expectations. I will cherish all of the memories of the trip, my most precious memories." - Shirley



“A quick note to thank you for the Burgundy barge trip aboard the Etoile – which is truly a star! The region is so delightful I am looking for a house there. My fellow guests were nice people and as far as for our hosts on the boat, well, one could not ask for more gracious and accommodating hosts. My sincerest  thanks." - Roger



"As each day passes I miss the barge more and more. I have decided to remodel my bedroom  and do it all in French, and I am including a picture of the barge as part of my memories from the best trip ever. I do hope that I will soon be able to return to the barge again. I tell my friends more and more of my trip even thought we have been back for a while. I can honestly say that I do miss the barge and all the fun we had. I have recommended  taking a trip on your barge to my French teacher and she loves the idea. Who knows, maybe I will be able to come and study in France and visit the barge once again." - Ashley (sixteen)



"Our time with you was an experience that will always stay with us. Thank you for making every meal, every excursion, every lesson especially meaningful. We have fallen in ove with your region and this is what we’ll think of always when we remember France! We hope you will continue barging so that we may refer our friends to you. Who knows, you might even see us again! Aside from the wonderful memories, I thank you for allowing me to take something else home with me: a few of your recipes and great cooking secrets!" - Linda


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