CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE to LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE
Our Champagne Cruise delivers champagne. From the minute you start cruising vineyards unfold as far as the eye can see. A favored region of the Romans, where battle weary legionnaires were retired to. It was practice to bequeath a small vineyard to these hardened veterans in the knowledge that the Empires domain would be protected with their last drop of blood. Would you try to take their pension away?
SUNDAY – moored at Chalons-en-Champagne
You are transferred by air-conditioned minivan from your meet up hotel in Paris and driven directly to your barge, moored on the quayside of Chalons-en-Marne. After an introduction to your barge, you are given time to settle into your cabin before joining your captain and crew for our welcoming Champagne Reception. Afterwards relax and enjoy an aperitif from the panoramic top deck. Tonight your master chef will delight you with the first of many delicious meals. Welcome Dinner onboard.
MONDAY – Chalons-en-Champagne to Mareuil-sur-Marne
After breakfast we visit Chalons-en-Champagne, with it’s rich religious heritage including two UNESCO-listed churches and a museum with astonishing Romanesque Sculpture. It even has it’s own National Circus Center, adding a splash of whimsy. With it’s medieval houses and beautiful parks it’s a town to be savored. Back onboard for lunch and the beginning of our cruise, along the Canal Lateral a la Marne, built in 1845. You will find yourself holding your breath as we gently squeeze into the locks with only inches to spare. Our mooring destination is idyllic. Surrounded by vineyards and overlooking a typical Champagne village, the setting can’t get better. Why not partake in an aperitif or two before yet another delicious dinner.
TUESDAY – Mareuil-sur-Marne to Cumieres
This morning we gently cruise past sleepy villages, slowly descending towards the river Marne. Our mooring is in the champagne village of Cumieres, the community of which is home to over 186 vineyard owners. You are privileged to enjoy one of the most beautiful moorings in the Champagne region. Stretching before you as far as the eye can see are hundreds of vineyards lining the Montagne de Reims. After an early lunch we set off to Reims, where we visit the cellars of the world-renowned Lanson Champagne. Afterwards a visit to the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Reims where 33 sovereign coronations where hosted over 1000 years! It has been classed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1991. This magnificent structure is recognized as one of the defining models of Gothic art. Late afternoon we set back to the barge to enjoy a glass of champers followed by a delicious dinner. What a day!
WEDNESDAY – Cumieres to Damery
After a leisurely breakfast we set off on our short cruise to yet another champagne village, Damery. Enjoy a stroll before lunch along the banks of the river. Early this afternoon we visit prosperous Epernay, the self proclaimed capital du Champagne and home to many of the world’s most celebrated Champagne houses. Bubbly galore! Beneath it’s streets, in 110kms of subterranean cellars, more than 200 million bottles of champers lie, just waiting to be popped open. We take a guided tour of the cellars of Moet & Chandon, one of the most famous of all Champagne houses. On the way back we visit Hautvilliers, reputed to be where Dom Perignon discovered Champagne in 1693 whilst making wine. He couldn’t get rid of the bubbles and in tasting his accidental creation he exclaimed, “Come quickly! I am tasting the stars”! Afterwards we return to enjoy our spoils on deck. Dinner is onboard.
THURSDAY – Damery to Chateau Thierry
During breakfast we set off on our cruise towards Chateau Thierry. Surrounded by vineyards and rolling countryside we are assured a wonderful day ahead. After lunch we visit Belleau Woods where the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments fought through most of June 1918. Their gallant actions resulted in the Battle of Belleau Wood ending on June 26. On June 30, 1918, the Commanding General, French 6th Army, officially renamed Belleau Wood as “Wood of the Marine Brigade.” The 2nd Division sustained casualties of 8,100 officers and men during the intense fighting in this vicinity during June 1918. Vestiges of trenches, shell holes, and relics of the war to include weapons found in the vicinity, may be seen near the Marine monument, which was erected by the U.S. Marine Corps. Afterwards we set back to the barge to enjoy a well-earned aperitif, followed by a delicious dinner. Another great day!
FRIDAY – Chateau Thierry to La Ferte-sous-Jouarre
This morning we cruise to our final destination of La Ferte-sous-Juoarre. After a leisurely breakfast, we visit the American Monument. Built in 1929, at an altitude of 660 feet, the monument keeps alive the memory of the American troops who fought in WWI. Back aboard, we cruise towards our next visit, the cellar of Alain Bedel, one of our favorite places ever. First lunch though – better this way! This small family-run vineyard is managed by father and daughter. Her passion for her heritage flows as abundantly as the juice from their vines. You can try some of their fine Champagnes. Back to your barge and onwards for a cruise to the our overnight mooring. We then prepare for our Captain’s Dinner. Sparkle and decoration adorn the table alongside of laughter, great cuisine and many a good sea dog tale! What a great conclusion to a great cruise!
SATURDAY – (Departure 9.30am)
After a hearty breakfast, our chauffeurs will drive you to your hotel or airport in Paris. Arrival usually around 12.30pm
Please note: this is a sample itinerary which may be subject to change depending on local conditions.