France’s Waterways from Paris to Champagne CCR20

Resort: France's Waterways from Paris to Champagne CCR20
Operator: Great Rail Journeys
Destination: Europe
Price From: Contact for latest offers

Overview

Cruising down the famous Champagne route of France on the
elegant Raymonde hotel barge, with excursions to the birthplace of
Dom Prignon and Meaux, this tour is a gastronomic delight. We also
enjoy a grand tour of Paris during this all inclusive journey.

Highlights

  • MS Raymonde
  • Jean de la Fontaine Museum
  • Local tastings of Champagne, cheese and other regional produce
  • Hautvillers, the Pearl of Champagne
  • Inspiring Chteau Thierry
  • Timeless Meaux
  • Romantic Paris including guided tour
  • All meals and drinks during the cruise
  • Gala Dinner

whats Included

  • Standard Class Rail
  • All-Inclusive Board Basis
  • All Excursions
  • 6-night cruise on board the MS Raymonde
  • Standard Class rail travel throughout
  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager up to embarkation & from disembarkation of the MS Raymonde
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras

Itinerary

Day 1 – To Paris and The Raymonde

We meet at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras then
leave for Paris, where we transfer to board our hotel barge, the
Raymonde, for a six night cruise on the Canal Latral la
Marne.

Day 2 – Paris

Today we enjoy a guided tour of the splendid French capital. We
see many of the major attractions such as the Place de la
Rpublique, the Grand Boulevards, the Opera House, the Place de la
Madeleine, Place Vendme, and the Louvre. We finish our excursion
on foot, discovering the prettiest arcades in Paris at the Palais
Royal, where old world charm meets the new vibrant side of the
city. We set sail this afternoon for Lagny-sur-Marne where we moor
overnight.

Day 3 – Meaux and cheese tasting

We cast off early today to begin cruising to Meaux. As we
travel, perhaps make use of the bicycles on board by taking a ride
alongside the Raymonde if weather permits. We sail slowly, and you
have access to the boat at all times. After lunch on board, we
arrive in Meaux for a sightseeing tour that includes the
magnificent cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, as well as the
Gallo-Roman ramparts. We also take in the striking Bossuet Garden,
believed by many to be one of Le Ntre’s earliest works.

Later on we visit the Brie de Meaux exhibition room where we are
shown a film demonstrating how one of France’s most famous and
popular cheeses is made. After this we taste some of this locally
made, distinctive soft cheese for ourselves. We return to the boat
following our busy day for a relaxing dinner on board.

Day 4 – Chateau Thierry

This morning is spent sailing, passing Champigny and Drachy,
through the heart of the Seine-et- Marne countryside and its
Champagne vines. In the afternoon we arrive into Chteau Thierry
and depart on foot for a tour of the Jean de la Fontaine museum,
situated in the poet’s family home. We follow this with a tour of
the town that became the site of two major battles first during the
Napoleonic wars and then in WWI. We take time to see the castle
walls and the Hotel Dieu where Jean de la Fontaine once lived.

Day 5 – To Dormans

This morning we continue on towards Dormans. We can then take an
excursion to Reims. Reims’ most famous landmark is the city’s
cathedral – Notre-Dame de Reims. Noted as one of Europe’s most
important Gothic buildings, the 13th century cathedral is today a
UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the beautiful stained glass
windows, majestic sculptures and impressive architecture during our
visit to this pretty city today, where we enjoy a guided tour as
well as a visit to the cathedral. The ship overnights in
Dormans.

Day 6 – The Champagne Route and Dom Perignon

This morning we depart Dormans and sail towards Epernay. After
lunch onboard we take an excursion along the famous Champagne Route
including a visit to the village of Hautvilliers – the birthplace
of Dom Prignon, a Benedictine monk who created the Champagne
method of producing this distinctive sparkling wine. We continue
our education with a delicious tasting at one of the leading
Champagne houses in the area. We return to our ship for a fantastic
gala dinner.

Day 7 – The journey home

After a buffet breakfast, we disembark our barge for the last
time at Epernay and transfer to the Gare du Nord railway station in
the centre of Paris. Here we catch the Eurostar service to London
St Pancras International. On arrival our tour concludes.

Shore Excursions – Included in your Tour

Paris

We begin our tour with a trip to the glamorous French capital,
home to some of the world’s most famous monuments. We also discover
the newer, more stylish side of this eclectic city.

Meaux

This excursion takes us into the heart of Meaux’s historic Old
City, where we see many of its ancient remnants. This is where we
also enjoy another of France’s proudest exports – the excellent
Brie de Meaux cheese.

Chteau Thierry

Despite its small size, Chteau Thierry has a long and colourful
history. It has survived two major wars and became the birthplace
of one of France’s most famous poets. Its rich culture is proudly
on display in the museum we visit here.

Reims

The capital of the Champagne region has a history dating back
thousands of years, and boasts many architectural splendours from
its colourful past. During our guided tour we also enjoy a visit to
its magnificent cathedral, widely regarded as one of Europe’s
finest Gothic structures. It was here that all of France’s monarchs
were crowned from the 11th century onwards.

Hautvillers

This quaint village is the true home of Champagne. Here you can
still see the remains of the abbey where Dom Prignon was once the
cellar master. We also have our own Champagne tasting, trying some
of the best local vintages.

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