France’s Waterways from Paris to Champagne CCR21

Resort: France's Waterways from Paris to Champagne CCR21
Operator: Great Rail Journeys
Destination: Europe
Price From: £2195.00

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

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 of Paris, one of the most iconic cities in the world. Our tour takes us past many famed sights, including the Place de la Rpublique and the Louvre. We set sail this afternoon for Lagny-sur-Marne, where we moor overnight. Each evening on board is a special time, with the sun deck the perfect place to soak in the evening sights with your fellow passengers.

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. After lunch on board, we arrive in Meaux for a sightseeing tour. Later on, we visit the Brie de Meaux exhibition room to learn how one of France’s most famous and popular cheeses is made. Afterwards we taste some of this locally made, distinctive soft cheese for ourselves.

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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