Cruise the Champagne Region of France
Château-Thierry to Chalons en Champagne, France
Sunday, Day 1 : Paris / Château-Thierry
Guests are met early afternoon in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the hotel barge moored in Chateau-Thierry, an historic, strategically-situated town overlooking the river, surrounded by vineyards that produce some of the region's famous sparkling wine. The town is also the site of an iconic battle for American Marines in World War One. Enjoy a Champagne welcome while your Captain introduces you to the crew. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 : Chateau-Thierry to Dormans
This morning, we visit La Maison Pannier, a select champagne house with a labyrinth of medieval underground cellars, for a tour and a private tasting. After lunch, the hotel barge sets off on her first voyage along the meandering River Marne and cruises to the pretty riverside town of Dormans, the site of a chateau, water mill and World War One memorial. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 : Dormans to Damery
After breakfast, there is the option to visit the elegant Chateau de Conde with its sumptuous 18th century interiors, or the World War One battlefield and monument at Chateau-Thierry and the American cemetery at Belleau Wood. After returning to the barge and lunch onboard, we enjoy a relaxing afternoon cruise along the Marne to our mooring at Damery. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 : Damery to Dizy
This morning we continue our cruise along the beautiful River Marne, passing through the champagne vineyards to our mooring at Dizy. After lunch on board, we head into the nearby town of Epernay, home to many of the major champagne houses for a cellar tour and tasting. There is time afterwards to explore the town and to do some shopping. Dinner ashore at a local restaurant.
Thursday, Day 5 : Dizy to Tours-sur-Marne
This morning, we visit the pretty hilltop village of Hautvillers. Known as the "cradle of Champagne", it is here that the monk Dom Perignon discovered the "méthode champenoise". We enjoy a private tasting of champagnes and matching cheeses at a boutique in the village then return to the barge and cruise to our pretty mooring at Tours-sur-Marne, joining the Canal Lateral à la Marne en route. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 : Tours-sur-Marne to Châlons-en-Champagne
This morning, we visit the magnificent 800-year-old Reims cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece where the Kings of France were crowned, before some free time perhaps to wander around this delightful city with its grand squares and elegant shopping arcades. After lunch on board, we cruise to our final mooring at Châlons-en-Champagne. Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7: Châlons-en-Champagne
After breakfast, disembark Panache and transfer to Paris.
Note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.