6-night all-inclusive gastronomic and champagne cruise in the Champagne region; discover Chateaux and explore the local patrimony
Discover the amazing region of Champagne, cruising through this wine area, from Meaux to Châlons.
River trip highlights
- Visit the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte
- WW1 battlefield, cemetery and American glory monuments
- Discover the Moet & Chandon champagne house in Epernay
- Visit to Haultevilliers village of monk Dom Perignon
- Champagne tasting in a typical family run winery
- Visit the city of Reims and its Gothic Cathedral
River trip summary
WHERE WILL YOU STAY ;
- Our barge is a luxury hotel barge that will offer you the highest standard of experience, with high-quality gastronomy, paired with fine wines, and the best crew to make your cruise unforgettable. The barge started cruising in the 1960s by transporting goods across France, Belgium, and Holland.
- It was later on converted to what it is today; a beautiful cruising barge; by a professional and passionate team of craftsmen (naval architects, woodworkers, etc).
- It offers all the comfort you might find in a luxury hotel, as it is fully equipped with all required amenities.
- On the top deck, you will find a dinning room, bar & lounge area, both air-conditioned with numerous windows giving you a panoramic view of the passing countryside, so you can enjoy the landscapes, sunsets, and stunning architectural views, as we cruise by.
- Lunch can be enjoyed on the deck, with a sliding canopy, you decide if you want sun or shade.
- There are 8 bicycle's at your disposal, for you to explore the near by towns and villages on the way.
- The spacious cabin with en suite bathrooms are bigger than most hotel rooms in Paris and offer 110 vaults for American appliances and 220 vaults for European appliances.
WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER ;
- For this particular cruise (we offer 5 other cruises depending on the years and on the periods; beginning of the season/end of the season), we will cruise from Meaux (1 hour from Paris by car) to Chalon en Champagne, at the heart of the sparkling wine Champagne region.
- To do so, we will be cruising on two of France's most beautiful waterways: the river Marne and the Marne Canal. It will be six nights and 5 days cruise for you and you can be sure that you will experience the best of river life, tourism and France!
- Here at Bookarivertrip.com, we like to say that the best way of discovering a region is to start by its rivers, that have seen civilisation, culture and society appear across the centuries. So why not to start with us.
WHAT WILL BE SERVED ON BOARD ;
- As you will see and taste, all the meals cooked by your private chef will be paired with a fine wine selection that we keep and age in a cellar and bring to the boat when they are ready to be drunk.
- Breakfast is buffet style, with locally baked pastries, fresh fruit, yogurts, tea and coffee, fruit juices etc
- A wide variety of soft and alcoholic drinks are also available at the bar and our chef will prepare a buffet lunch and a 4/5 course gourmet dinner, there is also 1 dinner ashore at the 2 star Michelin restaurant, les Crayeres in Riems.
River trip description
- Here starts your cruise with us! We will cruise this route from the first day of summer, the 21st of June, to the 15th of August.
- The cruise runs two ways, depending on your dates, but the stops will be the same at different points of the week. In all cases, you will arrive on Sunday, and leave on Saturday.
Day 1-Sunday: Arrival on board (Meaux or Chalons en Champagne), bubbles, and first gastronomic dinner!
- We will meet you at 3 pm at the hotel Madison, 143 Boulevard St Germain, in Paris for individual bookings, or for charter groups at 1 mutually agreed upon hotel of your choice, Our private chauffeur will then drive you the C'est La Vie anchored in the charming town of Meaux.
- With our traditional welcome of Champagne, you will meet our captain and its crew.
- Then there is time to settle into your spacious cabins before your first gourmet dinner!
Day 2-Monday: Visit of Vaux-Le-Vicomte Chateaux and cruise to Saint Jean-Les-Deux-Jumeaux
- Your first morning on board will start with our signature breakfast; locally baked pastries, fresh fruit, and orange juice and much more, the best way of starting a day of adventure on the river! You will then have plenty of time to relax on our deck while the barge will be softly cruising on the river Marne towards our destination for the evening, Saint Jean-Les-Deux-Jumeaux.
- A buffet lunch will be served on deck weather permitting.
- After lunch, we will drive to the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an impressive property, that is privately owned and well maintained. It's gardens and its peculiar history will mark your memories, as it was built by Nicholas Fouquet, former finance minister of Louis XIV!
- The Castle was so beautiful, that it made most of the period's nobles and kings jealous, and brought Fouquet to jail for the rest of his life! It is even said that in retaliation, the King of France built the famous Versailles Chateaux... returning to the C'est La Vie for your evening dinner.
Day 3-Tuesday: Sightseeing of the World War 1 battlefields, visit of the cemetery of Belleau-Wood and cruise towards Chateau Thierry.
- After our daily breakfast, we will start our cruise towards the town of Chateau Thierry. Crossing a stunning landscape, pastures and vineyards.
- At the crossroad between the Champagne region and the neighboring ones, the village is at the top of the hill. Being quite a historic town, it was associated with the medieval king Charles Martel who built its castle there in the 8th century. Even Jeanne d'Arc crossed its gates later in 1421 when she was on her sacred duty for the King of France!
- In the afternoon, we will visit the sites of WW1 battles. The battle of Belleau Wood saw not less than 8000 American troops die, missing or wounded, also we will visit the imposing memorial above the town and the cemetery where they rest in peace.
- Then it is back on board to relax before cocktails and dinner, and why not go to the town center for an evening walk!
Day 4-Wednesday: Visit of Epernay, discover the Moet & Chandon champagne place and cruise to Damery
- This morning's cruise on the Marne passes through landscapes that could have inspired many impressionist painters.
- After lunch, we will then go to visit the world-renowned Moet & Chandon Champagne house in the town of Epernay. Founded in 1743, it was already known for reaching international markets, and counting as its clients' personalities such as Napoleon or Madame de Pompadour!
- Then, we will see another piece of history of the Champagne region, the church of monk Dom Perignon, who is thought to have invented the champagne producing process itself! This pretty champagne village of Hautevillers is perched on the top of a hill, and overlooks the surrounding vineyards, giving you an unmissable view.
- Tonight, we will go for dinner on land! Take your time to prepare for the 2 star Michelin restaurant "Les Crayeres".
Day 5-Thursday: Visit a family-owned champagne Domaine and cruise towards Tours-sur-Marne
- Today we switch waterways! From the Marne River, we will transfer to the Canal Lateral de la Marne. There is a well-maintained tow-path, which allows you to follow the boat by walking or with our bikes. No worries, we will have you back on board at the next lock.
- After another succulent lunch on board, we will visit a family-run vineyard, because we think it is important you see something else other than big international champagne houses! We will tell you about the great diversity of champagne houses in the region, and of course, its time for our second tasting experience!
- Our guide will drive you through endless vineyards, so you can see these stunning landscapes. We will then get back on board for our chef's dinner.
Day 6-Friday: Discover the city of Reims and cruise to Chalon-en-Champagne
- Relax this morning while we cruise, either with a walk or bike ride along the towpath, exploring small villages on the way.
- We will drive to Reims after lunch, and start our visit by its stunning cathedral, which is even larger than the one of Notre Dame de Paris. Known for being an ancient Roman power center, Reims has a lot to offer in terms of architectural sightseeing, shops, museums and more.
- At this point, you will have all the time you want to wander in the historic town center, discover its secrets, chose a nice terrace where to enjoy a drink or coffee, and get a sense of the french way of life!
- Tonight, it is your last dinner on board, so our chef will make it unforgettable for you!
Day 7-Saturday: Last breakfast on board and transfer back to Paris
- After breakfast, it will be sad to see you leave!
- At 9.30 our driver will chauffeur you back to Paris or to another agreed-upon destination! We look forward to seeing you back on board for another unforgettable experience on one of our other destinations!
Type of experience
Heating / cooling
Languages spoken onboard
Music-sound system / CD player
Books and magazines
Binoculars for animal watching
Petanque balls are also available.
Jig saw puzzles.
How to get there
BY CAR ;
Picked up in Paris at 3.00 by our mini bus and driver and driven to the boat in Meaux
For charter groups your party will be met at 1 hotel of your choice in Paris at 3pm by our driver and driven to the “C’est la Vie” which is moored in the Meaux
For individual cabin bookings, pick up and drop off at the hotel Madison, 143 Boulevard St Germain 75006 Paris.
- It is very easy to reach Reims from Paris or other regional capitals, as it is at the crossroad of A4 and A26 motorways!
- You can decide to rent or give back a rented car in one of the many agencies in the city.
BY TRAIN ;
- The city is well connected to the high-speed train network and to the regional train network. From there, you can reach Paris in between 1 hour and 1.30 hours depending on the journey you chose.
- You can also reach all the other cities by doing one or more transfers, depending on your final destination. If you wish, we can help you with all that.
BY PLANE ;
- We would recommend you if you come by plane to arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY) airports, as you can reach many more destinations from there. Remembering that the pick up in Paris is at 3.00pm. We can help arrange a pick up and drop off from there.
- You can also sue the local international airport, the one of Châlons-Vatry. From there, you can reach some destinations.
About the area
- Reims is champagne-central, and all your favorite houses are lined up for you to tour and taste. What’s more, and you might not know this, but every single French King, from 987 to Charles X in the 19th century, was crowned right here at the Reims Cathedral.
- Being the beating heart of the Champagne region, and knowing that bubbles run into this heart, all your favorite houses have a representation in the city, ready for you to tour and taste!
- One very important aspect of this regional capital is that every French King from Louis le Pieux in 816, to Charles X in the early 19th century was crowned in the Reims Cathedral by the highest Christian authority. Not less than 23 kings!
- There are many interesting activities and sites to visit within its walls, such a museum about historical events that took place there, Roman remainings and archeological sites, an art deco library donated to the city by Andrew Carnegie, and even a Chapel painted by a great modern artist!
River trip owner
Our barge is a family run luxury hotel barge, with Olivier's son ready to take over the helm. Between them they have more than 30 years of experience, you will find no better crew on the waterways who will take care of your every need, for sure.
Run by a French/English family gives the barge a unique insight into the two cultures and we are ready to show the French way of life, with their love of food and wine. Coming from a family of chefs and restaurateurs, you will never be disappointed.
The high standard of the boat shines through the minute you step aboard.
6 Reviews - 6-night all-inclusive gastronomic and champagne cruise in the Champagne region; discover Chateaux and explore the local patrimony
M & E W NC - the United States
Merci, Merci, Merci! We cannot thank you enough for sharing the Marne River and its canal with us. Your gracious hospitality, friendship & efficient staff, (Heloise, Alix) Adam’s culinary skills & talent, Tom’s cruising skill & pride in caring for the barge!
Deb & Olivier you both are wonderful hosts and it’s obvious that there is pride of ownership as we see all the attention to detail in every way.
An amazing week with you and your crew, we will be back.
B&S W FL - the United States
This third voyage on this stunning barge was as amazing as the first, Olivier, Deb and the team were truly magnificent. We’ll be back!
L&G B NC - the United States
A wonderful week, great accommodations, special food, friends and laughter to remember until the next time, thanks to the crew for making our visit special
M& G M VA - the United States
We had a wonderful, relaxing time on the barge. The whole crew were top notch, friendly and professional. The food, wine & cheese were outstanding; we also enjoyed the company of our fellow travellers.
This was the 2nd barge trip for us, in totally different parts of France, the barge and the Marne itinerary were great. Would not hesitate to come back and try another trip with them.
B&S H - the United States
In my North Carolina French – Cette péniche est extraordinaire. The food, wine, accommodations, service, excursions, and ambiance were all superb and easily exceeded our lofty expectations.
Olivier, Deb, Tom, Adam, Alix & Heloise seemed to anticipate our every need or desire, for drinks, food, this & that – and all with such warmth and generosity of spirit. We’re now cruising down the Marne River on our last day toward our last gourmet dinner, but we’ve long arrived at our true destination, a glorious vacation!