Meet in Paris and transfer to ‘Belmond Pivoine,’ moored in La Ferté-sous-Jouarre. Enjoy a Champagne reception upon arrival. Tonight, dine on board, savoring a gastronomic tour de force.
After a breakfast of local specialties, go ashore to explore to the magnificent 17th-century Baroque Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, and then gather for a morning-tea reception hosted in the castle’s glorious gardens. Return to the barge for as you cruise to rural Courtaron. Dine tonight on board, moored beneath the stars.
Cruise to the town of Château-Thierry on the Marne River, where, after lunch on board, you disembark to visit Belleau Wood, the site of first large-scale battle of World War I involving American troops. Then, take time to reflect at the solemn Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial. Return to the barge for a delicious dinner prepared by your talented chef.
Glide upstream to Cumières, the mooring place for Hautvillers, a township touted as the birthplace of Champagne. Enjoy lunch on board before your excursion to the Champagne house of Billecart Salmon, where you learn about the vinification process and enjoy a tasting. Proceed to Hautvillers Abbey, where Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon worked to perfect the production of sparkling wine. Visit his tomb before indulging in a Champagne picnic overlooking the picturesque town and river. Tonight, savor a sumptuous dinner at Hostellerie La Briqueterie, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the heart of the vineyards.
Leave the Marne River for the Canal Latéral à la Marne, cruising east to Tours-sur-Marne. After lunch on board, visit the family vineyard of Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart in Ludes. Enjoy an exclusive tasting hosted in the family home by founder’s granddaughter. Return to your barge for a tasting hosted by an ambassador from Champagne Laurent-Perrier, followed by dinner.
Cruise toward Châlons-en-Champagne and disembark after lunch for a drive to Reims, an important center of Champagne production, where some 34 French sovereigns were crowned. Visit to the immense Gothic cathedral, where their glittering coronations took place, and then set out on a guided tour of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, an 18th-century abbey housing a rich collection of artworks. Return to the barge for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to Paris, as your luxurious sojourn by barge draws to a close.
2019 Travel | 2019 prices available on request. Please contact A&K for details.