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France's Waterways from Paris to Champagne by Barge

4.4 stars(9 reviews)

An all-inclusive gastronomic delight

7 days From £2,395 £1,995 per person
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2023 Tour code: CCR23

About the tour

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


What’s included


Day 1 - To Paris and the MS Deborah

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

  • Dinner
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 République 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 Deborah. 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 Château 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 Pérignon, 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, 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.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Shore Excursions - Included in your Tour


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.


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.

Château Thierry

Despite its small size, Château 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.


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.


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

Shore Excursions
Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.




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4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 9 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Sue Hill

4 stars

Submitted 14 Oct 2022

Stress free journey to Paris and back thanks to Great Rail Journeys. Good atmosphere in canal boat thanks to fellow travellers and crew.

Collected by Trustpilot

I Strandberg

3 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2022

We enjoyed the trip but it was not a gourmet experience as advertised. We, therefore, considered it to be a bit expensive

Collected by Trustpilot

David Powell

5 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2022


Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs Jane Walker

4 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2022

Thought food was not quite as good as previous barge cruises and disappointed only one glass of champagne on a champagne cruise.

Collected by Trustpilot

Sue Ganley

5 stars

Submitted 17 Aug 2022

Brilliant holiday. The barge staff were delightful and couldn’t do enough to make our journey comfortable. The food was delicious and interesting wines and cheeses to complement. Already booked for another barge cruise next year!

Collected by Trustpilot

D Bell

5 stars

Submitted 17 Aug 2022

The Barge trip was excellent. Fantastic food and a wide range of complimentary drinks. The excursions were informative and well managed. The transfers from Gard de Nord to the barge in both directions was very good. The only problem arose returning from Gard de Nord on Eurostar. Due to an earlier cancellation it was unclear which time train we would be allowed to board. To compound this our tour manager decided to go for a coffee and said he would return at 12.30pm. Consequently the group became seperated and some of the group did not recieve colour coded boarding cards, which caused some of the group distress. If we had all waited for our tour manager to return we would not have been able to board our homeward bound train which departed approximately 1.15pm

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France's Waterways from Paris to Champagne by Barge

An all-inclusive gastronomic delight


Lynne Broadley
Jo Jones
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