An all-inclusive gastronomic delight
Cruising down the famous Champagne route of France on the elegant Raymonde 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.
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 Latéral à la Marne. On arrival the crew present us with a welcome cocktail, and we enjoy dinner together in the stylish dining room.
Today we enjoy a guided tour of the splendid French capital. We see many of the major attractions such as the Place de la République, the Grand Boulevards, the Opera House, the Place de la Madeleine, Place Vendôme, and the Louvre. We finish our excursion on foot, discovering the prettiest arcades in Paris at the Palais Royal, where old world charm meets the new vibrant side of the city. We set sail this afternoon for Lagny-sur-Marne where we moor overnight.
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 if weather permits. We sail slowly, and you have access to the boat at all times. After lunch on board, we arrive in Meaux for a sightseeing tour that includes the magnificent cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, as well as the Gallo-Roman ramparts. We also take in the striking Bossuet Garden, believed by many to be one of Le Nôtre's earliest works.
Later on we visit the Brie de Meaux exhibition room where we are shown a film demonstrating how one of France's most famous and popular cheeses is made. After this we taste some of this locally made, distinctive soft cheese for ourselves. We return to the boat following our busy day for a relaxing dinner on board.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
An all-inclusive gastronomic delight