One of the very few barges operating in the Champagne region, Kir Royale takes you on a wonderful adventure cruising through the stunning vineyards of this beautiful region, much favoured by the Romans who bequeathed small vineyards to their retired war veterans in the knowledge that they would protect them valiantly. This cruise takes you to the world-famous vineyards of Epernay, home of Moet et Chandon, to the mighty cathedral of Reims dating from the 13th century, the American Memorial and the cellars of Moët & Chandon, Frèrejean Frères and Maison Pannier.
A fabulous cruise awaits you, savouring the wines, history and culture of this delightful region.
Sunday: From Paris to Chateau-Thierry
Your chauffeur collects you in the air-conditioned minibus for the journey from the Hotel Westminster in Paris to Kir Royale, moored in the small town of Château-Thierry, birthplace of the famous French poet Jean de la Fontaine. Once aboard, you are welcomed with a champagne reception and an introduction to your crew, followed by the first of many delicious dinners on board.
Monday: Chateau-Thierry to Dormans
We begin our day with a hearty breakfast before setting out to visit Maison Pannier for a tour and private tasting. Beneath this select Champagne house lies a labyrinth of Medieval underground cellars, adding to its charm.
After lunch on board, we begin our cruise along the River Marne to the pretty town of Dormans, the site of a château, ancient water mill and WWI memorial. There's time to take a gentle stroll or bike ride before an aperitif before another delicious dinner.
Tuesday: Dormans to Damery
After a relaxed breakfast, join our tour guide to visit the World War One battlefield and monument at Chateau Thierry and the Belleau Woods, where the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments fought throughout most of June 1918. This is a humbling experience as we acknowledge their gallant actions, which resulted in the end of the Battle of Belleau Woods on June 26, under the Marine Monument. The woodland was officially renamed Wood of the Marine Brigade on June 30, 1918, by the Commanding General of the French 6th Army. The 8100 casualties of the 2nd Division are remembered in the various vestiges of trenches, shell holds, and relics, including weaponry found in the vicinity and now on display.
We return to Kir Royale for lunch on board, followed by a relaxing afternoon cruise to Damery, where dinner will be served aboard.
Wednesday: Damery to Dizy
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we head off in the minibus. On the way, we'll stop at a hillside vineyard to discover some of the attributes of champagne grape growing. With this knowledge in hand, we then take a private tour and champagne tasting at the boutique Grand Cru winery of Frere Jean Frères.
We then enjoy a private, gourmet lunch in the salon of the family Domaine before returning to the barge for our afternoon cruise along the river to Dizy.
Thursday: Dizy to Tours-sur-Marne
Today is all about the bubbles! Do you know the history of Champagne?
In 1693, Dom Perignon discovered Champagne while making wine. His wine was accidentally full of bubbles, and the story goes that he proclaimed, 'Come quickly! I am tasting the stars!"
This morning, enjoy a guided tour through the vast underground cellars of Moet & Chandon, the prestigious Champagne house founded in 1743. Their cellars are the largest in this region. Our tasting, hosted in an elegant private salon hosted by an experienced cellar master, will include some of the best-known vintages of the domaine.
After lunch back on board Kir Royale, we cruise to the pretty mooring at Tours-sur-Marne, joining the Canal Lateral à la Marne en route.
Friday: Tours-sur-Marne to Chalons-en-Champagne
This morning, it's time to visit the ancient city of Reims to tour the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame, where 33 coronations took place over 800 years. The Cathedral is considered to be one of the best examples of Gothic art and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Enjoy some free time to explore the grand squares and elegant shopping arcades of this fine city before returning to the barge for lunch.
Our final cruise will take us to Chalons-en-Champange for our Captain's Farewell Dinner on board.
After a hearty breakfast to help you on your way, we bid you farewell and bon voyage!
Our chauffeurs will drive you to a hotel or airport in Paris. ETA 12.30 pm
Please note: This is a sample itinerary, which may be subject to change depending on local conditions.
Champagne cruise rates
6 days / 7 nights
|Singler person supplement||3, 800 USD||3, 300 USD|
|2024 USD, for American and Canadian guests||Regular||Value|
|Whole boat charter for 8||73, 500 USD||63, 500 USD|
|Whole boat charter for 7||70, 700 USD||61, 100 USD|
|Whole boat charter for 6||67, 900 USD||58, 700 USD|
|Suite per person||9, 950 USD||8, 550 USD|
Value dates: July 21 through to August 18; October 13 through to October 27, 2024
Regular dates: May 19 through to July 14; August 25 through to October 6, 2024