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.
Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins available on all decks, at the relevant supplement.
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.
Day 2 - Paris
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 7 - Journey Home
After a buffet breakfast, we disembark our barge for the last time at Epernay and transfer to the Paris 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.
Built in 2014, the MS Raymonde is one of CroisiEurope’s Small Barge vessel sailing on the Marne Canal in North Eastern France. With 11 Double/Twin cabins, she features comfortable accommodation throughout. Cabins are compact and well designed, featuring twin or double beds; an en-suite bathroom with shower, basin and WC, wardrobe, safe and TV, Independent air conditioning & WIFI Meals are served in the main restaurant,all tables take into account the panoramic views with a casual but elegant athmosphere. There is also a lounge which is tastefully decorated, it’s a quiet place where you can spend time with your friends and family. Equipped with sofa and a bar you can relax before and after dinner, serving complimentary drinks. The top deck features a sun deck/ Terrace with tables, chairs and loungers and roof top Jacuzzi.
10 comfortable cabins 86 ft², 1 adapted Double cabin 118 ft² Standard cabins are around 86ft² in size with picture windows and feature twin beds, en-suite bathroom with shower, TV, climate-controlled air conditioning and an in-room safe.
One cabin, adapted for limited mobility guests, is available with a fixed double bed (4′ 6″ wide)
Enhancing your tour Upgrade your Eurostar journey to Standard Premier Class for the discounted price of £85 per person each way Luggage transport available from as little as £200 per person
Cruise through the very soul of France, as you enjoy the peace and quiet far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world gently cruising along peaceful waterways. Truly, an ideal opportunity to unwind! A canal cruise in France is also the chance to learn about the region through which you are travelling; it’s flora and fauna, its history, its culinary specialities and much more. Canal barges have been equipped with maximum comfort in mind for unforgettable and relaxing holidays. You will be very well looked after and pampered by a crew completely at your disposal, so you can relax on board and have a truly wonderful time.