C’est La Vie Champagne Barge cruise. Meaux to Chalon en Champagne
River Marne and Marne Canal.
7 days, 6 nights. Highlights: Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte,WW1 battlefield and cemetery of Belleau-wood and American monument, Moet & Chandon champagne house in Epernay, Haultevilliers- village of monk Dom Perignon, Champagne visit in small family run winery, Reims and its Gothic Cathedral. Restaurant: Les Crayères in Reims (2 Michelin Stars).
Paris to the C’est La Vie Moored in Meaux
You’ll be met at 3:00pm in the lobby of your Paris hotel and chauffeured to the C’est La Vie at anchor in the village of Meaux. After the traditional champagne welcome from Captain Oliver Mégret and the crew, there is time to unpack and take a stroll around town before enjoying the first of many gourmet dinners on board.
Cruise to St. Jean-les-Deux-Jumeaux
Begin the day with our breakfast buffet featuring village-baked pastries just warm from the oven! Then relax on deck while cruising on the River Marne to St. Jean-les-Doux-Jumeaux. C’est La Vie floats through heavily-wooded countryside. Adorable villages hug the shore and patient fisherman wave as we pass. After lunch (served on deck weather permitting) we’ll visit the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte, an enormous privately-owned property with grand gardens and an intriguing history. Built by Nicholas Fouquet, finance minister to Louis XIV, the chateau became a lightening rod for the jealous king. Fouquet landed in jail for the rest of his life and the king built Versailles in retaliation! Could Fouquet have been the man in the iron mask, some people certainly think so?
Return to the C’est La Vie for dinner aboard.
Cruise to Chateau Thierry
After another delicious breakfast, the next stop on our Champagne Barge cruise is to Chateau Thierry through a gorgeous landscape of villages, vineyards, pastures and forests. Nestled into the champagne-producing slopes, this ancient town is associated with the Frankish king Charles Martel whose castle here was built in the 8th century and Joan of Arc who entered through the town gates in 1421.
Afternoon excursion to nearby World War I sites. Belleau Wood was the scene of the second battle of the Marne in spring 1918, which ended the last German offensive of World War I. The cost was 8,000 American troops killed, missing or wounded. Overlooking Chateau Thierry is the massive French-American Friendship Monument and the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.
Back on board for your gourmet dinner.
Cruise to Damery
Morning cruise on the River Marne, through scenery that could have been painted by the Impressionists. Vineyards, fields and farmhouses cling to distant hills, while villages and gardens line the river. After lunch take a short drive to visit famed champagne producer Moet & Chandon in Epernay. This elite company was founded in 1743 by Claude Moet and was characterized from the beginning by international markets and such high-level contacts as Madame Pompadour and Napoleon. Now it dominates Epernay with a complex of historic buildings and a billion bottles of bubbly stored in eighteen miles of tunnels! We’ll tour and then taste!
Next visit Haultevillers, a pretty champagne village perched high over the vineyards. Tour the unassuming church of monk Dom Perignon, credited with inventing the champagne-producing process.
We return to the C’est La Vie in plenty of time to prepare for your dinner shore at the 2 star Michelin restaurant Les Crayeres.
Cruise to Tours sur Marne
This morning’s part of the Champagne Barge cruise we leave the river Marne for the canal Lateral a la Marne, perfect time to put your working shoes on or ride a bicycle along the tow path and catch the C’est la Vie at the next lock.
After lunch we will pay a visit to a small family run vineyard, for the 2nd of your champagne tasting experiences. Driving through vineyards as far as the eye can see. We return to the C’est La Vie for your gourmet dinner.
Cruise to Chalon en Champagne
Cruise this morning to Chalon en Champagne. There is time to walk or bicycle on the towpath as C’est La Vie winds its way along the canal. After lunch, we drive to Reims, an important city from Roman times onwards. Visit the great Reims Cathedral, which is even larger than Notre Dame in Paris and where the many of the French kings were crowned. Visit the Archbishops place which has been turned into a museum and step back in time.
Walk along the pedestrian streets in this vibrant city, or take a coffee in many of the side walk cafes and watch the world go by.
Head back to the C’est La Vie for The Captain’s Dinner which ends your cruise in style!
Departure time is 9:30AM after breakfast. You’ll then be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning.
We look forward to your company again on the “C’est la Vie”!