Mareuil sur Ay – Reims. Canal Lateral à la Marne & Canal l’Aisne à la Marne.
Highlights : Moet & Chandon, champagne house in Epernay, Haultevilliers- village of monk Dom Perignon, Reims and its Gothic Cathedral. Additional tours can be arranged.
You’ll be met at 3:00pm in the lobby of your Paris hotel and chauffeured to the C’est La Vie. For charter groups in the lobby of one hotel mutually agreed upon by the group.
After the traditional champagne welcome from the captain and crew, there is time to unpack and take a stroll, before enjoying your gourmet dinner on board.
Chateau-Thierry is 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 with Joan of Arc who entered through the town gates in 1421.
Cruise to Vaudemange
This morning we cruise to the village of Vaudemang with an opportunity before lunch to put on your walking shoes or ride a bicycle along the tow path and catch the C’est la Vie at the next lock. We leave one canal the Lateral à la Marne, to join the canal l’Aisne à la Marne.
After lunch we take a short drive to visit the 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 stop is 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.
Returning to the C’est La Vie for dinner aboard.
Cruise to Joulgonne
Morning cruise leaving Vaudemange we head towards Reims, while we cruise relax on deck or take a stroll along the towpath. We will go through numerous locks and pass through a small tunnel on the way to our evening mooring, finished in 1856, it was in 1840 that 13 million francs was allotted to the construction of this canal and hence the tunnel of 2,320 meters in length. The tow path stops for a while and so cargo boats were walked through by the crew, by lying on their backs on a plank of wood they literally walked on the tunnels roof. The horses would be taken over the hill to meet the boats coming out the other side.
Reims, an important city from Roman times onwards is where we are headed to this afternoon. Visit the great Reims Cathedral, which is larger than Notre Dame in Paris and where many of the French kings were crowned. Visit the “Palais du Tau” the Archbishops place which has been turned into a museum and holds many of the original statues that were damaged during the bombing raids of WWI, restoration work began in 1919, under the direction of architect Henri Deneux, a native of Reims; it was fully reopened in 1938, thanks to financial support from the Rockefellers.
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.
After breakfast, you’ll be chauffeured back to Paris for the end of the morning.
We hope to see you again on the “C’est la Vie”!
The 3-night Champagne Brut barge cruise route is run in reverse on alternate weeks and can be different due to locale conditions.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.