This route combines the splendour of Paris, capital of France, with the sparkle of Reims and Epernay, the twin capitals of the Champagne region.  The following is a suggested itinerary only. We may substitute new and interesting excursions and restaurants, as they become available and according to guests' wishes.

Day 1   Thursday

We will meet you at your Paris hôtel and escort you directly to La Chouette moored nearby.  Marvel at the sights of Paris from the magnificent River Seine.  Enjoy Paris in an unforgettable way,  “Under the Bridges of Paris…” on board La Chouette with a glass of champagne in your hand.

We cruise upstream out of the city for just a few miles before we leave the hustle and bustle of the Seine for the peace and tranquillity of the River Marne. 


Our mooring for the night is in the quiet town of Le Perreux and dinner tonight is at Les Magnolias, a Michelin starred restaurant.

Day 2    Friday

Our morning cruise takes us into the narrow canal sections of this navigation which by-pass parts of the river that are too shallow to navigate.  We pause a while at Lagny, a bright market town on the bank of the river, where we can take a stroll around the market and where Bobbie can stock up with more fresh produce.

Lunch on board

On to the magnificent city of Meaux dominated by its impressive cathedral where we can take a guided visit and learn about the influence and importance of Bishop Bossuet.

Then we can visit the Salle d’Exposition de Brie de Meaux to hear about the history and manufacture of this world famous cheese. You can take the opportunity of tasting the cheese with a fine Givry red wine.

We re-join La Chouette in plenty of time to enjoy an aperitif on deck before dinner on another barge moored in Meaux, Restaurant La Capitainerie a la Peniche.

Day 2    Saturday

An early start to our day sees us cruising one of the most beautiful stretches of the Valley of the Marne.  Breakfast can be taken as we wind around the meanders spotting grey heron and kingfisher as we go.  Guests interested in industrial archaeology might care to take a short visit to see the giant waterwheel, which transports water from the river Marne to the canal de l'Ourcq. 

Lunch is taken on board.  After lunch we cruise further upstream to Charly from where we may make our first champagne visit and learn from master champagne producer Gerbeaux how he puts the bubbles in the bottle…and more!

Dinner at the family run Auberge du Lion d’Or in Nanteuil-sur-Marne.

Day 4     Sunday

Today’s cruise is to Chateau Thierry through idyllic countryside.  On arrival at our mooring we can take a trip to Hill 204, and Belleau Wood, the scene of the last major engagement in World War1 and where a massive American Monument stands and surveys the valley below.

With appetites whetted by the walk we repair to the Michelin starred Auberge le Relais for lunch.

Sunday lunch in France is sacred and is to be savoured.  It is also very much a family affair and the children are always immaculately behaved.

Our afternoon boating takes us to Dormans where La Chapelle de la Reconnaissance stands above the town celebrating the two victories of the Battles of the Marne and where we moor for the night.  From here we can make another champagne house visit, every one is different and each has its own unique quality and taste!

Supper on board.

Day 5    Monday

After an early start, we cruise past mile after mile of champagne vineyards meticulously cultivated in their serried ranks up the hillsides.  Soon we see Hautvillers upon the hillside to our left.

Here Dom Perignon, who is reputed to have discovered the ‘Méthode Champenoise’, lived and worked as the cellar-master in the Benedictine Abbey for forty-seven years.

This is where we leave the river and take to the canal, which runs alongside.  With locks just large enough for La Chouette to squeeze into we are now in a different waterway world.  But still we are surrounded by vines.

We choose a mooring convenient from where to take a van ride into Epernay where we can visit the 'champagne producer for the people', Mercier.  Sister to Moët et Chandon, Mercier provides a fascinating visit and tasting and we follow this with lunch at one of our favourite restaurants,  La Cave à Champagne.

After lunch we can visit the village of Hautvillers before heading back to La Chouette to carry on up the canal towards Reims and moor at the confluence of two canals at Condé sur Marne.

Supper on board.

Day 6    Tuesday

We start when the locks open and the fresh croissants and pastries have been delivered to the barge and we pass through fifteen of these locks on our way to Reims.

On the way we find a quiet country mooring to enjoy lunch on the sun deck.

Visits to Taittinger or Veuve Clicquot as well as Reims Cathedral and the shops are the order of the day which is capped by dinner in a bustling Rémois brasserie,  Le Boulingrin.

Day 7    Wednesday

After breakfast transfer to Reims railway station where high-speed trains depart for Paris.

PLEASE NOTE:  On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the opposite direction.



Luxury Barge Holidays in France and Belgium


France:    "Champagne Experience" Paris - Reims