Since the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne, the Champagne region has been one of the great agricultural regions of Europe and now thanks to a type of sparkling wine to which the region has given its name, the word Champagne is known worldwide.
The region starts around 75 miles from Paris, around the city of Meaux and stretches along the beautiful River Marne to the city of Epernay, home of such renowned Champagne houses as Moet & Chandon. There is a plethora of vineyards spread across the undulating plains as far as the eye can see, brilliant green with the new leaves of spring, turning to gold as the grapes ripen in the autumn.
Also famous for its Champagne houses, Reims is one of the capitals of Champagne and certainly the most prestigious. It boasts one of the finest medieval cathedrals in the country where once the kings of France were crowned, including most famously, Charles VII, orchestrated by the loyal Joan of Arc.
The Champagne region is rich in other products, particularly its wonderfully creamy cheeses, with Coulommiers at its heart.
The Belmond Hirondelle takes you on an idyllic journey through the Champagne region. Your route meanders effortlessly along some of the area’s most tranquil waterways. The soft décor of the barge perfectly complements the scenery outside. Hosting eight guests, our four cosy cabins feature oak-panelled ceilings, fine antique furniture and en-suite bathrooms. Relax in the light filled lounge with our crisp sound system, television and Wi-Fi, or recline in a deckchair on the splendid teak deck beneath the shady canopy.
SPECIALS: Belmond Hirondelle (expires 30/4/19)
2019: €3,096 per person double/twin share departing May 12; June 30; August 04