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.
LA NOUVELLE ETOILE
La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra deluxe barge with very spacious accommodation for only 8 passengers, offering a wonderful blend of traditional elegance and sophisticated, state of the art facilities. The elegant, air conditioned and teak-lined dining area and saloon, with an attractive bar and piano, feature warm and inviting furnishings. On deck there is a spacious sun deck with comfortable loungers and hot tub. Other facilities include internet access, exercise room and 8 bikes.
The air conditioned suites, each over 200 square feet, have satellite TV and large en-suite bathrooms with double sinks. The barge’s attentive crew of five is comprised of an experienced Captain, Master Chef, Tour Guide and two Housekeepers, all of whom will ensure your cruise is truly memorable.
Panache is a stylish 12 passenger hotel barge, with spacious public areas and six comfortable double or twin en suite cabins. All the bathrooms have twin hand-basins and oversized showers. There are panoramic windows in the saloon and the hotel barge has been fitted out in traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings. A large sun deck and spa pool, plus 12 bicycles for guests’ use to explore the towpath complete the picture.
Panache’s highly professional crew of six is comprised of Master Chef, Deck Hand/Steward, Tour guide and two Housekeepers, led by a knowledgeable and experienced Captain who will ensure your cruise is memorable and more. Their knowledge of the region, combined with fascinating chauffeur driven private excursions and the 12 bikes we provide will allow you to explore the areas you cruise through in as much detail as you desire.
The Raymonde is a custom designed canal barge and has been equipped with maximum comfort in mind for an unforgettable and relaxing holiday. Passengers are 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.