DISCOVER CHAMPAGNE BY BARGE
We love the Champagne region, not just for the wine but for the perfet combination of rolling hills and peaceful countryside, charming villages and historic cities. Travelling at around 3 miles per here (6km/h) Serenity is in no hurry, giving you the opportunity to really get to know this fascinating part of France.
Typically we moor in a village or town, however on at least one night we will be on a rural mooring in the middle of the countryside – a really special experience with just the vast sky above and the sounds of nature.
On all our cruise you have a choice of daily excursions…but these are some of the highlights you can expect from your cruise…..
You’ll taste a minimum of 12 different champagnes during your trip, whether it’s a tutored tasting with a winemaker at their vineyard or an evening aperitif aboard. Over the week you’ll get to appreciate the wide range of champagne styles and terroirs, but which will be your favourite? – the award winning 100% pinot noir, a non-dosage, a brut aged in oak barrels, a biodynamic rose…..
Villages and vineyards
Although you can see the vines from the canal, to truly appreciate this region’s beauty you’ll travel by private mini-van to one of the many villages in the heart of the vineyards Meet a third generation winemaker to learn how the experts take care of the vines, many of which are over 40 years old You can also try your hand at saberage – the art of opening a champagne bottle with a sword (definitely one for the photo album!)
Join us for a tour of Reims, France’s city of kings – we start at the towering gothic cathedral, where a walk though history takes you from the laying of the first stone in to WW2, via Joan of Arc and the stained glass artistry of Marc Chagall. If you opt for our walking tour we’ll show you the city’s hidden gems including the art deco Carnegie library, charming Place du Forum and the triumphant Roman arch.
The fresh produce markets are one of the joys of any visit to France. You can indulge your eyes and mouth on a visit to Epernay’s fantastic weekly covered market – help the crew pick out the fresh fruit for breakfast, choose the cheeses for lunch or pick up a little something for an on-deck aperitif.
Choose between visiting the fabously restored art nouveau Villa Demoiselle, having a private tour of the charming 18th century Chateau Pierry or attending an unforgettable candlelight evening at the sumptuous Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte, when 2000 candles are lit in the chateau and gardens.
With over 300 champagne houses just in the small area we cruise, the highlight of any visit to the Champagne region the opportunity to discover small producers, whose wine you won’t find in the shops at home. You’ll learn the secrets of making champagne at one of these small family owned producers. From pressing to blending, cellaring and disgorging, a lot goes into making a bottle of bubbly. And of course you’ll get to taste their wonderful range of champagnes.
Champagne is home to some of the most iconic wine brands on the planet – Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Pol Roger, Krug and Perrier Jouet to name a few. Not only will you pass their grapes growing but we are happy to arrange a visit to your favourite house as part of your cruise itinerary (subject to availability, additional charges may apply)
Tempt your tasebuds
No visit to France is complete without a stop at an artisan patisserie for a delectable afternoon treat (or two!) And you can further indulge your sweet tooth at our chocolate workshop where Xavier will teach you to make praline filled chocolate champagne corks.