In response to increased demand, European Waterways will be offering five new “Champagne Cruises” in Champagne, France, aboard the Panache luxury hotel barge in 2017.
Departure dates are June 11, 18, 25 and July 2 and 9. Panache can accommodate up to 12 passengers and features a crew of six that includes an English-speaking guide, gourmet chef and an experienced captain. The six-night itineraries are all-inclusive and priced at US$6,190 per person, based on double occupancy. Charter bookings are also available.
“Few places on Earth can boast the name recognition of Champagne in France,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “This renowned region, famous for the sparkling white wine that bears its name, is also the birthplace of chivalric romance and has been at the crossroads of Europe since Roman times. You can taste the history, heritage and culture in every glass.”
The European Waterways Champagne cruise takes guests along the River Marne through the heart of the Champagne region.
Excursions include a visit to La Maison Pannier, a renowned champagne house founded in 1899, where guests will be treated to an exclusive tour of its labyrinth-like cellars and a private tasting. Guests will also enjoy a tour and tasting at another select champagne house, Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart, near Reims, established in 1930 by Marcel Ployez and his wife Yvonne Jacquemart.
The cruise, in which vineyards come down to the water’s edge, also includes a tour of the village of Hautvillers, known as the “cradle of Champagne.” It is here that almost 350 years ago, the monk Dom Perignon discovered the “méthode champenoise,” a special – and many consider the best – way of getting the “sparkle” into the wine, and guests will enjoy a “degustation” of champagnes at a delightful boutique. The Baroque Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is also on the itinerary, as is a visit to the city of Reims with its Gothic cathedral where 25 Kings of France were crowned.
“The Champagne region of France features the stunning landscapes that inspired Impressionist artists such as Renoir. Today it continues to draw visitors and wine aficionados from around the world who wish to sample the famous product that sets the gold standard for sparkling wines,” said Banks.