Discover Champagne on a barge cruise
We love the Champagne region, not just for the wine but for the perfect combination of rolling hills and peaceful countryside, charming villages and historic cities. Travelling at around 6km/h (3 mph) Serenity is in no hurry, giving you the opportunity to truly get away from it all and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Typically we moor in a village or town, however on at least one night we will be on a rural mooring – a really special experience with just the vast sky above and the sounds of nature.
On all of our cruises 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 winemarker at their vineyard or an evening aperitif onboard. 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 villlages in the heart of the vineyards. Meet a third generation winemaker to learn about 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 through history takes you from the laying of the first stone in 1206 to WW2, via Joan of Arc and the stained glass artistry of Marc Chagall. If you opt for our walking tour we will show you the cities 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 the Epernay’s fantastic weekly covered market – help the crew pick out the fresh fruit for breakfast, choose the pates for lunch or pick up a little something for an on-deck aperitif.
Choose between visiting the fabulously restored Art Nouvau Villa Demoiselle, having a private tour of the charming 18th century Chateau Pierry or attending an unforgettable candlight evening at the sumptous 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 is 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 a 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, Tattinger, Pol Roger 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 charge may apply).
Tempt your tastebuds
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 you sweet tooth at our chocolate workshop where Xavier will teach you to make praline filled chocolate champagne corks.