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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights on a Category A barge
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$2150USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: CBU

Trip highlights


  • Discover Paris on a full day guided excursion
  • Exploring the small towns and villages en route
  • Soaking up the hospitality onboard the comfortable barge
  • Cycling through the Champagne region and tasting local wines

Experience the beauty of the Marne River Valley, the lights of Paris and the famous Champagne houses of Epernay from the comfort of a well appointed barge. Along the way, sample delicious cheese in Meaux, well known for its Brie cheese and visit Château-Thierry, scene of major battles in World War I. Cycling along the river in the company of your expert guide, through vineyards and past small villages, ensures you gain a unique insight in this special region. In the Champagne region, visit small producers, who will be proud to let you taste their best Champagne wines. The journey concludes in Épernay, the real capital of the Champagne region, where the Avenue de Champagne is home to famous producers such as Moët & Chandon, Pol Roger and Perrier-Jouët.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

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On arrival in Paris make your way to the barge. The barge will be moored at the Quai d’Austerlitz on the Seine river. You can embark from 2:00pm and meet your guide and crew (luggage can be dropped off from 11:00am). When all passengers have boarded there will be a short welcome briefing followed by a guided walking excursion through Paris to see some of the many highlights that the "City of Lights" has to offer: the Eiffel tower, Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Montmartre, Notre Dame Cathedral, museums (Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musée d'Orsay), Arc de Triomphe, etc. After dinner back on board, there will be a full welcome briefing.

Meals:  D

After breakfast you will begin cycling from Paris along a dedicated bike path next to the Marne River. You pass the chateaux of Champs-sur-Marne and bike through the surrounding gardens. The Château de Champs-sur-Marne is characteristic of the residences of leisure built in the countryside in the 18th century, giving rise to a new style of living. It is one of the most magnificently furnished châteaux in the Ile-de-France. Our destination for today is the nice small town of Lagny-sur-Marne (meaning along the Marne).

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you will commence the first cycle mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal, encountering our first challenging hill near Chalifert if you opt for the short route. The barge will take the tunnel through the hill, but cyclists can test their fitness and muscles for the first time by climbing and crossing the hill by bicycle. On the longer route the first stage is quite hilly as you leave the valley of the Marne. Later you will follow the small Canal de l'Ourq that was built by Napolean to transport wood, grain and fresh water to Paris. Today's destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its "Brie de Meaux" cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St-Etienne.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you will start your cycling tour through the center of Meaux. There are two cycling options today depending on your preference. The shorter route will lead you over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley on the south bank of the river through forests and small villages. The longer route stays in the valley of the river in the morning with a ride through Trilport and Lizy-sur-Ourcq. Later you will have to climb a few challenging hills, leaving the valley in the direction of Jouarre. In Jouarre, all cyclists can enjoy a nice presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses at the family-run Fromagerie Ganot. Dinner on board and overnight in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or one of the nearby villages.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a somewhat challenging bike tour from La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre to Château-Thierry. The first part of the cycling track leads you along the Marne river. After a few kilometres/miles you will take a side valley and follow country roads along the small river Ru de Bouillons through various small villages and hamlets. Continue riding uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest, and agriculture is predominant on the plateau. Follow the valley of the small river Clignon. Along the way you can visit the large WW1 American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau on the D82. Start your descent to reach Château-Thierry. Dinner on board and overnight in Château-Thierry. Château-Thierry owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne, remnants of which you can still see today. The town was the site of two important battles: the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia, and the Battle of 1918 at the end of WW1. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of Jean de la Fontaine, the world-famous writer of fables.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will enter the official Champagne area. During breakfast the barge will take us to the lock of Mont St. Pierre where you can commence cycling along the Marne river, or sail even further upstream to Dormans as you can choose between a longer and a short bike ride. Dormans is a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne. During World War I this area was the scene of close battles. We will see the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by the widow of Mr. Cliquot, who gave her name (Veuve Cliquot) to a famous Champagne wine. A ride up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the cyclist with a stunning panoramic view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. Dinner is at leisure and you are free to choose one of the many restaurants in Epernay.

Meals:  B,L

The last half day’s bike tour takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a somewhat challenging ascent you will reach this picturesque village of Champagne wine growers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. A highlight is a visit of the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. According to tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), who was in charge of the wine cellars of the abbey of Benedictine monks, was the first to succeed in blending various kinds of wine into a wine of superb quality. He also introduced double fermentation, a characteristic for the making of champagne. Return cycle to Epernay. After lunch, visit the center of Epernay. Together with Reims, Epernay is the major wine center of the Champagne region, where three extensive wine regions meet: the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. Epernay has many town houses in neo-renaissance or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue de Champagne where prestigious champagne houses are located such as Moët & Chandon and Mercier. We will visit one of the major Champagne houses for a tour and Champagne tasting.

Meals:  B,L,D

Your tour ends after breakfast by 9:30am. Disembarkation is near the train station in Epernay. Note: Itinerary operates in reverse every alternate departure i.e. Epernay to Paris (see below). Itinerary is provided as a guide and small amendments may occur.

Meals:  B

Expand all | Collapse all

Arrive at the barge in Epernay. You will embark from 2:00pm and meet your guide and crew (luggage can be dropped off from 11:00am). When all passengers have boarded there will be a welcome briefing followed by a bike handover and short test ride. After dinner on board there will be a guided walk through Epernay, the major wine centre of the Champagne region. Epernay has many town houses dating back to the Neo-Renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne, where many prestigious champagne houses are situated.

Meals:  D

The first half day’s bike tour takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne river to Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a somewhat challenging ascent you will reach this picturesque village of Champagne wine growers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. A highlight is a visit of the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. According to tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), who was in charge of the wine cellars of the abbey of Benedictine monks, was the first to succeed in blending various kinds of wine into a wine of superb quality. He also introduced double fermentation, a characteristic for the making of champagne. Return cycle to Epernay. After lunch, visit the center of Epernay. Together with Reims, Epernay is the major wine center of the Champagne region, where three extensive wine regions meet: the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. Epernay has many town houses in neo-renaissance or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue de Champagne where prestigious champagne houses are located such as Moët & Chandon and Mercier. We will visit one of the major Champagne houses for a tour and Champagne tasting. Dinner on board and overnight in Epernay.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today our first full day cycling tour leads us along the canal and Marne river. We will see the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by the widow of Mr. Cliquot, who gave her name (Veuve Cliquot) to a famous Champagne wine. A ride up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the cyclist with a stunning panoramic view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. Today we will leave the official Champagne area. Cycle along the Marne river to Dormans, a quiet village on the Marne with a castle and chapel in memory of the battle of the Marne. If you are taking the shorter cycling option you can join the barge in Dormans for a cruise to Château-Thierry, our destination for today. The longer cycling option will end at the lock of Mont St. Pierre. Château-Thierry owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne where you can still see some remnants. The town was the site of two important battles: the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia and of 1918 in World War I during which it was the scene of close battles. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of the world-famous writer of fables Jean de la Fontaine. Dinner on board and overnight in Château-Thierry.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a somewhat challenging bike tour from Château-Thierry to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre. The first part of the cycling track leads you along the Marne river. After a few kilometres/miles you will take a small side valley and follow country roads through various small villages and hamlets. Along the way you can visit the large WW1 American War Cemetery and Monument near Belleau. Follow the small river Clignon and continue riding uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest, and agriculture is predominant on the plateau. Start your descent along the small river Ru de Bouillons to reach La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre, where you meet the barge for dinner on board. Overnight in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or one of the nearby villages.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you will start your cycling tour. After a few kilometres/miles you will enjoy a presentation and tasting of the famous 'Brie de Meaux' and Brie noir cheeses at the family-run Fromagerie Ganot. You will continue by bike, opting for a longer or shorter option to the city of Meaux. The short route will lead you over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley on the southern bank of the river through forests and small villages. The longer route follows a few large curves of the river to Lizy-sur-Ourcq and Trilport. Meaux, our destination for today, is famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent cathedral, the Cathedral St.-Etienne. You may visit the historical city center of Meaux. This evening you have dinner at leisure, a chance to sample one of the many restaurants in the town of Meaux.

Meals:  B,L

In the morning you will have more time to visit the beautiful city centre of Meaux. You will then have two options for today's cycle, the first stage leads mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. The longer route leads along the Canal de l'Ourcq, that was built by Napoleon to transport wood, grain and drinking water to Paris. For the shorter route you can cruise with the barge from Meaux to Lagny-sur-Marne, on the outskirts of Paris where the barge will stay for the night. You can add an afternoon loop cycle through the valley of the Marne river to the castle of Champs-sur-Marne. The Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne is characteristic of the residences of leisure built in the countryside in the 18th century, giving rise to a new style of living. It is one of the most magnificently furnished chateaux in the Ile-de-France. Dinner on board and overnight in Lagny-sur-Marne.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's last cycle will lead us further along the river Marne. After about 10 km you will pass the castle of Champs-sur Marne. The Château de Champs-sur-Marne is characteristic of the residences of leisure built in the countryside in the 18th century, giving rise to a new style of living. It is one of the most magnificently furnished châteaux in the Ile de France. Zwaantje will wait for you just outside Paris to cover the last kilometers by boat to the mooring in the heart of Paris. Dinner on board and overnight in Paris.

Meals:  B,L,D

Your tour ends after breakfast by 9:30am. Note: Itinerary is provided as a guide and small amendments may occur.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks)
  • Continental breakfasts are served and will usually consist of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. At breakfast you will prepare your packed lunch for the day which will be sandwiches, fruit & juice. Dinner will consist of three courses inclusive of either a pasta, vegetarian or meat dish.
  • 7 nights accommodation aboard a Category A barge in a cabin with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis. 10 of the compact cabins are configured with twin lower beds, while 2 of the cabins offer a double (French) bed. We do not match clients together so if you are travelling solo you will need to book a single cabin - limited and on a request basis, supplement applies.
  • 21 speed trekking bike rental with pannier, helmet and water bottle (electric bike available on request - supplement applies)
  • Information pack including route notes and maps (one set per cabin)
  • Multilingual tour leader for fully guided cycling tours and daily briefings
  • Linen and change of towels as required
  • Daily cabin cleaning
  • Welcome drink and briefing on the first evening
  • Daily coffee and tea until 4PM
  • Brie cheese tasting in Jouarre, visit of a Champagne celler in Epernay, Champagne tasting, several city walks
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPS Tracks on request
  • Ferry fees
  • WIFI

  • Travel to and from Paris / Epernay
  • Dinner on day 6 in Epernay (Paris to Epernay) or day 5 in Meaux (Epernay to Paris) , drinks other than afternoon tea and coffee on board
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specified
  • Public transport tickets in Paris and to Lagny-sur-Marne
  • Transfers not specified
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tips - while tipping is not obligatory, it is customary to offer a tip if the guide and crew have done a good job. As a guide we would recommend EUR30-60 per person (to be distributed between the guide/s, captain and crew).
  • Catering for special diets (except Vegetarian). A supplement is payable for lactose or gluten free diets - EUR50pp (subject to change) paid locally on board. See below for further details regarding catering for dietary requirements.
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc.
  • Car parking
  • Bike insurance - payable locally (EUR10 for standard bikes and EUR25 for e-bikes) - further details of this Limitation of Liability (damage) policy are available on request

Cabins


Bike information


Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 The cycling is moderate (3) grade with daily cycling distances from 17 to 52km (10 to 32mi) along undulating usually well graded low traffic roads. There are some short stretches on some busier roads and off-road bike paths. The cycling includes ups and downs every day through the beautiful wide river valley, hills and the Champagne vineyards - between 50 and 400 metres (164 and 1312ft) (aggregate) difference in altitude per day. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. A good level of fitness and cycling experience is required to fully participate in this trip.


Departure dates


Notes

IT1
Trip commences in Paris.
IT2
Trip operates in reverse, commencing in Epernay - refer to trip notes for itinerary.

Want to organise a private group?

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Total Priceper person from

$2150USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Electric Bike SupplementUSD$180
  • Single Supplement (single in twin cabin - one only per departure)USD$870
*Prices listed are per person

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