Paris - Epernay, MS Zwaantje
Enjoy the grat Champagne region
Embarkation and check-in at 11 a.m. on the Seine, in the center of Paris. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour leader you leave Paris by bike via the river Marne. A bike path leads all along the 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. Destination of today is Lagny, a nice little town along the Marne.
From Lagny-sur-Marne there are 2 bike options. The first kilometers of both options are uphill. In case you opt for the short ride, the first challenge is the hill near Chalifert. 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. Also on the longer option the first part is quite hilly, because you have to leave the valley of the Marne. Later you will follow the small Canal de l’Ourq that was built by Napoleon 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. Night in Meaux.
There are a few cycling options today. The shorter option 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 option 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 very nice presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses at the family-run Fromagerie Ganot. Dinner on board and night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or a village nearby.
Enjoy a somewhat challenging cycling 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 miles you will take a side valley and follow country roads 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, on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Follow the valley of the small river Clignon. En route 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 night in Château-Thierry. Château-Thierry owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne. 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 the Battle of 1918 at the end of World War I. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of the world-famous writer of fables Jean de la Fontaine.
During breakfast the ship will take us to the lock of Mont St. Pierre or even a bit further upstream to Dormans. Today we will enter the official Champagne area. 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 intense battles. 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. During the cycling tour you 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. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the local restaurants in town.
The last half day’s cycling 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. Highlight is a visit of the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon (1638-1715). In charge of the wine cellars of a Benedictine abbey, Dom Pérignon pioneered a number of winemaking techniques, being the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve regional wines into a wine of superb quality. Double fermentation, characteristic for the making of champagne, was introduced also by him. Return cycling 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 dating in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne where prestigious champagne houses, such as Moët & Chandon and Mercier, are situated. Enjoy a Champagne tasting and take a tour in one of the major Champagne houses.
End of your tour: Disembarkation after breakfast until 9.00 a.m.
Biking in the hills will not take too much effort, as a comfortable E-bike is reserved for all guests.
| Season 1 |
28.05.2023 | 11.06.2023 |
|Bike & Boat MS Zwaantje, Paris - Epernay, 7 days, FR-MASPE-07|
|Base price|| |
|Surcharge 2-bed-cabin single use||694.50|
- Programme according to itinerary
- 6 nights in outdoor cabins with shower/WC in the booked cabin category
- Meals: 6x breakfast, 6x lunch package for bike tours, 6x coffee and tea in the afternoon, 6x dinner
- Welcome drink
- Rental Electric bike
- Bed line and towels
- All port, bridge and lock charges
- Daily bike tour review
- Fully guided bike tours
- Tägliche Kabinenreinigung
- Bicyle rental insurance for E.Bike €25,-/week
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Airport Charles de Gaulle Roissy
- Airport Paris Orly
Things to note:
- More important information about the Package Travel Act and additional information about your bike and boat tour can be found here!
- It is not possible to bringyour onw bicycle/E-Bike on this ship, due to a lack of space on deck.
The Zwaantje, ‘little swan’, is the classic ship of captain Martijn and his spouse Marjorie. enjoy your breakfast and delicious three course dinner in the adjacent restaurant area. And with a little bit ofwindows. ofsunshine you should take a seat on the sun deck.