Paris - Épernay, MS Zwaantje
From Paris in the Champagne.
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Guided group tour
Arrival in Paris
Embark and check-in between 5 and 6pm at the Quai de Bercy on the Seine in Paris. You will be welcomed by the captain, crew and tour representative. Dinner on board. First briefing about the barge, bicycles and tour program.
Parisfull day excursion
After breakfast you will leave the ship and enjoy a full day's guided trip in Paris. Visit some of the may highlights that the “City of Light” has to offer. To mention just a few: the Eifel Tower, the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, the Notre Dame cathedral, the Louvre museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Centre Pompidou and the Musée d’Orsay. Your tour guide will take you by public transport (day ticket not included) from the barge to the center of Paris and on some walking tours. For safety reasons, there is not a cycle ride planned in Paris.
In Lagny-sur-Marne, you can begin your first bike ride, which mainly runs along the Marne river and its parallel canal. The first challenge is the hill near Chalifert. Whilst the barge will take the tunnel through the hil, cyclists need to test their fitness and muscles for the first time by climbing and crossing the hill themselves. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne. Night in Meaux.
After breakfast you will start your bike ride through Meaux's city centre. Today’s cycle tour goes over the hills and slopes of the Marne valley and through forests and small villages on the southern and northern banks of the river. On the way we may visit the Château de Montceau, the building which was attained by Catherine de Médicis in the 16th century. During the day you will enjoy a presentation and tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses (included). Dinner on board and night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or a village nearby.
Enjoy a somewhat challenging bike tour from La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre to Château-Thierry. The first part of the bike ride runs alongside the Marne river. After a few miles you will take a side valley and follow country roads along the small river Ru de Bouillons through various small villages and hamlets. You continue to ride uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are mainly covered with forest whereas the plateau is agricultural. An easier and shorter option would be along the Marne's river valley. Dinner on board and night in Château-Thierry.
Château-Thierrry owes its name to the castle that was once situated on the slopes above the Marne. You can still see some remnants 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 World War I. Château-Thierry is also known as the native town of the world-famous fable writer, Jean de la Fontaine. Choose between a long and a short bike ride. Today we will enter the official Champagne area. Cycle along the Marne river or cruise to Dormans, 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 a battle scene. 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 on board and night in Epernay.
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 true highlight is a visit to the chapel with monk's Dom Pérignon tomb. 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 wine into a wine of superb quality. Double fermentation, characteristic for the making of champagne, was also introduced by him. Return to Epernay by bike. 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 the Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. Epernay has many town houses that are in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th Century.
century, especially around the beautiful Avenue the Champagne where prestigious champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon are situated. Champagne tasting and tour in one of the major Champagne houses.
After breakfast the tour comes to an end at 9am. It is time to disembark and to make your own way home.
More demanding tour for fit/skilled bikers with a good condition. Daily stages approx. 30-50 km. The route runs along small country roads through a hilly area. Short sections are on country lanes that are not asphalted. Max. ascent of 350m per day.
- Tour and accommodation on board in the booked category 8 days / 7 nights (Sat.-Sat.) from Paris to Epernay
- Full board: 7 x breakfast, 6 x packed lunch for cyclists,7x three course dinner
- Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible)
- Daily cabin cleaning
- Welcome drink, presentation of barge + crew and briefing on the first evening
- Tour guide (multilingual) for fully guided cycling tours
- Daily briefings of the bike tours
- 1 full day guided tour of Paris (walking / public transportation), Brie cheese tasting, half day guided tour of Epernay incl. champagne tasting
- Bus transfer between Epernay and Reims (incl. stop at Champagne-Ardennes TGV station) on Sat. at the end or start of the tour
- Printed instructions and maps for daily bike tours, 1 set per cabin
- Daily coffee and tea til 4pm
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Paris-Gare de Lyon railway station is approx. 2km away from the boat
- Epernay train station is approx. 1km away from the boat
- Return transfer by train (duration approx. 80 minutes) from Epernay to Paris (also the other way) approx €28 per person
- Transfer including: Epernay-Reims, stopping at the TGV-railway station Champagne-Ardennes (duration approx. 1.5 hours, no bicycle transport)
Number of participants
- Minimum of 16 people
- In France helmets are compulsory for all cyclists! We recommend that all our guests bring their own helmet! There are only very limited helmets on board.
- Timetable and program are subject to change. At times of extreme flooding or low water the boat company reserves the right to transfer you by bus or to cancel the whole tour. There is no demand against that (water level is subject to force majeure clause). This is also the case for unforeseeable incidents like the reparation of a water gate/bridge or if the boat's engine were to break down.
- Please keep in mind that your boat is your hotel on the one hand and motor-driven equipment on the other hand. It has to move on at night as well. If you are sensitive to noise, please bring earplugs with you.
This tour has 1 more variation
Travel on this bicycle- and shiptour along the Marne, from Paris to Épernay. On board of the MS Zwaantje you stay the nights.