THE CANAL LATERAL A LA MARNE & THE MARNE RIVER
An insight into the riches of French heritage
The Canal Latéral a la Marne was built between 1840 and 1846 in order to improve navigation conditions and to promote trade. The canal is 67 km long, of which 16 km go through the Montagne de Reims Natural Park, it has 15 locks along its route and it is used most often nowadays as part of the network of "Green Ways", or cycle paths. This water way in north-eastern France is significant because it connects the Paris Basin to both the Rhine and Saone rivers. The Canal Latéral à la Marne links Vitry-le-François to Dizy, with the towns of Chalons-en-Champagne and Epernay and the village of Hautvillers, birthplace of Champagne, along the way. From that point onwards, the canal joins the Marne River which is navigable all the way to Paris, and passes through the towns of Chateau-Thierry and Meaux before it reaches the French capital city. The Marne canal and river form an important structuring axis for the areas and villages through which they pass, and they are intimately linked to the history, economy and social life in the valley..
CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE to PARIS
DAY 1: CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE
Boarding is from 6.00pm in Châlons-en-Champagne. Welcome on board, check-in and crew presentation. Dinner on board. Moor for the night in Châlons-en-Champagne.
DAY 2: CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE - EPERNAY
Breakfast on board. Set off on a visit of Châlons-en-Champagne often called the “Sparkling Venice”. Along the way you will discover the Marne River and the Mau and Nau Canals. You will go through le Petit Jard, a real oasis of greenery and get a different view of the Convent of Ste Marie and the Church of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux. You will have the opportunity to see many different bridges, dating back as far as 1560. Next the group is taken on a guided walking tour of Châlons-en-Champagne to learn about its rich cultural heritage. At the end of the visit there is a tasting of regional produce from the Champagne / Ardennes area. Return to the boat on foot for lunch and the boat sets sail for Epernay. The afternoon is spent cruising on the Marne canal. Arrival in Epernay in the early evening. Dinner on board and moor for the night.
DAY 3: EPERNAY - DORMANS - CHÂTEAU THIERRY
Breakfast on board. Depart on an excursion along the famous Champagne route. Set off on a discovery tour with commentary of the village of Hautvilliers, birthplace of Champagne,, where Dom Perignon lived. It was Dom Perignon who invented the famous “champagne method” of producing sparkling wine. Many of the little streets in the village have names that are reminiscent of the history of this village which is often called “The Pearl of Champagne”. Next you will visit a major Champagne house followed by a tasting of champagne. During the excursion, the ship continues its cruise to Dormans, where you will re-board for lunch. This afternoon the cruise heads for Château Thierry. As the whole afternoon is spent cruising, this is the ideal opportunity to admire the scenery long the banks of the Marne canal. We will cruise past the towns of Passy-sur-Marne, Jaulgonne and Mézy-Moulins. Arrival in the early evening. Dinner on board and moor for the night.
DAY 4: CHÂTEAU THIERRY - LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE
Breakfast on board. Set off on foot for a visit to the Jean de la Fontaine Museum), then continue through the town of Château Thierry passing the castle walls and the Hotel Dieu where Jean de la Fontaine also once lived. Return on board for lunch and set sail for La Ferté-sous-Jouarre. During our afternoon cruise, we will pass the towns of Drachy and Champigny, travelling through the heart of the Seine-et-Marne countryside, across which are dotted many Champagne vines. Arrival during the evening. Dinner on board and moor for the night.
DAY 5: LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE - MEAUX
All meals taken on board. Morning spent cruising.
Guided tour of Meaux. Chance to see the Brie de Meaux exhibition room and cheese tasting session.
DAY 6: MEAUX · NOGENT - SUR - MARNE - PARIS
All meals taken on board. Morning spent cruising. Guided tour of Paris. Gala dinner on board.
DAY 7: PARIS
Buffet breakfast onboard. Disembark at 9.00am.
PARIS to CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE
DAY 1: PARIS
Passengers are welcome to board starting at 6:00 p.m. in Paris. After you've comfortably settled in your cabin, we'll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party, followed by dinner on board. Our boat will remain in port overnight in Paris.
DAY 2: PARIS - LAGNY-SUR-MARNE
You'll begin your day with breakfast on board. You can then join us on a tour of Paris. We'll tour the city both by coach and on foot. During our excursion, you will see the capital's major must-see sites, such as the Place de la République, the Grands Boulevards, the Opera, the Place de la Madeleine, Place Vendôme, and the Louvre. We will walk through time and history as we discover the Palais Royale. Starting at the Palais Royal, you'll be taken on a new and original walk through the prettiest covered arcades in Paris. Often used as shortcuts for pedestrians, every one of these walkways is like a village in the heart of the capital. While the galleries have retained all their historical charm, modern designers, such as Shiseido, JP Gauthier, Stella McCartney, and many others have also brought their own touch of luxury and extravagance. During our tour, our boat will continue on to Lagny-sur-Marne. We will take a coach to join up with our boat in Lagny-sur-Marne for lunch, where we will cast off to begin our cruise to Meaux, arriving during the evening. We'll dine on board and stay moored in port overnight.
DAY 3: MEAUX - SAINT-JEAN-LES-DEUX-JUMEAUX
After breakfast on board, you can join us as we set off on a tour of this charming city. Our tour will take us through Meaux Cathedral and the Bishops' Palace, passing by the Gallo-Roman ramparts and the magnificent Bossuet Garden, traditionally believed to be an early work of Le Nôtre. This excursion will take you on a travel through time and history. Afterwards, we'll visit the Brie de Meaux Exhibition Room, where you will discover a video exhibition on how this region's most famous cheese is made. We'll finish our tour with a sampling of this cheese, hailed as "the King of Cheeses" by Talleyrand in 1815. We'll return on board for lunch before departing for Saint-Jean-Les-Deux-Jumeaux, arriving during the evening. We'll dine on board and stay moored in port overnight.
DAY 4: SAINT-JEAN-LES-DEUX-JUMEAUX - CHÂTEAU THIERRY
You will relax and enjoy breakfast and lunch on board as we cruise the canal for the rest of the morning. During our cruise, we will pass the towns of Drachy and Champigny, travelling through the heart of the Seine-et-Marne countryside, dotted with many champagne vineyards. In the afternoon, you can join us as we set off on foot for a tour of the Jean de la Fontaine Museum. Then, we'll continue through the town of Château Thierry, taking in the castle walls and the Hotel Dieu, where Jean de la Fontaine also once lived. After our full day, we'll return on board for dinner and stay in port overnight.
DAY 5: CHÂTEAU THIERRY - DORMANS - EPERNAY
You'll begin your day with breakfast on board as the boat casts off for Dormans, arriving in time for lunch on board. In the afternoon, you can join us on an excursion along the famous champagne route. We'll go on a commented discovery tour of the village of Hautvilliers, birthplace of champagne, where Dom Perignon once lived. Dom Perignon is the inventor of the famous "champagne method" that first produced sparkling wine. Many of the little streets in this village, often called "The Pearl of Champagne", are named after some part of this village's wondrous history. Next, you'll visit a major champagne maker, followed by a champagne tasting session. During our tour, the boat will continue cruising on to Epernay, where we'll return on board. At the end of the day, you'll enjoy dinner on board, as our boat drops anchor for the night.
DAY 6: EPERNAY - CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE
Our boat will cast off early in the morning to cruise to Châlons-en-Champagne. You will enjoy your breakfast and lunch on board, relaxing as our boat cruises the river. This is the perfect moment to relax on board and admire the passing landscape along the banks of the Marne-Rhine canal. We'll arrive in town early in the afternoon, where you can join us as we set off on foot for a tour of Châlons-en-Champagne, often referred to as "Sparkling Venice". Along the way you will discover the Marne River and the Mau and Nau Canals. You will meander through the Petit Jard, a country-style garden oasis, and marvel at the facade of the Sainte Marie convent and the Church of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux. You'll also have the opportunity to discover many different bridges, dating back as far as 1560. Next, we will take a guided walking tour of Châlons-en-Champagne to learn about its rich cultural heritage. We will end our tour with a sampling of local specialties from the Champagne/Ardennes region. After our full day, you'll return to the boat on foot to prepare for our gala dinner and onboard entertainment, while our boat remains in port overnight.
DAY 7: CHALONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE to PARIS
Enjoy one last breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m. Transfer to Paris by motorcoach.
Rate includes: 6 night cruise, all meals, wine with meals, drinks from the bar and excursions. Bicycles available for cycling.
|Accommodations||Rate Type||Rate Amount|
|Single supplement||6 night||1200|
|Stateroom per person||6 night||2916|
|Departure Dates (Tuesday)||Rate Type||Route|
|April 18; Aug 1; Oct 3, Oct 17||6 night||Champagne France between Paris and Epernay|
|Sept 9||6 night||The Great War of WWI in Champagne France|
|Accommodations||Rate Type||Rate Amount|
|Stateroom per person||6 night||2886|
|stateroom person 3-night||3 night||918|
|Single supplement||6 night||1200|
|Single supplement||3 night||407|
|Departure Dates (Thursday)||Rate Type||Route|
|Aug 25||6 night||Champagne France between Paris and Epernay|