This eight-day, seven night Champagne, Marne River Valley & Paris tour on board the barge MS Zwaantje is a cycle touring classic that not only allows guests to explore the world famous city of Paris, but also the Champagne region, famous of course, for producing Champagne wine. From the time the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon invented the bubbly drink in 1670 at the Abbey of d’Hautvillers, the Champagne name has been synonymous worldwide with the very best of sparkling wines.
Guests have the opportunity to cycle to boutique wineries, sample a variety of champagnes, taste delicious Brie cheese and generally discover everything the Champagne UNESCO world heritage region has to offer. But more than just visiting the Champagne region, you will also have the opportunity to explore Paris, one of Europe’s most beautiful and beloved cities on a full day guided excursion. Other highlights of the tour include a visit to the city of Meaux, well known for its Brie cheeses and a stopover in Château-Thierry, the scene of major battles in World War I. Along the way you will cycle through almost endless vineyards on the rolling banks of the Marne River. The tour ends in the city of Epernay, the real capital of the Champagne region where you will have the opportunity to visit one of the town’s massive champagne cellars.
The MS Zwaantje (“Little Swan”) is a fully converted passenger barge that sails under the Dutch flag and management. The barge has a length of 40 metres (131 ft.) and can accommodate 24 passengers in total comfort. On the lower deck there are 12 sleeping cabins for guests: 10 twin cabins with two single beds each and two cabins with a double (French) bed. All the cabins have a small ensuite bathroom with toilet, shower and wash basin, a fixed window (both double cabins have larger windows that also open) and individual air conditioning. On the main deck you will find the nice and cozy salon complete with air-conditioning and large panoramic windows, a restaurant area, lounge corner and a small bar. Depending on the quality of the network connection (mobile internet, limited data amount) the salon offers free Wi-Fi. The barge has a very spacious sun deck (90 square meters/860 square ft.) with chairs and tables and a beautiful view, where you can relax or join the skipper in the wheel house. Bicycles will be stored in a separate area on the sun deck.