Price per person
From Epernay: 8.06, 22.06, 17.08.19
departures from Paris on this link
- 7 overnights
- full board (breakfast, packed lunch and dinner - excluding drinks)
- english speaking tour leader
- Champagne and Brie tasting
- use of bed linen and towels
- hotline service
- Transport to and from departure point
- All drinks on board and specified meals
- Entrance fees to tourist attractions
- Anything that is not mentioned under included
340 € single cabin
80 € bike rental
175 € E-bike
50 € gluten free/ lactose free menu (to be paid on site)
Day by Day
1° Individual arrival in Epernay.
Embarkation and check-in 2 pm. Bicycle delivery, bike fitting and test ride. Dinner on board. Welcome briefing and presentation of the tour program.
2° Epernay – Hautvillers (20/25 km - 10/16 miles)
The first half a day 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 first ascent of the slopes and through the vineyards you will reach this picturesque village of Champagne wine growers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. The highlight of the morning is a visit of the chapel hosting the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. According to the local tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715), who was in charge of the wine cellars of the abbey of Benedictine monks, and he was the first to succeed in blending various kinds of wine into a wine of superb quality. He also introduced the double fermentation, typical of champagne production. Ride back to Epernay. After lunch, visit the center of Epernay, which with Reims, is the major wine center of the Champagne region. Epernay has many town houses in neo-renaissance style or classical style dating from the 19th century. Champagne tasting and tour in a Champagne house on the famous Avenue de Champagne.
3° Epernay– Château-Thierry (30/50 km - 19/35 miles)
Start the first full day cycling tour along the canal and Marne river. You will see the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by the widow of Mr. Cliquot (Veuve Cliquot), who dedicated to her name a famous Champagne wine. After a ride up the northern valley slope to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards will show you stunning view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. Today you will leave 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. The short cycling tour ends in Dormans, where you can join the boat. The longer option ends at the lock of Mont St. Pierre. Today’s destination is Château-Thierry, that owes its name to the castle once situated on the slopes above the Marne. The town was the site of the Battle of 1814 in the Napoleonic Wars between France and Prussia and of 1918
4° Château-Thierry – La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre (45 km - 26 miles)
Enjoy a somewhat challenging bike tour from Château-Thierry to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre. The first part of the cycling tour leads you along the Marne river. After a few miles you will ride into a small valley marked by quiet villages and country roads. En route 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 in woodland, while on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Start your descent along the small river Ru de Bouillons to reach La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre, where you meet the barge. Night in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or in one of the villages nearby.
5° La Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Meaux (30/55 km - 18/32 miles)
After breakfast your cycling tour will lead you 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 you may visit the Château de Montceau,Catherine de Médicis residence in the 16th century. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux , famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.-Etienne. On the way you will enjoy a tasting of the famous Brie de Meaux and Brie noir cheeses. Visit the historical city center of Meaux. Dinner and overnight on board in Meaux.
6° Meaux – Lagny-sur-Marne (20/40 km - 12/22 miles)
Visit the beautiful city center of Meaux. Then you will cycle mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. The last challenge is the hill near Chalifert while the barge will go through the tunnel crossing this hill. In the afternoon you will meet the barge in Lagny-sur-Marne, where you will stay for the night.
7° Lagny-sur-Marne – Paris (35 km /21 miles)
Today we will bike further along the Canal d’Ourcq. This canal was built by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. The canal provided the city with water and played an important role in the transportation of goods to and from the city. We will enter the city along a bike path that leads via the basin of la Vilette all the way to the place the la Bastille. We will find the Zwaantje at Quai Bercy in the heart of Paris.
8° Paris: end of tour
After breakfast at 9:30 am end of the tour and disembarkation in Paris.
The itinerary may be subject to unexpected changes before and/or during your holiday, due to unforeseeable circumstances, such as: extreme weather conditions, unannounced road or repair works or law enforcements.
The tour winds along the valley of the Marne and in the Champagne wine region. Even if most part of the route follows the river and its tributaries, the itinerary will also take you on countryside roads in a hilly territory. You will rarely cycle on bike paths and mainly on paved low traffic roads. You will visit Paris on foot or by using public transport, due to safety reasons.
How to get there
The precise point of embarkation will be written in the Final Tour Details that you will receive a few days before departure.
The best way to reach Epernay is by flying to Paris, which has 3 airports, Charles de Gaulle (30 km away from the point of embarkation), Orly (15 km away from the point of embarkation) and Beauvais (80 km away from the point of embarkation).
- From the airport Charles de Gaulle:
Take a train RER from Charles de Gaulle and get to Châlet-Les Halles. Here take the subway line 14, direction Olympiades, and arrive in Cour Saint-Emilion. From here you can reach the Quai de Bercy on foot. Duration of the journey: about 1 hour. For further information please visit the website: www.ratp.fr
- From the airport Orly:
Take the tram line T7 to Rungis la Fraternelle. Here take a train, line C direction Nora, to Biblioteque F. Mitterand. Da lì proseguite a piedi fino al Quai de Bercy.From here you can reach the Quai de Bercy on foot. Duration of the journey: about 1 hour. For further information please visit the website: www.ratp.fr
- From the airport Beauvais:
Take the bus line 30 to the centre of Beauvais. Here take a train to Paris Nord, and her etake another train to Gare de Lyon. Da lì proseguite a piedi fino al Quai de Bercy.From here you can reach the Quai de Bercy on foot. Duration of the journey: about 2 hours and a half. For further information please visit the website: www.voyages-sncf.com.
The closest station to the point of embarkation is Gare de Lyon. Visit the website www.voyage-sncf.com for further information.
Parking in Paris is quite expensive. We suggest you to visit this website in order to find the best solution: www.parking-public.fr.
Accommodation and meals
On the lower deck, the Zwaantje has twelve comfortable guest cabins. Ten twins (7 m² – 75 sq.ft.) with two separate single beds and two doubles (6 m² – 65 sq.ft.) with one double bed.
Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating, air-conditioning and a window; the windows in the double cabins can be opened, the windows in the twin cabins are fixed for safety reasons. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a safe deposit box and a hair dryer.
On the upper deck you will find the nice and cozy salon with heating, air conditioning, large panoramic windows, a restaurant area, lounge corner and a small bar. Wi-Fi is available. The Zwaantje also has a very spacious sun deck with chairs and tables where you can relax, enjoy the scenery while sailing or join the skipper in the wheel house.
Bikes and accessories
In this tour you can rent:
- unisex 21 gear bikes, an easy and low entry and handbrakes.
- unisex E-Bike with hand breaks 3 gears and support levels.
The bikes are equipped with:
- pannier bag
In France bike helmets are only mandatory for children under 12. Only a limited number of helmets are available on board, please bring your own.
You will receive by email, some days before departure:
- Embarkation voucher with details on the name of the boat and the precise embarkation point;
- Tour Notes;
- Final Tour Details.
You will receive on site:
- printed instructions and maps.
If you have any doubt, please contact us before departure.
By your side
During the whole journey our tour leader will be by your side. We remind you that our tour leaders are neither tour guides nor entertainers, but their role is that of coordinating the group and leading you along the route. Some of them do this as a profession, others do this job just for the fun of it, but in both cases they can speak a foreign language and can deal with “almost” any situations.
For the whole duration of your bike tour, you can contact us:
- office +39 0444 1278430 from Monday to Friday 8:30-13:00 and 15:00-18:30
- emergency phone number every day 8:00-20:00 which will be specified in the Final Tour Detail