• Info

    Tour type




    SA 11.06.2022


    Price per person

    1,389 € in standard twin cabin

    2,084 € in single cabin



    • 7 overnights
    • Full board (breakfast, packed lunch and 6 dinners - excluding drinks)
    • Coffee and tea on board
    • Bed linen and towels
    • English speaking tour leader
    • Brie cheese and champagne tasting
    • Champagne cellar visit in Epernay
    • Maps
    • GPS tracks
    • Bike helmet
    • Hotline service


    Not included

    • Beverages on board
    • 1 dinner in Epernay
    • Transfers to/from the docking place
    • Tips
    • Everything not mentioned in the section “Included”


    Supplements per person

    Rental bikes

    € 95 Touring bike

    € 210 E-bike

  • Day by Day

    1. Individual arrival in Paris

    Embarkation and check in at 2:00 pm, at the Quai d’Austerlitz. If you are not too tired, you can have a first walk in Paris and admire its wonders.


    2. Paris – Lagny-sur-Marne (40/50 km)

    You will leave Paris behind cycling along the canal de l’Ourcq. A bike path leads from the place de la Bastille (close to the mooring place of the barge), via the basin of la Villette to the banks of the canal de l’Ourcq, which 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. Destination of today is Lagny, a nice little town along the river Marne.


    3. Lagny-sur-Marne - Meaux (20/40 km)

    In Lagny-sur-Marne you can take your bicycle for a first ride, mainly along the Marne river and its parallel canal. 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 over the hill by bicycle. Also on the longer option the first part is quite hilly, because you are leaving the valley of the Marne. Later you will follow the small Canal de l’Ourq on to the city of Meaux, famous for its “Brie de Meaux” cheeses and the magnificent Cathedral St.Etienne. Overnight in Meaux.


    4. Meaux – La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (30/55 km)

    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 woodland and small villages. The longer option stays in the valley of the river in the morning, riding 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.


    5. La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Château-Thierry (45 km)

    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 ride into  a small valley marked by quiet villages and country roads. 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 with woodland, 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 overnight in Château-Thierry. 


    6. Château-Thierry – Epernay (35/50 km)

    Château-Thierrry owes its name to the castle that once was situated on the slopes above the Marne. You can still see its ruins. 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. Choose between a longer and a shorter 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 an important battlefield. You will see the Château de Boursault, a large castle built in 1848 by Mr. Cliquot’s widow, 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. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the local restaurants in town (dinner not included).


    7. Epernay round tour (20/25 km)

    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. Highlight is a visit of the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. According to the local tradition, Dom Pérignon (1638-1715) 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. Return cycling to Epernay. After lunch, visit to the center of Epernay. Together with Reims, Epernay 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.


    8. Epernay

    Disembarkation after breakfast around 9:30 am and end of tour.

    Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Issues with high and low water, as well as logistic obstacles such as officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges can modify some of the daily stretches or overnight stays and may even request a transfer by bus. These decisions are only taken by the barge’s captain.


  • Route profile

    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 with some difficult ascents. You will rarely cycle on bike paths and mainly on paved low traffic roads.


    With 18 guests or more, the daily cycling tours will be accompanied by two knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leaders. On most days, the tour leaders will offer a long and a short (or a quicker and a more relaxed) cycling option. The option for a long tour is also depending on weather conditions and wishes of the group.

    When there are less than 18 guests aboard, the tours will be accompanied by one knowledgeable and multi-lingual tour leader. During days when two bicycle options are possible, the tour leader will make a choice to guide the longer or the shorter option after consultation of the group. Not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the short cycling option.


    In case you prefer a day of rest, you can skip the bike tour and relax on board while cruising to the next town. 



  • How to get there

    The precise embarkation point will be written in the Final Tour Details that you will receive a few days before departure.


    By plane

    Paris has 3 airports, Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais.


    - From the airport Charles de Gaulle:

    Take a train RER to Saint Michel Notre Dame. Here take the subway line C, direction Gare d'Austerlitz. From here you can reach the Quai d’Austerlitz on foot. Duration of the journey: about 1 hour.


    - From the airport Orly:

    Take the subway bus no. 6 to Denfert Rochereau Métro. Here take the subway to Quai de La Gare. From here you can reach the Quai d’Austerlitz on foot. Duration of the journey: about 40 minutes.


    - From the airport Beauvais:

    Take the bus to Porte Maillot and from here the subway line 1 to Gare de Lyon. From here you can reach the Quai d’Austerlitz on foot or by taxi. Duration of the journey: about 1h50.


    By train
    The closest station to the point of embarkation is Gare de Lyon. From here take the subway line 14 and 6 to Quai de la Gare. For further informations visit: www.ratp.fr/en, www.transilien.com and en.oui.sncf/en/.


    By car
    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




    The barge Zwaantje is equipped with:

    - 10 Standard Twin cabins (7m2)

    - 2 Standard Double cabins (6m2)


    Each cabin has a private shower, toilet and basin. All cabins have ventilation, central heating, air-conditioning and a window. Furthermore, in each cabin you will find a mini safe and hair dryer. The windows in the double cabins can be opened, while the windows in the twin cabins are fixed for safety reasons.


    Common areas

    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.


    Watch Zwaantje photo gallery. 



  • Bikes and accessories

    In this tour you can rent:

    • unisex touring bikes with 21 gears and hand brakes
    • unisex e-bikes with hand brakes


    It is not possible to bring own bikes on board.


    The bikes are equipped with:

    1 pannier bag

    1 lock.


    In France bike helmets are mandatory for children till 12 yrs.


  • Accompanying material

    Before your arrival, you will receive an email from us with the digital information material. It contains the link to download the tour information material in Pdf:       

    - Tour notes

    - Final tour details


    On the spot you will find the maps (one for each cabin) and the GPS tracks.


  • By your side

    Our tour leaders are multi-lingual, and speak at least English and German. Smart, entertaining, caring and endlessly enthusiastic, they have a true passion for sharing their love of the outdoors, people, culture and local food. Thanks to a deep knowledge of the territory, they can give you useful hints and help you appreciate the place you are visiting. Of course they love cycling and will be happy to give you some advice about how to correctly use the bicycle gears and whenever necessary they can fix your flat tyre.


    Staff support

    In the Final Tour Details you will find the contact phone numbers you can call during the tour in case of emergency.