European Waterways’ ‘Back-to-Back’ cruises for longer wine tours in France

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Between mid-June to early-July 2018, European Waterways is offering wine-lovers an opportunity to visit two wine-making regions in France – the eponymous Champagne and Burgundy – with a new ‘Back-to-Back’ two-week cruise option.

Through this option, guests can book the Panache hotel barge in Champagne and L’Impressionniste in neighbouring Burgundy for two consecutive weeks of exploration, education and wine tastings. As an added incentive, European Waterways will also provide a free night’s stay at the Hotel Westminster in Paris; a French institution situated along the Rue De Paix.

This back-to-back cruise opportunity is only available for limited weeks, when the 12-passenger Panache cruises the River Marne through Champagne’s peaceful vineyards.

A sparkling opportunity

Booking consecutive cruises in Champagne and Burgundy during the 12-passenger Panache’s sailings is convenient because European Waterways will transfer guests seamlessly from one vessel to another, with an intervening night spent at the Hotel Westminster in the “city of light”.

Among the highlights of Panache’s Champagne cruise is a visit to the village of Hautvilliers, known as the “cradle of Champagne”. It is here that the monk, Dom Pérignon, discovered the Méthode Champenoise, from which the best Champagnes and sparkling wines are made. They’ll also experience a tasting and cellar tour in Epernay, as well as the option to sample different champagnes each evening aboard Panache.

Another cruise highlight is La Maison Pannier, a champagne house notable for its labyrinth of medieval underground cellars. Guests can tour these subterranean vaults and finish with a private tasting. During the cruise, Panache will also moor at Château-Thierry.

Making a good impression

The second week of the cruise will continue on the 12-passenger L’Impressionniste hotel barge, which cruises the Burgundy Canal in the wine region of Southern Burgundy. Among wine cellars visited are Clos de Vougeot, headquarters of Chevaliers du Tastevin, which awards a special prized label to the finest Côte d‘Or vintages every year. Guests will also enjoy a wine tasting at Château André Ziltener.

In addition to scenic drives through many of the region’s premier vineyards, guests will visit the Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus, a vineyard owned by the Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils. There, a wine expert will explain the vineyard’s production of its Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines. This will be followed by a gastronomic repast in the orangerie of Château de Beaune, owned by the winery since 1820.

“Wine is just one aspect of these exceptional, ‘Back-to-Back’ cruises,” noted Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways.

“France’s culinary tradition is also on full display – and a worthy companion. All our wines are professionally paired with an exceptional cuisine of regional specialties prepared by our on-board master chef. The regions are also steeped in history, and guests will relish their gastronomic experiences amid a backdrop of picturesque villages, legendary castles and ancient landmarks.”

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