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Seine, Paris & Champagne by Bike + Boat

Between Paris and Epernay

map Champagne & Paris by Bike + Boat

Route

Tour profile / level 2-3

This is a moderate level tour that is at times challenging with hilly terrain and varied country roads. It is for experienced bikers in good physical condition. However, daily mileage is limited (approximately 31 miles per day) and there is time provided for breaks to visit little villages and places of interest.

Tour Paris – Epernay

Day 1: Paris – Lagny-sur-Marne, about 38 km
Embarkation and check-in at 11 am at the Marne in Paris, Lagny-sur-Marne. After a welcome by the captain, crew and tour guide, you will disembark the ship by bicycle for your first bike ride along the Marne (packed lunch included). A bike path runs along the river. You’ll pass the château of Champs-sur-Marne and cycle through its surrounding gardens. The Château of Champs-sur-Marne is characteristic of the vacation residences built in the countryside in the 18th century, which created a whole new style of living. It is one of the most splendidly furnished castles in the Ile-de-France.

Day 2: Lagny-sur-Marne – Meaux, about 22 - 42 km
There are two cycling options from Lagny-sur-Marne. Both tours are uphill for the first few kilometers. If you choose the short ride, the first challenge is the climb near Chalifert. The ship will pass through the mountain tunnel, but as a cyclist, you can test your fitness and muscles by tackling this hill on your bike. Even with the longer option, the first part is quite hilly as you have to leave the valley of the Marne. Later, you will follow the small Canal de l’Ourq, built by Napoleon to transport wood, grain and fresh water to Paris. Today’s destination is the city of Meaux, famous for its cheese "Brie de Meaux" and the magnificent St. Etienne Cathedral.

Day 3: Meaux – La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, approx. 27 - 52 km
After breakfast, your bike ride begins through the center of Meaux. Today’s short route runs over the hills and slopes of the Marne Valley, through groves and small towns on the southern banks of the river. The longer bike ride stays in the river valley in the morning and passes through Trilport and Lizy-sur-Ourcq. Later, you will ride up several slopes and leave the valley towards Jouarre. There you can taste the famous Brie de Meaux and black Brie cheese during a visit to the small family-run Fromagerie Ganot (guided tour and tasting included). Dinner on board and overnight in nearby La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre or another nearby village.

Day 4: La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Château-Thierry, approx. 40 - 44 km
The first part of the tour leads along the Marne river. After a few kilometers you will take a side valley and ride along country roads and the Ru de Bouillons river, through small villages and along ponds until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. Follow the valley of the small river Clignon to the descent to Château Thierry.

Day 5: Château-Thierry – Dormans – Epernay, about 35 - 50 km
Also today there is the possibility to do a longer or a shorter bike tour. During breakfast, the boat will sail to the lock at Mont St. Pierre or a little further to Dormans. Here you will reach the official Champagne area. The ride up to the northern valley slopes to the village of Châtillon-sur-Marne rewards the athletic cyclist with breathtaking views of the vast Marne Valley and the Champagne vineyards. Today there is no dinner on board, you can individually visit one of the many nice restaurants in town.

Day 6: Round trip Epernay, approx. 19 - 26 km
The last bike ride takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne to Ay and Mareuil-sur Ay back via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. Next destination is Reims. Together with Reims, Epernay forms the wine center of the Champagne region. A visit to a champagne cellar with tasting in one of the famous champagne houses is of course essential.

Day 7: Epernay
Disembarkation around 9.30 am after breakfast and individual departure or extension in Epernay.

Tour Epernay – Paris

Day 1: Epernay round tour, approx. 19 - 26 km
Embarkation and check-in at 11 am in Epernay. After the welcome by the captain, it’s time for a first bike ride. This route takes you along the quiet canal parallel to the Marne to Ay and Mareuil-sur Ay. Return via Dizy to visit Hautvillers. After a somewhat strenuous climb, you will reach the picturesque village of Champagne wine growers on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. A highlight here is a visit to the chapel with the tomb of the monk Dom Pérignon. Bike ride back to Epernay. After lunch, a visit to the center of Epernay is on the agenda. Together with Reims, Epernay forms the wine center of the Champagne Champagne region, where three wine regions meet: the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Vallée de la Marne. You will visit together one of the prestigious champagne houses (visit included).

Day 2: Epernay – Dormans – Château-Thierry, approx. 35 - 50 km
Today you can take a longer or a shorter bike tour. All cyclists start in Epernay and ride along the Marne to Dormans. The last 200-300m challenging ride up to the northern valley slopes to the village of Châtillon-sur Marne rewards the sporty cyclist with a breathtaking view over the Marne valley and the Champagne vineyards. Continue along the Marne to Dormans, a small town with a small castle and a chapel commemorating the Battle of the Marne. This is where the short tour ends: you can board the boat. The longer tour continues to Château-Thierry.

Day 3: Château-Thierry – La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre, approx. 40 - 44 km
Take on a more challenging bike ride today from Château-Thierry to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre. The first part of the route leads along the Marne. After a few kilometers, you take a side valley and ride along country roads through small villages and small forest sections. The road continues uphill until you finally reach the plateau above the northern part of the Marne valley. The side valleys are rather wooded, while on the plateau agriculture is predominant. Follow the valley of the small stream Ru de Bouillons to the long descent to La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre. The last part of the route runs along the Marne. Easier and slightly shorter variant completely through the river valley of the Marne.

Day 4: La Ferté-sous-Jouarre – Meaux, approx. 30 - 52 km
Today’s route runs over the hills and slopes of the Marne Valley, through groves and small towns on the southern and northern banks of the river. On the way you can still visit the remaining buildings of the Château de Montceau, acquired in the 16th century by Catherine de Médicis. During the day, there is also sure to be an opportunity to taste the famous Brie cheese and black ’Brie noir’. Last part of your bike tour through the beautiful city center of Meaux, known for its ’Brie de Meaux’ and the imposing St.-Etienne Cathedral.

Day 5: Meaux – Lagny-sur-Marne, approx. 24 - 45 km
After breakfast, your bike tour begins, first passing through the beautiful old town of Meaux. Afterwards you will mainly cycle along the Marne and its parallel canal. On the longer tour you follow the picturesque Canal de l’Ourcq, which Napoleon ordered to be able to transport wood, grain and fresh water by ship to Paris. In the afternoon, you will reboard the ship in Lagny-sur-Marne, an outskirt of Paris.

Day 6: Lagny-sur-Marne – Paris, approx. 38 - 51 km
Today you cycle further along the Marne. After about 10 km you will pass the Champs-sur-Marne chateau. The Château of Champs-sur-Marne is characteristic of the vacation residences built in the countryside in the 18th century, which created a whole new style of living. It is one of the most splendidly furnished châteaux of the Ile-de-France. After the tour, you will come back on board the ship. In the afternoon you will have time to explore the center of Paris (transfer not included).

Day 7: Paris
Disembarkation after breakfast by 9 am and individual departure or extension in Paris.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please keep in mind that the ship is both your hotel and a machine that needs to be maintained and operated - both during the day and at night. Operational noise is therefore unavoidable.

Services

  • 6 nights in cabins DU/WC (air-conditioned)

  • Full board (6x breakfast, packed lunch, 5x dinner)

  • Coffee & tea on board

  • Welcome drink

  • Use of bed linen and towels (daily change of towels possible)

  • Daily cabin cleaning

  • All port, ferry & lock fees 

  • Experienced tour guide (multilingual: German, English, Dutch) who drives the bike tour during the day and can be reached via cell phone

  • Guided tours (from 18 guests: 2 tour guides, 2 groups)

  • Daily route briefing

  • Rental e-bike, rental helmet, pannier

  • Some short walking tours

  • Brie cheese tasting in Jouarre

  • Visit to the Mercier champagne cellar

  • Champagne tasting with a local producer

  • Detailed maps and information material per cabin/ GPS tracks

  • WI-FI

  • For environment’s benefit:
    1 biodegradable water bottle
    The CO² emitted during this trip will be compensated through the NGO Justdiggit.

Dates & Prices

Dates

Merkmale

    Season / Period
    Type

    Extras

     Bicycles & Equipment
     E-bike incl.
       
     Extras
     Gluten free or dairy free meals (payable on board) price on request

    Best - Price - Guarantee

    If you would verifiably receive better conditions and/or prices from another tour operator at the time of booking we guarantee at least the same conditions PLUS 1 handlebar bag for FREE!
    All prices per person in EUR

    Ship

    Welcome aboard the MV ZWAANTJE!

    Facilities

    The Zwaantje, which means "Little Swaan", is a unique and cozy Dutch passenger barge. Since September 2014, the „Zwaantje“ has new owners and operators: Martijn van Tatenhove and Marjorie Kersten, who are experienced as operators of a passenger barge for more than thirteen years. Martijn is your experienced captain on board; he grew up in a family in the hotel and restaurant business and is also a licensed chef. Marjorie graduated in Tourism at the Breda High School and has been working in public relations. The sympathetic and very motivated couple have slightly restyled the interior of the “Zwaantje” in winter 2014-2015 and have created a warm and cozy atmosphere.

    On the main deck you will find the nice and cozy salon 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 (90m²) with chairs and tables and a beautiful view, where you can relax or join the skipper in the wheel house.


    Catering

    Full board: breakfast, picnic lunch during bike tours, 3-course-dinner, coffee and tea


    Cabins

    On lower deck the barge has 13 sleeping cabins: 10 twin cabins with two single beds each and two cabins with a double (French) bed and an additional 3rd bed as Pullman bed. The tour leader will be accommodated in a single cabin. All cabins have a small en-suite bathroom with toilet, shower and wash basin, a fixed window (both double cabins have larger windows that also open) and individual air conditioning.


    Non-smoking Ship

    The interior of the ship is a non-smoking area: smoking is only allowed on the (outside) sun deck.


    Languages on board

    German, English

     

    Bicycle

    Rental-Bicycles & equipment

    The ship’s own rental bikes are state-of-the-art e-bikes with 7 or 8-speed hub gears, step-by-step selectable aid of pedaling power. The bikes have a powerful Panasonic or Bosch pedelec mid-motor and strong lithium-ion battery, one battery charge is enough for up to 65 kilometers. You conserve your battery by starting with the lowest possible assistance and increasing it as needed. You charge the batteries at night in your cabin using a charger.

    You will be equipped with a rental helmet and a waterproof pannier for your tour.


    Bicycle breakdowns

    Breakdowns can happen, also when bikes are well serviced and maintained. Flats can befixed by yourself. If there’s a difficult repair you may ask your guide on spot.

    Useful

    Arrival - Parking - Departure

    Arrival by plane

    Airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)/Orly (ORY), Reims (RHE)

    EMBARKATION PARIS
    The pier is easily accessible from Paris airports by metro, streetcar or train. For more information on public transportation and a route planner, click >>here.

    EMBARKATION EPERNAY
    From Charles de Gaulle airport there is an excellent TGV train connection to the TGV Champagne-Ardennes station. Then continue by SNCF train to Epernay. Plan your route at www.omio.com or www.trainline.eu.

    Please refer to your travel information for detailed docking information.


    Arrival by train

    Train station: Paris, Reims, Champagne-Ardennes (TGV Station next to Reims) Current train connections and prices you will find >>here


    Arrival by car

    Please drive to the ship first and drop off the luggage and possibly your bicycles, then only to the parking lot. In Eperney there is free, unguarded parking next to the berths.

    Paid, guarded parking facilities can be found at www.saemes.fr or at www.effia.com.


    Additional information

    Diet: (i.e.: lactosefree, glutenfree) possible on request, price on request, payable locally. Must be booked at least 14 days prior to departure.

    Due to limited space on board it is not possible to take your own bike with you - a rental e-bike is included in the tour price!

    Videos

    Travel stories

    5,2 of 6 Stars | 1
    We had a wonderful week onboard the Zwaantje. The barge is very modern and comfortable. We especially enjoyed the large rooftop sundeck. The meals were excellent!...S.M. 06/18
    5.3 11.06.2018 | Scott M. Champagne & Paris by Bike + Boat

    Outstanding barge, crew, and itinerary!

    We had a wonderful week onboard the Zwaantje. The barge is very modern and comfortable. We especially enjoyed the large rooftop sundeck. The meals were excellent! Quantity, quality, and variety - all outstanding. The crew was also fantastic, as was ...
    • Overall satisfaction 6
    • Booking handling 6
    • Travel documents 6
    • Per-Tour information 6
    • Accomodation 6
    • Board 6
    • Route description 2
    • On-site assistance 6
    • Route-character 3
    • Bicycle + equipment 6
    • Price-performance ratio 6
    more
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