Journey of the Grapes: European Waterway’s newest cruise through the Champagne region is here

Journey of the Grapes: European Waterway’s newest cruise through the Champagne region is here
Edited by Travel Weekly

    European Waterways has launched its newest, Ultra Deluxe vessel, Kir Royale, which will cater to eight guests and debut in the champagne region, France, next year.

    The ship will feature major upgrades, including a spacious layout with modern furnishings, three sundecks and a spa pool, an upper observation deck with a panoramic view, and four air-conditioned cabins with en suite bathrooms. 

    Kir Royale Cabin. (Supplied)

    Kir Royale will cruise the River Marne and Canal latéral à la Marne, offering six-night all-inclusive sailing with exclusive excursions to some of the region’s legendary champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon.

    Guests will also be treated to unique, immersive experiences like lunch at the boutique grand cru champagne house of Frerejean Frères, and on-board gastronomic meals with wine pairings, served by the vessel’s own master chef.

    Kir Royal will cruise Champagne from May through October, joining European Waterways’ 12-passenger Panache, which cruises between Château-Thierry and Châlons-en-Champagne from mid-May to late June.

    Both vessels include private transfers from a designated location in central Paris. Reservations are now open, with rates starting at €7,490 (AUD $1,257) per person for cabins based on double occupancy. Whole boat charters will start at €49,050 (AUD $81967) thanks to a 10 per cent off launch offer, saving €5,450 (AUD $9,107) off the full starting price.

    The special is not valid for September departures and must be booked by October 2, 2023.

    Dining onboard Kir Royale. (Supplied)

    “For its maiden voyage with us, Kir Royale has been upgraded to meet the highest standards of luxury and comfort that are the hallmarks of all European Waterways vessels,” MD, European Waterways, Derek Banks, said.

    “As a pioneer and champion of luxury hotel barging with more than forty years in the industry, the expansion of our fleet reflects our commitment to providing exceptional and immersive cultural and gastronomic experiences throughout Europe.”

    Journey of the Grapes

    Kir Royale’s itinerary is all about the grapes. Its cruise region produces the only sparkling wines that can be legally called champagne in Europe and most parts of the world. They earn this distinction thanks to the land’s unique geology and climate. Among the itinerary highlights is a private tour and tasting at the renowned champagne house of Moët & Chandon, the world’s best-selling champagne brand.

    Complementing the wine tastings are numerous excursions that include a visit to Reims Cathedral, once the site of the coronation of the Kings of France. Guests will also visit Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood, sites which saw fighting by American allied troops during WWI.

    “Kir Royale’s cruise season is really all about experiencing the extraordinary journey of the grapes in Champagne,” Banks, said.

    “The vessel is there at the beginning of the season, when the grapes are growing; in September when the grapes are being harvested; and later in autumn, when the leaves fall and regeneration begins.

    “The sweeping beauty of Champagne’s majestic countryside, blanketed with vineyards, is on full display, no matter what time of the season you cruise.”

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