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The Great War: a barge cruise in Champagne



The Canal Lateral a la Marne was built between 1840 and 1846 in order to improve navigation conditions and promote trade.  It is 67 km long - 16 km flow through the Montagne de Reims Natural Park.  It has 15 locks along its route and is used most often nowadays as part of the network of Green Ways cycle paths.  Along the way visit historic WWI sites such as Les Invalides in Paris, the Battlefields of the Marne, the Museum of the Great War, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Verdun.
DAYS: 7 Days




Boarding from 6 pm.  Settle into your cabin prior to meeting the crew and dinner on board.

DAY 2       



Breakfast on board before leaving for a coach and foot tour of Paris. Visit Les Invalides, and the Musée de l'Armée, which retraces history from 1871 to 1945, including the two World Wars. The museum has over a thousand objects showing the diversity of its collections: French and foreign uniforms, including some having belonged to illustrious military leaders (Foch, Joffre, de Lattre, Leclerc) and objects used by ordinary soldiers in daily life, as well as marshal batons and ceremonial swords. During the visit, the ship will cruise to Lagny-sur-Marne. Return to the ship for lunch in Lagny-sur-Marne and continue cruising to Meaux.  Dinner on board and overnight.

DAY 3  


    Breakfast on board before setting off on a tour of the Battlefields of the Marne and the Museum of the Great War. The circuit of the Battlefields of the Marne visits the most important combat areas. The tour chronologically follows the events and the direction of the troops as they advanced during the war. The Museum of the Great War houses one of the most unique collections in Europe and shows an innovative vision of the Great War through modern techniques. Consisting of approximately 50,000 objects and documents, the collection allows visitors to appreciate the worldwide dimensions of the conflict, including 200 complete uniforms. Return to the ship for lunch and continue cruising to Saint-Jean-Les-Deux-Jumeaux for dinner and overnight stay in port.
    Morning cruising, passing Champigny and Drachyand the vineyard-dotted landscapes of the Seine-et-Marne. After lunch depart by coach for a visit to the Remembrance Museum of Belleau. When entering the museum, you'll first encounter the permanent exhibition presenting the American Military Cemetery, and the chapel built on the site of the trenches (Belleau Wood).  In another room, you'll find temporary exhibitions about the First World War. The tour then continues with a visit to the Aisne-Marne Cemetery at the foot of the wood, where 2,289 soldiers fell fighting during the summer of 1918.  Return on board for dinner and an overnight stay in port.

Breakfast while cruising toward Dormans. After lunch on board join an afternoon tour along the  famous Champagne Tourist Route.  Join a guided tour of the village of Hautvillers, once home to the famous Dom Perignon, the legendary Benedictine monk who is frequently (but erroneously) credited with having invented sparkling champagne. Pay special attention to the unique 140 wrought iron signs hanging through the village; they tell a story about the inhabitants. The tour continues to a prominent champagne house, with a tasting, of course. During this time, the ship will continue on to Epernay. After our tour, return to the ship for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 6

Breakfast and lunch onboard today while cruising past the lovely Marne scenery. Arrive in Chalons-en-Champagne at the start of the afternoon, and join a coach tour of Verdun. The tour starts with a visit to Fort Douaumont, the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 defensive forts protecting the city of Verdun up through 1915, before continuing on to the Douaumont ossuary, where the bodies of 130,000 World War soldiers from each side are at rest together for eternity. The tour ends with a visit to the "Tranchée des Baïonnettes" (bayonet trench), a monument financed by the American George Rand. Following the tour, return to the ship for a gala dinner and evening.

Day 7

Enjoy one last breakfast on board before disembarking at 9 am.




This offer includes: The cruise on full board from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the final day, local wine, beer and fruit juice at lunch and dinner (on board meals only), Open bar including a variety of French and regional wine and spirits  (excluding Champagne and premium drinks),  accommodation in a twin air conditioned cabin with shower and WC, entertainment, the assistance of our hostess on board, the welcome cocktail, the gala evening, port taxes and pre-paid English sightseeing (subject to minimum numbers)



This offer does not include:  insurance, personal expenses, Drinks - wine selected from the premium drinks list and those purchased on shore excursions, shore excursions.


  CroisiEurope and the ship's Captain reserve the right to modify the cruising itinerary to ensure the safe navigation of the vessel.  The programme may be subject to modification depending on availability at ports of call or passing through the locks.
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