The beloved American writer and humorist Mark Twain once claimed that “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” Whether he meant the region, or the drink is hardly at issue with this lot. Yes, for one week, eight traveling companions will be cruising through Champagne, sipping bubbly as they go, and toasting to their good health and happiness.
Making this lot even more marvelous is a very special House of Krug tie-in. After all, you’re not only going to Champagne; Champagne is also coming to you, thanks to the Krug Grande Cuvée and Krug Rosé that will be placed in each couple’s cruise cabin. Toast to your journey aboard the posh river barge Belmond Pivoine, as you and your friends set sail from Châlons-en-Champagne to Châteaux-Thierry, with numerous intriguing and delightful stops along the way.
This experience, however, is not complete without mentioning what truly makes it pop. Prior to your Champagne cruise, the four happy couples who take home this lot will also enjoy three nights at the Relais & Chateaux L’Assiette Champenoise. It’s the perfect start to your river journey, one that includes dinner at the Three-starred Michelin restaurant L’Assiette Champenoise, capped off with a special “Journey in the Krug Universe” tasting.
On your first full day aboard the barge, visit such historic landmarks as the gothic Saint- Étienne Cathedral, museum of the Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Cloister with its statuary, and three glorious public gardens. That afternoon, enjoy a special tasting at a local, family-run Champagne house prior to returning to the Belmond Pivoine for a gourmet dinner.
Over the next few days, enjoy sightseeing tours of the city of Reims – not only an important center of Champagne production, but also where some 34 French sovereigns were crowned, and home to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, followed by Épernay, where you’ll wander down the Avenue de Champagne, an elegant street lined with prestigious Champagne houses and courtyards. After an exclusive tasting at Moët & Chandon, savor lunch at the Michelin-starred Hostellerie La Briqueterie.
As the week sparkles on, take a guided drive to the abbey in Hautvilliers – the final resting place of none other than Benedictine monk and Champagne pioneer Dom Pérignon himself. Continue your afternoon at the house of Champagne J de Telmont to participate in their unique oenological workshop.
On your final day on board, drive to Belleau Wood, site of the famous World War I battle, when American troops halted the progression of the German Army, and then on to Aisne-Marne, the final resting place of 2,288 American soldiers, followed by a visit to the medieval town of Chézy-sur-Marne for a taste of the famous Brie de Meaux in a local fromagerie.
Raise your glasses – and your paddles – in a toast to all things Champagne!
Airfare to France is not included. Trip dates are confirmed for Thursday, June 20–Saturday, June 29, 2019. If the winning bidders are unable to travel to France in June 2019, they are able to select alternate dates, based on availability, by Friday, March 1, 2019. Ground transportation between Paris or nearby airport, Maison Krug, and the port for the Belmond Pivoine is included. Itinerary for selected dates will be from Châlons-en-Champagne to Châteaux-Thierry, France. The itinerary described is recommended by Belmond for exclusive and enriching experiences and is intended to offer a sense of content and flow to the program. The dedicated guide onboard will be able to further customize the itinerary based on guest preferences, as long as the activities are viable within the logistics of the given barge route. Everything on board the Belmond Pivoine is included, except for personal expenses, passport fees, personal and travel insurance or gratuities.
Olivier Krug of Krug Champagne, Belmond and with thanks to Christin McKay, Luxury Travel Advisor with SmartFlyer