DAY 1 – Depart the USA Depart your gateway city on an overnight flight to Paris, France.
DAY 2 – Paris, France Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative of Mayflower Tours and transferred to the hotel in Paris. The remainder of the day and evening are at leisure for you to independently explore this magnificent city.
DAY 3 – Paris to Epernay Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After a morning at leisure in Paris, board the coach for the included transfer to Epernay where the river barge MS Raymonde will be awaiting your arrival. Embark the vessel, meet the crew and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner onboard. Meals: B, D
DAY 4 – Epernay to Dormans Your touring experience begins with an excursion along the famous Champagne route. Depart the barge by coach with the local guide as you travel through vineyard-dotted valleys to the charming village of Hautvilliers, nestled in the heart of the Reims Mountain vineyards. Known as the birthplace of Champagne, the village is the former home of a monk by the name of Dom Perignon who discovered champagne through his work in the wine-making process. The village is still known for wineproducing, and its picturesque houses are decorated with beautiful iron-forged signs indicating the craft of its owners. Upon arrival, a walking tour through the little streets will give you the best orientation of the village. You'll learn about champagne and the process to create it, followed by a tasting of this local vintage at a champagne house. After returning to the barge in Epernay, the cruise begins as you set sail for Dormans with an early evening arrival. Meals: B, L, D
DAY 5 – Dormans to Chteau Thierry During this morning's excursion, journey by coach to the city of Reims, known throughout history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. During the walking tour, visit the historic city center and see the Place Royale with a statue of Louis XV; Place Du Forum (Roman Forum); Place de l'Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) and the beautiful Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which holds historical importance as the place where the kings were anointed during the coronation ceremony. The magnificent stained-glass windows and 'Smiling Angel' statue are highlights of the interior of the cathedral. Return to the ship in Dormans and relax onboard as you sail through the beautiful landscape of the Marne Canal to Chteau Thierry. Meals: B, L, D
DAY 6 – Chteau Thierry to Saint-Jean-Les-Duex-Jumeaux Step off the barge and begin the day with a walking tour in the medieval town of Chteau Thierry – one of a handful of French towns to receive the Legion of Honour. Castle walls, the Balhan Tower, champagne vineyards, the Marne River and several churches all create the delightful atmosphere that surrounds you. Participate in a show of Falconry with live demonstrations as you get up close and personal with the birds. See the masters at work as they uncover this art that has been classified as "Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO. Return to the barge and cruise to Saint-Jean-Les-Deux-Jumeaux, passing Drachy and Champigny, and sailing through the heart of the Seine-et-Marne countryside with its champagne vineyards. Meals: B, L, D
DAY 7 – Meaux to Lagny-sur-Marne Enjoy sailing time as you cruise to Meaux, a town divided into North and South Quarters by the Marne River. Upon arrival, disembark for a walking tour of this quaint town. See the unfinished gothic Saint-Etienne Cathedral – a national monument of France; the Bishops' Palace; pass the Gallo-Roman ramparts and the magnificent Bossuet Garden, traditionally believed to be an early work of Le Ntre. Meaux is also known for its gastronomic heritage and your visit to the Brie de Meaux Exhibition Room will show you how Brie cheese is made. Finish the visit with a tasting of the product, which is hailed as "the King of Cheeses". While you have been ashore, the ship sailed to Lagny-sur-Marne where you re-board for the evening. Meals: B, L, D
DAY 8 – Lagny-sur-Marne to Paris The last day of the cruise is spent leisurely sailing to Paris, with an afternoon arrival. Your journey concludes with an included panoramic tour showcasing iconic sights and landmarks - Place de la Rpublique, the Champs lyses, Opra Garnier, Place de la Madeleine, Place Vendme and the Louvre. During the walking portion, stroll from the Palais Royal along some of the prettiest covered walkways in Paris with your local guide. These pedestrian shortcuts have a life all their own within the heart of the bustling city. What a great way to end your trip! Back onboard, say goodbye to your traveling companions and the crew at the gala dinner this evening. Meals: B, L, D
DAY 9 – Depart for USA Following breakfast onboard, it's time to bid 'au revoir' to France as you disembark the barge and transfer by coach to the airport for your flight home. Meals: B
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.