Exquisite cruising through the Champagne region

La Nouvelle Étoile is a superbly furnished and decorated hotel barge with very spacious accommodation for just eight passengers. She offers a traditional elegance with sophisticated facilities – a delightful, air conditioned and teak-lined dining area and saloon, an attractive bar with a piano, a spacious sun deck with comfortable loungers and a hot tub. With internet access, an exercise room and bikes for everyone, she provides the ultimate in top-class cruising and an exquisite experience. Uniquely, she also has lift/elevator access between the decks, for wheelchair or guests with impaired abilities.

At a Glance

Style: The 'nature' of the hotel barge. Outline subjective guidance as to the quality or comfort level that might be expected on board.
Price Band: Per person. Outline guidance only, on a relative or comparative basis. The bands do not represent accurate low or high season rates.

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile :: Key Features

  • Grand Luxe class (5*)
  • River Marne, Paris to Champagne region, and upper Burgundy/Loire region
  • Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, July and August
  • 8 guests / 4 suites, each over 200 sq ft
  • Ensuite bathrooms, fully tiled with double basins
  • Wheelchair lift/elevator
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating
  • Full board, on-board dining
  • Sun deck with loungers and Jucuzzi tub
  • 8 x 8-gear bicycles
  • Wifi throughout (limited in some countryside areas)
  • Air-conditioned minibus for transfers and excursions

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile: Cruise Highlights

  • See the sights of Paris
  • Visit to the Chateaux of Vaux-le-Vicomte
  • Discover the secrets of Brie de Meaux
  • Private wine-tastings, including Moet et Chandon
  • Visit to WW1 and WW2 commemorative sites and battlefields
  • Explore Reims, the Abbey of Hautvilliers, and Epernay, the centre of Champagne

jan-diana-meijer-150x150Your Hosts

La Nouvelle Etoile is owned and operated by Captain Jan Meijer and his wife, Diana. Jan and Diana were both born into Dutch shipping families and have spent all of their lives in and around navigation and river cruise boats. Since 1988 they have been bringing passengers the utmost in luxury and comfort.

What’s included:
6 nights accommodation, transfers to and from Paris, all meals and drinks on board, excursion and tour guide fees and associated transport

Not included:
Air fares to and within France, travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile: Classic Cruise in Champagne

Itinerary 1: Paris to Épernay – River Marne and Canal Lateral a la Marne

Sunday, Day 1 Paris

Hotel barge La Nouvelle Etoile Paris Notre dame

Guests are met in Paris for a private transfer by luxury executive mini-bus to the hotel barge moored in the heart of Paris. Enjoy a delicious champagne welcome – the first of many tastings this week. Meet the crew and then there’s time to relax whilst the barge cruises past Notre Dame and the iconic Eiffel Tower towards the night’s mooring. This evening, enjoy your first gourmet dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Paris to Meaux

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile Chamoagne

After a leisurely breakfast with fresh breads and croissant from the local boulangerie cruise out of Paris onto the gentle river Marne, eastwards towards the champagne region. After a delightful lunch on board, there’s a  visit to the magnificent 17th century Châteaux de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Home to Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s superintendent of finances, it marked the beginning of the style that combined architecture, interior design and landscape design. Rejoin the barge in Meaux in time for a stroll and a visit to the cathedral. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Meaux to Courtaron

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

After breakfast, there’s a morning visit to explore the ancient town of Meaux and learn all about the production of the world famous Brie de Meaux. Enjoy a tasting of the various Bries, along with wines from an excellent cellar.
In September 1914 German troops were stopped at the gates of Meaux which changed the course of the war. In 1932 the USA had a monument erected in the memory of the French soldiers fallen in this heroic battle – the ‘American Monument’.
Later, relax on deck and cruise on up the river Marne to Courtaron for the evening’s mooring. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Le Ferté to Charly-sur-Marne

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

Cruise this morning to the ancient fortified city of Charly-sur-Marne. Stop to enjoy a tasting of wonderful local champagne at a small family vineyard – one of many delicious champagnes produced on a relatively small scale. Then, an afternoon cruise to large city of Château-Thierry, an important town since the 8th century and the scene of major battles in 1814 and 1918.  Optional visit to Belleau Wood battlefield. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 Charly sur Marne to Damery

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

Enjoy breakfast this morning as the Marne winds through leafy hills dotted with small wine villages towards the delightful little town of Damery, where Nouvelle Étoile will morr for the night. Take lunch on board before an excursion to the important city of Reims. Visit the Cathedral, where the Kings and Queens were crowned before the Revolution, and the Musée de la Reddition, where Eisenhower had his Map Room and where the ending of WW2 was signed. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 Damery to Epernay

After breakfast, visit the Abbey of Hautvilliers, where the monk Dom Perignon first created this famous champagne. Then, set off for a last cruise to the village of Cumières, just outside Epernay. Lunch on board before an afternoon visit to the extensive cellars of Moët et Chandon for a private wine tasting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Epernay
Disembark La Nouvelle Étoile after breakfast and transfer to the drop-off point in Paris.

hotel barge champagne nouvelle etoile

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Alternate weeks the cruise runs in the reverse direction.


Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile: Classic Cruise in Burgundy
Itinerary 2: Moret-sur-Loing to Briare – Canal du Loing and Canal de Briare

Sunday, Day 1 Moret-Sur-Loing
Meet your guide in Paris for executive transfer to La Nouvelle Étoile, currently  moored in the heart of the Fontainebleau forest. Over a deliciously refreshing champagne welcome, meet the crew and then settle in on board. Later, take a stroll through the medieval walled town of Moret-sur-Loing, known to many as the home of the famous Impressionist painter, Alfred Sisley, who captured the beauty of this region in his many paintings of the countryside. First gourmet dinner on board this evening.

Monday, Day 2 Moret-Sur-Loing to Nemours
After breakfast your week afloat begins with a gentle cruise into the Upper Loire valley, often referred to as the Garden of Paris, where this little known region gently reveals its secrets.
After lunch on board, take a visit to the stunning Château de Fontainebleau where each successive French Royal Family has added its own architectural style and features. With over 1500 rooms and 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries.

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

Afterwards, by contrast, take a visit to the artist community of Barbizon, a nearby village, where the art movement towards realism was founded. Back on board La Nouvelle Étoile, cruise on to the mooring for the night in Nemours. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Nemours to Montargis

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

A full day cruise to Montargis this morning with plenty of opportunity to bicycle or walk along the canal tow-path. After lunch on board, arrive at Montargis, also know as ‘the little Venice of the Gatinais’, for a guided tour of its narrow streets and many bridges over its numerous canals. Visit one of the many museums, or shop at the famous Mazet Praline shop with its exquisitely packaged delicacies. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Montargis to Châtillon Coligny

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

After breakfast, set off on a leisurely cruise to the village of Châtillon Coligny. After lunch on board take a drive out to the splendid 1,000 year old Château de Saint Fargeau, pictured below, probably the most important place of historical interest in this unspoilt rural region. Later, in the evening, there is time to stroll around the ramparts surrounding Châtillon-Coligny village. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 Châtillon Coligny to Rogny

The cruise continues to climb towards Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, the historic staircase of seven locks, built in 1648 and now an impressive monument to the engineers of the past. After another relaxing lunch on board take a short drive out to the beautiful town of Gien, on the banks of the River Loire. Gien is famous for its faïence earthenware and the International Hunting Museum at Chateau de Gien. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 Rogny to Briare

Hotel Barge Nouvelle Etoile upper Loire

Cruise through the present-day locks of Rogny to reach the highest point of the canal and then start the descent towards the River Loire. At the town of Briare, cross the river via the Pont Canal. the stone supports for which were designed by Gustav Eiffel in 1890 and still in use today. This afternoon, after lunch on board, an excursion to the Sancerre region to sample some of its delicious wines and perhaps taste some of the local Crottin de Chavignol cheese on the way back to Nouvelle Étoile. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Briare
After breakfast, disembark La Nouvelle Étoile for transfer to the drop-off point in Paris.

hotel barge loire briare loing nouvelle etoile

Please note: This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change, and runs in the revers direction on alternate weeks.


Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile cruises through Champagne and Burgundy

Barge Cruising – Champagne and Marne

map marne champagne► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

River Marne – Marne Lateral Canal

Cruising up the river Marne from Paris then along the Aisne à la Marne to Reims follows a route whose rural simplicity belies the elegance of its associations. Starting in France’s glamorous capital where the Eiffel Tower, the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre are among the irresistible magnets that attract the visitor, the hustle and bustle of the City of Light is quickly left behind.

The drowsy beauty of the landscape fringing the Marne has inspired artists from Cezanne to Corot and from Dufy to Pissaro. The river is the longest in France and meanders through golden fields of grain before it reaches the undulating vineyards of the most famous wine growing region in the world – Champagne, and part of the pleasure of the journey is to spot the names of famous producers on marker posts at the end of every row of vines. Epernay is certainly the place to learn about the world’s favourite drink and well-known brands from Moet to Mercier offer cellar tours and tastings. Reims is also a byword for champagne and for more than a thousand years French monarchs were crowned in its ancient cathedral.

There’s more to the region than its sparkling wine: both a succulent brie and a zesty mustard can be found in Meaux and further upstream La Ferte-sous-Jouarre is associated with the production of millstones – there is a different kind of grit to be found here too, at the imposing memorial to British soldiers who died during the Battle of Mons in the First World War.

Getting There
Hotel barges usually collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also TGV express train stations at Champagne-Ardenne (near Reims) and Chalons; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Paris, Reims, Epernay, La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, Meaux, the Marne –

louvre-pyramid-500x300  paris-eiffel-500x300  reims-cathedral-500x300

champagne-500x300  mercier-poster-500x300  champagne-vineyards-500x300

laferte-500x300  meaux-brie-500x300  marne-500x300

Reims ©Cezar Suceveanu | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Barge Cruising – Loing Valley, Briare and Loire

map loing briare loire burgundy► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal de Loing – Canal de Briare – Canal Loire Lateral

South of Paris, where the western part of Burgundy blurs prettily with the Loire Valley, a cruise along the Canal de Loing, the Canal de Briare and the Canal Loire Lateral reveals a number of hidden treasures in a landscape that inspired the painter Alfred Sisley. He memorably captured numerous aspects of the ancient town of Moret-sur-Loing, which has associations not just with Thomas à Becket, but with the Three Musketeers as well.

There are engineering feats to marvel at along the way– when the elegant aqueduct at Briare was constructed in the 1890s to cross the wide span of the River Loire, at 662 metres it was the longest in the world, while at Rogny you can see a flight of seven locks – the fact that they are no longer in use gives them an atmospheric quality full of echoes of the past, but also provides the chance to take in the detail of their construction

The wooded forests of the region attracted royal hunting parties from as early as the 12th century and the Palace of Fontainebleau originally served as a hunting lodge. Its medieval fortifications were given a glorious renaissance makeover in the 16th century and of all royal palaces it is the only one to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. It was where Napoleon abdicated from the throne before he was exiled to Elbe. Thousand year old castles are plentiful – Saint Fargeau and Sully-sur-Loire boast breathtaking examples. Equally charming is the ancient town of Montargis, which with its network of narrow canals and bridges invites comparisons to Venice.

Getting There
Hotel barges normally collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also TGV express train stations at Sens, Migennes, Montbard and Tours; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Rogny, Briare, Moret-sur-Loing (Alfred Sisley), Montargis, Fontainebleau, Fargeau, Sully –rogny-7-500x300  loing-500x300  briare-500x300

moret-sisley-500x300  sancerre-500x300  montargis3-500x300

fontainebleau-500x300  chat-fargeau-500x300  chat-sully-500x300

Rogny ©Quietude | Others ©FW, wikimedia, n/a

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile: Details and Facilities

La Nouvelle Etoile hotel barge France

  • Dimensions: 129ft x17ft (39.3m x 5.18m)
  • All suites are 13ft 2” x 16ft 5” (4m x 5m) including bathroom
  • All bathrooms are en-suite and measure 13ft 2” x 4ft (4m x 1.2m)
  • All cabins have individual heating and air conditioning and have en suite facilities
  • Professional English-speaking crew of 5 – captain, tour guide/deckhand, chef, housekeeper, pilot/engineer.
    All speak fluent English as well as French, Dutch and German
  • A small well-behaved dog, also called Captain!

Other items on board:

  • Gymnasium (exercise room) on the lower deck with a treadmill, exercise bike and weights.
  • Elevator between floors which can fit 5 people
  • 8 person Jacuzzi hot-tub on foredeck
  • Electric sun canopy on fore-deck, retracts when not required.
  • Herb garden
  • 8 bicycles
  • Large pop up TV, DVD & CD player in the saloon
  • 24hr coffee, tea and hot chocolate machine
  • Terrace heating on deck
  • Pioneer sound system with Bose speakers (guests can play their own music through a wireless devise into the speakers)
  • Wi-Fi is available throughout the barge tho this may be subject to availability in more remote locations. There is also a touch screen computer in each suite and a printer on-board
  • Upright piano
  • Wedgewood, porcelain and Christoffle silver

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile: Cuisine

All meals on board are freshly prepared by your chef and most meals are a set-menu (there is no choice available). However, vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan dishes, and non-allergenic dishes, can be served given at least 8 weeks notice prior to your departure date.

La Nouvelle Etoile hotel barge France

Breakfast: wholesome and balanced variety of breakfast foods, along with fresh breads & pastries, freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot beverages.
Lunch: regional specialities, accompanied by a selection of quality wines.
Dinner: a candlelit four-course gourmet experience.
Captain’s farewell dinner is held on the last night. Guests may choose to dress slightly formal.

Sample Cuisine

Regional Specialities
Medallions of veal with a girolles and truffle sauce, breast of duck with a passion fruit glace, crepes suzette with homemade vanilla ice cream
Wine Cellar
Domaine Henri Bourgeois, Pouilly Fumé; Château Davenay, Montagney; Domaine Laroche, Chablis Premier Cru; Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Santenay; Château La Rose Trintaudon, Haut Médoc
Cheese Board
Munster; Brie de Meaux; Fourme d’Ambert; Chaource; Gouda; Leyden; Brokkel Ould; Aisy Cendré; Époisses; Ami du Chambertin

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile – 2019 Rates  ➤ 2020 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Regular rate weeks:

(March 31, April 7, 14, 21, 28 and May 5, 12 : Cruising in Holland and Belgium)
May 19 – 30 (Belgium – Picardy – Paris)
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
July 7, 14
August 25
(September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and October 6, 13: Cruising in Germany and Luxembourg)

8 guest charter: 61,800 USD / 47,500 GBP / 54,600 EUR

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 8,200 USD / 6,250 GBP / 7,190 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 4,100 USD / 3,125 GBP / 3,550 EUR

Bruges to Paris 11-night cruise:

May 19 – 30 (booked)

All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us

Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Étoile – 2020 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Regular rate weeks:

(March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 6 and May 3, 10, 14 : Cruising in Holland and Belgium)
May 24 – June 4 (Belgium – Picardy – Paris)
June 14, 21, 28
July 5, 26
July 26 – August 6 (Paris – Picardy – Bruges)
(August 23, 30, September 6, 13, 20, 27 and October 4, 11: Cruising in Germany and Luxembourg)

8 guest charter: 61,800 USD / 47,500 GBP / 54,600 EUR

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 8,200 USD / 6,250 GBP / 7,190 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 4,100 USD / 3,125 GBP / 3,550 EUR

11-night cruises:

May 24 to June 4 Bruges to Paris
July 26 to August 6 Paris to Bruges

All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us

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