Exquisite cruising through the Champagne region
La Nouvelle Etoile 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.
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 Etoile :: 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 Etoile: Cruise Highlights
- See the sights of Paris
- Vist 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
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.
6 nights accommodation, transfers to and from Paris, all meals and drinks on board, excursion and tour guide fees and associated transport
Air fares to and within France, travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (5-10% suggested)
Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile: Classic Cruise in Champagne
Paris to Epernay – River Marne and Canal Lateral a la Marne
Sunday, Day 1 Paris
Guests are met in Paris and transferred to the hotel barge moored in the heart of Paris for a champagne welcome. Time to relax, cruising past Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. This evening, enjoy your first gourmet dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Paris to Meaux
Cruise out of Paris onto the River Marne and after lunch visit the magnificent Chateaux of Vaux-le-Vicomte. 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
After breakfast, visit a local cheese maker of Brie de Meaux. Enjoy a tasting of the various Bries, along with wines from an excellent cellar. Later, cruise up the river Marne to Courtaron. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Le Ferte to Charly-sur-Marne
Cruise to Charly-sur-Marne and stop to enjoy the wonderful champagne of a small family vineyard before an afternoon cruise to Chateau Thierry, the scene of American battles in World War I. Optional visit to Belleau Wood battlefield.
Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Charly sur Marne to Damery
Enjoy breakfast this morning as the Marne winds through leafy hills dotted with small wine villages towards the delightful little town of Damery. Lunch on board before an excursions to Reims. Visit the Cathedral and the Musee 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 Cumieres, just outside Epernay. Lunch onboard before an afternoon visit to the cellars of Moet et Chandon for a private wine tasting. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Epernay
Disembark La Nouvelle Etoile after breakfast and transfer to drop-off point in Paris.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. Alternate weeks the cruise runs in the reverse direction.
Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile: Classic Cruise in Burgundy
Moret-sur-Loing to Briare – Canal du Loing and Canal de Briare
Sunday, Day 1 Moret-Sur-Loing
Guests are met in Paris and transferred to La Nouvelle Etoile moored in the heart of the Fontainebleau forest. After a champagne welcome, 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. First gourmet dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Moret-Sur-Loing to Nemours
Cruise into the Upper Loire region, the Garden of Paris, where this little known region gently reveals its secrets. After lunch, visit the Château de Fontainebleau where each French Royal Family added their own architectural style and features when in residence. Than a visit to the artist community of Barbizon. Cruise to the mooring for the night in Nemours. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Nemours to Montargis
A full day cruise to Montargis with plenty of opportunity to bicycle or walk along the canal towpath. 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
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
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 Nouvell Etoile. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Briare
After breakfast, disembark La Nouvelle Etoile for transfer to the drop-off point in Paris.
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 Etoile cruises through Champagne and Burgundy
Barge Cruising – Champagne and Marne
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.
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 –
Barge Cruising – Loing Valley, Briare and Loire
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.
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 –
Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile: Details and Facilities
- 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 Chrisoffle silver
Hotel Barge La Nouvelle Etoile: 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.
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 CuisineRegional 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
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
Munster; Brie de Meaux; Fourme d’Ambert; Chaource; Gouda; Leyden; Brokkel Ould; Aisy Cendré; Époisses; Ami du Chambertin
Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday
Value rate weeks:
July 22, 29
(October 14 : Cruising in Germany and Luxembourg)
8 guest charter: 57,800 USD / 43,500 GBP / 51,000 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 7,700 USD / 5,750 GBP / 6,690 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 3,850 USD / 2,875 GBP / 3,350 EUR
Regular rate weeks:
(April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and May 6, 13 : Cruising in Holland and Belgium)
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8
August 19, 26
September 2, 9
(September 16, 23, 30 October 7 : Cruising in Germany and Luxembourg)
8 guest charter: 61,800 USD / 46,500 GBP / 54,600 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 8,200 USD / 6,150 GBP / 7,190 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 4,100 USD / 3,075 GBP / 3,550 EUR
Bruges to Paris 11-night cruise:
8 guest charter: 104,600 USD / 78,000 GBP / 91,000 EUR
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 13,690 USD / 11,190 GBP / 11,900 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 6,845 USD / 5,095 GBP / 5,950 EUR
All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us
We feature information about 50 wonderful hotel barges, of various sizes and price/style levels, more than 100 individual cruises to choose from every week of the season, in 8 regions across France. Some book flexibly by the cabin, others exclusively charter the entire hotel barge. Quite a choice!
Every one of our hotel barge information pages has been carefully crafted and written by us, from our own unique first hand-hand experience – but we also understand that there’s nothing like speaking to a friendly expert to help see the wood for the trees and make the best possible decision about the vacation cruise of a lifetime.
So please, send us a Booking Enquiry form (click on the red tab above) or just pick up the phone and give us a call.
We love France, we love the rivers and canals of France, we love hotel barging – and we love talking about all three!
+33 609 740 064 -or- +44 7590 287 178
We have been cruising and exploring France
aboard our own river boat since 2003.
– we also have expert colleagues in North America and Australia –