Gorgeous cruising in style through Alsace and Champagne

Panache is a stylish 12 passenger luxury hotel barge cruising all summer through Alsace and Lorraine, with some cruise in Champagne and Paris early in the season. Storybook castles, rolling vineyards of Alsatian wines as well as Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architecture will inspire and delight, and the  area’s unique blend of French and German influences are reflected on the delicious menus.

Panache has spacious social areas and six comfortable double or twin en-suite cabins. There are panoramic windows in the saloon and the whole barge is fitted out in traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings. A large sun deck and spa pool, plus bicycles for exploring the excellent towpath complete the picture.

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 Panache :: Key Features

  • Excellence class (4*)
  • Champagne and Alsace / Lorraine regions
  • Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, June to October
  • 12 guests / 6 junior suites, each over 150 sq ft
  • En-suite bathrooms, fully tiled with double basins
  • Individually controlled air conditioning and heating
  • Full board, on-board dining
  • Sun deck with loungers and Jucuzzi tub
  • 12 new bicycles and Biking Plus
  • 2 air-conditioned vehicles for excursions and transfers.

Hotel Barge Panache: Cruise highlights

  • Tour the beautiful city of Strasbourg and visit its Gothic cathedral
  • Explore the Route des Vins d’Alsace
  • Visit the Meteor Brewery, founded in 1640
  • Experience an ascent or descent of the unique Arzviller boat elevator
  • Visit the spectacular René Lalique Collection
  • Tour of Sarrebourg including a visit to the Chagall chapel
  • Enjoy a candlelit meal whilst cruising through the two Arzviller tunnels
  • Opportunities to walk and cycle along the tow-path, and Biking Plus option

What’s included:
6 nights accommodation; transfers to and from Strasbourg, and Frankfurt for charter parties; all meals and drinks on board; all excursions, including guide, transport and entrance fees

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

Hotel Barge Panache: Cruises in Alsace and Champagne

1. Classic Cruise in Alsace Lorraine
Krafft-Erstein to Niderviller – Canal de la Marne au Rhin

Sunday, Day 1 Krafft-Erstein

Hotel Barge Panache Alsace

Meet your guide at the pre-arranged rendez-vous in Strasbourg at 4pm for private chauffeured minibus transfer to Panache, currently moored at Krafft-Erstein. A Champagne welcome awaits and the first opportunity to meet the crew whilst you settle in on board Panache. Perhaps there is time for a walk or cycle ride, perhaps going further afield with with Biking Plus, before dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Krafft-Erstein to Strasbourg

After breakfast this morning, enjoy a gentle cruise across the beautiful Gran Ried wetlands, home to an abundance of bird life. Relax on deck and watch the countryside flow by before arriving at the historic city of Strasbourg. After lunch on board there’s a fascinating guided tour of this historic city; with a chequered history of French and Germany nationality there a mix of cultures to absorb. See the 12th century pink sandstone Gothic cathedral, its astronomical Renaissance clock and soaring spire; the Place Gutenberg; and La Petite France, a pedestrian area brimming with half-timbered houses, boutique shops and cafés. Return to the barge at the end of the afternoon for aperitifs and dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Strasbourg to Hochfelden

Hotel Barge Panache Paris Alsace Champagne

After breakfast, cruise past the impressive European Parliament building on the outskirts of Strasbourg and through the Brumath Forest to our picturesque mooring at Hochfelden. After lunch, a scenic drive into the rolling Vosges hills on the Route des Grands Vins, for a private tasting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Riesling wines at a long-established winemaker, such as Domaine Pfister. Dinner ashore this evening at a traditional Alsatian restaurant.

Wednesday, Day 4 Hochfelden to Saverne

Hotel Barge Panache Alsace Paris Champagne

A guided tour, with an optional beer tasting, at the Meteor Brewery, founded in 1640 and the last privately-owned brewery in Alsace. Then, cruise further along the canal, with good walking and cycling opportunities, to the enchanting Gallo-Roman town of Saverne, mooring at the foot of the Château de Rohan, also known as the ‘Versailles of Alsace’. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 Saverne to Lutzelbourg

Hotel barge Panache Alsace Paris Champagne

For early risers, there is an optional visit to a local bakery to watch skilled patissiers preparing delicious creations, before cruising to Lutzelbourg. After lunch on board a visit to the mountaintop village of La Petite Pierre with its medieval castle, then a visit to the outstanding René Lalique collection and see over 500 exceptional examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco glassware. Nearby is Wingen-sur-Moder, the WW2 battleground where American infantry fought with distinction. Dinner ashore at a local restaurant.

Friday, Day 6 Lutzelbourg to Niderviller

Hotel Barge Panache Alsace

Cruise through beautiful Alsatian countryside to reach the Lehrer Crystal glass works and then ascend the unique Arzviller boat elevator that carries Panache 450 feet up the mountainside in minutes. After lunch on board, enjoy a tour of Sarrebourg, including visits to the 13th century chapel containing Marc Chagall’s remarkable stained-glass window, and the impressive museum of Roman and Medieval artefacts. Then, a candlelit cruise through the two Arzviller tunnels to the final mooring at Niderviller. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Niderviller
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Strasbourg.

hotel barge alsace panacheThis is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.

2. Classic cruise in the Champagne region
Chalons en Champagne to Château Thierry

Sunday, Day 1 Paris

Hotel Barge Panache Champagne

Your guide will collect you from the pre-arranged meeting point in Paris at 4pm for transfer by private minibus to Panache, currently moored in Châlons-en-Champagne. Enjoy a refreshing Champagne welcome while your Captain introduces you to the rest of the crew, and then settle in before your first gourmet dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Châlons-en-Champagne to Tours-sur-Marne

This morning relax on deck as you cruise from Châlons-en-Champagne along the languid Canal Lateral à la Marne towards the night’s mooring at Tours-sur-Marne. After lunch on board Panache, there’s a guided visit to Reims and its magnificent 800-year-old cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece where many Kings of France were crowned. There’s also some free time perhaps to wander around this delightful city with its grand squares and elegant shopping arcades. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Tours-sur Marne to Dizy

Hotel Barge Panache Paris Alsace Champagne

This morning, a visit to one of the best known Champagne houses in the world, Moët & Chandon, founded in 1743, for a guided tour through their vast underground cellars, the largest in the region, which were carved out of the chalk to offer the maturing wine the perfect temperature and humidity. This is followed by a tasting of some of Moët’s renowned vintages in an elegant private salon, hosted by an experienced cellar master. Later, return to Panache for lunch and continue to cruise along the canal, with the opportunity to explore on foot or bicycle en route, and moor at Dizy, near Epernay. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Dizy to Damery

Hotel Barge Panache Paris Alsace Champagne

After a leisurely breakfast, visit the domaine of Champagne Henriot, one of the oldest family owned houses in Champagne, originating in the late 1700s. En route, stop at a Henriot vineyard on the hillside above Épernay to meet one of their viticulture experts who will explain how their selected grapes create the house style. Then, move on to the beautiful Château Les Aulnois in the nearby village of Pierry where, after a private tour of this 18th Century manor, you’ll enjoy an exclusive tasting of various Henriot champagnes before a gastronomic lunch in the chateau’s dining room. Mid-afternoon, return to the barge and continue to cruise along the Marne to Damery. Dinner on board.

Thursday, Day 5 Damery to Dormans

Hotel Barge Panache Paris Alsace Champagne

Today Panache continues her cruise along the meandering Marne to moor at the pretty riverside town of Dormans, the site of a château, water mill and World War One memorial. In the afternoon, there is the option to visit the elegant Chateau de Conde with its sumptuous 18th century interiors, or the WWI battlefield and monument at Château-Thierry and the American cemetery at Belleau Wood, it was here that US forces fought one of their bloodiest battles during World War One. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 Château-Thierry to La Ferté-sous-Jouarre

Hotel Barge Panache Paris Alsace Champagne

This morning, we visit La Maison Pannier, a select champagne house with a labyrinth of medieval underground cellars, for a tour and a private tasting. After lunch on board, cruise on to the final mooring at Château-Thierry, an historic, strategically-situated town overlooking the river, surrounded by vineyards that produce some of the region’s famous sparkling wine. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Château Thierry
After breakfast, disembark Panache and transfer to the designated drop off point.

hotel barge champagne panacheThis is a sample itinerary and is subject to change; on alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
Note: Panache also cruises in Picardy on certain dates. Enquire for more details.

Hotel Barge Panache cruises through Alsace and Champagne

Barge Cruising – Alsace

map alsace► Hotel Barges cruising in this locality

Canal Marne au Rhin – Canal Rhone au Rhin (N)

The waterways of North-East France are set against striking scenic backdrops – the forests of the Ardennes, the Vosges mountains, the beautiful Doubs valley – with the River Rhine marking its eastern-most edge. Being so close to Germany and Switzerland, these influences and references are strong – castles, steeply pitched roofs, decorative timberwork, hearty cuisine, ham, Riesling wine – and a big selection of beers.

The culturally rich city of Strasbourg is the region’s capital and principal city. The 12th century Gothic pink sandstone cathedral is considered one of the three grandest Gothic style buildings in the world, described by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo as a “gigantic and delicate marvel.” At Saverne the Lalique Museum is home to more than 500 exceptional pieces of glassware by French designer René Lalique, considered a genius of the craft. The Arzviller boat lift is a marvel of engineering that carries boats, barges and passengers 450 feet up the Vosges Mountains.  For the perfect end to a day’s strenuous sightseeing, try sipping a glass of fine Riesling wine in Place Stanislas, the gilded, UNESCO listed central square in the Art Nouveau city of Nancy.

Getting There
Hotel barges often collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Strasbourg hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and there is a European-flight airport at Strasbourg. There are also TGV express train stations at Strasbourg and Nancy; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.

– [below] In the region: Strasbourg, Nancy, Lalique Glass, Arzviller, Riesling, Obernai –

strasbourg-canals-500x300  strasbourg-cathedral-500x300  nancy-stanislas-500x300lalique-500x300  arzviller2-500x300  riesling-500x300

nilaya-500x300  alsace-hillside-500x300  obernai-500x300

Strasbourg Cathl. ©Jn Martz | Lalique ©Corning Mus. Glass | Arzviller ©J Marssy | Wine ©iStock | Barge ©Nilaya | Others wikimedia, n/a

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

Hotel Barge Panache: Details and Facilities

Hotel Barge Panache Paris Champagne Alsace

  • Dimensions: 129ft (39.3m) x 16ft (4.85m)
  • Each junior suite is similar in size measuring 9ft (2.75m) x 11ft 6” (3.5m), and 6ft 8” (2.03m) in height
  • All ensuite bathrooms are 11ft 6” (3.5m) x 3ft 2” (1m) and are included in the cabin sizes detailed above. All are fitted with two wash-basins and the showers have massage jets.
  • All cabins have fitted wardrobes, 2 bedside tables with reading lamps, a writing desk & chair and a TV screen for playing DVD’s mounted on the wall. 1 large window measuring 3ft 8” (1.1m) x 1ft 6” (45cm).
    Bed sizes: As a double bed 5ft 5” (1.65m) x 6ft (1.85m).
    As single beds, each measures 2ft 8” (80cm) x 6ft (1.85m).
  • All cabins have individual heating and air conditioning
    Professional English-speaking crew of 6 – captain, chef, hostess, housekeeper, tour guide and deckhand. All speak fluent English as well as other languages

Other items on board:

  • Spa pool (hot tub) for 6 passengers on the sundeck
  • Hi-fi stereo system with integrated CD player, radio and iPod dock
  • 12 bicycles
  • A small library of books & maps
  • A collection of board games
  • Electronic piano
  • Nordic walking sticks (on request)
  • TV with built-in DVD in each suite
  • Vehicles: 9-seater long wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter and 7-seater Mercedes Vito

Hotel Barge Panache: Cuisine

Hotel Barge Panache Alsace and Champagne

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: Continental breakfast with fresh breads & pastries, cereals, freshly-squeezed orange juice and hot beverages.
Lunch is usually buffet style with colourful salads, pates and cold meats accompanied by hot soup or entrée, delicious deserts and a selection of regional cheeses accompanied by quality wines selected by the chef.
Dinner is a candlelit four-course gourmet experience where chef showcases his repertoire of dining delights. Harmonising food and wine is essential to the dining experience and locally produced wines are served to compliment the chef’s cuisine.

Hotel Barge Panache Alsace and Champagne

Hotel Barge Panache – 2019 Rates  ➤ 2020 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Value rate weeks:

(March 24, 31; April 7, 14 Cruising in Holland)
July 21, 28 Alsace
August 4, 11, 18 Alsace
October 6, 13, 20 Alsace

8 guest charter: 52,400 USD / 36,700 GBP / 44,000 EUR
9 guest charter: 54,100 USD / 37,900 GBP / 45,400 EUR
10 guest charter: 55,400 USD / 38,900 GBP / 46,500 EUR
11 guest charter: 56,700 USD / 49,900 GBP / 47,600 EUR
12 guest charter: 58,000 USD / 40,900 GBP / 48,700 EUR

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 5,350 USD / 3,750 GBP / 4,490 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 1,900 USD / 1,350 GBP / 1,600 EUR

Regular rate weeks:

(April 21, 28; May 5, 12 – Cruising in Holland)
May 26 Champagne
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Champagne
July 14 Alsace
August 25 Alsace
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Alsace

8 guest charter: 59,800 USD / 42,100 GBP / 50,900 EUR
9 guest charter: 61,900 USD / 43,500 GBP / 52,600 EUR
10 guest charter: 63,600 USD / 44,600 GBP / 53,900 EUR
11 guest charter: 65,300 USD / 45,700 GBP / 55,200 EUR
12 guest charter: 67,000 USD / 46,800 GBP / 56,500 EUR

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,190 USD / 4,290 GBP / 5,190 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,150 USD / 1,550 GBP / 1,850 EUR

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

Hotel Barge Panache – 2020 Rates

Charter and Cabin bookings
Sunday to Saturday

Value rate weeks:

(March 22, 29; April 5 Cruising in Holland)
July 19, 26 Alsace
August 2, 9, 16 Alsace
October 4, 11, 18 Alsace

8 guest charter: 53,900 USD / 36,700 GBP / 45,200 EUR
9 guest charter: 55,600 USD / 37,900 GBP / 46,600 EUR
10 guest charter: 56,900 USD / 38,900 GBP / 47,700 EUR
11 guest charter: 58,200 USD / 49,900 GBP / 48,800 EUR
12 guest charter: 59,500 USD / 40,900 GBP / 49,900 EUR

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 5,490 USD / 3,750 GBP / 4,590 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 1,950 USD / 1,350 GBP / 1,650 EUR

Regular rate weeks:

(April 19, 26; May 3, 10, 17 – Cruising in Holland)
May 24 Paris – Champagne
May 31 – Champagne
June 7, 14, 21, 28 Champagne
July 12 Alsace
August 23 Alsace
September 6, 13, 20, 27 Alsace

8 guest charter: 61,600 USD / 42,100 GBP / 52,600 EUR
9 guest charter: 63,700 USD / 43,500 GBP / 54,300 EUR
10 guest charter: 65,400 USD / 44,600 GBP / 55,600 EUR
11 guest charter: 67,100 USD / 45,700 GBP / 56,900 EUR
12 guest charter: 68,800 USD / 46,800 GBP / 58,200 EUR

Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 6,350 USD / 4,290 GBP / 5,350 EUR per person
Single Occupancy Supplement: 2,200 USD / 1,550 GBP / 1,900 EUR

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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