Saroche is a Deluxe category barge normally available for charter only; however on occasional weeks individual cabins may be booked.
Saroche is perfect for: Couples, Families, Groups of friends, Excellent Cycling/Walking, Exceptional historic interest, Beautiful scenery.
Saroche offers two different itineraries in Champagne & Burgundy (see “Dates & Prices” for the cruise routes on a specific date).
The delightful hotel barge “Saroche” is owned and operated by Jason and Dawn, who have many years of experience and an exceptional reputation for running a beautiful barge with superb itineraries. on Saroche you can choose an itinerary in Champagne or in Burgundy, depending on the time of year.
Dawn, your personal chef, is a graduate of the prestigious Concord Hotel and Restaurant Management Scheme. Following in her mother’s footsteps as a professional chef, she applies her skills to delight customers with her unique twist on classic French cuisine. Dawn’s attention to detail ensures that the barge runs like clockwork.
Barge Captain Jason graduated from the famous “Ecole du Hotelier” on the shores of Lac Leman, Switzerland. After running hotels, restaurants, night clubs and bars in Switzerland, England and East Africa, he finally settled down in France where his skills as a wine enthusiast, gourmand and professional bilingual tour guide have come into their own.
Saroche offers spacious areas and modern amenities, and has a unique split level salon and dining area. Beautifully appointed large cabins with lovely tiled baths are a feature as well as a large shaded deck with hot tub.
Both Champagne & Burgundy are world renowned for their wines, food and intriguing diverse history. Jason and Dawn will present both areas to you from the unique aspect of the canals, coupled with excellent food, world class wines – all from the palatial surroundings of the wonderful Saroche!
Champagne Cruise Route:
Vandierers to Beaumont sur Vesles
Sunday : Vandieres
Your chauffeur driven mini bus will transport you to Vandierers on the Marne river, Champagne reception on deck with introductions to the crew. Plenty of time to settle into your stateroom before Dawn creates your first gourmet dinner on board Saroche.
Monday : Vandierers to Cumières
After breakfast Jason will take you on a historic visit to the chateau of Conde en Brie. This 16th century hunting lodge has hosted Kings and Queens, murderers, saints and sinners, Jason will guide you on a private visit through this wonderful building and if the owner is in house, he will introduce you and perhaps a glass or two of champagne may be drunk with the Count.
We return to Saroche for a lazy lunch with 360* views of the glorious Champagne vineyards before setting sail and heading up stream towards Cumières. This important river gently meanders through the Marne valley covered on both sides in vineyards, steeped in history and surrounded by wonderful French countryside. All this can be admired from the deck. We moor up in the shadow of the abbey of Hautvillers, time for a gentle stroll along the towpath before Jason introduces you to “bubbles du jour” followed by another of Dawns fabulous meals on board!
Tuesday : Cumières to Tour Sur Marne
After breakfast Jason will drive you through Epernay to visit chocolatier Thibault where you will spend the morning making artisanal chocolate with the master chocolatier, famous as the last chocolatier to make the alcohol filled chocolate champagne cork, this is a rare and exciting chance to get up close to one of the worlds favourite foods!
Return to the Saroche where Dawn will present another fabulous lunch. After lunch we set sail for Tour sur Marne on the canal lateral a la Marne, we pass by hill covered vineyards owned by many famous Champagne houses like Mumm, Philiponat, Moët & Chandon and Heidesek to name but a few, with plenty of opportunity to walk and cycle along the well paved towpath, we slowly ascend the valley toward our mooring in the centre of the village of Tour, in time for “bubbles du jour” before dinner on board.
Wednesday : Reims
We leave the Saroche this morning to head into the historic city of Reims, our first stop is to the Eisenhower war rooms, an important yet undiscovered museum where the end of the Second World War was signed. From here Jason will take you to the world famous cathedral of Reims, having survived the revolution and two world wars it is a testament to the resilience of the people of Reims, with its amazing nave and wonderful architecture it deserves the world heritage status it has gained. Time to wander the the shopping district of Reims before meeting up to go to lunch. Jason will take you to Lunch at Les Crayers bistro for a lazy yet tantalising Michelin dinning experience. Followed by time to enjoy the garden at this most magnificent Relais and Chateau, once home to the Pommery family and now one of the best small hotels in the world.
Leaving Reims behind we drive back to Saroche. On the way stop off in Bouzy for a small private tour and tasting before returning to the barge in time for a dip in the jacuzzi before Dawn serves a light dinner on deck.
Thursday: Tour sur Marne to Mont du Billy
After a lazy breakfast we take the mini bus to Meruil sur Ay, home to many famous champagne houses but non more so than Billecart Salmon, enjoy a private tour of the last remaining independent large Champagne house followed by a delectable tasting.
Returning to Saroche for more of Dawn’s creations will leave you well suited to a relaxing afternoon on the deck or walking by the barge as we climb the 8 locks to the summit pound, where we moor in the shade of the trees in the middle of the French countryside, as we cruise those who are interested can join Dawn in the kitchen and watch her prepare her famous pates and terrines, whilst quizzing her about her menus and creations. After Bubbles du Jour another delightful meal awaits for dinner.
Friday : Mont De Billy to Beaumont
This morning we set sail and head along the canal to the tunnel at Mont du Billy, Jason will prepare the barge to go through the tunnel, a marvel of French engineering this tunnel allowed commercial traffic to enter the heart of Reims and thus connected Paris and Reims in the 18th century. Having passed the tunnel we continue our lazy cruise down the canal to Beaumont sur Vesels.
After lunch Jason will drive you to the world war 1 trenches at the Mains de Messige. An archeological dig that is as authentic and sobering as it is mysterious. These trenches were discovered by a Parisian archeological student doing a summer dig, today they are the newest discovery of this grizzly episode in Champagnes torrid history. A walking tour of real trenches is a reminder of the other reason Champagne is world famous.
Return to the barge in time to get freshened up before captains dinner. Tonight the Captain, Jason, will host your dinner, starting with Bubbles du jour and cocktails on the deck before Dawn wows you with more delights from her kitchen.
After breakfast your chauffeur driven minibus will take you back to Paris with time on the journey to reflect on a truly unique vacation
On alternate weeks the itinerary may run in the opposite direction.
|Charter 6 people||$38,000|
|Charter 5 people||$34,000|
|Charter 4 people||$30,000|
|Price per person twin/double share||$6,500|
In 2018, dates for the Champagne cruises are as follows:
May 13th, 20th, 27th; June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th; July 1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd.
Note all our prices are in US Dollars. We convert to Australian dollars at current exchange rates on the day of payment of deposit/full payment.
Cruise is all-inclusive – price includes accommodation in ensuite cabins, gourmet cuisine provided by your private on-board chef, all beverages including premium local wines and mixed drinks, all excursions, entries and transport in air-conditioned mini-vans.