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A Champagne Toast: French River Cruises for Your Honeymoon

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If lying on a beach in the Maldives or shopping in Dubai leaves you cold, then perhaps you should look for something more culturally fulfilling for your honeymoon adventure. For wine lovers the choice couldn’t be easier, after all what could be more romantic than sharing a glass of champagne in the region in which it was produced?

French river cruises to the Champagne district offer more than just wine tastings and vineyard tours. Visitors will enjoy the luxury and seclusion of a hotel barge which meanders leisurely down the picturesque waterways of rural France, while savouring fine dining cuisine and excellent local wines. Trips ashore can include charming medieval towns and villages and vibrant French markets, not to mention the glamour of visits to the impressive Champagne estates.

Here is my selection of highlights to look out for on a tour of the famous wine-growing region.

Take a Stroll around Reims

At the heart of the Champagne area is one of its most impressive capitals, Reims, with its 800-year-old cathedral – an historic centrepiece to any exploration of the region. It was here in the city that the former kings and queens of France were crowned and it still has plenty to enthral visitors today. This is a perfect place to spend the afternoon à deux, strolling around the ancient streets, or whiling the hours away in one of the city’s picturesque pavement cafés.

Visit the Birthplace of Champagne

French river cruises through the region will usually give you the opportunity to visit Hautvillers. A pretty hilltop village, Hautvillers has the distinction of being known as the ‘cradle of Champagne’ as it was here that French monk Dom Perignon first perfected his méthode champenoise.

Discover the Wine-Making of Today

From the birthplace of the famous sparkling wine to some of its greatest producers, French river cruises through the region will give you the opportunity to follow the history of this most famous of wines. Imagine toasting your honeymoon with a bottle of Moët & Chandon selected and purchased direct from its famous estate.

A visit to Moët & Chandon, or one of the other traditional producers in the region such as La Maison Pannier, will give you an experience that wine lovers will never forget. Take a tour of the vineyard and cellars accompanied by an expert who will explain the production processes, followed by an exclusive tasting.

Sample the Region’s Famous Cheese

Famous for sparkling wine, a gastronomic trip to the region would not be complete without a visit to Meaux to discover its renowned cheese and excellent mustard. A wonderful romantic city to explore, visitors can discover the gothic cathedral, its picturesque squares and, of course, its wonderful food.

Brie de Meaux is considered by many to be the epitome of what a good brie should be and is sold all over the world, but its history is rooted in the city and dates back to the Middle Ages (even our own Henry VIII was said to be a fan). Originally created by the monks of a local Priory, the cheese is still produced in the city today and is a great place to sample it.

While you’re in the city it may be worth spicing up your food with the local mustard of Meaux Pommery, a famous local condiment.

There is so much to see and do in the region that your romantic post-wedding holiday will be full of new experiences and discoveries. A river cruise in the district will certainly be enough to create some truly wonderful memories to last you a lifetime.
About author: Desiree Michels

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury river cruises and barge holidays throughout Europe. If you're looking for the most exciting French river cruises, European Waterways is an ideal choice. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

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