FRENCH COUNTRY WATERWAYS OFFERS A MENU OF SAVINGS TO GO ALONG WITH ITS

GRAND CRU WINES, FABULOUS LOCAL CHEESES AND HIGHLY RATED DINING EXPERIENCES

Barging the canals of France has just gotten up to 40% less expensive for future guests of French Country Waterways who book select departures during the July-August summer season. The 18-passenger luxury barge Esprit makes its way through Burgundy’s fabled Côte d’Or wine-growing region at prices of $2,995 per person, double, reduced from the normal rate of $5,295 or 43%. Standard fares of $6,595 and $6,795 for the eight-passenger luxury barge Princess, formerly the private barge of shipping magnate Daniel K. Ludwig, are reduced to $4,500 and $4,700; and the July 6 departure of the company’s newest barge, the 12-passenger Adrienne, sailing in Champagne between Maizy and Château-Thierry, is priced at $4,495, a 30% savings over the regular rate of $6,395, and includes a night at the luxury Hotel Raphael in Paris.

These luxury six-night cruises combine a leisurely upscale existence, tastings of dozens of Grand and Premier Cru wines and locally produced cheeses, and wonderful meals, both aboard and at a Michelin-starred restaurants, with exploration of the charming villages, century-old vineyards, historic architecture and changing landscapes of France’s countryside and wine tastings in the private cellars of many of France’s best vineyards.

The Esprit’s route follows the narrow 18th-century Canal du Centre overlooking vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, the meandering River Saône and the Canal de Bourgogne between St. Léger-sur-Dheune and Dijon. The Princess plies the Canal de la Marne au Rhin between Nancy and Hochfelden in the Alsace-Lorraine region, passing medieval villages with church spires rising above red-tiled roofs, green pastures dotted with cows, and fields of grain and pine forests. And the Adrienne sails on the Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne and the River Marne, showcasing champagne producers including the House of Ployez-Jacquemart and the vast cellars of Moët & Chandon, and historic battlefields dating back to Julius Caesar.

Prices cover accommodations, all meals, estate-bottled wines, open bar, daily sightseeing excursions, bicycles for riding along the towpaths and the surrounding countryside, and escorted transfers between Paris and the barge. Hot-air ballooning is an option.