Sit back and relax as Ker & Downey takes you on a sparkling sojourn through the vineyards and hamlets of Champagne and Alsace on a luxury river cruise. Retreat to France’s Grand-Est for a luxury barging journey along the river Marne and a land-based private discovery of the artisans and alpine wine labels of Alsace before returning to Paris for a few days amid the bright lights and shopping in the city.

Suggested journey at a glance: 12 days/11 nights including six nights on a luxury barge traveling through Champagne and pre- and post-cruise extensions in Paris and Wingen-sur-Moder

This suggestion is just one of many ways to see France on your own customized Ker & Downey journey.  Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on our Fine Wines of France River Cruise.


Ker & Downey’s Fine Wines of France River Cruise is all about simple sophistication and under-the-radar luxury. It begins first with a stay in the ultra-posh confines of Paris’s Hotel Lutetia, a refurbished icon of 1920s glamour located amid the covetable streets of Saint-Germain-des-Près. Meet with a renowned antiques specialist who will take you through one of the world’s most unique flea markets with over one thousand stands, galleries, and booths to explore.

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Marne River Cruise

You will be transferred to the Champagne region to begin your luxury river barge cruise aboard the Belmond Hirondelle. You’ll have the chance to sample the famed champagnes of Moët & Chandon, a liquid legend with more than 200 years of history, in Epernay. Visit the abbey of Dom Perignon in Hautvillers, where the very vines he planted in the 17th century are still producing some of the world’s finest wines. Explore historic champagne houses, idyllic riverside towns, and hidden medieval hamlets in Chalons-en-Champagne and Reims, all under the guidance of your barging crew. Bistro lunches and elevated dinners await you at every turn.

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After six nights aboard your luxury barge, it is time to dive further into the Grand-Est region with a private guided tour through neighboring Alsace. Framed by Germany to the East, the Vosges Mountains in the West and Switzerland to the South, Alsace represents a myriad of cultures and flavors. Discover the unique artisanal heritage of Alsace with a full-day introduction to France’s most important glassmakers: Daum, Baccarat, and Lalique, whose work conquered the world charming royalty like Tsar Nicolas II, the British Queen, and the Japanese Emperor. Spend a day along Alsace’s famed Wine Route, witnessing Colmar’s colorful timber-framed houses, visiting the imposing Haut-Koenigsbourg castle, and tasting the Sylvaner Grand Cru Zotzenberg at the Mittelbergheim wine museum. A riverboat tour of Strasbourg allows you to soak in the city’s beautiful canals and Alsatian architecture before returning to Paris for a final day of shopping and exploring before your journey onward.

Custom Trips to Western Europe

Looking for additional Fine Wines of France inspiration? France’s Champagne and Alsace regions are beautifully paired with neighboring Burgundy, where Ker & Downey’s oenologist guide will lead you along the Route des Grands Crus for some of the most prestigious and exclusive wine tastings in the world.

Say cheers to a champagne and Michelin-star cuisine-filled menu of experiences on our Fine Wines of France river cruise. Contact a Ker & Downey designer to customize your own journey. Read more about the seasonality, pricing, and the Ker & Downey Difference in Western Europe.