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Belmond Coquelicot

Ankita Sharma, Staff Writer

Belmond Champagne Salon

To be totally honest with you, the thought of being on a river cruise is enough for us to break out in hives. But then you put a Belmond on the river, and suddenly a cruise got a whole lot more interesting. And from the looks of this new boat launched in the French Champagne country, there’s a whole new reason besides a glass of bubbly to get onboard this summer.

When it’s Belmond

You know when Belmond gets involved, whether it’s a hotel, train, and now boat, it’s going to be good. Its newest boat, the Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, recently launched off the shores of Champagne to join Belmond’s luxury fleet Les Bateaux Belmond. As its name suggests, the voyage takes you on a tour of the Champagne region of France.

We originally thought the name of the boat was part of a Champagne house, but the boat actually gets its name from the tinted red poppies of France. They also take that theme to the interiors and the atmosphere of the Coquelicot, which is also like an extension of the picturesque countryside of France.

Itinerary

Belmond offers a 7-day trip on the Coquelicot. You start the journey from Épernay, which is a picturesque town in the heart of Champagne country. From there, you’ll travel through the towns of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Châlons-en-Champagne, Condé-sur-Marne, and Vaudemange. In the end, you’ll drop anchor and end at Sillery. One of the highlights of cruising along the River Marne will be a special day at Ruinart, the oldest established champagne house. You’ve not seen Champagne caves until you’ve visited Ruinart, along with a special lunch. In addition to Champagne and town tours, you’ll also have experiences that range from art and history.

Details

If you’d like to buy out the boat, it comes at a price of a cool $80,000 for 3 cabins that can accommodate 6 people.  This somewhat princely sum is inclusive of meals, drinks, and guided tours of the region. Coquelicot is a barge with a lower and an upper deck. There’s a salon, a bar, and an open kitchen providing a cozy vibe. The bar keeps a collection of your preferred Champagne to add that personal touch. But it’s the upper deck that you want to be on this boat for. It has two alfresco dining lounges and a sun deck. You can sip on your favorite bubbly as Chef Valérie Radou curates exclusive five-course meals for you.

The Region

Not only for its namesake drink but Champagne is also famed for its gorgeous landscape. It’s the quintessential French hamlet. The medieval charm of this region will make you want to time-travel back to the fifteenth century. The area is dotted with legendary champagne houses and vineyards. Everything about this region shouts ‘laid-back’ making it ideal for a summer retreat.

How to Set Sail

Coquelicot sails twice a month. Apart from Coquelicot, you can also choose from other Belmond luxury boats that cruise in Provence, Camargue, and Burgundy regions. Of course, we’ll hook you up at [email protected].

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