Arrive into Paris where you will be met and transferred to the Grand Intercontinental by the Opéra for a two-night stay. With floodlit views of the Opera House, this superbly renovated luxury hotel is at the heart of Parisian society. Opened in 1862, it defines historical grandeur, from Café de la Paix to La Verriere Restaurant, set in an 800-square metre winter garden. Elegantly appointed, the hotel’s boutique-style suites overlook stunning landmarks. Located in the 9th arrondissement, close to the Louvre Museum, shopping, theatre and banking districts, this luxury Paris hotel is an icon in the City of Light.
The rest of the first day is at leisure for all guests to explore this wonderful city or simply relax at this luxurious hotel. This evening we will enjoy a welcome reception and dinner, giving you the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.
Today we enjoy a city tour of Paris this morning visiting famous sights such as the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Lunch will be served on board our private yacht as we sail along the Seine complete with canapes and champagne. Later enjoy the afternoon at leisure to discover Paris at your own pace.
Dinner this evening will be a very special occasion at the ornate and recently restored Restaurant Train Bleu at the Gare du Lyon, which is designated a historic monument.
Transfer to Gare de l’Est station to join the Golden Eagle Danube Express for a lunchtime departure for Champagne. Mid-afternoon we arrive in Épernay for an exclusive visit to Hautvillers Abbey. Here, you will learn all about the history of Dom Pérignon with a Champagne tasting. A tour of the world-famous Champagne Moët & Chandon cellars followed by a truly memorable gastronomic 4 course Champagne tasting dinner on the Moët Estate.
Take in more stunning scenery of the French countryside as you enjoy a delicious, locally sourced breakfast on the train as we pass through the Montagne de Reims on our way to the Roman city of Reims. Here we begin the day with a visit to the awe-inspiring 13th century gothic cathedral and the cellars of Krug. A tour of the beautiful Montagne du Reims will follow, travelling down the scenic ‘Route du Champagne’ meandered among the vineyards and picturesque villages, offering a charming bucolic landscape.
Breakfast on the train as we move from Champagne to Verdun one of the most important and poignant World War One battlefield sites on the Western Front. On returning to the train we take lunch as we head north to the city of Trier, where we have a city tour that includes the Roman Baths and the Roman amphitheatre.
Mid-afternoon the Golden Eagle Danube Express leaves Trier and follows the charming Moselle River to Traben–Trabach, where we have a winery tour before returning to the train for dinner as we complete our journey along the Moselle to Koblenz.
During the night we return to France and at breakfast time we are in the Alsatian town of Colmar. From here we will transfer the short distance to the perfectly preserved walled medieval town of Riquewihr where we will tour the town and visit the winery of Hugel et Fils followed by an early dinner in the vineyards.
This evening we make a short visit to the French National Railway Museum in Mulhouse.
Today we have the morning in Lucerne to learn more about the Swiss town’s charming medieval Altstadt (Old Town). After a tour of the city’s covered bridge (Kappelbruke) and a stroll down its picturesque river and lake front promenades we will re-join the train for lunch as we travel across Switzerland and over the St Gotthard Pass on a very scenic line to Chiasso on the Italian border. Here we will visit an Italian winery in the Ticino district.
This morning we make a short stop in Pisa. Where we have time to view the iconic Leaning Tower or enjoy a freshly made Italian coffee. Later in the morning we arrive in the stunningly beautiful Renaissance city of Florence. We begin our visit to Tuscany with a tour of one of the oldest wineries of the region. We will enjoy a wine tasting and of course sample the local olive oil produced at the estate.
Lunch will be served at a traditional Tuscan restaurant in the heart of the Tuscan hills. Later in the afternoon you have the choice of a city tour of Florence or instead unwind with free time to explore the city at leisure.
This morning we arrive into the pretty Italian city of Verona, famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. During the day we will visit the Pieropan winery, founded in 1880 and producers of exceptional Soave in the medieval heart of the Veneto region.
Taking breakfast on board, we will cross the causeway into Venice Santa Lucia station. Known to many as the most beautiful city in the world, Venice stretches across 118 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon. After arrival into the city we will check into the Hotel Danieli for our two-night stay.
On day 2, we will have the opportunity to take a walking tour around the highlights of this spectacular city. In the afternoon, we will visit Villa Sandi Winery. Alternatively, you can spend the day exploring this magnificent city at your leisure, maybe taking an iconic gondola ride in the basin of St. Mark’s or see St Mark’s Basilica. On our final evening, we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel, toasting the success of our Champagne Express journey.
Following breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for onward departures. There is also an option to extend your stay in Venice for additional nights to explore more of this fascinating city.