A Fairytale Vacation on the Canals of France

A new luxury boat by Belmond that will take travelers on a sparkling experience in the Champagne region: Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne, part of Les Bateaux Belmond, the brand’s exclusive fleet of boats in France, is set to launch.

Starting in May 2023, Coquelicot will take guests on a fairy-tale, highly personalized journey through the Champagne region, where she will traverse scenic canals that provide enchanting views and unique vantage points.

Equipped with three luxurious cabins with ensuite facilities, an interior salon with an exceptional champagne bar, and a large open-air deck for relaxing moments to enjoy an exquisite dinner and chat, the Coquelicot sets a new standard of sophistication for river trips in France.

To make its guests’ journey even more special, the Coquelicot will collaborate with Maison Ruinart, the oldest champagne house in the world, founded in Reims in 1729.

On board the new vessel, Belmond guests will enjoy a private tasting lunch prepared by Maison Ruinart’s chef Valérie Radou, together with Coquelicot’s head chef. As part of this collaboration, Coquelicot guests will participate in private guided tours of the historic Taissy vineyard, where they will also discover the brand’s latest sustainability initiatives.

Coquelicot: the design

Designed by renowned French duo Humbert & Poyet to complement ever-changing vistas and to create an intimate retreat on the water, Coquelicot boasts an impressive open-air deck, three double cabins with private marble bathrooms, and an interior lounge for dining and rejuvenation. Finally, the boat’s deck is the icing on the cake: two lounges, an open kitchen and a shaded dining area will provide guests with a variety of spaces to enjoy the outing on the tranquil waterways. Framed by pots with herbs and wildflowers that evoke the local flora, the Coquelicot’s deck invites guests to fully regain their serenity.

The interior and exterior of the boat capture the essence of Champagne, with hints of the region’s hues and character. Local fabrics in shades of earth and raw materials pay homage to Champagne’s agricultural heritage, while fluted walls, theatrical interiors, and decorative masterpieces honor this region’s glorious present. Coquelicot’s namesake flower, the red poppy, is found in discreet references, such as the hand-cut red marble tables and handcrafted tone-on-tone painted petals lining the hallway, while the lounge area’s sensational skylight celebrates Champagne’s river tradition.

Coquelicot: the collaboration with Maison Ruinart

As part of Belmond’s collaboration with Maison Ruinart, Coquelicot guests will enjoy exclusive access to the Taissy vineyard, mentioned as early as 1733 in the Maison’s archives.

Immersed in hilly nature, they will learn about Maison Ruinart’s pioneering wine forestry project in collaboration with Reforest’Action and the University of Reims, while admiring landscape architect Nils Udo’s avant-garde work, Habitats. A technical tasting of Maison Ruinart’s iconic cuvées, led by a Maison Ambassador, will conclude the morning experience in the vineyard.

After the tour, guests will return to the Coquelicot, where Maison Ruinart chef Valérie Radou and the boat’s head chef will work side by side to prepare an exceptional five-course lunch on the scenic deck.

Les Bateaux Belmond

A true lesson in French art de vivre, this culinary experience includes five seasonal dishes inspired by regional cuisine and paired with prestigious cuvées such as Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Dom Ruinart Rosé.

Framed by the idyllic landscape and immersed in the comfort and privacy of the luxury boat, guests will enter the world of Maison Ruinart, thanks to the House expert who will explain the history, characteristics and technical aspects of each bottle.

Coquelicot: A new perspective on Champagne

With the help of a personal Guest Experience Executive, Coquelicot guests will create their own itinerary by selecting unique activities from a range of experiences suggested especially for them by Belmond’s team of experts.

Whether it’s an art-focused tour of Champagne, a historical journey through the mighty châteaux, a sporting adventure on two wheels, or a series of epicurean visits among Europe’s most prestigious and secretive winemakers, guests will have the freedom to design their own trip and admire the region’s treasures at their own pace.

Days of activities are then followed by memorable nights aboard the vessel. After a refreshing aperitif at the boat’s champagne bar, stocked by Coquelicot’s crew members with a curated selection of guests’ favorite labels, the private chef will serve a menu of sophisticated dishes, prepared with the finest seasonal ingredients and sourced from trusted local suppliers.

Foodies will appreciate the local conviviality and will have the opportunity to alternate between an al fresco evening on the deck and a Michelin-starred dining experience or a less private dinner in one of the picturesque villages scattered throughout the region.


A Fairytale Vacation on the Canals of France

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