Live the fine life on the Champagne Express journey aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. Indulge in gourmet cuisine, fine wines, and ancient culture as you explore some of the world’s finest wine-producing regions. An exclusive journey between the alluring cities of Venice and Paris, this 12-day tour offers gorgeous scenery, an enriching exploration of some of Europe’s most captivating cities, and unforgettable experiences. With exclusive tastings at Grand Marques champagne houses and some of the world’s most prestigious wine cellars, this incredible rail journey is bound to satisfy your senses. Tour is available westbound (see below) and eastbound.
“…its riveting itineraries, fully inclusive pricing and comfort undoubtedly put it in the forefront of luxurious European railway travel.”
— Angela Walker, Vice President, Operations, The Society of International Railway Travelers®, following her May, 2015 journey on the Danube Express.
DAY 1: VENICE, Italy
Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivaled beauty takes away the breath of first-time visitors and regulars alike. Enjoy a two-night stay at the iconic five-star Hotel Danieli. The hotel enjoys a spectacular location and is only a short stroll from St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs.
DAY 2: VENICE, Italy
Today, guests will have the opportunity to take a walking tour around the highlights of this spectacular city. In the afternoon, 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 first evening, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel, which will give guests the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and learn more about your journey through this fascinating part of Europe.
DAY 3: VERONA, Italy
Today we arrive into the pretty Italian city of Verona, famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. A walking tour of the city’s famous sites combined with a trio of tasting sessions at various local delicacies will serve as lunch (wine inclusive). With Freedom of Choice touring options available this afternoon,choose to visit a Verona wine cellar complete with archaeological excavations, or take a short journey out to a nearby Olive Mill to learn how to make olive oil with a hands-on demonstration.
DAY 4: MONTE CARLO & GRASSE, Monaco and France
Enjoy breakfast on board as the Golden Eagle Danube Express winds its way along the Côte d’Azur and arrives into the fashionable principality of Monaco. Today you have a choice of either visiting Monte Carlo and Grasse; or Monte Carlo and one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, St Paul de Vence.
Grasse is the Perfume capital of France. In the late afternoon, enjoy a visit to Parfumerie Fragonard. There you’ll have a hands-on experience creating your very own perfume. After, take a guided tour of St Paul de Vence that will include a 14th century wine cellar visit, allowing you to sample the Rhône Valley’s best bottles, as well as a wide range of Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, Eaux-de-Vie, Liqueurs. This evening, return to the train for dinner hosted by our on board staff.
DAY 5: LE CANNET DE MAURES, France
Today, travel on to the Provence region of France. Start the day exploring Chateau d’Esclans on elevated land near the beautiful Gorges de Pennafort. Enjoy a private tasting of the Whispering Angel and its classic Côtes de Provence rosé. An exclusive lunch at the elegant Michelin-starred Restaurant Bruno will cap off our visit to the region.
DAY 6: TAIN L’HERMITAGE, France
This morning we will follow the scenic Thone Valley to Tain L’Hermitage. With Freedom of Choice touring options available, this afternoon take either a visit to the winery and vineyards of Paul Jaboulet Ainé, or cross the river for a special steam-hauled train on the narrow gauge Vivarais Railway.
DAY 7: BEAUNE, France
Overnight, the Danube Express will travel from the Rhône Valley to Burgundy. Awake in Beaune, situated in the heart of the Côte d’Or. Enjoy a guided tour of the unique and prestigious cellars of the Drouhin family, coupled with a visit to the Hospices de Beaune, including areas not normally open to the public. Learn about the true story of Maurice Drouhin and his courageous activities during the Second World War.
DAY 8: EPERNAY, France
Overnight, the train heads north through the rolling hills of the Côte de Nuits and Dijon on our way to Champagne. In the mid-afternoon, the train arrives in Épernay, where guests will enjoy an exclusive visit to Hautvillers Abbey. Here, you will learn all about the history of Dom Pérignon and have a Champagne tasting.
Tour the world-famous Champagne Moët & Chandon cellars, and then enjoy a truly memorable gastronomic 4-course Champagne-tasting lunch on the Moët Estate.
DAY 9: REIMS, France
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 Reimson on the way to the Roman city of Reims. Here you will 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, during which we will travel down the scenic ‘Route du Champagne,’ which meanders through the vineyards and picturesque villages and offers an especially charming rural landscape.
DAY 10: PARIS, France
After breakfast, the train arrives at the Gare de l’Est station in Paris. Transfer to the five-star Intercontinental for a two-night stay. After check-in, you have the morning to get settled in. We will reconvene for lunch at the hotel before taking a Freedom of Choice touring option: enjoy either a visit to Château de Chantilly, or a visit to the fun Musee des Arts Forains.
Our first evening in Paris will be a very special occasion at the ornate and recently restored Restaurant Train Bleu at the Gare du Lyon. Gildings, carvings, moldings, chandeliers and frescoes adorn its walls, along with dozens of paintings illustrating the views of the cities and scenery passengers have seen from trains departing the station since 1849. This restaurant is a designated ‘historic monument’.
DAY 11: PARIS, France
Today, guests can join a tour of Paris, which will include famous sights such as the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Lunch will be served on board our private yacht as we sail on the Seine, complete with canapes and champagne.
This afternoon is yours to relax and enjoy the hotel, or do some shopping for some last-minute souvenirs. Tonight, we toast the success of the tour at our farewell dinner at the hotel, complete, of course, with champagne.
DAY 12: PARIS, France
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward departure. If you wish to continue on in Paris, please advise us and we will be happy to arrange additional sightseeing and accommodations for you.
Click here for Paris – Venice (Eastbound) Champagne Express.
2018 Dates:October 4-15 (Venice-Paris)
October 12-23 (Paris-Venice)
|Superior Deluxe Class||$23,995||$39,995||$2,500|
All pricing is per person.
Included in the tour price:
• Experienced tour managers.
• Arrival and departure transfers.
• A generous drinks allowance, including wine, is included with lunch and dinner.
• Hotel and on-board accommodations.
• All gratuities.
• All off-train touring and entrance fees, with personal headsets to make it easy to hear your guide.
• Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
• An on-board doctor, with medical facilities, is available, should the need arise.
• 24-hour service attendant.
• Porterage of bags; your bags will be stowed for you on the train and transported to your hotel at the end of your trip.