Panache is a hotel barge that has been fitted out in traditional yacht style with brass and mahogany fittings in the spacious public areas and very comfortable cabin accommodation. In the saloon the panoramic windows let in plenty of natural light, and the tempting cocktail bar and comfortable leather sofas are enhanced by polished hardwood flooring. The separate roomy dining area provides a congenial setting for up to 12 guests to enjoy the gourmet meals and fine wines served on board.
The cabin accommodation comprises six generously-sized junior suites which can be in twin or double-bedded configuration. All the en suite bathrooms have twin hand-basins and oversized showers.
Outside, the spacious sun deck is the perfect place to unwind and admire the passing scenery in one of the comfortable chairs, or to enjoy being served a long, lazy alfresco lunch at the outside dining table. The heated spa pool and plentiful number of bicycles for you to explore the towpath complete the picture.
Panache cruises in Champagne for a number of weeks in May & June. The Champagne itineraries typically include Brie cheese tastings, a tour of the Cathedral at Reim, Epernay and of course, tastings at renowned Champagne houses.
In the Summer and Autumn, Panache cruises the beautiful and varied waterways of Alsace & Lorraine, a region of France offering a unique mix of French and German cultures, history and local gastronomy.
Panache’s voyage through Alsace & Lorraine will give you the opportunity to appreciate the very best of the region, passing storybook villages along the way, visiting places such as Strasbourg, renowned for their Baroque and Romanesque architecture and uniquely, experiencing Europe’s most famous boat elevator!
Panache Deck Plan
Click image to enlarge
Guests are met in Strasbourg** and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Panache for a Champagne welcome and the first opportunity to meet your crew. Perhaps there is time for a walk or cycle ride before dinner on board.
Our day starts with a morning cruise, across the Gran Ried wetlands and home to an abundance of birdlife, to arrive at the historic city of Strasbourg. Later, we enjoy a tour of the beautiful ‘capital city of Europe’ including, of course, a visit to the 12th century Gothic pink sandstone cathedral, home to an astronomical Renaissance clock and soaring spire. We visit Place Gutenberg and explore La Petite France, a pedestrian area brimming with half-timbered houses, boutique shops and cafés. Dinner on board.
After breakfast, our cruise takes us past the impressive European Parliament building on the outskirts of Strasbourg and on through the Brumath Forest to our picturesque mooring at Waltenheim-sur-Zorn. This afternoon we enjoy a scenic drive into the rolling Vosges hills on the Route des Grands Vins, where the finest wines of Alsace are produced, and a private tasting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Riesling wines at a long-established winemaker, such as Domaine Pfister. Dinner ashore this evening at a traditional Alsatian restaurant.
This morning, any guests who are interested can hop on a bike and cycle to the Meteor Brewery, the last privately-owned brewery in Alsace. Otherwise, Panache cruises further along the canal, with good walking and cycling opportunities, to the enchanting town of Saverne where history traces back over 2,000 years to the Gallo-Roman Times, mooring at the foot of the Château de Rohan, also known as the ‘Versailles of Alsace’. We take a walking tour of Saverne and drive up to Chateau Haut-Barr perched on the hillside and offering wonderful views. Dinner on board.
This morning, perhaps after a visit to Saverne’s market, we enjoy a cruise to our mooring in the pretty village of Lutzelbourg, surrounded by hills and overlooked by the ruins of the medieval castle. In the afternoon, we visit the mountaintop village of La Petite Pierre, then tour the outstanding René Lalique collection and see over 500 exceptional examples of Art Nouveau and Art Deco glassware. Nearby Wingen-sur-Moder is also the World War Two battleground where American infantry fought with distinction. Before dinner on board, time for aperitifs and perhaps some traditional Alsatian ‘Flammekueche’ prepared by your chef.
For early risers, there is an optional visit to a local bakery to watch skilled patissiers preparing their delicious creations, before we cruise through beautiful Alsatian countryside, visiting a fascinating local glassworks en route. We then ascend the unique Arzviller boat elevator that carries Panache 450 feet up the mountainside in minutes and enjoy a candlelit cruise through the two Arzviller tunnels to our final mooring at Niderviller. After lunch on board, we set off on a tour of Sarrebourg, including visits to the 13th century chapel containing Marc Chagall’s remarkable stained-glass window and the impressive museum of Roman and Medieval artefacts. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to their choice of location in Strasbourg**.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.
**other locations available for Private Charter bookings
Arriving at Arzviller boat elevator
Riding up Arzviller boat elevator