Champagne Express

12 days

Travel on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express on this exclusive rail journey visiting some of the finest wine producing regions of the world.

Indulge in gourmet cuisine, fine wines and ancient culture as we explore some of the world’s finest wine producing regions aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. An exclusive journey between the classical cities of Paris and Venice, this 12 day tour offers remarkable scenery, unforgettable experiences and an enriching exploration of some of Europe’s most fascinating cities. Combining exclusive tastings at Grand Marques champagne houses and some of the most prestigious wine cellars, this incredible rail journey is bound to satisfy your senses.

Trip Highlights

  • Ultimate Luxury Rail Travel. The Golden Eagle Danube Express is your luxurious hotel-on-wheels. Unpack just the once and settle into your well-appointed and comfortable cabin as you begin this voyage of a lifetime. Your cabin attendant will be on hand to look after all of your needs.

  • Stay two nights at the iconic five-star Hotel Danieli in Venice

  • Visit Chateau d’Esclans, enjoy a private tasting of the Whispering Angel and its classic Côtes de Provence rosé

  • Visit to Parfumerie Fragonard. There you’ll have a hands-on experience creating your very own perfume

  • A stunning tour and tasting visiting the winery and vineyards of Paul Jaboulet Ainé

  • Prestigious cellar visit in Beaune coupled with an exclusive tour to the Hospices de Beaune

  • A tour of the world-famous Champagne Moët & Chandon cellars followed by a truly memorable gastronomic 4 course Champagne tasting lunch on the Moët Estate.

  • Exclusive tour and cellar tasting at the iconic Krug Estate in Champagne

  • In Paris lunch will be served on board our private yacht as we sail on the Seine complete with canapes and champagne

from £9,495 per person

This is a guide price based on 2 people travelling together and sharing a Heritage Room. Deluxe Room is from £14,995.


Eastbound 2018
Oct 12 - Oct 23

Westbound 2018
Oct 4 - Oct 15

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Trip details

Day 1


Venice is a truly captivating city of romance; its unrivaled beauty takes away the breath of first-time visitors and regulars alike. Included in our time in Venice is two nights 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

Today we will have the opportunity to take a walking tour around the highlights of this spectacular city. In the afternoon, we’ll 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, we will enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel, giving you the opportunity to meet fellow travelers and learn more about your journey through this fascinating part of Europe.

Day 3


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 including wine for us. With Freedom of Choice touring options available this afternoon you could visit a Verona wine cellar complete with archeological 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

Côte d’Azur

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 and late afternoon we take a visit to Parfumerie Fragonard. There you’ll have a hands-on experience creating your very own perfume. The guided tour of St Paul de Vence 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 we return to the train for dinner hosted by our on board staff.

Day 5


Today we travel on to the Provence region of France. We start the day exploring Chateau d’Esclans on elevated land near the beautiful Gorges de Pennafort. Here we will enjoy a private tasting of the Whispering Angel and its classic Côtes de Provence rosé. An exclusive lunch at the elegant, Michelin stared Restaurant Bruno will cap off our visit to the region.

Day 6

Tain L’Hermitage

This morning we will follow the scenic Thone Valley to Tain L’Hermitage. With Freedom of Choice touring options available, this afternoon either take 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


Overnight our train will travel from the Rhône Valley to Burgundy and we will awake in Beaune, situated in the heart of the Côte d’Or.  Today we will have a tutored tour of the unique and prestigious cellars of the Drouhin family, coupled with a visit with private access to the Hospices de Beaune, including areas not normally open to the public; based on the true story of Maurice Drouhin and his courageous activities during the Second World War.

Day 8


Overnight we head north through the rolling hills of the Côte de Nuits and Dijon on our way to 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 lunch on the Moët Estate.

Day 9


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 rural landscape.

Day 10


After breakfast, we will arrive at the Gare de l’Est station in Paris where you will transfer for a two-night stay at the five-star Intercontinental. 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 to enjoy either a visit to Château de Chantilly or the fun Musee des Arts Forains.

Our first evening will be a very special occasion at the ornate and recently restored Restaurant Train Bleu at the Gare du Lyon. Gildings, carvings, mouldings, chandeliers and frescoes adorn its walls along with dozens of paintings illustrating the views of the cities and sceneries passengers have seen from trains departing the station since 1849. This restaurant is a designated ‘historic monument’.

Day 11

Today we offer a city tour of Paris passing 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 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

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward departure. There is the option to extend your stay in Paris to explore more of the city at your leisure.

Recent Google Reviews

Smooth Red did a super job of organizing our 11 day tour of French wine regions. Although the tour was originally designed as self-drive they were able to meet our needs by arranging for travel by train. All of the arrangements worked, and the hotels and wine tours were first…

Jeff Goldstein

Very enjoyable. All three Chateaus were very different adding to the experience. Saint Emillion is beautiful. Our group of 8 was just right size for personal fell yet fellowship. Only did a one day, but certainly if the Chateau quality is indicative will consider Smooth Red for longer tours. Very…

Ken Jeske

SmoothRed organised an amazing holiday for my Mum and I- we went to Bordeaux for three nights and stayed in a wonderful hotel. We had the perfect mixture of trips and free time and the visits to the Chateaus were wonderful. From start to finish, my experience of booking the…

Chloe Vallis

This was a fun trip. We were picked up at Strasbourg airport having travelled via Leeds Bradford and Amsterdam, and apart from the fact that the luggage went awol due to too short a transfer time all went well. The driver/guide who picked us up assisted with the formalities of…

Harvey Kaufman

We had a fantastic weekend in the Rioja region with Smooth Red; the Bodegas, hotel and mostly the tour guide were all fantastic. Everything was organised really well and we are already considering our next trip with Smooth Red which is a real compliment from us. Thank you

Samantha Collins

“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

Hilary Alder

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