Belmond to Add an Ultra-Luxe Barge in France

The upcoming debut of Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne promises a new way of taking in the country’s northeast.

A visualization of an upper-deck lounge aboard Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne. (All renderings courtesy of Belmond)

Connoisseurs of vino will soon get to explore one of the world’s most celebrated wine-growing regions at a more relaxed pace with a stay aboard Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne. Slated to welcome its first guests in May 2023, the new luxury barge is the latest addition to Les Bateaux Belmond, the brand’s collection of vessels plying the waterways of France. While journeying down the canals, bon vivants can look forward to ample space for relaxation as well as gourmet meals prepared by a private chef.

Designed by French studio Humbert & Poyet, Coquelicot will boast an impressive outdoor deck, three double cabins with marble ensuite bathrooms, and an indoor lounge with a champagne bar. The barge’s interiors will nod to the character of the Champagne region character through local fabrics in earthy tones, artworks, and other design details. Coquelicot’s namesake, the red poppy, will be referenced in the hand-cut red marble side tables and the hand-painted petals lining the hallway. Planted with potted herbs and wildflowers, the vessel’s top deck will feature two alfresco seating lounges, an open kitchen, and a shaded dining area.

An artist’s impression of the living and dining room aboard Coquelicot.

One of the two guest bedrooms on the vessel.

The art nouveau–inspired master bathroom will feature a deep soaking tub.

Belmond has also announced an exclusive collaboration with top champagne house Maison Ruinart, founded back in 1729. As part of their stay, Coquelicot guests will embark on a private guided tour of the historic Taissy vineyard, learn about the brand’s sustainable viti-forestry project, and enjoy a tasting of Maison Ruinart cuvées, led by a Maison Ambassador. Back at Coquelicot, Maison Ruinart’s chef-in-residence Valérie Radou and the boat’s head chef will join hands for a multicourse tasting lunch on the top deck; expect five seasonal specialties paired with prestigious cuvées such as Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Dom Ruinart Rosé.

An on-board Guest Experience Executive will craft a bespoke itinerary for each traveler by selecting activities from a host of experiences suggested by the Belmond team. Potential options include an art-focused tour, a cycling excursion, an exploration of the region’s castles, or a series of special visits to acclaimed wine producers. Naturally, the whole package doesn’t come cheap: charters of the vessel will start from an eye-watering €82,000 (around US$79,500).

The shaded dining area on the upper deck of the barge.

A rendering of Coquelicot’s master bedroom.

The main onboard lounge will come with its own champagne bar.

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