Belmond is delighted to announce the launch of a new luxury barge, part of its unmatched French collection: Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne. From May 2023, Coquelicot will take guests on a cinematic and highly personalised journey of Champagne, as the boat glides along the region’s canals, unveiling exquisite views from a unique vantage point. Featuring three glamorous cabins with ensuite facilities, an indoor salon with an exceptional champagne bar, and an extensive outdoor deck for relaxing pursuits, sensational dining and sparkling conversations, Coquelicot will set a new standard of sophistication for slow-paced sailing in France.
To elevate the guest journey, Coquelicot will partner with Maison Ruinart – the world’s oldest champagne house, founded in Reims in 1729. Belmond guests will be treated to a private tasting lunch by Maison Ruinart’s Chef In Residence Valérie Radou and Coquelicot Head Chef aboard the new barge – it is the first time Maison Ruinart’s Chef will be cooking a private ‘four hands’ lunch outside of Maison Ruinart. As part of the collaboration, Coquelicot guests will also discover the brand’s latest sustainability initiatives during private guided tours of the historic Taissy vineyard.
Evocative design and top deck treasures
Designed by successful French duo, Humbert & Poyet, to complement the ever-changing views and create an intimate sanctuary on the water, Coquelicot will boast an impressive outdoor deck, three double cabins with marble ensuite bathrooms, and an indoor lounge for dining and recharging. The vessel’s top deck will be the jewel in the crown: two seating lounges, an open kitchen and a shaded dining area will offer a choice of spaces for guests to unwind and laze around as they meander the calm waterways. Framed by potted herbs and wildflowers that root the space in the locality, the deck will invite guests to craft their own carefree bliss and take it to new heights.
The barge’s interiors and exteriors will capture the essence of Champagne, with nods to the region’s hues and character. Local fabrics in earthy tones and raw materials will honour Champagne’s agricultural heritage, while fluted walls, decadent interiors and pieces of art will pay homage to the land’s glorious present. Coquelicot’s namesake, the red poppy, will be found in subtle references such as the hand-cut red marble side tables and the tone-on-tone hand-painted petals that line the hallway, while the lounge’s sensational skylight is a celebration of Champagne’s water mapping legacy.
Exclusive immersion into the world of Maison Ruinart
As part of the collaboration between Belmond and Maison Ruinart, Coquelicot’s guests will enjoy unrivalled access to Taissy vineyard, referenced as early as 1733 in the Maison’s archives. Immersed in the hilly nature, they will learn about Maison Ruinart’s pioneering viti-forestry project in partnership with Reforest’Action and the University of Reims, while they admire the pioneer work of landscape artist Nils Udo, Habitats. A technical tasting of iconic Maison Ruinart cuvées, led by a Maison Ambassador, will conclude the morning experience in the vineyard.
Following the tour, guests will head back to Coquelicot where Maison Ruinart’s Chef, Valérie Radou, and Coquelicot’s Head Chef will work hand in hand to prepare an exceptional five-course lunch on the boat’s cinematic top deck. A true lesson in French art de vivre, this dining 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 in the comfort and privacy of their own luxury boat, guests will delve deep into the world of Maison Ruinart, as their ambassador reveals the story, characteristics and technical aspects of each bottle.
A fresh perspective on champagne
With the help of their very own Guest Experience Executive, guests of Coquelicot will craft their own itinerary by selecting unique activities from a host of experiences suggested specifically for them by the Belmond expert team. Whether it’s an art-focused tour of Champagne, a historic voyage through the mighty castles, an active adventure on two wheels or a series of epicurean visits to Europe’s most celebrated and most secret wine producers, guests will have the liberty to design their own journey and marvel at the region’s treasures at their own pace.
Days of discoveries are followed by memorable nights aboard the new barge. After a refreshing aperitivo by the boat’s Champagne bar – stocked by Coquelicot’s crewmembers with a curated selection of the guests’ preferred labels – the private Chef will serve a menu of sophisticated dishes, prepared using the finest seasonal ingredients from trusted local suppliers. Bon-vivants are invited to embrace the conviviality which permeates the locale, and alternate an al fresco soirée on the top deck with an off board Michelin-starred restaurant experience or a less inhibited dinner in one of the quaint villages scattered across the region.
Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne is part of Les Bateaux Belmond, the brand’s unrivalled collection of boats in France. The fleet includes: Alouette, A Belmond Boat, Canal Du Midi; Pivoine, A Belmond Boat, Camargue; Napoléon, A Belmond Boat, Provence; Amaryllis, A Belmond Boat, Burgundy; Fleur De Lys, A Belmond Boat, Burgundy; Lilas, A Belmond Boat, Burgundy.