Friday 16 (afterwork) Sunday 18 October (21h00)
Troyes, France – Departments Aube & Aisne
3* and/or 4* hotels in Troyes center
Private 4* luxury coach
The French government has decided to turn both Aube and Aisne red. This means the Belgian government will also make it red, despite that the French red and Belgian red mean something different. According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a trip to the red regions can only be carried out if you take a test and go into quarantine upon return (14 days!). However, if you call the official information line and ask them specifically if this is also required for trips under 48 hours, their answer is NO. This information is not available on the website diplomatie.belgium.be, but only on info-coronavirus.be. Still, we feel obliged to also cancel this trip and postpone it to the late Spring / Summer of 2021. If you’re interested, please put your name on the list and we’ll contact you whenever we have more information.
A brand-new Champagne weekend trip to one of France’s most beautiful cities: Troyes. With its half-timbered houses, small streets, and impressive Cathedral, it is a must-see destination. Besides the city, the region also offers another great attraction, namely the Côte de l’Aube and the AOC Rosé des Riceys, two prestigious wine regions. Also here there are plenty of vineyards belonging to countless smaller and larger Champagne houses. On Saturday we are going to explore them during a scenic bus tour, a guided visit to a top Champagne house including a delicious dégustation, and enjoy some free time in Les Riceys, a typical Champagne village with many houses so you can try and taste as much as you like. On top of that we also stop in the village of the famous painter Renoir and learn more about his life. On Sunday we take an alternative route back to Brussels, and discover yet another Champagne region, namely the Vallée de Marne in the Département of Aisne. Also here we plan a visit and dégustation at one of the best regional houses. In the afternoon we continue our route to Belgium and make additional stops in the historic cities of Château-Thierry and Soissons, with short visits to a castle, cathedral and abbey.
Corona information (as of 8 October)
We are not able to do our regular Champagne trip on 24 October due to the fact that the Marne Département (with Épernay, Hautvillers and Reims) is currently a red zone for Belgium. In France people are still allowed to travel to this region (with increased vigilance), but for those living in Belgium it is not possible.
However, the Champagne Départements of Aube and Aisne are in the orange zone. They do not require another level of vigilance than Brussels / Belgium and do not involve mandatory tests and quarantines. We can travel there.
For this weekend trip we’ll be back in Belgium within 48 hours, so we won’t have to worry about filling out a Passenger Locator Form.
What if the situation changes?
If the situation changes, and the Aube département (Troyes) changes to a red zone, or if travellers from Brussels are no longer welcome in this part of France, we will cancel the trip and you will be fully refunded. If the Aisne département changes to a red zone, we will still go to Aube and come with an alternative program for Sunday in Northern France.
During the trip:
- Buses are allowed to drive at (near) full capacity in Belgium and France.
- Our modern bus has a top quality HEPA filter, whereas the top>down air flow refreshes the inside air constantly.
- We maintain as much as possible 1,5 meters social distancing.
- Masks are required in some places, e.g. during the Champagne tour.
- Corona-measures on the bus:
- hand sanitiser is available on the bus
- there are separation screens between the rows
- we spread people on the bus evenly
- masks are required in Belgium if 1,5 meters cannot be maintained on same row
- masks are required in France
What is included in this trip?
This trip is rather inclusive since we would like to offer a seamless program. The current price indication is €549, all inclusive. Early-bird offers will be available, so book on time to get a lower price.
- Transportation by 4* luxury coach
- Bottled water on outbound journey
- 2 nights in a 3* or 4* hotel
- 2x breakfast buffet
- Lunch on Saturday (2-course) & Sunday (3-course)
- Dinner on Saturday
- Guided city tour in Troyes
- Guided tour & dégustation top Champagne house
- Scenic bus tour Côte de l’Aube & the AOC Rosé des Riceys
- Visit to Essoyes (Renoir village)
- Visit to Les Riceys (top Champagne village)
- Visit to Champagne House Vallée de Marne
- Visit to Château-Thierry
- Visit to Soissons
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime expat memory
What is optional?
- Upgrade to 4* hotel
- Upgrade to single room
- Single seat on bus
Who can join?
Expat Club is open to welcome everyone who feels like joining an open-minded international group of expats and Belgians. Most of our participants are 30-65 years old with some younger and some older and working in a variety of fields (EU, NATO, NGOs, diplomacy, corporate, academics).
– Members & non-members
– Expats & (international) Belgians
– Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Expat Club & families
Expat Club welcomes everyone, including families with children. However, due to the guided tour and the “alcoholic-character” this trip is not meant for young children. Contact us if you are interested so we can ensure you get the right rooms and a family/child discount. These discounts are valid on the early-bird and regular trip fees (no further discounts apply, including pre-reservation discounts).
As with all Expat Club trips, our program for this Champagne weekend trip is carefully designed. Still, the programme may change depending on, for instance, traffic conditions, road closures and other unforeseen circumstances (including corona-related policies). Still, the driver, the receiving destinations, your host and the hotel, will always do their very best to give you the most optimal experience. The below schedule is therefore not final, but gives you a good idea of what you can expect until we actually open up the trip for bookings.
18h00 – Departure from Place Schuman
20h30 – Stop at a highway restaurant
23h45 – Arrival hotel in Troyes
08h00 – Breakfast
09h00 – Guided city Tours in Troyes
11h00 – Free time
12h00 – Start scenic Champagne bus tour
– Visit Champagne house & dégustation
– Visit to Essoyes
– Visit to Les Riceys
20h00 – Dinner in Troyes
08h00 – Breakfast
09h00 – Departure to Aisne
11h00 – Visit Champagne house & dégustation
12h45 – Visit to Château-Thierry & lunch
15h00 – Departure to Soissons
15h45 – Short visit to Abbey and Cathedral Soisson
16h30 – Departure to Brussels
19h00 – Highway stop
21h30 – Arrival Brussels
Our main destination for this trip is the beautiful city of Troyes in the département Aube located in the Southern part of the larger Champagne administrative ánd wine region. Two connected scenic wine regions, the Côte de l’Aube and the AOC Rosé des Riceys, make this the perfect weekend getaway destination. On the way back we will make a few stops in the Aisne département.
Troyes is situated about 140km south-east of Paris. It is not only directly connected via one of the main highways leading to the French capital, but it also shares the same river, the Seine. The history of the city goes back well over 2500 years when Celts settled in the area. During Roman times it was an important city called Augustoboan Tricassium, and was at the intersection of many important highways. Despite there are virtually no traces of this era anymore, walking through this town you will instantly feel that it was an important place. A professional local guide will show us around during a private walking tour.
Scenic Champagne tour
Troyes, culture and history is very nice, but let’s be frank that we’re not using it as an excuse for the real reason why we are going on this trip 😉 Endless vineyards full Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier are waiting for us. We’ll be coming after the harvest season, but rest assured that the scenery is just beautiful. Whereas spring time turns these hills light green, in the fall they will become a pallet of greens, browns, yellows and reds. Just stunning. We’ll be driving through the vineyards, stop in a few nice places and of course do “perform some serious tastings”.
What the stunning village of Hautvillers is to the Montagne de Reims Champagne region (one of our destinations for our Champagne day trip), Les Riceys is for the Côte du Aube. In fact, it has the largest surface of vineyards in the entire Champagne. Besides being known for the Rosé des Riceys bubbly, this village offers many opportunities for visiting wine houses. Feel free to bring a few bottles or boxes on board of the bus as a gift for friends or yourself.
For your comfort, convenience, and safety, we will be staying in a very good 3* and/or 4* hotel in Troyes. We cannot yet share which hotel, but as usual we always pick a nice hotel at a great location and with top reviews.
You can choose between the following room types:
- Single room – 1 large bed for 1 person (surcharge applies)
- Double room – 1 large bed for 2 persons (a couple or parent/child)
- Twin room – 2 single beds for 2 persons (two friends sharing a room)
- Twin room – 2 single beds for 2 solo travellers who would like to share a room
- Triple/family rooms – at request
Room sharing for solo travellers
If you travel alone, you can share a “twin room” with 2 single beds (male or female rooms). We introduce you to the other travellers who also want to share a room. This means you don’t have to search for a friend who wants to join. We also do not assign you to a room, but you choose who you want to share the room with. You can select this room sharing option during the reservation processs. It is a perfect way to lower your costs and to meet another friendly expat. Be aware we only offer 1 shared male room, so be quick to reserve your spot.
We will be travelling with a comfortable 4* luxury coach. The seats are configured in Princess Class, which means you will have extra leg space and can recline your seat. This way you can get some extra rest. All seats have footrests as well. There is a (small) toilet on-board and a DVD system with three flat screens.
- The trip will be carried out by one of our trusted coach partners.
- The trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are tentative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for unforeseen delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).