Barge trip aboard Renaissance in the Loire Valley
On October 9, 2015
  • Total Passengers :8
  • No of Cabins : 4

Availability for a 6-day cruise

Renaissance is a very spacious hotel barge that accommodates up to 8 passengers in ultimate luxury.

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Her cruise route takes her across the mighty River Loire on the Canal de Briare, France’s oldest canal and steeped in history, past beautiful scenery and small country villages towards Sancerre, a region famed for its wonderful white wines.

Her interior includes a delightful dining area and a beautifully appointed saloon, while the extremely generous accommodation features four suites, each averaging 250 sq ft including a large en suite bathroom. Renaissance’s other features include a forward deck with a roof extension for alfresco dining and an on-deck heated spa pool.

Sunday, Day 1 Montargis
Guests are met at the Hotel Westminster in Paris and transferred by private chauffeured minibus to the spacious Renaissance where a Champagne welcome with canapés awaits you and you meet the Captain and crew. Time enough to explore the pretty village of Montargis on foot or bicycle, before dinner on board.

Monday, Day 2 Montargis to Montbouy
This morning, we embark on our first cruise through the Loire countryside, with great towpath walking and cycling opportunities, to moor at Montbouy. After lunch on board, we visit Château de Fontainebleau, a national museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. To walk through this magnificent palace is to walk through the history of France. It is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries and every French royal family added its own architectural style and features when in residence. Dinner on board.

Tuesday, Day 3 Montbouy to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
This morning we visit Château de Sully-sur-Loire. The castle originally belonged to Georges de la Trémoïlle, who infuriated Joan of Arc by encouraging the Dauphin to devote himself to idle hunting in the forests around Sully. After Joan's failure to liberate Paris in 1430, de la Trémoïlle imprisoned her in the castle. In the 18th century Voltaire, exiled from Paris, also spent time at the château. Following lunch back on board, we enjoy an afternoon cruise to our mooring at the pretty village of Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, near its 350-year-old 7 lock-flight, which is well worth visiting on foot. Dinner on board.

Wednesday, Day 4 Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses to La Gazonne
After a leisurely breakfast of fresh croissants, baguettes and assorted pastries we visit Gien, home of the Faience pottery, renowned for its beautifully decorated and vibrant dinnerware, and also explore the town’s bustling market. After lunch, we enjoy an afternoon cruise to La Gazonne, a beautiful mooring surrounded by lakes and ponds that provide water for the workings of the Canal de Briare. Dinner ashore at the Michelin-starred Auberge des Templiers in Les Bezards.

Thursday, Day 5 La Gazonne to Briare
A morning cruise to our mooring at the little town of Briare, site of Gustave Eiffel’s magical aqueduct across the River Loire, again with excellent walking and bicycling opportunities. We preview Friday’s crossing of this amazing 10,000 ton, 662 metre Pont Canal which was completed in September 1896. This afternoon, we visit the delightful, privately-owned Château de La Bussière, known as the ‘fishermen’s castle’, with its wonderful ornamental and vegetable gardens. Dinner on board.

Friday, Day 6 Briare to Châtillon-sur-Loire
This morning we wander around fruit and vegetable, seafood, cheese and French fashion stalls in the market in Briare before returning to the hotel barge for a short cruise across the aqueduct and lunch on board. Our afternoon visit is to a renowned winery in Sancerre, such as Domaine Henri Bourgeois in Chavignol, for a tour and private tasting. This medieval hilltop village overlooks a vibrant region which has known viticulture since Roman times. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Saturday, Day 7 Châtillon-sur-Loire
After breakfast, guests are transferred to the Hotel Westminster in Paris.

This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.

Cruise cost includes:
6-night cruise
Air-conditionned accommodation
En suite staterooms or suites
Gourmet meals, fine wines and an open bar
Daily escorted excursions mentionned in the itinerary in air-conditionned minibuses
Chauffeured transfer service to and from a designated hotel in central Paris.
Bicycles, on-deck spa pool
Experienced crew with a captain, chef, tour guide and hosts/hostesses