Loire Valley

A fairytale region of exquisite Renaissance châteaux, Royal French history and contrasting waterways.

Loire Valley Cruises

The spectacular Loire Valley and its main tributary, the River Cher, have carried cargo and passengers for over 2000 years, since pre-Roman times as it winds through sandbanks to the Atlantic Ocean. The Valley of the Kings is a timeless region of spectacular beauty and grace and we are delighted to offer the only hotel barge cruising through its heart.

The Loire Valley is as rich in legend as it is in beauty; here the aristocracy of France have built their castles and palaces over the centuries and you will realise that, fortunately, little has changed. Talk to a cheesemaker and find out why his is the most famous goat’s cheese in France. Wind your way through the narrow streets of a centuries-old village, perhaps discovering hidden shops with hand-painted pottery, or stumble across an open market on your own.

Loire Valley MapThe 6 passenger hotel barge Nymphea is the ideal vessel for cruising the Loire Valley as larger or deeper vessels would not fit. The experienced captain will take you on unforgettable tours of Châteaux of Chenonceau, Amboise and Clos Lucé, the Villandry Gardens and a Troglodyte cave dwelling where silkworms are grown, allowing you to become completely immersed in the wonders of this famous region of France. We do not neglect the fact that the Loire Valley is also a land that produces wines of the very highest standard so private wine tastings at Montrichard and the Domaine de Fontenay are arranged.

The ultra deluxe Renaissance cruises in western Burgundy and the upper River Loire which gives a taste of the Loire region where it borders Burgundy to the west.

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Our Hotel Barges in the Loire Valley


Renaissance is an ultra-deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises in the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy between Chatillon-sur-Lore and Montargis from April to October


Nymphea is a first-class, 6 passenger hotel barge that cruises the Loire Valley between Moulin de Nitray and Montrichard from June to September

La Nouvelle Etoile

La Nouvelle Etoile is an ultra-deluxe, 8 passenger hotel barge that cruises the Upper Loire and Burgundy between Moret-sur-Loing and Briare from early June to mid-July


France’s 5 Most Romantic Destinations – In Pictures

Sample some of France's romantic delights, from the Lovers' Bridges of Annecy to the world's largest reflecting pool in Bordeaux Read More

A Woman’s Touch: The Château de Chenonceau

Discover the history of the bridge at the Château de Chenonceau, which the Nymphea cruises under on our Loire Valley cruise.

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Explore the Treasures of Gien on a French Barge Tour

The ‘faïencerie’ and museum in Gien make this pretty French town a favourite stop on our Upper Loire barge cruises. Read More

Château de Sully-sur-Loire: An Historic Fairytale Fortress for All the Family

Whether you’re young or old, it is impossible not to fall in love with this ‘monument historique’, the Château de Sully-sur-Loire. Read More

France’s Iconic Aqueducts

Engineering enthusiasts, listen up! Our cruises aboard Renaissance allow you to enjoy the Briare Aqueduct from a viewpoint on the water. Read More

France’s Five Most Enchanting Châteaux

What could be more romantic than marvelling at the magnificent châteaux that recline on the banks of the river? Read More