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Classic Cruise – Upper Loire & Western Burgundy
Sunday, Day 1 Montargis
Guests are met at our meeting point 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 for a walking tour of the pretty village of Montargis 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, our visit this afternoon is to the splendid Château de Fontainebleau, a national museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries and every French royal family has added its own architectural style and features when in residence. To walk through this palace is to walk through the history of France, and we are lucky enough to be accompanied by a friendly and knowledgeable guide. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Montbouy to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
This morning we visit the privately-owned Château de La Bussière, known as the ‘fishermen’s castle’, with its wonderful ornamental and vegetable gardens. 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. 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. 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. This afternoon, we visit the delightful Château de Ratilly and its rather spectacular selection of turreted towers, construction of which began in 1270! Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Châtillon-sur-Loire
After breakfast, guests are transferred by private chauffeured minibus to Paris**.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
**other locations available for Private Charter bookings