Luxurious cruising, fascinating itinerary in the Upper Loire
Meanderer truly represents floating luxury – cruising the charming waterways of the Upper Loire region where the itinerary takes in its rich history, glorious architecture, local town markets, antique shops and museums.
Flawlessly fitted-out for just six passengers Meanderer has spacious accommodation on both decks – 3 large cabins, a large lounge and dining area, a spacious, teak covered sun-deck and an outdoor heated spa-pool. She is the perfect vessel for exploring the Upper Loire in style, combining elegant comfort, exceptional personal service and superb cuisine.
Style: The 'nature' of the hotel barge. Outline subjective guidance as to the quality or comfort level that might be expected on board.
Price Band: Per person. Outline guidance only, on a relative or comparative basis. The bands do not represent accurate low or high season rates.
Hotel Barge Meanderer :: Key Features
- Excellence class (4*)
- Canal de Briare, Upper Loire
- Charter and cabin bookings, 6 nights, 7 days, April to October
- 4 to 6 guests / 3 cabins with ensuite bathrooms
- Individually controlled air conditioning and heating
- Full board, on-board dining
- Spacious sun deck with spa pool
- Themed cruises available
- Wifi (limited in some places)
- Air-conditioned mini-bus for transfers and excursions
Meanderer Cruise Highlights in the Upper Loire
- Scenic views of the Upper Loire valley
- Excursion to Gien and visit its famous ceramic factory
- Cruise over the Loire via the Briare aquaduct (constucted by Eiffel)
- Wine-tastings at local vineyards, including Sancerre
- See the remarkable staircase of 7 locks at Rogny-Les-Sept-Écluses
- Visit one the fabulous local palaces: Château de Sully-sur-Loire, Palace Fontainebleau or Château Vaux-le-Vicomte
- Visit to Montargis, famous for its praline chocolates
- Walk alongside Meanderer or cycle along the towpath and explore the villages
Hotel Barge Meanderer is owned and operated in person by George and Susan Kovalick. Previously highly successful travel entrepreneurs in the USA, they bring their understanding of luxury vacations to this unique barge experience – loved by everyone and especially Americans!
6 nights accommodation; transfers to and from Paris; all meals and drinks on board; excursion fees and associated transport
Air fares to and within France; travel, medical and cancellation insurance; crew gratuities (suggested 5-10%)
“Absolutely delightful, refreshing, relaxing and restful. Everyone was simply spectacular, attentive without intruding, helpful and available. One of the best weeks of our lives. Cannot wait to return.”
Thomas and Lisa Y. USA
Hotel Barge Meanderer: Cruises in Upper Loire
Montbouy to Lere – Canal de Briare
Day 1 Sunday – Arrival
Pick up from Paris hotel after lunch for transfer by private air-conditioned mini-bus to Meanderer moored in Montbouy. Champagne reception, meet the crew, settle in and then take an early evening cruise to the village of Montcresson and back. Relax on deck beofre dinner on board.
Day 2 Monday – Montbouy to Rogny-Les-Sept-Écluses
Cruise to Rogny-Les-Sept-Écluses, named after the abandoned 7 lock staircase which you will see. After lunch, excursion to the magnificent Château de Sully-sur-Loire or the spectacular palace of Fontainebleau, home to generations of French royalty, or to the Château Vaux le Vicomte with its extensive and pristinely preserved formal gardens.
Day 3 Tuesday – Rogny-Les-Sept-Écluses to La Gazonne
Visit the regional capital town of Montargis, to explore a busy market town and the famous Mazet Praline shop. Lunch on board and then cruise through six locks (which replaced the 7 lock staircase) to the overnight mooring at La Gazonne within a magnificent nature reserve. Dinner on board.
Day 4 Wednesday – La Gazonne to Briare
Excursion to the splendid 16th century Château of St. Fargeau, or to the Medieval Village of Guedelon, an extraordinary 25 year project to recreate a defensive medieval castle. Lunch on board and then a cruise to Briare on the bank of the Loire River and the entrance to the famous Briare Aqueduct (Pont Canal).
Day 5 Thursday – Briare to Beaulieu-sur-Loire
Cruise over the Pont Canal and then a visit to the town of Gien. Set on the banks of the River Loire, the pretty town holds many attractions including the famous Faience Boutique, the Hunting Museum and the Château de Gien. Lunch on board and then a short drive to the private Château de La Bussière, with its 18th Century gardens. Or, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site Village of Vézelay or a private visit (by appointment) to Château de Buranlure.
Day 6 Friday – Beaulieu to Léré
Cruise southwards to the town of Léré, the final mooring port. The scenery of flat fields and pastures slowly changes to hillside vineyards. Lunch on board and then an excursion to the world famous wine region of Sancerre for a wine-tasting and to explore the hill-top village. Also, a visit to the extraordinary town of La Charité sur Loire, surrounded on all sides by the Loire River. For early risers, the best market visit of the region at Cosne-sur-Loire with our chef is an option and for real wine aficionados, an option to visit the vineyards of Pouilly Fume.
Day 7 Saturday – Departure
Depart for Paris after breakfast by private chauffeured mini-bus.
Please note: Cruises run in reverse direction alternate weeks. It may be necessary to vary the itinerary from day to day according to local conditions.
Hotel Barge Meanderer cruises in Northern Burgundy and the Upper Loire
Barge Cruising – Loing Valley, Briare and Loire
Canal de Loing – Canal de Briare – Canal Loire Lateral
South of Paris, where the western part of Burgundy blurs prettily with the Loire Valley, a cruise along the Canal de Loing, the Canal de Briare and the Canal Loire Lateral reveals a number of hidden treasures in a landscape that inspired the painter Alfred Sisley. He memorably captured numerous aspects of the ancient town of Moret-sur-Loing, which has associations not just with Thomas à Becket, but with the Three Musketeers as well.
There are engineering feats to marvel at along the way– when the elegant aqueduct at Briare was constructed in the 1890s to cross the wide span of the River Loire, at 662 metres it was the longest in the world, while at Rogny you can see a flight of seven locks – the fact that they are no longer in use gives them an atmospheric quality full of echoes of the past, but also provides the chance to take in the detail of their construction
The wooded forests of the region attracted royal hunting parties from as early as the 12th century and the Palace of Fontainebleau originally served as a hunting lodge. Its medieval fortifications were given a glorious renaissance makeover in the 16th century and of all royal palaces it is the only one to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. It was where Napoleon abdicated from the throne before he was exiled to Elbe. Thousand year old castles are plentiful – Saint Fargeau and Sully-sur-Loire boast breathtaking examples. Equally charming is the ancient town of Montargis, which with its network of narrow canals and bridges invites comparisons to Venice.
Hotel barges normally collect and return guests to a pre-agreed Paris hotel. The primary French international airport is at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. There are also TGV express train stations at Sens, Migennes, Montbard and Tours; and many other towns in the region have railway connections.
– [below] In the region: Rogny, Briare, Moret-sur-Loing (Alfred Sisley), Montargis, Fontainebleau, Fargeau, Sully –
Hotel Barge Meanderer: Details and Facilities
- Dimensions: 125ft (38m) x 17ft (5.1m)
- Three suites of 125 sq ft, each with queen-size double or twin beds
Each cabin has a private bathroom with WC and shower; wardrobe, closet space, opening windows and sky-lights, hair dryer, bathrobe and personal safe
- Each cabin has satellite flat screen TV, Video, DVD and CD player
- Headroom: 6ft 6″ throughout
- Central heating and air conditioning throughout
- Professional English-speaking crew of 6 – captain, pilot, chef, hostess, tour guide and matelot
Other items on board:
- Large teak sundeck with loungers and shade
- Jacuzzi spa pool
- 6 identical bicycles
- A small library of books, maps, DVDs
- A collection of board games
- Wifi (availability limited in some areas)
- Fully stocked open bar
Hotel Barge Meanderer: Cuisine
Gourmet dining on board Meanderer is a speciality; whether taken al fresco under the canopy or inside in the elegant salon, all meals are prepared with the finest ingredients, fetched daily from the local markets. Accompanying fine wines are selected to enhance each dish and menus can be adjusted to accommodate special dietary requirements.
Topinambour Velouté avec un Oeuf poché, poudre de Cèpes, et L’Huile de Truffe
Jerusalem Artichoke Velouté with Poached Egg, Cèpe Powder, and Truffle Oil
Magret de Canard façon Sous Vide et un Pastilla de Confit de Canard, avec
Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise, Assiette des Petits Légumes, et une Sauce Bigarade
Sous Vide Duck Breast, Duck Confit Pastilla, with Potatoes Dauphinoise, Baby Vegetables,
and an Orange Sauce
Bavaroise de Chocolat et Beurre d’Arachide, Parfait de Citron Vert, Citronnelle
et Noix de Coco, avec Gingembre Cristallisé
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cream Mousse, with Lime, Lemongrass and Coconut Parfait,
and Crystallised Ginger
Wine and Cheese
Wine: Gigondas 2000/ Sancerre Clos de Roy 2001
Cheese: St Agur/Brie de Meaux
Wine: Morgan Beaujolais Cru 2000/Coulange Les Vineause 2002
Cheese: Bleu des Causses/Caprice des Dieux
Wine: Margaux 1999/Pouilly Fume 2001
Wine: Mercurey 1999/Crozes Hermitage 2002
Cheese: Forme d’Ambert/ Boursault
Wine: Sancerre Cuvee Romble 2001/ Menetou Salon 2002
Cheese: Bleu d’Avergne/ Boursin Poivre
Wine: St Emilion Grand Cru 1998/ Chablis Premier Cru 2001
Cheese: Gigondas Domain de Bresse/Pie d’Angloys
Wine: Vouvray demi-sec 2001
Wine: Sancerre Rose 2003
Wine: Coteaux de Gienoise 2002
ThursdayWine: Sancerre Terre Blanche 2002
Wine: Pouilly-sur-Loire 2002
Value rate weeks:
April 15, 22, 29
October 7, 14, 21
4 guest charter: 32,700 USD
5 guest charter: 33,200 USD
6 guest charter: 33,750 USD
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 11,750 USD per cabin (couple or single occupancy)
Regular rate weeks:
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23
4 guest charter: 34,900 USD
5 guest charter: 35,800 USD
6 guest charter: 36,600 USD
Per Cabin bookings
Double Cabin: 12,800 USD per cabin (couple or single occupancy)
Fortnight 2-week rate:
6 guest charter: 68,500 USD
All rates and prices will be confirmed at time of booking. Special Offers are available from time to time – contact us
We feature information about 50 wonderful hotel barges, of various sizes and price/style levels, more than 100 individual cruises to choose from every week of the season, in 8 regions across France. Some book flexibly by the cabin, others exclusively charter the entire hotel barge. Quite a choice!
Every one of our hotel barge information pages has been carefully crafted and written by us, from our own unique first hand-hand experience – but we also understand that there’s nothing like speaking to a friendly expert to help see the wood for the trees and make the best possible decision about the vacation cruise of a lifetime.
So please, send us a Booking Enquiry form (click on the red tab above) or just pick up the phone and give us a call.
We love France, we love the rivers and canals of France, we love hotel barging – and we love talking about all three!
+33 609 740 064 -or- +44 7590 287 178
We have been cruising and exploring France
aboard our own river boat since 2003.
– we also have expert colleagues in North America and Australia –