The Loire (Seven Nights)
- Loire scenery, countryside and vineyards
- The beautiful cities of Nantes and Angers, the coastal port city of St Nazaire and picturesque towns and villages of the region.
- Vineyard and chateaux excursions
- The brand new river cruise ship ‘Loire Princesse’ specially designed and built (as a modern paddle steamer) for the Loire, France’s longest river.
River Cruise Day 1: Nantes
Board the CroisiEurope Loire Princesse in Nantes, early evening, then a gentle cruise along the Erdre which King Francis dubbed ‘the most beautiful river in France’.
River Cruise Day 2: Nantes to St Nazaire
After breakfast, an optional tour of Nantes including the historic architecture of the Ile Feydeau and the stunning citadel built by the Duke of Brittany. After lunch, a downstream cruise along the Loire to Saint-Nazaire.
Day 3: St Nazaire to Ancenis
After breakfast, an optional excursion to the Escal’Atlantic (housed in the memorably impregnable concrete submarine pen building) which celebrates the golden age of ocean liner voyages. Then a visit to the birthplace of many famous French ocean liners, the immense Saint-Nazaire shipyard complex. Alternatively, visit the expanse of local Guerande salt-marshes, a symbol of the region, producer of the finest cooking salt and a nature reserve.
In the afternoon, an upstream cruise along the Loire to Ancenis.
Day 4: Ancenis to Angers
Today’s optional excursion explores the Muscadet wine region with opportunities for tasting at a chateau-vineyard and a visit to the picturesque village of Clisson. Then an afternoon cruise to Angers.
Day 5: Angers (Saumur)
Angers was the capital of the historic French province of Anjou, home to the Plantagenet dynasty. The city has the richest possible legacy from these times but is also very modern in outlook too. The optional morning tour includes the C13th castle with its massive stone walls and the extraordinary Apocalypse Tapestry housed within and also the historic La Doutre neighbourhood in the heart of the city.
In the afternoon, choose to visit Saumur and the Cadre Noir riding school. Cadre Noir schools horses – and riders – through sensitivity and harmony not discipline and has been recognised as an outstanding cultural example by UNESCO.
Day 6: Angers (Loire Chateaux)
The optional excursion today is a full day’s tour (lunch included) of the stunning chateaux of the upper Loire Valley. Visits will include the Renaissance Chateau d’Azay, built on a small island in the River Indre, the gardens of the Chateau de Villandry and the fairytale Chateau d’Ussé. This charming C15th building, all roofs, turrets and towers, is reputed to have inspired the story of the Sleeping Beauty.
Day 7: Angers to Nantes
The Loire Princesse leaves after breakfast for Bouchemaine where an optional tour departs to explore the Corniche Angevine countryside and vineyards ranged along the Loire. The ship moves downstream to moor in Ancenis for lunch, where the tour rejoins. In the afternon, a downstream cruise back to Nantes for a farewell gala dinner, music and dancing.
Day 8: Nantes
Your cruise comes to an end this morning as you disembark in Nantes for your onward journey.
The Cruise Includes
- 7 Nights’ accommodation on board the CroisiEurope Loire Princesse
- Full Board (from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the last day)
- Wine and drinks with main meals and at the bar
The Cruise Excludes
- International transportation and domestic travel to and from Nantes
- Transfers to and from the ship
- Optional excursions
- Beverages (other than those already mentioned)
- Visas (where required)
- Personal Insurance