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Upper Loire Valley Luxury Barge Tour
Welcome aboard a true luxury barge for a magical journey along the Upper Loire. This cruise promises to tick all the boxes from palatial palaces to medieval castles, from the finest porcelain to the crispest Sancerre. A slow paced route traversing some of the most beautiful landscapes France has to offer. Great cuisine, fantastic excursions and a fun filled week make for a truly memorable vacation
This 7-day tour will delight you with the elegance of the barge, the delicious meals served on board, the wonderful walking tours of famous places.
Normal pricing applies for 2022. Please check with us if you would like to charter the barge: [email protected]
Thoughtful and excellent touches make living on this spacious barge supremely comfortable and the week’s cruise a joy. In addition to 2 spacious sundecks, there’s a great aft bar lounge, a favourite gathering place for everyone to talk about the day. The 4 spacious staterooms boast contemporary style and superb comfort. With underbed storage and both 220v and US 110v outlets you are guaranteed all the comforts of home.
A full refit of staterooms and bathrooms was undertaken over the winter of 2019/2020. Each stateroom is decorated with style and personal touches. Upgrades include King Size box spring beds, individually controlled split airconditioning unit, screen with DVD facility, Nespresso coffee machine, luxury bathroom, bathrobes and Occitane toiletries.
Internet, bikes, air-conditioned minibuse and a crew of 5 add to the abundance of offerings aboard this truly unique barge.
Slow Tours offer a number of other Luxury Barge Tours in Europe
Please note: this tour runs from Chatillon to Nemours one week, then in the other direction the following week. Either way, your transport is included to/from Paris.
Nemours to Neronville
You are transferred by air-conditioned minivan from your meet up hotel in Paris and driven directly to the barge mooring near Nemours. This town, which already existed in Gallo-Roman times, is beautifully situated in the valley of the River Loing. A perfect moment to enjoy an aperitif and being introduced to your crew while we take a gentle afternoon cruise along the canal. Tonight your master chef will delight you with the first of many delicious meals. Welcome Dinner is onboard
Neronville to Montargis
After breakfast we drive to the Palace of Fontainebleau. It is often referred to as the "House of Centuries" due to the fact that every French monarch from Francois I to Napoleon III has left his mark upon this magnificent chateau. To walk through the splendor of the inner sanctuaries of noble kings and queens is to step back through time. Back onboard for lunch and a delightful cruise to Montargis, otherwise affectionately named the “Venice of the Gatinais” due to 131 flower laden bridges that cross over the canals in town. Dinner is onboard.
Montargis to Montbuoy
After breakfast, we start our cruise surrounded by pastures and woodland. Birdsong serenades in the day and half sleepy Charolais cattle gaze nonchalantly as we quietly drift by. After lunch your tour guide drives you to the delightful Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire. Through the 14 rooms of the château, you will gain an insight into the château owner, the illustrious statesman and faithful companion of King Henry IV. From the medieval dungeon (you will cross the wall-walk and pass under the magnificent upturned boat hull roof structure) to the cozy and richly furnished rooms. You will discover the life and career of the Duke of Sully, through a rich collection of pictures, tapestries, statues and painted decors. You will also discover that this architectural gem played host to Joan of Arc, Louis XV and Voltaire. Once back onboard enjoy cocktails and canapés before yet another sumptuous dinner.
Montbuoy to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses
A leisurely breakfast followed by a relaxing cruise heralds in the day. Feeling more energetic? Why not take a bike for a spin or stroll along the towpath beside the barge as we wind our way towards our overnight mooring. After lunch we drive to the town of Gien, famous for its exquisite French tableware and pottery. Your tour guide accompanies you to the Gien factory, where you can observe artists painting the beautiful patterns that make this tableware so sought after. (Please note that in July and August the factory is closed but the store is open). We have time to shop before a stroll around this authentic French town. Back onboard cocktails and a mouth watering dinner await you.
Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses to Gazonne
This morning, during breakfast, we cruise pass an impressive flight of locks, after which the town is named. This feat of engineering was built in 1648 on the Briare Canal to connect the Loire and the Seine. However, today they have been replaced with a more recent flight, which we gently ascend. The surrounding countryside is magnificent with flower adorned locks and friendly locals. We arrive at our overnight mooring during lunch. This beautiful rural location offers serene walks and bountiful flora for the nature lovers. After lunch we visit the site of Guedelon Castle. If you’re fascinated with medieval life, you don’t need a time machine to visit the period. Guedelon Castle is a unique project where volunteers and researchers are constructing an authentic 13th century castle, using only techniques and materials that were available in the medieval period. 15 years in the making, this project is nearing completion and offers one of the most intriguing visits available on any cruise. Back onboard you can enjoy the serenity of this beautiful mooring with aperitif in hand, awaiting yet another sumptuous dinner.
Gazonne to Chatillon-sur-Loire
A gentle stroll or bike ride along the towpath, as your barge drifts gently by, sets off the morning for what promises to be a memorable day. Today we cruise across the River Loire via the much photographed and acclaimed Pont Canal de Briare. Constructed between 1890 and 1896, this metal canal bridge spans the Loire in a giant stride to connect the Canal Latéral à la Loire with the Canal de Briare. Bordered by 72 lamp posts and magnificent pillars adorned with coats of arms at either end, the bridge encapsulates the aptitude of man's skill with iron and stone without sacrificing aesthetics. After lunch we visit the medieval town of Sancerre, once a fortress perched high above the vineyards of the Loire. We’ve arranged a private wine tasting to sample some of the local fare and to learn about the finer points of this wonderful wine. We return later to the barge to prepare for our Gala Dinner. Sparkle and decoration adorn the table alongside of laughter, great cuisine and many a good sea dog tale! What a great conclusion to a great cruise!
Departure Day (9.30am)
After a hearty breakfast, our chauffeurs will drive you to your hotel or airport in Paris. Arrival usually around 11.30am
(Please note that itineraries can be changed at short notice due to influences beyond our control)
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]